Camping

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Some people say I’m homeless. Others say I’m crazy.
I say I’m camping.

When my son’s father left us and the house was taken, it was all I had. An old, vintage blue and white-topped Volkswagen with pillows, sleeping bags, clothes, a cast iron skillet, a backpack, water bottles, and Christmas ornaments. Ah, and my wedding ring, but I pawned that as soon as I could. My 5-year-old son needed to eat and I didn’t need a wedding ring anymore.

The fighting started in January two years ago. It was snowy and icy cold that year. The frigid wind could frostbite your nose in 20 minutes, especially if you were walking against it without a scarf. We promised to never lock each other out of the house no matter how bad the fighting got. Maybe because we loved each other just enough. Or maybe because we didn’t want blood on our hands. Either way, the promise was kept.

By May we weren’t speaking. He once brought me flowers and didn’t say a word, just laid them on the kitchen table. I’m not sure why, but I think he was trying to show our son how to treat a woman. I found it honorable, but disappointing. A beautiful bouquet, but no follow through. A silent conversation begging for some kind of verbal language. But nothing.

By the fall, our mouths had grown cold from the death of our words over the months of silence. The quiet in our house bothered me so my son and I spent the majority of our time outside. On November 9th, I noticed an array of things missing – the couch, our end tables, our nightstands, the recliner. Over the next few days, more things slowly disappeared until the only thing left was our bed, my son, and I. On Thanksgiving, we ate trail mix. And by Christmas, that bed was gone and we were living in that old, vintageย blue and white-topped Volkswagen with pillows, sleeping bags, clothes, a cast iron skillet, a backpack, water bottles, and Christmas ornaments. He had taken everything, except what was mine.

“Mama! We need the drill!” A small voice calls out, holding up a board. Those dark brown curls and grey-blue eyes look at me excitedly. Those strong hands pressing hard against the wood. And those freckles. Those freckles he gets from me. My sweet, strong son.

“Yeah, baby. I’m coming,” I tell him, grabbing a few more screws from the box. The old man who lives down the way, Tom Wicker, let us borrow his drill, his ladder, and bought our screws. In fact, everything for our cabin home was donated by him. The wood, the tractor to set posts, the square, the saw, the tin roof, the windows. Everything. He lets me use his address on my son’s school forms, lets us live on his land for free, and sends his teenage sons to help us if we need any. We even eat dinner at his house on Friday nights. He usually orders pepperoni pizza. The only man I’ve ever trusted and the kindest soul I’ve ever met.

“Go get the vegetable basket, honey. We need to do some picking today!” I tell him, excited for the response I always get. He turns around, looks at me, smiles big, and jumps up and down before running into the cabin and getting the rickety vegetable basket. That boy sure does love gardening! That $200 I got for my wedding ring got us a hoop house and carrot, potato, corn, onion, garlic, broccoli, strawberry, and blueberry seeds. And Mrs. Hosher gives us eggs and chicken from her coop. The only thing I get at the store is rice.

“Mama! Are these ready?” he asks, careful hands mulling around the carrots. “If the top is close to an inch long, then it’s ready baby,” I tell him. He uses his finger to measure but then gets my sewing tape out of his pocket. I smile. We’ve been working on his estimation skills, but he always likes to make sure.

We live in a home-built cabin on a man’s land, live off of crops and pizza, cook over a fire outside, and bring water in from a well.

Some people say I’m homeless. Others say I’m crazy.
I say I’m camping.

Thanks so much for reading friends! From now on, my creative writing posts will be on Fridays! ๐Ÿ™‚ Kick off your weekend with a good read!

Image: Canva

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Date Night!

railroadtracks

Anthony and I decided to go on a walk for our date night last night. Yes, we have Tuesday night date nights! How old and lame are we? Haha! But seriously, the sights were great and the conversation was even better. Plus Tuesdays are great because no one else is out so if we want to go out to eat or get ice cream or whatever, there aren’t any lines or waiting lists. It can also make for a more intimate setting. And date nights have been so good for our marriage. So good you guys. Sometimes the best dates cost the least, you know what I mean?

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shavedice

And we also went to a shaved ice stand that we had never been to before but oh my goodness. We didn’t realize how BIG it was going to be! Like they basically gave us double to size of the cup. I mean look at it!!! Instant regret. So much sugar!

Do you have date nights? What are your favorite date nights? Mine are usually in the fall. Stay tuned for those. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Accepting Your Beauty

I was created in God's image,making my beauty my own kind of beauty.

About a monthย ago I found my first white hair. My very first one you guys! I’m only 24! What is happening?! And then this week, I found another one. Ahhhh! It was more platinum blonde but still pretty white, especially for this brunette. I thought about plucking them or cutting them, but I was hesitant. I’m not a very sentimental person so I was so confused at my sudden attachment, especially to some white hairs. I mean, seriously who wants those?!

Let’s be real for a sec – our culture is all about beauty. There are so many different looks and products – the no makeup-makeup look, smoky eye, wedding makeup, a million face washes, toners, moisturizers, anti aging serums, pore strips, face masks, waxing kits, spot treatments, exfoliators, hair dyes (to get rid of those white and gray hairs, right?!). I mean, just type in beauty on Pinterest and you’ll find a trillion pins of all of them.

One of my favorite verses on this very subject is Proverbs 31:30 which reads, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” I was created in God’s image, making my beauty my own kind of beauty, white hairs or not. In fact, my whole head of beautiful brunette hair will one day be a whole head of beautiful white hair, with matching white eyebrows (hopefully they match!). My firm skin will one day be wrinkled from laugh lines. My white teeth will be worn from sharing too much ice cream with my daughter, pizza with my husband, and crisp, crunchy salads with myself. My clear-ish face will have age spots from enjoying the great outdoors, hopefully growing peonies. And those things are facts. My youthful beauty will cease over time and I will be left with old, faithful wisdom. A new type of pretty. A new beauty that comes from walking with God. A beauty that is found within the depths of my soul.

And honestly, I’m good with that. Bring on the wisdom, white hairs and all. Just let me apply my mascara first.

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Weekend Fun

'blueberry'tree

This weekend was so fun you guys! We checked on a family member’s horses and Lilly loved it. She pet them and told them so many stories. Of course, they always start with “Once upon a time, there was a baby and a mama and a daddy.” So cute! I showed her this Eastern Red Cedar tree (totally had to look that up!) and she kept saying, “Oh, is it blueberries? Can we eat them, Mama?” My sweet precious girl. Keep your wonder forever little girl. ๐Ÿ™‚

lakeviewww

lakeeeeview

On our way to check on horses, we drove over a river. We’ve driven by it a hundred times but have never seen it so green! So we decided to swing back by it yesterday. Such a nice day out! We enjoyed great car conversations, a nap for our toddler (hallelujah!), this lush green sight, and a bit of off-roading. Thankfully we didn’t get stuck! ๐Ÿ˜‰

teaparty fun

And my absolute favorite thing this weekend was this! Lilly has been setting up tea parties in her room with a little tea set a friend is letting us borrow! It’s soooooo adorable! I can’t even! She sets everything up and says, “Want some tea Mama? I have a tea party.” Yes sweet girl! I will always come to your tea parties! My heart you guys. My heart. She gets all the cups, plates, silverware, and the teapot out and pours us tea. She gave Anthony a cup and poured him some tea. “Just for you Daddy,” was her response to his confused look. A girl after my own heart. All the tea.

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How was your weekend? Anything fun and exciting?

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Weekend

weekend 2

Happy Monday friends! Did you guys have a good weekend? Ours was HOT, and I’m willing to bet that yours probably was too. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I mean, 105 degrees outside! C’mon Kansas! Soooo hot. But a very fun weekend regardless of the heat. Here are a few things from this weekend.

one // These wedgesย that are sooo comfy and…they’re on sale! It’s so hard for me to find comfy wedges/heels. So when I find them, I get them. I could probably walk a mile in these without any discomfort!

two // Lilly so badly wanted to play outside so we decided to make colored ice and play with them outside. Just food coloring and water frozen in an ice cube tray. We did this twice this weekend and she absolutely loved it! The black ones were supposed to be purple. Blue and red make purple, right?

three // My hubby’s awesome pokeball. #90skids ๐Ÿ˜‰

four // Makeup samples! I ordered brow pomade and powder plus an eye brightening cream I’m excited to try. So far I love the brow stuff. I’ll post next month about my makeup routine and I have a feeling those will be in it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?

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Mother Daughter Date

lilmeicecream

Happy Thursday! This week has been crazy busy. We’ve been meeting with people, hanging out, done piles of laundry, and a mountain of dishes. So I decided we needed a good ol’ fashioned mother daughter date day and it was so fun! Shopping, ice cream, and lots of giggles. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Funniest thing happened at Marshalls! We were in the dressing room and I had one thing left to try on. Lilly said, “I have to go potty!” AHHH! That’s like the worst situation to be in when your kiddo needs to go! Half naked and scrambling to get dressed! Haha! Of course 2 seconds later a waterfall of pee comes from my child and gets all over the cart and the floor. ALL OVER. After cleaning it up, I wrapped my cardigan around my butt naked child and tied it into a dress. Barefoot, makeshift dress, and one happy kiddo. I thought it was actually pretty cute. ๐Ÿ˜‰ The old ladies in the store were dying laughing. I’m sure they’ve had their fair share of accidents and makeshift outfits from mothering young tots. ๐Ÿ™‚

We bought a bag of veggie straws at Marshalls (because why not?) and ate them when we got home. My toddler and I ate a whole bag of veggie straws. A whole bag you guys. In one sitting. Whoops!

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And then what summer day is complete without ice cream? So. Much. Ice cream. I thought, “I can get 2 scoops! I can do this!” Note to self: if you have to give yourself a pep talk to eat it, don’t. Right?! I shared a bunch with Lilly. I think we actually probably ate the same amount! Needless to say my run was a bit longer this morning and I’ll probably slip in a few more ab workouts.

Shopping and ice cream – probably going to be a tradition for our mother daughter dates. I hope so anyway! ๐Ÿ™‚

What are your favorite parent child dates?

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Friendship

bird

The rain beat down steadily to its own rhythm. Not a heavy rain. But a light, comforting rain. A rain that complemented the brightness of the sun. She watched it and drank her tea from the porch. Of everything that spring brought, rain was her favorite.

A small flock of birds flew into a bush one by one to find cover from the rain. They each had the same routine – fly into the bush, shake water off their feathers, waddle deeper into the bush, and sit on a branch. They were all medium to large sized and bright shades of red or blue. Except for one. The last one was small and brown. She wanted to call him a sparrow, but she knew that wasn’t right. Sparrows had black and white stripes on them. This one was brown with a white chest. No special designs, no bright colors, not an intimidating size. He was different, and the others made sure he knew it, squawking at him and pulling at his feathers. He was a contender for a space in the bush, which even though had enough physical space, apparently didn’t have enough territory.

After they had plucked two feathers, he began squawking back at them. Although the small brown bird was outnumbered, he was spirited. He squawked as loud as he could, which was quieter than the rest, and dodged the other birds’ beaks rather quickly. He even nipped at one of the large red birds with his small beak. What a fearless bird, she thought. After he squawked at one of the medium birds trying to pluck more of his feathers, the other large bird with blue feathers and a pointed head decided to attack fiercely with its claws.ย The small brown bird tried to dodge it but was unsuccessful. He let out a small screech and fell to the ground after the blue bird released him.

A few moments had passed, but the small brown bird was still. She kept watching him, waiting for a sign of life, hoping that he was still alive. He was so petite compared to the others and had such lively movements. She couldn’t help but silently cheer for him. Finally, he stood up and wobbled until he fell again. He repeated that process several times.ย He’s hurt, she thought. She quickly put down her tea cup and walked over to him, lifting up her dress so as not to get it dirty. The small brown bird tried hopping away from her, seeing as she was much bigger than him, making him feel afraid. But she gently scooped him up and brought him closer to her chest. “Shhh. Shhh. It’s okay. You’re okay little one,” she whispered. The small brown bird was shaking so she stroked the bird’s head to calm him. It only took a few minutes for him to calm down but his breathing was still shallow and quick. She gently walked him to the porch and sat down with him. He looked at her eyes and she smiled at him, still stroking his head.
“You put up quite the fight out there, you know that?”
His small black eyes kept contact with her hazel ones.
“I can see you don’t have any friends. Neither do I.”
Silence.
“What should we name you? Hmm…I know. Sans Peur. It means fearless in French. A good fit, don’t you think?”
He chirped and after a minute, closed his eyes, breathed normally, and let her gently stroke his head.

The friends sat and watched the rain together. The light, comforting rain.

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