Friday Favorites ~ My Recent Images

I take a lot of pictures. To be fair, I don’t take nearly as many right now as I have in the past but it’s still a lot of photos. It’s the glory of digital I guess. I can take all of the random shots because it doesn’t cost me anything to do so.

And it works out because I sometimes capture some shots that I really just enjoy for no other reason than they’re pretty. So here are a few of my most recent images taken in June that I happen to like well enough to share.

I found these really lovely wildflowers at Holly Beach and brought some home to enjoy. They did not disappoint.

And then of course I got super excited to see the sprouts popping up in the flowerbed! I shared a couple on Wednesday but saved these two for today’s post because I was so pleased with them.

I love the graceful curve of this one with the stem just about to unfold. If I were a sculptor I think I would recreate this one.

This one is a favorite because I love how the seed casing is visible, even if just barely hanging on.

But last night. Y’all the sky was simply amazing! Rob and I were outside throwing balls to the puppies and I happened to glance over my shoulder and literally gasped out loud.

The sky had caught fire behind us and it was a glorious sight to behold.

Then I turned back around and was completely stunned by the most massive full rainbow I think I have ever seen in my whole life.

What an amazing God we have. I know people can use science to explain the whys and hows we get skies like this, and that’s fine. But that only points me to the fact that He designed things to work that way so that for no other reason we get to stand under a sky such as that. I mean, doesn’t that blow your mind just a little?

Have a good weekend, y’all!


And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. ~ II Corinthians 9:8

A Reason to Hope and Other Random Thoughts

We were sitting at our kitchen table with some sweet friends we haven’t seen in literally years; just talking about the world and life and how crazy things seem. And Rob said something so profound I wish I had been able to record it so that I wouldn’t muck up repeating it. Basically the setup for his remark was this…the crazier the world seems, the more ridiculous and outlandish their agenda, the more illogical the realities they push are, the more reason we believers have to rejoice. We don’t need to feel overwhelmed by their anxiety inducing judgements, press conferences or theatrics. Do you know why?

Psalm 1

Particularly the very end ~ the way of the wicked will perish.

Not that the wicked will perish, although we know eventually they will be cast out into utter darkness, but that their way will perish. All of the shenanigans will be fruitless and they cannot be sustained. Ultimately it will collapse. If that alone is not enough reason to hope I don’t know what is. As someone I know is fond of saying, “Lord have mercy. Church have courage.”

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On Monday I handed my love his morning cup of coffee and apologized for practically coming completely undone the night before when some chopped tomatoes I was trying to clean up missed the bag and fell all over the floor. I was just so tired and it felt as if I had been in the kitchen either cooking or cleaning it, for days. Obviously the next morning after a good night’s sleep I could see how silly my reaction was but in the moment I felt utterly defeated by a fruit that disguises itself as veggie.

Later that morning I was reading something a friend had written about the times she is asked to thrive in what she considers not enough environments and it just resonated. Sometimes we may feel like we just can’t catch a break or the busy season seems to have sat down and made itself at home and things will never slow down. There aren’t enough hours in the day…we need some time alone…we need peace and quiet…we whatever it is we think we need to feel refreshed or restored.

The truth she shared is a truth we must all grapple with. Sometimes there is no relief in the dessert or immediate way out of a desolate place. But God still calls us to thrive, to turn to Him, to trust and keep on keeping on with whatever He has given our hand to do. She ended her post by saying, “…I can taste and see that the Good Life to which we are called, and that we are given, is not the same as “living our best life now.” The Good Life in and with Jesus always takes a cruciform shape. You before me, down before up, them before us. But it always leads to real and lasting life.”

I was so encouraged by that.

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We may still be noodling on a name for the farm but we are busy working already! Seeds have been ordered and delivered and we have started building the two flower beds we will begin with. One is completely finished as of today and the lumber is ready for the second.

Rob is doing the majority of the heavy lifting as far as planning out and cutting the landscape timbers for the beds but we are all working to do our share in assembling them. Sam and Claire are part of the work crew and doing a fine job.

These pictures can give you an idea of the scale of our beds. They look huge but I can’t wait to fill them up with flowers! One will have three varieties of sunflowers and the other will have an assortment of cut flower favorites like zinnias, cosmos, and strawflowers, etc. We are planting a little later than is the norm but our growing zone has a fairly long growing season and according to my research and frostdate.com we are still within an acceptable planting time frame.

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I’m a little nervous about our endeavor. I have a nightmare where for some reason nothing I plant actually grows and all of the work and money and effort is for naught. But Rob reminds of the wisdom of our friend Ron who says the seed goes into the ground, you give it some water and light and it is going to grow. It’s how God designed it to work so trust that it will.

I also came across a few quotes this week that speak well to our situation:
In creating, the only hard thing is to begin; a grass-blade is no easier than an oak. –James Russell Lowell

“The best things are nearest: breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of God just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life’s plain common work as it comes certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things of life.” Robert Louis Stevenson

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I took a drone shot the other day after we started laying out for the first bed. The picture is cool but kinda unreal looking in a sort of funky way.

I plan to chronicle our efforts as we go along and invite you to follow along and join us as we exercise some dominion over our little green square here in Louisiana! I’m thinking as we add in animals it’s going to be a mashup of Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies in reverse 😉

Friday Favorites ~ Color Bombs and Pig Roasts

The last two weeks have been full, y’all! Monday a week ago a sweet family from Friday came into to town for a visit, which was delightful, and they left on Thursday. On Friday Sarah and Devon came into town for the long weekend; we haven’t seen them since the engagement and it was so good to have them here! Her ring looked pretty in the facetime call we shared after he proposed but it is so beautiful in person.

Hays is going to do their official engagement pictures next month but they let me do some silly fun ones while they were here.

Some of you might remember the color bomb session Sarah did with two of her nursing school buddies when they graduated. We used powdered tempera paint for that and the colors were fabulous! The only thing we could find (totally our fault since it was a spur of the moment shoot) was an actual color bomb set from Hobby Lobby. The color was not as vibrant but Sarah and Devon still had fun!

And messy. They got a little messy.

The way he stalked her across the field was funny. You can tell from the tilt of her head she was trying to talk him out of it.

You can also tell she knew she wasn’t going to be very successful.

In the end it was hard to say who won the colorfest but it is safe to say these two are quite happy together. And we couldn’t be happier for them.

Because we were just messing around I asked Rob to use the drone and we caught a few cute pictures with a bird’s eye view. I still have a steep learning curve with it but I am enjoying it!

This week we had another overnight visit with some friends from Florida. It was so good to see them! It is amazing how much children can grow and change in six months. This afternoon Emily and Hays are coming to stay the weekend with us. I love the times when we are all together but that is harder to make happen with grown children with jobs and responsibilities so I will be grateful for weekends and little getaways whenever they can make it happen.

Have a happy weekend, y’all! We will be celebrating Pentecost with a Cochon de lait at church. (Ko shawn de lay is cajun for pig roast.) We plan to feast and fellowship bigly. Come on and join us!

Just Another Macro Monday*

Good morning! I hope you had a good weekend. We took a quick trip to visit the Porters in Monroe for Em’s birthday and as usual had a lovely time and ate well. Both of our families enjoy all things food so cooking together is a common part of our life together.

We also went to a Superbowl party last night that also had some pretty delicious eats and boy was the sunset amazing!

Lots of things bumping around in my head from books I’m reading and conversations I’m having and I hope to sort some of it out and share some of what I am thinking about out loud. I enjoy the process of needing to organize my thoughts to write them out but also the conversations with you that sometimes come from a blog post.

But today there is a mountain of laundry to conquer and other home tending to do so I’m just going to drop a few macro shots here for you to enjoy and maybe tomorrow we can have more of a visit 🙂

One of the many things I love about our new home are the magnificent old oak trees on the property. They have these beautiful ferns growing along parts of the trunks and limbs the name of which escape me so if you happen to know what they’re called let me know, okay? It’s the sort of thing I know I know but can not seem to bring to the front of my brain and it’s niggling at me in that annoying way forgotten things often niggle.

One other thing that fascinates me with the trees is the sheer number of acorns all over the ground. What makes this fascinating is the fact that there aren’t a bunch more oak trees sprouting up everywhere. God granting a tree to be born out of the ground only when He chooses is a beautiful natural display of His sovereignty and one that gives me comfort. There is a time and season for everything.

Have a beautiful day, friends!

*Bonus points if the blog title made you hum an 80’s song!

Friday Favorites ~ Backroads Edition

Earlier in the week I mentioned riding down some back roads and taking pictures and since I think I have my days straight (it is Friday, yes?) it’s the perfect time to share a few. As a bonus I also have a link to a new recipe to share!

I really do find Louisiana to be a beautiful state. Even when we were just visiting in Monroe as Emily and Hays were getting to know each other last year I found myself enthralled with the bayous. But a new rival for my affections on that front are the marshes.

There is this beautiful color palette of blue and gold that I just love. As a drove further along I noticed a lot of black too and realised they must do controlled burns the way you do forests. Either that or there was one heck of a wildfire recently! The funny thing is that even the blackened landscape was beautiful.

I wanted to get a closer, better composed shot of this bench but when I got out of the car there was a great big sign that said, “Please do not feed or approach the alligators” and I thought to myself, “Not a problem! But has anyone told the alligators not to approach?”

I still have a particular shot in mind for this spot but I will wait until Rob is with me so I don’t have to be concerned about the wildlife!

Speaking of the wildlife…this is another shot still on my bucket list. I want to get a picture of a crane and this one is close to what I see in my head but my timing was off and the light was too harsh. I was still happy to have gotten this one though.

They can be pretty skittish so I captured quite a few fly away shots.

I drove on over to Holly Beach too. From the beginning of our move we have been told repeatedly not to expect Florida beaches here, actually not anything remotely close. So I wasn’t and I can see where you might would be disappointed if you were expecting pristine white sand and those crystal emerald green waters. Because the sand is brown and for about the first mile out from shore the water is brown because well, the sand at the bottom is brown. But you know what I learned? The magic of the beach is something you carry inside and it might have to do with the sound of the water and the scent.

I wasn’t disappointed at all. As a matter of fact I was delighted because the seashells here were ubiquitous and whole. And I promise you as the waves retreated the sound they made cascading over the shells was a music all its own. I picked up and brought home so many shells! I am not sure what I will do with them exactly, although I have a few ideas, but of course I did some macro pictures.

The colors and swirls are just so fascinating.

So no, not the Pensacola beaches I grew up on but I think I am going to do just fine here.

So two more things. First, my friend Tiffany shared this delicious goodness with me last week while we walked around with the kids doing the Cluedupp mystery. It is yummy! So yummy that I am really thankful it is a seasonal item 😊

Now about that recipe I mentioned. Are you familiar with a nearsighted cartoon character named Mr Magoo? He just sort of bumbles through situations none the wiser of the chaos that surrounds him. Do you see where this might be going? My beloved tells me I magoo my way through things sometimes. I, of course, have no idea of what he speaks 😉

Except for this recipe. I read it and thought I was following directions but…

It all worked out though because my version of sausage and gnocchi soup (forever after known in our house as Magoo Stew) turned out delicious and you should click the link and make it this weekend!

Have a great weekend you guys! Our church is hosting a wedding shower for Emily so our Porter people will be in town!