Times of Transition

I feel like I’m on the verge of something. Like inspiration is just out of my reach but so, so close.  I see things and there is this weird spark of inspiration/recognition, but then it is gone.  This certainly feels like a time of transition and maybe this is an indication that something big is on the horizon.

It has been a long 15 months since we lost Shiloh and 6 months since we lost Jessie. Strange to think I should be due in a month. Anyway, this sent me on a long path of depression & anxiety which led to a season of introspection. It feels like I long ago lost who I am and I would really like to find myself again. Read more

On Blight

I feel like this is becoming more and more a year of blight. On my garden, of my body, in my soul, around the world. Like the life is draining out and I am powerless to stop it. I lived it so long that I never really noticed, but today it struck me. I simply went out to my back yard with a basket and scissors and I came back with some vegetables and a head full of this. It is a funny thing when clarity strikes. The hard becomes simpler while the simple becomes harder. Read more

I Miscarried And I Can’t Tell Anyone

I Miscarried

Our dearest Baby,

Please know that we love you and wanted you very much. We tried for over a year to have you. I even quit my job so the physical strain wouldn’t continue to keep you from us, despite the impossibility of our budget.

When we found out about you, we were so excited. We wanted to tell everybody. We could have screamed it from the rooftops.

But we couldn’t tell anyone. Read more

It’s Planting Time Again

Planting Day

The snow and frost have finally stopped (we hope!) and things are growing strong. This is one of my favorite times of the year. Everything is fresh and green. We can finally get our hands dirty, tuck in our fragile little plants, and dream of warmer days and the harvest to come.

I finally finished planting my main garden. It has been a long process and it has been interesting to see all of my hard work come to fruition. It will still need plenty of tweaking, trellising, and weeding but I think it is a good start and an improvement over last year. Check it out! Read more

Rugged Van Riper State Park

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Pure Michigan

Van Riper State Park

This is absolutely one of my favorite Michigan State Parks. recreation_passport_logo_w_tagIt has a rugged beauty that is beyond compare. It is amazing how beautiful this state is and how much of that land is readily available through the state park system. And I love how it is now only $11 for a Recreation Passport to access all of these gems. Note: this is an affiliated but unsponsored post. All opinions are my own.

Van Riper State Park is located on Lake Michigamme just outside of Champion, Michigan in the northwestern Upper Peninsula about half-way between Marquette and the base of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Read more

The Vacation Begins at Cheboygan State Park

This entry is part 3 of 4 in the series Pure Michigan

The Vacation Begins in Cheboygan

It is that time again. Warmer days are ahead and it is time to plan summer outings and camping trips. Michigan State Parks are taking campsite reservations and sites are filling up fast. The hard part is picking the best places for you with the time you have. I have several favorites that I will try to share with you.

Every summer (and sometimes also winter) I take my annual pilgrimage up north. Usually, we spend almost all of our trip in the Upper Peninsula, but last year we also spent a little time in the northern Lower Peninsula as well.

Our trip started with a night at Cheboygan State recreation_passport_logo_w_tagPark. Of course, we used the Recreation Passport for beautiful, cheap lodging. In fact, it was essentially free since my parents had their camper there already and we joined them for the night. Note: this is an affiliated but unsponsored post. All opinions are my own. Read more

First Quarter Review 2016

We are just three months into 2016 and it has already been quite a year. As always my word of the year – Refocus – has been more of a challenge than I anticipated. The point of refocusing was to take the time to find where I am and where I would really like to go. In reality, it has been very difficult to really focus on anything.2016


In the first days of January, I unexpectedly lost a very good friend to cancer. She was only 44 and so full of life. Laura Looman was one of the strongest Christians I knew and I am certain that she is now singing exuberantly in the heavenly choir. In our last conversation, she was so looking forward to getting her heavenly mansion and she certainly earned it. I rejoice with her, but all of us left here are mourning our loss of such a faithful and loving friend. It still isn’t fully real that she is gone. Also, she was one of this blog’s biggest supporters, and I have found it nearly impossible to write since then. Read more

Word of the Year

Word of the day

It seems like every year we are pushed to make New Year’s resolutions. Everyone is doing it and you should too because you need improvement, or else. I am picturing a 4-inch tall Egyptian slave driver with a whip on my right shoulder.

The thing is, New Year’s resolutions do not work–at least not for me. Every year I would make the same resolutions and nothing ever really came of it. Have you ever had that problem? If you haven’t, let us know your secret in the comments.

A few years ago I saw a post about forgoing a resolution and instead picking a word of the year. It sounded like an intriguing idea. Basically, you pick a word and use it to choose the direction of your year. I have done this for three years now and it has been a bit more successful though it hasn’t been without its challenges. Read more

Twelve Days of Christmas on a Budget

12 Days of Christmas

I really love holidays, and Christmas is my favorite. The best part is making presents for my friends and family and watching their joy in receiving them.

The first Christmas I was dating my hubby I went all out and did 12 days of Christmas presents. I started on December 13th so the last would fall on Christmas Eve. I found the idea on Pinterest, as a few people have done versions of this. My problem was that most of their suggestions didn’t really fit us, and I wanted something more special. Also, I was on a tight budget and had to get really creative.

I took the traditional 12 days and tweaked them just a bit. It was a lot of fun and he really looked forward to what the next day would bring. I got suggestions from family, friends, and co-workers, which got them involved. He even posted each one on Facebook and several of his friends really got into it too.

I highly suggest trying this for your loved ones. It is great for your significant other and it can easily be re-worded for friends, children, co-workers, etc. I found the printable tags here, but you could use any little card. I hope you can use these ideas and make yours even better. Really, the hardest part of this is trying to get the song out of your head. The current version I have is Bob Rivers’ The Twelve Pains Of Christmas–such a classic. Read more