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The Friday Photo Dump


Wrapping up the week by sharing pics from the cell phone... it's life right now!

Kendall's natural curls keep getting curlier and curlier! 

We are almost ready for the ark to come, we have had so much rain this week!
Thankful for drivethru coffee stands (and hot white mochas).

I love me a warm fireplace! Blessed to be in a cozy house and to have children to bring in the firewood ;)

Cutest duo at the pumpkin patch! Blake popped under his friend Emma's umbrella and she was kind enough to let him stay while they walked around. 

Field trip fun! (I'm a fan of the field trip... especially when fresh apple cider donuts are involved.)

Yesterday was my grocery shopping day, which somehow led me to the mall, and more specifically, to the Nordstrom Cafe. Enjoyed me a little treat, I did!

We were ding-dong ditched last night, and came out to find a carved pumpkin and treat bags for the kids left on our porch! Thank you Young Adults group from our church! Kendall and Blake had already carved their own (Batman & the smallest smiley face) so Cooper adopted the new addition.

Late night Walmart adventures with my Mum, which we hadn't done since the summer... good times! 

Cooper came out of the bathroom with wet slicked back hair and a fragrant aroma.
Me: what's on your hair?
Coop: I used that new Mediterranean Lavender hair spray! It smells good!
Me: That's because it's room spray.

Hahahaha. Oh, Cooper. 

What I Wore Wednesday


I'm a wee bit late to the party this week... here's what I wore this past week.

No. 1
Old Navy jacket & scarf, Dress barn shirt, Target jeans, DSW boots

No. 2 
Maurice's shirt, Gap jeans, thrifted suede flats, scarf from a scarf swap

No. 3 
Thrifted jacket, Target dress, Fylo leggings, DSW boots

No. 4 
Old Navy top, REI vest, Big Star jeans, Converse sneakers

pleated poppy

Working again - how God changed my heart


I have had a part-time job working outside of the home for one year now. And for a whole year I've thought, "I should write about how my job came about, because it's kind of a cool story". But then I kept putting it off, for a not-very-good reason.

Which is, when I tell the story in person, there are so many details about the thought process behind my and Russ's differing views that would be overwhelming to try and explain well here. I felt like I wouldn't be able to do it without potentially offending someone who does work already, or has to work, or loves to work full-time, all things that I am fully in support of.

I've finally decided to forget about all that, and just share a somewhat shortened version.

During the spring of 2013, after being a full-time stay-at-home mom for 12 years, Russell started to really push the idea of me going back to work, now that Blake, our youngest child, was going to be starting half-day kindergarten in the fall.

I was very resistant to this idea for several valid reasons, not the least of which being that I felt like the role of a stay-at-home mom IS a full time job in and of itself, a job that I loved and felt very fulfilled in.

(And that's where it's hard to write stuff like that and not feel like people might get defensive or judgy because everyone feels differently about that subject. So I'll just state that I'm not trying to push my own feelings on anyone else. And move on...)

So as spring progressed into summer, the subject became a matter of debate, and a rather contentious one at that. Finally, around July or so, I decided I wasn't going to argue my case a single more time and I asked Russ (who also had very valid points), to please let me have a period of: "we're just not talking about it."

During that period I repeatedly prayed a simple prayer. "Lord, please change my heart if I am supposed to go back to work, and if not, please change my husband's heart".

Surprisingly, we actually went a whole month and a half without talking about the subject AT ALL, and then, around the end of August, Russell shocked the heck out of me when he told me that he was okay with me not working if I didn't want to. And not only okay, but fully supportive. What?!!!

I was so thrilled, and thankful to God for bringing about this heart change all on His own, instead of it being a battle I had to win myself, and we happily entered the new school year with me busy with after-school and home activities, while still getting to attend ladies bible study and my prayer group, as well as volunteering one day a week at my kids' school.

Then, at the beginning of October 2013, while donating blood at a blood-drive down at the school, I sat in the waiting area with another school mom who also attends our church and we started chit chatting. I didn't know her very well but I knew that she and her husband ran their own business, and that a friend of mine worked for them part-time as their bookkeeper and office person, so as a way to make conversation I asked how my friend was doing there. She replied that actually, my friend had just got a full-time job somewhere else and they were going to have to find someone new, and she was kind of stressed out about it.

And I, Miss-oh-so-happy-to-NOT-be-working-outside-the-home, turned and looked at her and said, "Huh. You know, I think I might be interested in that job..."

I SWEAR I DON'T KNOW WHAT MADE ME SAY IT. The words just tumbled out all on their own.

But it was true. I was totally interested. And this is what happened next:

I was enthusiastically offered the job right then and there, for more pay than they were currently paying, with the promise of being able to work only a couple days a week on whatever days I wanted, at whatever hours that worked for me, and to be able to bring Blake with me after kindergarten, and my little dog if I wanted, and I didn't need to turn in a resume or fill out an application or go through any normal "getting a job" process at all.

It was all pretty wild.

I could not WAIT to tell Russ either! I was so excited to see his shocked face when I told him I'd gone and got myself a job... and shocked it was!

I started two weeks later and now, exactly a year from then, I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the whole thing was totally God. I love my job. L-O-V-E I-T. I'm still home most days, I still get to attend bible study and prayer group, and do all the mom and housewife things that are important to me, without being too tired or worn out. It is absolutely perfect for me.

If I had looked for a job last summer when Russ first wanted me to, I would not only have had a bad attitude and been resentful towards my husband, but I also would not have found the job I have, because it wasn't even available until October. I just love how God works, and how good He is.

And that's how God changed my heart and put a sweet little job right into my lap.

First Deer


So this happened over the weekend. Kendall shot her first deer, a blacktail, and her daddy couldn't be prouder if he tried. 

This is the third deer/elk harvest in our family this fall and all I can say is that it's a good thing venison is so good for you (lean and organic) because I don't see beef on my horizon for a while!

Yeah for a full freezer!

Dinner at Nanna's


When you go to Nanna's you can be assured of a few things:

1. The house will smell wonderful.

2. There will be fresh flowers.

3. And seasonally appropriate decorations.

4. Papa Duke will greet you with a hug and a huge smile.

5. Nanna will be in the kitchen, and she will want to feed you.

6. You will never leave hungry. EVER.

7. There's an 80% chance there will be homemade treats.

8. You will be treated like the most important and special guest.
9. Whipping cream is always available to top your hot beverage.
10. You won't want to leave. And Nanna won't want you to either. Which is why you will stay longer than you planned. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

What I Wore Wednesday


No. 1
Charlotte Russe shirt dress, Costco sweater, Old Navy belt, No Nonsense fleece lined leggings, DSW boots

No. 2 
Maurice's cardigan, thrifted blouse, Caslon pants (clothes swap), Target booties

No. 3 
Old Navy jacket, Maurice's tee, Target jeans, birthday boots (from Costco)

So pretty! And fleece lined too!

No. 4 
Ross tee, Big Star jeans, Converse sneakers, H&M scarf

No. 5 
Rue 21 top, Silver jeans, Converse sneakers

Happy Wednesday, guys! And thanks for stopping by :)

pleated poppy

The weekend report


Do Fridays count as part of the weekend?

I'm going to count Friday because Russ was home from hunting and didn't have to go work so we took the kids to school then went out to breakfast and coffee together and got caught up on ALL THE THINGS.

Also, we took a selfie. Unashamedly.

That evening we were invited to a no-kids dinner party at some new friends and boy oh boy, was that ever lovely! There were six couples there and topics ranged from most embarrassing moments (my favorite kind of stories), to our secret inner-issues, to personality traits, to why you should not feel guilty about not being able to do it all.

(Not the boys. The boys talked about sports.)

Saturday morning Blake had a soccer game, and as it was cold and misty with showers forecast, I broke in my birthday rainboots.
(I was pretty excited about this. The game? Meh. Now that it's rainy season I'm over soccer. Bring on basketball season which is played INDOORS!)

After the game I decided I better get around to grocery shopping and took Blake with me to town for a Costco and Winco run. In my rainboots with the warm toasty fur lining. This was a mistake. 

When I came out of Costco, it was 72 degrees and I was a hot, sweaty mess, and the Saturday shopping crowds had done me in, not to mention, the angry fella who I witnessed ram a car with his full cart and then kick it for good measure, all because it was in his way.

Saturday shoppers BE CRAZY!
{Also crazy: this giant teddy bear for sale at Costco. Sorry Blake, that's a big fat No Go.}
So I skipped Winco and the rest of my shopping and came home for a nap, as God intended Saturday afternoons be spent. We had a nice family evening, watched a movie with the kids, and then Russ and I caught up on the The Blacklist.

Sunday after church we went to my parents for my dad's awesome smoked pulled pork with the rest of my side of the family, made fools of ourselves cooing and giggling over my nephew Lincoln who is adorable, and then came home to clean house, do Sunday night chores, and watch August Rush, one of my very favorite movies. (Russell was crying by 5 minutes in... always a good sign of a winner.)

And that was our lovely weekend! A perfect blend of friends and family time, getting out of the house and staying home, relaxing and checking off the to-do list, sunny weather and cool cozy weather.

(Fall is finally growing on me.)

Hope your weekend was splendid too.

Awkward & Awesome Thursday - the hunting edition


Awesome: When your husband gets to go on his dream elk hunt on a private ranch in Wyoming.

Awkward: When you go around telling people he's in Montana all week because, you don't know why. Apparently you are very confused.

Awesome: When your husband texts after being gone a week to say he's on his way home... a day early! Happy hearts and rainbows & sunshine!

Awkward: when you get on facebook and see the picture of your husband on his way home, posted by his hunting buddy who's with him, that shows the elk your husband shot... in the back seat.

This is disturbing on so, sooooo many levels. (There is a tarp underneath. BUT STILL.)

Awesome: When you can finally stay home alone for a whole week when your husband is gone without having to go sleep at your parents.

Awkward: When the reason is because you have children who are no longer babies and who will take turns sleeping in your bed with you. Obviously that can't last forever. Which means they need to stop growing and never move out.

Sorry children, but your mother has spoken.

What I Wore Wednesday


No. 1
Old Navy jacket, clothes swap navy blue top, Target jeans, DSW boots, Plato's Closet necklace

No. 2 
Ross sweater, TJ Maxx top, Big Star jeans, Rue 21 sandals

No. 3 
Target sweatshirt, Silver jeans, Converse tennies

No. 4
(camera went missing) 
Thrifted top & bracelet, American Eagle jeans, Payless sandals

I'm surprised at how neutral all my outfits were for the week, compared to normal. Of course there's that bright pop of hot pink there at the end... ahhh, that's more like it ;)
pleated poppy

A Tuesday List


I don't know what it is about Tuesdays, but they seem like a good day for a list. 

1. I finally bought myself a stylus for my iphone. GAMECHANGER.

2. I've always loved springtime because: Cadbury cream eggs. But now there's the Cadbury SCREAM egg (ignore the green. you can do it.) October just upped the bar!

3. Speaking of delicious treats, I don't know how this has happened but I have yet to enjoy a pumpkin spice latte this Fall. Maybe because I'm afraid once I get my first one I won't be able to stop?

4. Blake has taken to climbing up the inside of our doorframes like a monkey, until he's at the top and his legs are almost in the splits, and then jumping down with a loud crash, and finishing it off with an olympic dismount salute (or whatever you call that arms-up-in-the-air-in-a-big-V-with-your-chest-stuck-out thing.) I finally had to put an end to it last week when he came limping towards me while holding his upper thigh, and told me that "his palm hurt". 

Courageous lad, but confused. 

5. If you are watching this season's Amazing Race, and aren't rooting for Bethany Hamilton (aka girl the movie Soul Surfer is about), then you are dead to me. She is, well, amazing.

And that's all I've got for ya. Happy Tuesday!