Day 31: A Song for Harvest Time {Really, It’s for You!}

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It’s the last day of this year’s Write 31 Days Challenge- and I made it!!! I wrote every single day of October here on the blog. Just in case you didn’t know, if you click the pic just above this paragraph, it’ll take you to the home page of the 31 Days of Enjoy series, so in case you missed any, they’re all conveniently listed right there just for you!

Speaking of just for you, I wanted to take this last day of the series to share a song I’d written some time last year about autumn (and love… and life… basically I wrapped up every profound subject in this one song. Just kidding, I didn’t, but for a second it sounded that way, didn’t it?)

Harvest TimeI don’t have fancy recording equipment of any kind, and decided only in the last couple of days to record it and share here, so this is just a rough video. But I’m hoping this can be one of those “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful,” moments. I also put the lyrics below, too.

Autumn sun is sinking low
The spark in the air is one I know
Something grand will soon begin
Something’s coming in, something’s coming in
.
So come along with me
Let’s run away to the place we go
When October rolls around and the winds may blow
But I’ll hold you close, I’ll hold you close
.
{Chorus}
Bright autumn days remind me
Rejoice in this harvest timing
The earth is ablaze, earth is ablaze with the light
In the harvest time
.
Everything’s aglow
Trees and fields aflame as if they know
That it’s time to burn bright
And time to find a voice
Time to rejoice, time to rejoice
.
Springs and summers may come
Winters may go, but in my heart it’s fall
It’s the one I like best of all
Though we’re blessed in them all, blessed in them all
.
{Chorus}
Bright autumn days remind me
To rejoice in this harvest timing
The earth is ablaze, earth is ablaze with the light
In the harvest time
.
Like light in the darkness shining
There is a harvest inside me
Seasons may change but you stay the same
And bring life, you bring harvest time
.
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I confess, I’ve loved every minute of this challenge! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have! (See what I did there??) 
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Please feel free to share this song with others, and you can also visit my youtube channel for more songs here (provided you aren’t a Judgey McJudgeypants… the quality of that video is how the others are too. Also, my piano resides in my daughter’s nursery, so prepare yourself for a lot of pink stuff in the background.)
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 I realized only in the last couple of days that while I’ve talked about music a couple of places in this series, I hadn’t shared any of my own. I struggle to be brave enough to do this, because of all the disclaimers I am prone to make (you know, like in that last paragraph), and because I always feel like I could do better. But making music is just my favorite beyond favorite thing to do. Even more than blogging, or art, or- gasp!- eating. (I did manage to share a few songs last month, because that was a huge, amazing thing that happened to me. But it still took some mustering of courage to share, somehow.)
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Really, I hope this can just be an encouragement to you, to boldly enjoy the gifts God has given you- often I think those are made to be shared with others. So, share! Create!
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Enjoy!
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(And thanks for reading/commenting, whether you’ve been with me every day, or only on a few. It’s a huge blessing and encouragement to me!!)

Day 30: Fall Family Photos

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Family photos. They’re just one of those things… You know? Those things people do. Those small luxuries we cherish in the name of family. (And I do mean family photos in the professional sense.)

But it’s not a luxury we’d enjoyed before. We were able to get a jump drive of some lovely, precious, dear photos of Lucy the day after she was born (because be still my heart! even though the jump drive itself was overpriced, the pictures themselves are priceless to me). However, we never had pictures taken of us as a family (we reminisced this past weekend about our lack of engagement photos)… Until now!

When we were down at Milligan last weekend, we stayed with my beautiful, dear, talented friend Kara, whom you at least know a little bit by now, if you’ve been around here awhile. While we were there, I begged of her a short session to- finally- take some family photos in the fall gorgeousness of East Tennessee.
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I love how Kara’s photographs reveal her unique style- her mysterious and magical gift of capturing the beauty (both hidden and in plain sight) of a moment.

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These ones… oh, my heart!

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Of course, a quick shot in front of The Coffee Company, because of what I mentioned earlier this week.

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And she got this one of me, messing with my hair and being distracted by the leaves on the ground… So, you know, my default. (And I told you I loved that dress didn’t I?)

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One reason why this was so fun was watching Lucy discover leaves (or “leaf” I should say, since she mostly just carried that specific one around the whole time) and pine cones and trees… And then catching those moments on camera! Ah- so wonderful.

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Lucy Light

Oh, and this. This is my Lucy. Her name means “light.” Can’t you just see it glowing from inside her here?? (Sheesh. That picture alone would’ve been worth the whole session, even if all the others somehow turned out terrible! Which of course they wouldn’t have, but I’m just saying…)

These are just a few of the moments Kara caught up in her lens. She has good eyes, if you know what I mean.

And I know sometimes looking at somebody else’s family photos leaves me feeling like their life is somehow perfect and there’s this weird jealousy thing that happens (to me, at least). So, even though I can’t imagine you’d feel this way looking at mine (we weren’t even in perfectly coordinating outfits, you guys), I encourage you that these photos were just one more way to savor and enjoy this moment- this season- in which we are living. Your season is just as beautiful, just as important.

I hope these beauties, these holy gifts framed between four walls encourage you to see that in your own life, too.

You can find more info about Kara at her website here.

Day 29: 10-ish Favorite Pieces from my Fall Wardrobe

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For some reason, I had it in my head that I wouldn’t allow myself to post about clothes during this 31 Day series… It’s silly and frivolous, I told myself.

And then I said, “Who cares, dumb Mrs. Trunchbull-voice in my head?!” The whole point of this series was to explore lots of aspects of enjoyment. And for me, clothes factor greatly onto the list of things I enjoy. Especially in the fall.

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I don’t care that it’s not the most profound content ever. I mean, one of my early posts featured some of my favorite things on my Autumn Happiness board on Pinterest… Which I’m fairly certain is NOT deeper than talking about my favorite fall wardrobe pieces.

So, here are my favorite things to wear this fall!

This first sweater merited 3 pictures, so you get the full scope of how happy it is. And, as we all know, fall is blanket- I mean- sweater weather, so this is the perfect such one for me! I positively swooned over it the first time I clapped eyes on its muted tones, aztec-y (but not too aztec-y) patterns, and awesome drapey-ness. (Are you seeing why this is not a fashion blog? I basically just make up my own words to refer to this stuff.) 

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Plus, it reminded me of this sweater I found online for a mere $95 (vomit- who pays $95 for cute when you can get it at T.J. Maxx  for a tenth of the price?!) But this one was 16.99, and it’s SO soft! I’ve been wearing it all the time the last couple of weeks.EDIT 2 back sweater

Of course, I love this shirt from Old Navy, and this hat and scarf combo from the covered bridge festival(I love them so much, they also made an appearance here.)

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Here’s a close up of the shirt’s pattern, since you can’t see it super well in the first picture:5 shirt close up

(Side note: clearly I don’t care about wrinkles. Another reason why this is not a fashion blog.)

And because one blanket- I mean- sweater isn’t enough, there’s this awesome, lightweight cable knit piece (also from T.J.’s) which is just the right amount of structured and loose for me. (This is a real challenge people; I’ve often felt that cable knit sweaters made my not-tiny arms look considerably larger, making me feel more like a pumpkin roll wearing a sweater. Most unpleasant. Thus, I love this sweater extra because it doesn’t do that.)

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Then there’s this blazer, which I found at Target in January or February marked down to $10.50!!! (If there ever was a moment I felt like I was winning at life, that was it.) It basically goes with everything I own, so it wins the award for best blazer.

9 plaid blazerThis dress… it may be one of the best dresses I’ve ever owned. It’s that shade of green I’m always drawn to, and it’s just floaty enough (while also being structured) that I feel like it flatters me better than a lot of dresses do.10 green dress

This dress IS pretty fabulous too! Plus, it’s bright and happy pattern makes me feel like an ambassador of cheerfulness whenever I wear it. (I’m like, where are those fairy wings of mine?? I know they’re around  here somewhere… Now everyone be quiet while I burst into song with small woodland creatures. Though if you can harmonize, feel free to join in.)

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Somewhere between the worlds of lightweight coats and winter coats lives the beautiful land of This Perfect Coat…

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And boots, of course. The middle ones are rain boots I’d ordered off of Amazon this summer. (Why is it so hard to find cute ones that don’t have obnoxious patterns all over them?! Maybe I just have an issue committing to pattern… Except plaid. I’m obviously committed to plaid. Just not on my boots!)

6 bootsWell, that was fun. I hope it was fun for you. I’m enjoying this year’s fall apparel more than I have in a long time!! I know they’re just fabric and stitches, but they’re little luxuries I’m enjoying, gifts that somehow really do brighten life. And that is part of what this series is about.

Day 28: Enjoying Coffee. {And Catching Up.}

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We’ve traveled a LOT this month. Like, every weekend but one. And I have positively loved every minute of it.

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But I will be glad to get to this weekend. Because I’m not going anywhere. And maybe I’ll finally put my laundry away, and wash that particularly intricate sippy cup of Lucy’s which has been renting out a corner of the sink from me for a few weeks now. (I keep washing everything else BUT that sippy cup. I know I said it was intricate, but it’s not really that intricate. There’s really no reason not to have washed it. I just haven’t.)

Other than that, I’ll be glad to settle my home once more. I find it needs hushing again. I’ll also be glad to settle my schedule again (my brain’s going, “Schedule… what’s that? It sounds familiar…”). 

IMG_3612This time last year, I was still attempting to basically work 3 jobs (daycare, a home business, and working as Communications Director for Wendy). And I was extremely scheduledI’m not sure I’ve ever been that scheduled in my life. And maybe I should clarify- I’ve had a schedule of some sort, but this time it relied at least 80% on me to craft the schedule (other than the hours at daycare). So, to keep myself sane, I clung to the structure I set up, which was an hour-by-hour agenda 5 days a week.

People. I am not an hour-by-hour agenda kind of girl. But I had to be in that season, because I just couldn’t keep all the balls in the air.

Even more than the schedule, though, I clung to Jesus. I was desperate for the joy even in the midst of that stressful season. I knew it was there, because God promises joy and peace in every circumstance, even and especially when things aren’t peaceful naturally. (Are they ever?) 

This was one big reason for the Reclaiming Abundance Project. I knew we needed to shift our mentality as a family towards abundance instead of scarcity. That project helped start the process.

One aspect of that rigid schedule that I still love is the time I’d labeled “Coffee and Catch-up” in my datebook. It was between 30 minutes to an hour long, depending on the day, and it always took place during Lucy’s afternoon nap.

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During that precious time, I would stop everything else, remember to breathe, be thankful, and- you guessed it- drink some coffee. (And often have a couple pieces of dark chocolate, or a little cookie or two.) Sometimes I would work on a blog post, because that gives me joy, or I would let myself just straight up play on Pinterest, or I would draw/do something artsy, or have more quiet time.

It helped so much to schedule that time in, because without it, if I took any time for anything fun/life-giving, I felt a disproportionate and soul-killing guilt over not maximizing my time perfectly.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Now I’m down to two jobs, technically. (Though I think of both this blog and my Etsy shop as a job, because they are life-giving to me and crucial, and something I feel called to build. So kind of still 3.) These days, I’m experiencing a fairly different agenda, one that mercifully does not involve being rigidly scheduled from 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM (I’m not kidding; that’s what it was before). And I still experience the challenge of how to manage my time well, but I also still utilize the “Coffee and Catch Up” time. (Moreso when I work from home, versus daycare days.)

It’s just one way I wire my days with built in enjoyment. (And I desperately need that.) 

Yesterday, I opened this dark chocolate bar which was left along with a beautiful, welcoming note in our room when we stayed at Kara’s house last weekend.

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I didn’t initially read the whole name of it, because quite frankly I was looking at the awesome design on the packaging. So, when I took the first bite I was delighted to discover caramel inside! It’s not the first time I’ve had a piece of chocolate with caramel inside, but it just took me by pleasant surprise!

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And that’s really what this intentional time of enjoyment in the day does for me. It’s like finding caramel where you didn’t expect any. So much of daily life is already a gift in and of itself- rather like dark chocolate! But anything that helps foster better sight- a better seeing of the beauty and gifts before you- that is where enjoyment blooms a little brighter.


For me, it gives way to worship, because it’s like God knew just how to speak to my heart. The chocolate itself isn’t the point. The blessing is. It’s part of the delightful relationship available to us through Christ. Somehow, all these little graces act as little markers on the road, reminding us whom we are truly enjoying.

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Day 21: Hand-drawn Christmas Cards!

31 days of Enjoy squareBack in August, I hinted at some exciting things happening this autumn…

And now, you’ve seen some of those things! I shared three new digital autumn prints and one hand-lettered-James-Whitcomb-Riley-quote-pumpkin print with you already, (oh, and that one that was a free printable… it’s really for any time of year) and now I want to proudly announce that I’m adding a new line of hand-drawn Christmas cards to my etsy shop, Ebenezer Designs! I’m calling it the “Send a Story” line, because I think that’s what you do when you send something beautiful in the mail.

Day 21 EDITI am SO. RIDICULOUSLY. EXCITED. about these cards, and it’s been positively everything I could do not to share them sooner… So, without further ado, here they are!!!

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Each package of cards contains 4 designs!

Love Hans

Can’t you relate to Hans? I can.

Comfort and Joy

Aren’t those the sorts of tidings you want to send to someone at Christmas?

A Beautiful Sight

If I could sew/crotchet/knit/etc. I would make these mittens for myself. (However, I can’t. So I just drew them instead.)

Rejoice Wreath

These little birds make me so happy! (They make me feel like… rejoicing. Haaaa…)

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As I mentioned, I cannot contain my excitement over these!! They are $10 per package, and you get one of each design as well as envelopes! They’d make a great gift, or a lovely embellishment to make a gift a little extra-special.

I’ve often been hesitant and wary of asking others to share my work with their own circles of friends and family, because I wondered if it was selfish or wouldn’t communicate what I intended. But I’ve been encouraged lately to share unabashedly, and not to be afraid to ask other people to share my work.

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So… would you? Could you? I’d love it if you’d share either the link to this post or the link to the shop- or both! And if you want some lovely Christmas cards that tell a little story, you can find them on my shop here(Btw, I’ve already had one order, and have limited supply, so if you want ’em, get your order in asap!)

Day 20: When You Don’t Have a Mantle {Or a Porch}

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Sometimes, I positively long for a beautiful mantle or front porch to make even more beautiful during seasons like fall. (Ok. Really like, 75% for fall, and the rest for Christmas.) It’s easy to look through the seemingly infinite pictures of Pinterest mantles and magazine porches out there… like these:

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…and think- oh, woe and alas! for I- the saddest of beings lacking such a mantle, such a porch!!!! in a dramatic voice with a British accent.

But we aren’t in a season of mantles and porches and all the accoutrements thereof. We are in a season of a 3rd floor apartment and a toddler, whose wonder basically paints the whole world as one giant, gorgeous mantle and/or front porch. (I mean, at the covered bridge festival, all she did while we ate lunch was pick up a million different gravel rocks and bring them all to us- she even got upset when we made her put them back on the ground…) And if she can delight in so much around her, then I can too.

Wow. Learning how to enjoy life from your kids. I don’t think anyone’s ever thought of that before…

Anyway, I hope that if you have a mantle {or porch} you are just enjoying the awesomeness out of it! And if you don’t, I hope you are still celebrating all the corners of beauty in and and around us, this beautiful October!

Day 19: Covered Bridge Festival!!!

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It FINALLY happened. We FINALLY got to go to the fabulous covered bridge festival I love so very much!!! This past weekend, we headed over to my parents house a couple hours away, and go to spend a couple lovely days with them (including a simple, restful Saturday), and Friday was the day of covered bridge wonderfulness.

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This is called an I-forced-husband-to-selfie-with-me-because-of-my-overabundance-of-excitement Selfie. (We were in the car… not even to the festival yet.) 

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Of course, about 50- eh, maybe 75%- of the wonderfulness of this covered bridge festival is due to Ben’s Pretzels. YOU GUYS. They are the biggest, softest, warmest, most delicious pretzels to ever pretzel. If there were such things as autumn carols, there would be one devoted specifically to these pretzels. So, obviously, we bought them promptly after our arrival… followed within 10 minutes by the consumption of a bag of mini fried doughnuts which were so good they basically just melted in your mouth. (Because that’s what you DO when you are at the covered bridge festival, friends. If you’re not eating at least 2-3 kinds of baked/fried bread and/or meat/cheese/butter, then you’re not doing it right.)

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Mimi showing Lucy around one of the super cute booths.Mimi and Lucy 2

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Fake berry garlands? Of course I want to visit this booth!

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Lucy and her grandpa!
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Was it too much to ask Lucy to smile into direct sunlight?? Possibly.IMG_3460

Hubs contemplating the rustic brands of cream soda and root beer available at the old mill. (Isn’t he handsome???)

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I love this pumpkin patch area. (I mean, it’s obviously not an actual pumpkin patch, but it’s the designated pumpkin area, so what do you want from me?) This picturesque spot may have been featured last year, too.IMG_3458

I love these boots. Getting to wear them on a chilly day is a small thing, but a lovely thing. IMG_0419

Um. It’s a metal lawn-ornament minion family. How could I not take a picture of them? I have never had a desire for lawn ornaments (in part because I live in an apartment, people), but these almost tempt me. Almost. IMG_0416 IMG_0413

My girl. Inspecting all the pumpkins, presumably to make sure they measure up to her high pumpkin standards. (She’s very thorough.) 

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I just love that sweet face!

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One of my top 5 favorite days of the year. Easy. (Until next time, pretzels. Next time…)

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I think Lucy had fun… She certainly took a good nap afterwards. (She’s cuddling her new Pinky Pie, purchased for her by Grandpa, of course. I don’t think it took much to convince him. Basically, I set her down and she ran right over to the My Little Ponies exclaiming, “Pie! Pie!” So… that was the cutest thing ever.)

Any special wonderful fall places you love visiting with your people this October?