Home and Heart (a few links also)

My mental energies, the work of my hands, and general outlook have been focused on home and heart recently. I think it might have to do with the not-so-subtle shift of crisp fall days turning into wet, dreary and cold fall days. Or the holidays just around the bend and the sense of both anticipation and need-to-get-ready that comes with that.

A period of preparation.

Last week I changed the lens on my camera to the intimate 50 mm and haven't switched back since, even for our weekly hike in the mountains (for which I most always use my 18-200 mm to capture more scenery). I often change the lenses multiple times in one day but right now I don't want the big picture, I want to remember the details. 

Focused on home and heart. 

I have been doing some major house cleaning. You'll recall in this post I mentioned I don't deep clean (very often). This week has been one of those times.

We reorganized our living room area and my desk is in a new spot for the first time in maybe 5 years. This change of space feels good. Light and airy, yet with cozy corners for the dark season we are headed into. 

Out goes the extra, awkward, not-all-that-much-liked to begin with furniture and a carload of stuff to goodwill. And with friends visiting this weekend I reorganized and decluttered the guest/sewing room and scrubbed the bathroom from top to bottom.  

The kitchen has seen lots of action, it always does. Tinctures, sprouts, my christmas soap, and this cold kicker sit on the counter. A list of herbs for winter ailments awaits its online order.

Getting ready for what's ahead.

In my heart I've been reflecting on motherhood while reading The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir. Feeling the joy of watching my children grow. Feeling the ache of watching my children grow.

I'm learning about myself while reading The Way They Learn (I got it from the library to better understand my children's learning styles and I'm gaining insight to how I work also) and accepting more each day who I am and what makes me tick. 

Accepting and growing.

It's been kind of intense around here to be honest. All this work in heart and home. I'm ready now for a rest and a weekend with friends.

How about you? What are you focusing on these days?

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  • Hillary

    Hillary on Nov. 6, 2010, 12:33 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures. It made me want to come over and share a cup of hot tea and make medicine with you in your kitchen.

    I feel you when you say the "ache" of watching your children grow.


  • Naomi

    Naomi on Nov. 6, 2010, 12:56 a.m.

    I've really been enjoying how well my new camara captures the little things. It makes me feel more cozy I think. And I've also noticed myself thinking on more sentimental aspects of motherhood lately. Perhaps it is a Fall thing. I've got all these child-related posts in my mind that I'm trying to think of subjects I can balance them out with!


  • Rana

    Rana on Nov. 6, 2010, 2:39 a.m.

    I love this perspective with your photos. You inspire me to try new angles with mine. I've been in the mind set of not necessarily cleaning, but clearing out. Getting rid of the unnecessary, and keeping only what we need and use everyday.

    We have been been getting cozy on the couch watching the leaves fall and reading lots of stories about the Fall season. Thank you again for the list of books by the way.


  • Natalia

    Natalia on Nov. 6, 2010, 8:42 a.m.

    Yet another lovely post. We have had an 'intense' and very changed family life for the past six months (and six months to go ...) and it has been hard for me to just slow down and focus on what is important - my home and my child. What I am coming to accept (and reading posts on places like FIMBY is showing me) is that I won't really be content or happy until I have that under control. So thanks for the reminder.


  • Tabitha

    Tabitha on Nov. 9, 2010, 5:22 a.m.

    HI! I saw your comment on Well Grounded Life and had to pop over. I like the look of your blog--and I didn't want to be a lurker! :) You sound like me....doing a lot of self exploration, questioning things, learning growing....it can be exhausting!!! My hubby and I are in a new season of a slower pace of life. We down-sized our home, stepped down from leadership at church and are just focusing on being home more and being a family (we have two young sons). I am spending a lot of time reading, journaling, analyzing, thinking, doing soul work, etc....and sometimes I have to remember to just BE and to relax and to do something enjoyable--just to enjoy it! I was so eager to move in, get to know the neighbors, impact the community....until I felt like God was saying, "Just enjoy your home and your life. For YOU." I can't be working at saving the world 24/7! :) Sometimes God blessesme just for me to enjoy it, because He wants to! So while I am focusing on simplifying, getting past my anxiety and fears, learning to enjoy my children, practicing gratitude, the list goes on....perhaps the most important of all is learning to just embrace the moment I'm in and enjoy my life!


  • Samantha

    Samantha on Nov. 9, 2010, 6:42 p.m.

    I'm focused on getting ready to officially homeschool my oldest son (he's 4). Right now, we're casually using a preschool curriculum that I have, and enjoying it very much. I don't want to just jump right into kindergarten next year because I know I would get overwhelmed.
    I'm also focused on training for the MS Challenge Walk happening in June with a few of my friends. It's 50K in two days! That's about 31 miles. I exercise regularly, but I've never done anything like THIS before. It's VERY exciting for me.
    Also, trying not to fuss about the holidays because I don't like stressing over those things. I'd like to be able to enjoy my family and celebrate the birth of Jesus. I'm very inspired by your homemade gifts, but haven't figured out how to get my husband on board. I guess he doesn't feel that homemade gifts are "special" enough. Any suggestions?


    • renee

      renee on Nov. 15, 2010, 2:24 a.m.

      Samantha, if your husband is frugal I would appeal to his frugal side. Also, something to consider is your husband's love language, which might be influencing how he feels about homemade gifts. Other than that, I don't have any suggestions - sorry.


  • Samantha

    Samantha on Nov. 18, 2010, 8:22 p.m.

    How interesting. I hadn't thought of his love language influencing his opinion. I think he also feels like he's not crafty enough to create something. I'm working on it. Thank you, though. You've been helpful, Renee.


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