summer harvest

veggie bounty, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Oh, some more delicious snapshots of our daily treats. My first time growing carrots, and how satisfying it is to pull them from the dirt almost ready to eat! Growing your own food is such a wonderful blessing. Walking through, searching for the perfect ripe veggie and picking your dinner is beyond amazing. We’ve been having so much fun cooking and eating all this yumminess. From tiny seeds and plants comes all this, to nourish and keep us healthy. Sun, dirt, water, and faith. All you need to make your garden grow. An everyday miracle, I’d say…

so much growth

veggie garden, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Much of my summer has been spent tending to this bountiful vegetable garden. After a rough start with hot hot sun and so much dry, it’s bounced back and has taken off like crazy. We have three 4 x 12 raised beds and they are all overflowing with veggies everywhere. Fresh green beans, cucumbers, peppers, so many tomatoes. Our best garden yet…

growing gardens out of my wounds

new growth, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.
Our garden is simple yet teaches so much by just being, growing. Purple + yellow coneflowers, black eyed susans, and hostas in abundance. There is always unexpected joy from perennials, how they change through the years + seasons. Last summer I carefully divided + transplanted these flowers + greenery from my parents’ garden, which came from my mom in-law’s garden before. Knowing that this sharing of beauty would take time to root itself into the earth before blooming again. How easy it is to have patience + faith your garden will grow each year, welcoming those first green shoots in spring, waiting to see the change a new summer brings. And oh, how it’s grown, my poor little withered plants of last summer now thriving + blooming everywhere. You place a bit of yourself into every plant you pat down into the earth, never really knowing what will come of it until it’s gone through the heat of a summer, into the often cold + harsh winter. You have faith that what you’ve done, the messy work of planting, the care + tending, is enough to bring new life + joy in all the years that follow. Accepting that things may not turn out as you expected, trying to understand that change + loss are unavoidable in life.
So I carry this hope with me in all things. I have to find the good in everything, otherwise I don’t know how to fully live. As someone who is prone to worry, to think the worst, to let fear of so many things get the best of me, I just have to have faith that even in the most trying of circumstances, something of value will come out of it. This past school year I faced challenges + disappointments I never could have imagined. I had a hard time writing, weary from just making it through the day. I did my best each day with what I had, even though many days it didn’t seem like enough. So, I said a prayer (and another, and another…), took a breath, and got up and tried another day. I survived, and have been loving these quieter, relaxing days of summer to refresh.
I will savor these last few weeks of summer, knowing another likely difficult season is beginning. But I will go forth certain that all the challenges that are ahead will serve a purpose in my life, helping me grow into a stronger person, teaching me lessons I couldn’t learn any other way. And I will keep dreaming, keep hoping for our journey to take a new turn, trying my very best to do all that I can to make that happen. In the meantime, I have an amazing husband, adorable puppy, cozy house, and bountiful garden to come home to at the end of each day.
The song that has inspired this post and helped remind me how much good can come from our hurt, our sorrow, our bumpy roads:
I know I’m alive
raised from the dead inside
breaking out of honeycomb tombs
growing gardens out of my wounds

I know I’m alive…

you are beautiful, my sweet, sweet song

music to my ears, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment.

Oh, how I love music. A constant in my life I could never be without. It has saved me, and comforted me, and carried me through trials. It’s brought me joy + bliss and given me goosebumps. I think of my very best memories, and there it was. How rich it makes our lives.
I am pretty sure I lived through my teenage years with headphones permanently attached to my head. Laying on the floor, finger on the record button just waiting for that amazing song to come on the radio. Mix tapes, staying up past my bedtime to listen to my favorite band being interviewed, secret late night taping sessions of music videos on mtv. The thrill of going to shows, seeing your adored music in person. In college, spending what little money I had on a new album at Atomic every week. Long walks, discman in hand, beautiful music to accompany me for hours as I thought + tried to figure out all the challenges of growing up. Road trips to hear the best music, my favorite past time. So many adventures, so much happiness. All from the simplicity of music.
How it has helped me through heartbreak + change + uncertainty. Just knowing someone else out there has felt the same way, turning their sorrows into beauty. Sharing the beautiful moments of life through a song, a melody. Taking that risk of putting yourself out there, hoping others will live better by your words, your notes. Music has healed me, helped me to understand, brought me through my difficulties. I have always appreciated genuine music, how it connects you to the person who wrote it, catching a glimpse into their lives. I love simple, beautiful music. Harmonies, strings, perfect words. It calms me after long + busy days, makes life so much fuller. Some of the most incredible days of my life were spent at shows, being blown away, having my soul filled + overwhelmed with the beauty of a song. So, to all the amazing musicians out there, thank you. Keep sharing your thoughts, your songs. It means so much to so many. It gives us hope, a way to go on. It brings joy + makes our days brighter. You are a blessing and you make life so much greater. Thank you.

simple inspirations

Once again, I decided to take on the Pinterest Winter Challenge over at Young House Love. It’s great to actually create something you were inspired by rather than merely collecting appealing images. I pinned this tutorial ages ago, detailing how to use fancy paper to pretty-up your light switch covers. I just used mod podge, scrapbook paper, an exacto knife, and foam brush to complete the transformation. It was super fast + easy and the perfect finishing touch for our newly remodeled bathroom. I like how the pattern on the light switch complements the leaves in the shower curtain without looking too matchy-matchy. Such a great almost-instant fix!
I’m going to post more photos of our complete bathroom transformation, skillfully crafted by the Mister himself (and some help from his Dad!).  It’s been finished since fall, but sometimes I still just stand and stare at all its’ awesomeness.

a new discovery

stripey socks, originally uploaded by ordinarymoment

As I approach this last year as a twenty-something, I’ve realized just how much I’ve grown + changed these last ten years. From discovering my passions, hopes, and dreams, to really understanding who I am. And being okay with that.

All my life, I’ve struggled with just being myself. Comparing myself to others, wishing I wasn’t so shy, worrying what others must think of me, that quiet girl. Fear of saying the wrong thing, of missing out, of people not knowing the real me. Spending so much energy wishing I was someone else, filled with anxiety + disappointment at every perceived failure. Ignoring my own gifts and longing for those of others. Keeping my true self hidden within, so I wouldn’t have to face what would surely be rejection in my mind. Over-analyzing every situation, so afraid to reach out, to let others accept + love me for the person I was, not who I thought I should be.

Slowly I began to understand the only way to really be happy with yourself is to embrace your gifts + share them with others. Stop being afraid, and know you do have something to offer, you are important, even if you are reserved more times than not. It’s okay! We are all unique, we all have our strengths and our weaknesses, and that is what makes life so interesting + amazing.

I may not always be the best at expressing myself verbally, I may say something stupid out of nervousness, I may not be a skilled small-talker. Instead of getting so hung up on the things I don’t have, I’m learning instead to accept them, to relax, to share myself in the ways I’m good at. Sometimes I just like to sit back and take it all in, to observe, to listen. I need to think about what I want to say rather than just blurting out whatever’s on my mind. I’m not stuck-up or a snob, it just takes a little more time to get to know me. I love sharing relevant stories + talking about the things I’m passionate about, and hearing the same from others. I don’t really enjoy talking on the phone, but would rather take the time to share words through letters or emails. My favorite way to show I care is by creating, whether that means cooking or baking something delicious, or making something artistic for another. In giving away a little part of myself, I hope the recipient knows how very much they are valued + loved, even if I don’t always let them know with words.

I need peace and quiet in my life to feel recharged + energized. I don’t like going to lots of parties or socializing in noisy places. For me, it’s harder to have meaningful conversations with so much busyness going on all around. I love spending time with others, but would rather have a game night, cook dinner together, go for a hike or bicycle ride, anything that is more low-key + easier to really talk with each other and share time together. When I have time to reflect, to create, to notice the beautiful moments, I feel so at ease and better able to experience the joy of life.

As this journey of life continues, I know there will still be struggles. I know there will be days I’ll still wish I could just come up with something witty to say (rather than thinking of the greatest comeback 20 minutes later), or to be charming + outgoing the first time I meet someone. But I will remember to just be myself, in the kindest and most gracious way possible. To appreciate the gifts of others, and know that I have something to offer too, even if it is in a different way. To hope that simply being genuine is enough for others to see that I am someone worth knowing. To keep sharing myself with others, in my own quiet ways.

There is something so freeing in being proud of your strengths, knowing each gift you are given is all you need to live this life well + be a blessing to others.

driving home to the setting sun

Driving home to the sounds of the most beautiful music, the perfect accompaniment to the saturated hues of the setting sun. The colors + warmth casting a glow on everything, softening the busyness of a long day. Giving a quiet energy within as I take it all in, a great big visual gift on an ordinary day. What can I say, I live for those simple joys, the blessings that remind us we do matter. Won’t you find yours?