when you don't have it all figured out yet - in partnership with Kelly Moore Bags

This post is a collaboration with Kelly Moore Bag.  I've  been a customer of theirs for years. We owned a messenger style from them as our first diaper bag as well as a backpack style (The Pilot). I reached out to them because I wanted review their Austin Bag (a vegan leather bucket-style purse/camera bag) and they graciously agreed to send one over. This post is my review of it. 


Let's talk about being grown up. 

What does that feel like exactly?

I read a quote once that went something like this: "Nothing will ruin your twenties like thinking you need to have your entire life figured out in your twenties." I don't know who said that originally (if you do, please let me know!) but, my goodness, it resonates strongly with me right now. 

I'll be twenty-nine this June. And guess what, it's a rare thing for me to feel like I've got everything mapped out, to feel grown-up.

As silly as you may think it is, this bag from Kelly Moore, helps me feel like more of an adult on those days when I get down about still having such a long way to go. Yes, I'm serious.

I've never been a "carry a purse" kind of woman. For whatever reason, I just don't. But having used this bag for awhile now, I'm really in love with idea of having  something that carries just my things. But let's be real, I can still throw snacks and diapers in this thing if I really need to. 

Why I love this bag:

  • The compact, easy to access design. I can fit our DSLR camera, my phone, a small notebook and pen, as well as all the baby necessities if the situation calls for it. Everything inside can be gotten to quickly or secured safely with the drawstring and snap closure. 
  • The material. Let's be honest, this season of motherhood comes with every imaginable spill, stain and form of spit ups. I've had this bag for months now and it still looks almost brand new. Anything that happens to splash on the outside simply wipes off. 
  • The versatility. I use it primarily as a camera bag because of the padded insert (with dividers!) But the insert is completely removable if I wanted to use this has just a simple purse. It also comes with a longer shoulder strap if I want to wear it messenger style.  

We made a visit over the weekend to our favorite local coffee roasters, Carabello Coffee. Inside, they have a wall where people leave little notes and jotted thoughts in the cracks of the exposed brick. While Jonathan was ordering our drinks I tucked into this cozy booth with the kids. Behr was completely caught up in pulling out different scraps of paper from the wall and insisting I read them aloud.

Eventually, we unfolded the one pictured below. 

"Isn't it funny how day by day nothing changes. But when you look back, everything is different." -C.S. Lewis

In this season of life, my days can become monotonous. Raising two babies who can't even feed themselves or go to the bathroom unassisted can all start running together. Add in a regular routine or irregular sleep and sometimes I can hardly differentiate one week from another. 

But, every so often I do "look back". I think of who I was ten years ago, five years ago, last year. That's when I realize how much I've changed. It's strange though, because at every milestone, I never felt like I was grown up yet. I just felt like I was making it up as I went along.  

Maybe I'll stop trying to call myself a grown adult, and instead make my peace with always being a growing adult. 

I mention this often, but I'm still very much in "figuring it out" mode. I'm ok with that. I've come to understand that I don't want to ever get to a point in my life where I think: "I'm done. This is it. I have nothing left to learn."

But at the same time, I want to walk confidently in the woman God has made me to be thus far. This is an honest struggle for me. As with most things in life, it's about accepting the dance of living with both emotions. 

Here's to loving where I'm at while still expectantly hopeful for who I'm know I can become in the future.

And for those days when I'm needing a secret, "Yes, I actually am an adult woman." confidence boost, I'll have this pretty little bag slung over my shoulder.

hello again

Starting in January, I disabled the Instagram app from my phone. I later ended up removing the Facebook one as well. Here's what I've learned about myself as a result of that:

Coming into the new year, I knew I could only swim at the fast pace social media demanded for so long. I was exhausted, gulping for air in a digital current sweeping me away. 

So, I made a full stop. 

I found myself on the bank with the sun warming my back. It was slower there. The never ending scroll-river streamed right on by without me for weeks. I was fine with it. 

Oh, sure. I missed that connection. But the peace I discovered up on the shore was too relieving for me to want to dive back in. So I waited it out. I wrote and searched and talked and took long, slow breaths. I listened to the birds. I worked hard on things in my heart and our home. 

I rested my mind.

And now as I (ever so slowly) wade back into the stream of social media sharing, I'm thinking about how I want to move forward. 

There's too much to sum up in one post but, I do know I'm committed to putting  beauty into the world. Whether that's mainly through the channels of social media, my monthly letters or blogging, I'm not sure yet. 

I don't know if anyone actually still reads my blog. Truthfully, I realize I don't need them too. I use this space as a creative outlet. It's where I work out my thoughts, memories and unique perspective on life. 

 It's where I share my story in all it's messy, mundane, marvelous glory. 

If you happen to be one of the sweet readers who stop by here to participate, I'm so grateful for you. 

I'm not giving up on Instagram (not yet anyway, ha!). But I won't be on there near as much.

I will be making time to to invest in fuller, richer work which I'll be sharing here on this blog as well as the letters I send out to inboxes during the month (you can sign up for those HERE.  There's already 200+ hearts that have joined me there and what we're creating together is something special).

Moving forward, I want to be clear about the stories and messages I share publicly. I want it to add to, uplift, and encourage your life. Not subtract or distract from it.

So, in the spirit of honesty, here's a peek into what I'm offering to anyone who happens to invest in what I share, wherever I share it. 

What you won't find here:

  • Content that wastes time--yours or mine. (only do what it needful)
  • Putting out half-hearted offerings
  • The pursuit of things (forever waging that glorious war on clutter!)
  • Making others feel unimportant
  • Anything that contradicts God’s Word

What you will find here: 

  • An honest, fumbling onward-striving pursuit of Jesus Christ
  • The prioritizing of my family 
  • The healing power of imagination, story and beauty (more on this soon!)
  • Meaningful, connective offerings
  • A space to feel valued, seen and heard
  • The commitment to diligence (not giving up)
  • Positive thinking rooted in the hope of my Savior 

I'm happy to have had this month to sort out the clutter--both literally and figuratively--that I'd allowed to gather in my life.

I'm entering February with a lighter heart and calmer soul. 

All glory to God for what He has done.

Scout - six months

We've lived over half a year with our girl. 

It's been both slow and fast. Joyful and full of soul-growing hardship. I wouldn't change a thing. 

In some ways, the first twelve months of your baby's life can feel like riding a train. You sit there in your seat and the immediate surroundings inside the train car don't change all that much as you travel. And perhaps you are so focused on being inside the train that you don't think much about how fast you're traveling. Sure, you can stare out the window at the earth rolling by and perhaps you even occasionally notice a gently sway that conveys movement. But then, full stop.  All of the sudden, you arrived. We're at six months already?!

"Is she always this happy and content?"

That question get asked a lot anytime people interact with Scout. Our answer: "Yes! Unless she's hungry or tired, she really is this sweet most of the time." 

Everyone who meets her is smitten and so are we, indescribably so. 

She's got mama's eyes and daddy's hair. Behr is her favorite playmate (the feeling is adorably mutual). She squeals and scoots and laughs all day long. Her favorite thing to do to us is reach out her pudgy paws, arms outstretched, and proceed to slap our faces with vigorous delight. 

We love watching her grow and pack on those rolls (one pediatrician referred to her as "a very firm baby" Haha!). We love how effortlessly she fits into our family.

We love her. 

I hold our girl in my arms and can't help but think of the verse, Luke 4:38: "..give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over will be put into your lap..." 

She is immeasurably more than we hoped for all along. We still haven't recovered from the wonder of being gifted our Scout. 

Dear Mimi, 

You are the definition of delight. Your mama is usually fairly confident about stringing word together to describe things, but when it comes to you, all the appropriate adjectives fall short. So, sometimes I don't even try and instead just focus on memorizing every precious part of you at this age. Your brother can't get enough of you and your daddy has a special voice reserved just for you. The way you light them up causes me to pause so often and think, "These are the years, the ones building the foundation of our family's history. We're living out those golden memories right this minute." We thank Jesus everyday for the gift of being entrusted with you. Please don't ever stop being the bright, soft determined little light that you are. 

Love, Mama, Daddy and Behr. 

(for a fun side-by-side comparison, you can view Behr's six month portraits here)