So many thoughts are going through my mind – where will this blog take us? am I really sure I want to be taking this on? do I even have anything worth saying that others will want to read? how many topics are “OK” to include in one site? have I completely lost my mind?

I don’t honestly know that I have any answers for the above questions. I do know that I am on a journey and I feel that I have to get all that is going on inside of me out somehow and this is the avenue I decided to use. My hope is that stopping by here is beneficial for both of us. I don’t think I’m going to say anything really impactful, but it will be honest and from my heart.

My desire is to share what I’m learning on this crazy journey that we call life. As I right this I know there will be a few thing I touch base on: gardening, house remodeling, faith, health, essential oils, pets, adoption, family…life.

I do want this to be a positive, safe place where walls will come down, masks will be removed, and we’ll be faced with the naked honest truth as best I know it in the moment. Ready to join me?


Gardening 101

So much to say, so little time to say it. That’s how I feel lately. I know my life isn’t that busy, but boy does it feel busy. Today I wanted to update ya’ll on my gardening adventure. This time focused on the veggie/fruit garden. This is my first year attempting to grow veggies and I’ve already learned some important things. 

1. Good ideas aren’t always good ideas. The whole US has been experiencing warmer than usual temperatures in many parts this year. Back in May I decided enough was enough and I needed to plant my seeds. I was already about a month behind the time that I should have planted them. 

All sorts of yummy goodness right there! Well since we were experiencing temps in the 90s back in may I decided to plant them inside. I used egg cartons and seed starters to place the seeds into. 

Turns out those seed starters were upside down! Lol! The ones where you can see a small hole in the middle were placed correctly. So I flipped them all over and then started placing my seeds in them. I did one seed per soil pod. I can’t remember exactly what the soil discs are called. They’re super flat, and you pour water on them and they expand. Forgot to take a picture before I threw the packaging away… first lesson learned here (besides making sure you put them in the container correctly)! Better to plant a couple/few seeds rather than just one. Not all seeds will sprout. So if you only plant one you might end up with nothing. 

2. There is something to be said about your environment. Now not even 1 week after I planted the seeds there was significant growth. 

I had these in our spare room. They were doing amazing. So I knew I had to get them outside. Problem was, our yard wasn’t ready. We didn’t have time to make raised beds. I wanted to buy some, however my car died and we had to get a new to us one. So no extra money for nice premade beds. Hmmm. Think outside the box. Think outside the box. Pools!!!  My husband and I drove to Target as they were having a sale on kiddie pools. My poor husband. I picked out a bright pink and bright orange one. 😁 He loves me! 💗

Got them home, planted the seeds, then watered them nice and good. Less than one week later… all dead! See, I had started the seeds in a controlled environment.  They weren’t growing strong inspite of they’re environment. They were growing strong because of their environment. Works great for somethings/some people. Not so much for veggies and fruit. Should have known. I’m from Iowa. Farm country. My grandma didn’t start her corn in the house. She just planted outside and boom! Corn! Well, technically months later, but you get it! 

3. Starting over isn’t a bad thing. I was super frustrated. So I left the garden alone for a week. Then I felt guilty that I had invested in organic seeds for my garden and I should not give up so easily. So I went back outside and planted all my seeds. Bwahahahahahaha! Ummm, I have a green thumb. So maybe planting all the seeds wasn’t a good idea. These pictures were taken yesterday. 

Yeah. They’re even bigger today. Lol. Oh well, the more the merrier!! I will take some pictures this weekend for an update. 

Just remember this: you don’t know till you try. Some ideas work, some don’t. Just try again. Keep at it. Learn through it. Keep trying. Don’t let it knock you down. Maybe you’ll end up with more than planned, and I hope so! Then I can share the blessings with others. 

Thanks for reading. I’m off to help my love with our vents. Trying to fix them so our air works instead of heating under the house. Supposed to reach 100 this weekend and that is no fun with no air conditioner. I’ll get pics for the next post! Much love to everyone. Stay safe and drink lots of water if it’s hot around you. Remember to not keep kids and pets inside cars. Make sure they’re hydrated as well. 💗


The battle of Roses

These beauties are from my yard. I have a love hate relationship with them. The previous owners planted a gazillion roses in the yard. Ok, maybe only 20 rose bushes, but whose counting???  My mom through marriage loved roses. So we talked a lot about them when we bought the house. My birth mom walked around multiple times daily on her visit here smelling the roses. So the roses remind me of my mom’s. That makes them special. 💗

Then there is reality. Roses take work. Lots of work! Ugh. I want to keep them because they smell lovely and look so pretty. Those above are literally bigger than my hand. These ones below are just beautiful. 

Sigh. Two days ago I was ready to kill them all and start over. Today I cut five amazing roses to enjoy inside. So what will I do? Ask me another day. Today I’m emotionally attached to the reminder of my moms. One I won’t see again till heaven and the other I’ll see later this summer. Today the roses have a grace day. 

Grace day. So thankful for the grace I’ve been given. Grace to face another day. Grace to try again. Grace to mess up again and still be forgiven. Grace to keep trying in this journey of life. Grace is messy yet loving. Well, my thoughts on grace have just bought my roses a few more days. We’ll see how they fair come this weekend…

Remember the good things in life take work. Also remember sometimes you have to start over (many of the rose bushes are diseased and I just might not be able to save them no matter what). And that’s OK. Truly it is. Just don’t give up too early. Love those around you. Speak and show your love. Show grace too. We all need it. Even when it’s messy. 

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭12:9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Keep pressing on friends. In your gardens, relationships and in life. I’ll be back soon. Promise. 

Loving through messy grace,



A Hopeful Reminder 

As I looked out my front window this morning I could see that my irises were getting closer to blooming. I couldn’t wait. My thought was a day or so more and I’d have them beautifully gracing my front flower bed. Anticipation started to build. 

This week has been slightly frustrating. My thoughts have been all over the place. Almost uncontrollably so. Seriously. I’m amazed that anything was accomplished this week! At least I think I accomplished some things…focus, focus, focus.  Ever have days/weeks/months like this? Where your thoughts are all over the place? Things seem out of control? No matter what you do it isn’t working out the way you hoped/planned? Welcome to my world as of late. 

I shouldn’t be surprised in all reality. Let’s take a quick overview of what’s going on in my journey. 1. We bought a foreclosure last year. Enough said! It’s one Fixer Upper project after another. Side note – I love that show! But oh how it has messed me up! Now I’m talking Shiplap, farmhouse style, let’s just move to Waco, TX! There are worse things, lol. 2. Yard work. Ugh! It never ends! Why did we want a large yard? Shouldn’t we buy a goat so we don’t have to mow? The Gaines’ have goats… 3. We want kids. It’s been a struggle, so now we’re starting the process of adopting from foster care. Are we insane? Can we afford this? We only have subflorring at the moment…is our house even liveable for kids??? 4. Kids. Kids. Oh no! Can we afford this? Do I need to work on advancing my career yesterday? 5. Husband. He’s been sick for the last several days. He’s napping as I write this. We just can’t get ahead of this cold! Monday he hops on a plane to fly cross-country for a one day conference for work. All he can say is, “I’m gonna be that guy. The guy in the plane that gets everyone around him sick. The one that people see and literally think to themselves: “Seriously? You just had to fly on this flight? Next to me/behind me/near me?”” Sorry babe! (Don’t worry, we’re doing everything we can to get him better. And I’ll be sending him with essential oils to help.  Plus emergence-C to give to those around him. It’s the least we can do!) 6…I can’t even remember, but I know there’s more!

As all of this goes through my mind I start to feel overwhelmed. How on earth am I going to get through all of this and have it work out right? I can’t and I won’t. Well, at least not alone. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28 I’m going to just give it over to God, let him handle the details and rest. He’ll  guide me where I need to go. He’ll work out what needs to happen and fill me in as needed. I just need to trust. Well, and keep giving it back to him. I have a nasty habit of taking it back when I think I can handle it again. That never turns out well! 

So deep breath in, prayer going out, clinging to the hope I know is there cause isall good! “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Back to the moment. I returned home from taking a loved one bargain hunting for materials to repair their home. During our car ride she laughed. My throat constricted. I knew that laugh! That was the sound of my mother-in-law, (from here on out referenced as mom. She never felt like an in law to me) Pam! She is in heaven, but her beautiful daughter has her laugh! How had I never noticed before??? Well, sometimes we don’t notice those things until they’re gone. One day I’ll see my mom again, and every time I hear my sister laugh my heart will smile with knowing there are aspects of her all around us when we pay attention. 

After we arrived back home something caught my eye…purple. Sharp breath in as I saw the beauty of the iris in bloom! Hope filled me. Hope of seeing my mom again. Hope for the plans God has in store for my husband and myself. Hope of the beauty of flowers as they bring refreshment to my soul. Hope. So much to be found…are we paying attention? Are we looking where we should be? Don’t loose sight of where our true hope is found!

Lessons in Gardening

Weeds & Life

Let me start off by saying I absolutely love seeing peoples beautiful gardens. I know a lot of hard work went into them, I just didn’t realize how much hard work!  My husband and I purchased a home that was in foreclosure last year. Yeah us! (Let’s be real for a moment, the housing market is insane in Oregon! Who can really afford these prices without spending every penny that they make??? Not us! So foreclosure it was!)  I should have realized what I was getting into when we got the keys. For this post, I’m only going to focus on the yard. That will be enough for one evening!

The yard – weedville – was SCARY! The backyard had grass that was taller than my waste. A small child could get lost out there! Neighborhood cats loved it though as it was prime hunting ground for I don’t even want to know what. (shudder) The front yard, well, the bank had it mowed so it looked “better” but it was awful. The previous owners most have really enjoyed roses. There were so many of them! I would say they were gorgeous but they were out of control! My husband is close to 6’4″ and some of the bushes were taller than he was!  We chopped everything down just to make it through the summer and I figured I’d deal with it come next spring.

Well…spring is here. So are the weeds! Seriously, how can there be so many of them??? Where on earth are they coming from? Didn’t I kill that exact same weed last weekend? sigh I’m discovering that in order to have a beautiful garden I have to do a lot of hard work first!

My first weekend weeding I lasted roughly 1 hour. My aches and pains lasted 4 days! Whew! I am out of shape when it comes to this type of workout. I have some wonderfully annoying blackberries that are attempting to grow right through the middle of my flowers. Not cool blackberries, not cool. There is also this utterly annoying type of weed that is literally everywhere in the garden bed. So I started working on one end. Two feet. That is all the space I was able to clear in an hour. (Hindsight, I should have taken a picture to include in this post…I’ll get a few this weekend, promise!)

As I’m working on what I have decided is the worst weed on earth, I realized it is coming intertwined intricately with my flowers. I’m not 100% sure if the flowers it was intertwined with are the day lilies, coneflowers, or some other flower that I’m not even aware is in that spot. All I know was that in order to get the weeds, some of the starts of the flowers had to be sacrificed. This got me thinking.

I didn’t want to destroy what would be a beautiful flower. However, if I didn’t sacrifice a few, would more be destroyed due to the menace of the weeds? My thought was yes.  Some of the roots of the weeds were so deep that they were wrapped around the flower. I didn’t have a choice but to loose a few to protect the many. And let’s talk about those roots. Some of the weeds had roots that were about 12″ long! That is some serious depth to that seemingly small weed! This got me going deep – not in the dirt – but in the depth of my soul.

What weeds to I have in my life? What looks small on the surface yet has a root that goes deep into my being? How often do I pull the weed at the top and feel satisfied that I got several of the roots, even if I didn’t get the main one because it was just simply too much work?  And how often do I avoid dealing with the weed because in order to get rid of it I might have to sacrifice something beautiful in my life? So if I ignore that weed am I putting the rest of myself in danger?

I ended up having a nice long talk with God about this. What exactly was the lesson I was supposed to be learning? Where did I need to be paying attention/pruning in my life? Was I willing to do what needed to be done to get to the root of the issue?  Or was I going to hope for the best and only deal with the surface issues and small roots that were easy to attack? Honest moment? I had no desire to go deep. Surface is where I wanted to focus. However, my heart kept telling me that I needed to face the truth – to go wherever God led me and actually deal with the weeds in my life.

I’m slowing moving in the direction I’m supposed to go. It’s not comfortable. Part of it is painful. Most of it is scary.  I feel vulnerable.  I don’t know what all I’m doing. I do know that God is in control. There will be many lessons along the way. The end result will be worth it. And if the root is completely dealt with, I will most likely have a different life in many aspects. And you know what, it will be worth it. So one step at a time, sometimes fast, sometimes slow – never giving up. From caterpillar to butterfly – let’s see where the journey goes!