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marathon week

I feel like I know exactly what it’s like to run a marathon now after having 3/4 in their last week of school.  Two field trips, two major projects due, 2nd grade exhibit, hip hop performance, 2nd grade program, preschool graduation… all in the last week and a half. Thursday is the last day and I am feeling like I’m on 26/26.2.

Only a little while to cross the finish line to freeeeedommmm!

Planning on doing a whole lot of this in the coming months:

-girls cute new bikes here and here

Also! Alsooo! Did I mention we had plans to do the exterior of our new house? Ya know, it wouldn’t be ours until we really made it ours, right?  So we started that this week!  I can hardly even wait to see it all finished.

Follow me on instagram to watch it unfold live.

Prayers we all make it to the finish line!

Be back with house updates soon!!

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grace

It’s 1:18pm.

My house is quiet and kidless (besides that napping baby) for the first time in nearly two weeks.  This may be the first time I’ve been by myself with my own thoughts for as long.

Sometimes I think of the constant and endless strain on me as a mother, and sometimes that overwhelm nearly swallows me up.  I felt that way yesterday afternoon.  That I didn’t have one more ounce of myself to give, but still hours left in the day to do so.  I found myself finding patience the next time Grae asked for her 2,304th request of the day, I graciously gave to her what she asked even though I didn’t feel like I could.

 Grace.

I find this place in motherhood often, where God’s grace sustains me further than my imperfect human body can go.  When I feel like shouting at the kids to leave me alone, but instead sigh and say “What baby? Another snack?  You bet.” walking my tired body back to the pantry and delivering the smallest detail of the world to one of my children.

“I love you, mom. You’re the best.” Grae says back.

Grace.

Fills me up and readies me for the next task motherhood will toss my way.

Grace.

As a mother, I take my days in sections, the morning time, lunch and afternoon section, the bewitching hour (that seems to last the majority of the day even though it is only found between 4-6pm), and finally, dinner and bedtime.

In tougher circumstances, like when my babies are learning to sleep by themselves, or the post partum depression is raging, or the day took a turn for the crazy.. I even take them minute by minute to get me through.  So far I’ve had a 100% chance of making it.

Grace.

Motherhood for me has been the biggest example of God’s loving grace, motherhood is basically “God’s grace for dummies“.  I’ve always noticed His grace, and perhaps taken it for granted.  But it’s been on my mind, and I seem to have found a whole lot of it lately.

I am so grateful that the days or years or minutes I fall short, God is there to pull me through the rest.  I know this is true for every person willing to accept, and learn it.  People can be tricky, and thoughtless, and mean, and careless, and certainly imperfect.  But God never is.  God is constant, and good, and on my (and your) side.  Do you know that?  I mean really, really know it?

I do.

I hope you do, too.

 

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mothers day weekend 2018

On Saturday morning I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day weekend.

I couldn’t think of anything I’d love more than staying home, doing whatever the world I pleased, without having a single time obligation.

That is exactly what I needed and wanted for Mother’s Day, and that’s exactly what I got.

After staying in my house dress for most of the day, making food for my family, getting to have an extra boy in my house (nephew Tage) to feed and love, we moseyed out on the town for some dinner.  Because I again wanted to give ZERO energy… we drove through to get the kids McDonalds and called in my favorite (Mad Pita – which Grae calls “Mada-Pita” so naturally we all call it that, too) and ate it in the car.

Then we headed to the nursery to pick up some flowers.  I requested flowers for my porch instead of my table this year, so everyone picked out a favorite for my pot and we came home and planted them.  Summer is my very favorite, and days like this are exactly why.

 

And then Sunday was a whole other story.  You win some, you lose some.  The first holidays without my sweet sis will sting a bit more than the rest, I guess.  Ang always made a deal about doing something fun on Mother’s Day, it made me miss her terribly.  But like everything else, where there is darkness there is also light.  I made a yummy batch of chili for my own little family, we delivered flowers to Angie’s grave.  I held my babies extra long at bedtime and went to bed with a full, albeit aching, heart.

I am so grateful for this good life I live, and so grateful to be able to celebrate so many amazing women in my life on mother’s day, including our own dear mothers who are loving grandmothers to our sweet babes.  I have a team of mothers (and not-yet mothers who bless me my children with their mothering natures anyway) that rally behind me and make it possible to live my life at the capacity I do.

I am also especially grateful that when I started this blog at the tippy tippy top of my mothering journey, you sweet women have checked in with me along the way, have written me, connected with me over motherhood, miscarriages, longing for children, having lost children.  We have prayed for each other, and your love has carried me through more than you’ll ever realize, and has helped me to fully embrace my own motherhood.  Thank you for loving and supporting me, and letting me share my heart with you over the years.

Happy Mothers Day to you from us here at Miller & Co!

 

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life after loss | tubby babies make me happy

What a month!  Never in my life have I experienced the depths of life that loss has shown me this past month.  I am exhausted, and so ready to put it behind me and learn and grow, and gain perspective over pain.  I am looking ahead with a heart broken open, eyes that see deeper, love that extends more fully.  Again, the mantra that gets me through my hardest hours have been, “I am not afraid, I was born to do this,”  With the good Lord on my side, I will be held steady.  I will be given what I need in my time of suffering, my worst days will be sanctified.  

I have appreciated every bit of advice I’ve been given on how to get through this debilitating grief.  One dear family friend of mine (@myfriendmesha on instagram) mentioned “hand therapy”, where you work with your hands on anything.  Gardening, baking, art.. whatever it might be.  I have been making myself pull out my camera, just like I used to love to do.  Just simply taking photos of my children living our lives.  That has gotten away from me over the years, and it felt so good to get back in touch with my roots.

I have noticed as a wonderfully tender mercy that though my heart is broken and my world seems to be crumbling, it is also full of life, and light, and promise.  My life is good, and happy, and fulfilling.  It will heal me as I lean into it fully, as I have been called to do.  Nothing reminded me of this more than having my babies in the tub the other morning.  I got out my camera and remembered again, that life is happy.  My heart is right here at home with my little ones, and this is exactly where I’m supposed to be.

Anyone around here long enough to remember THIS or THIS post?  It’s like having the same babes twice! :D

Praying that May blossoms into beautiful things in your lives.  Mine too!

xoxo

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under control

Today I woke up early enough to greet my kids up to get ready for school.  I let Mr. Miller sleep in as he has let me do so so many days these past couple of weeks.
The babies slept in with their dad, and I took the girls to school, sipped on my morning drink, and listened to my  audio book.
Not unlike I do every single morning.
But these mornings have been filled with immense grief, reflection, prayer, hope, and sadness these past couple weeks.
I am reminded again that God has us, He holds us in his tender care.
Everything is under control” my book reminds, a tender mercy from heaven.
After Mr. Miller reluctantly leaves for work, I get my hands busy tidying my house.
Boy does it need it’s normal,  functioning mother to run it.
It feels good to bless my family by getting my hands busy.
My heart is full of love and sadness, but the love helps hold the weight of grief from crashing down.
The grief rolls in in waves, in the little details and memories that come in so easily, and crash down so hard.
Everything is under control, I’m reminded.
I rock my baby extra long, just like I have been doing these past weeks.
My heart is healed by each session of singing lullabies together, snuggling, laughing, tickling, touching.
In the afternoon, Grae makes art while I plan out some outside landscape.
The spring air rolls in through the windows, the hope of summer tickling our noses.
Light fills the house, love swells, and the weight lessens.
Everything is under control.

 

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cuckoo

Once upon a time, Mr. Miller’s sister and mother went to Switzerland, Germany, France, and the like.
Mr. Miller begged for them to track down the perfect cuckoo clock for his adoring wife (who had sadly just lost her sister).
Mr. Miller is a very good son and brother.
This I know for sure, because a l l  t h e  w a y  home from the Swiss Alps, through 24 hours of travel, arrived a box at my doorstep with
none other than
the perfect cuckoo clock.
I didn’t think that anything could make my heart feel happy this week.
But now every hour, on the hour, I hear that little cuckoo! cuckoo! cuckoo! 
And you know what my heart feels?
Happy.

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settling in | staircase gallery wall

Motivation comes in waves here at the Miller Manor.  We have moved from phase 1, unpacking all the things, to phase 2, finding a place for the rest of the things.  And my seven hundred frames from over the years are no exception.

I feel like I have dreamed of having my own family staircase gallery wall for.. oh, as long as I can remember living.  There is just something so CLASSIC and FAMILIAR and COZY about a staircase gallery wall in a home with years of photographs displayed.  If there was one single thing I bought this house for, the dream of having my staircase gallery wall come to life, was one of them.

So this Saturday (after X amount of months the frames have been stacked up on the landing, might I add), I got to work and made a happy little wall for my family (eh-hem, me) to admire each time they walk up the stairs (1200 times a day.. again, me).

Over the last couple weeks I’ve been in a little bit of a funk with all the change settling in and that weird type of homesickness you get after a move.  Anyone know what I’m talking about?  Just that home sick feeling of knowing where everything is, not feeling new, just feeling at HOME.  Making this place feel a little more like “our home” sincerely helped my heart feel happier.  A few hours of my Saturday, zero dollars (except for the too-expensive 3M strips, thanks s’much Mr. Miller), and my heart feels a whole lot lighter.  Proving my theory that small things like this can, in fact, make you HAPPIER.  Life hack right there.  Invest in the beauty around you.

I love my home to tell our story.  That’s what “home” feels like for me.  These frames have been collected over the years.  Some found at yard sales with pictures of my first babies placed on the walls in some of our first homes.  They have moved with us, and been added to, and changed shape a bit in each house. But in each of our homes, we have found space for them, and as the years go by, each frame is more treasured.

Of course, we’ll be updating some and switching out some obvious prints but it is making me happy today, even unfinished, and I wanted to share it!

Like all my projects, I just used my pinterest boards to gain some inspiration, laid all my frames out on the floor to mess around with shape, took a photo to refer back to, and placed them one by one.

Some I used basic nails for (my favorite, easiest way) and on others I used 3M strips.. which I have a love/hate relationship with! I had to pull a couple off and redo them, but mostly I got it right just by eye-balling it.  I’LL HAVE THE JURY KNOW I hung this wall by myself without any help, *cough! Mr. Miller* Just in case we need the documentation for future reference. ;)

Feeling pretty darn happy with my handy-work!

 

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Our New Miller Manor

I have been doing a lot of clearing my schedule, and nesting our house.  At first I was thinking how chaotic it would be trying to move and be in a bare, new house for Christmas, but I am finding that it has been such a blessing.  Right now my entire focus is on our home, how we’re going to live best here, and getting settled.  It has been such a sweet thing to focus on for the holiday.  We have set our expectations so much lower this Christmas, and have already spent more nights cozied up by our fire after a long day’s work than we probably would have otherwise.  It’s been a sweet little start to our life here.

Many have asked where we have moved, and we really didn’t go far.  We just nestled into a quieter neighborhood, closer to our girls school.  It’s just a 5 minute drive from our old neighborhood, but we’re figuring out a new little pocket of town.  I still feel homesick for our little nook we had grown to love and live those 6 years as a young family, but we find reasons to visit often.

Mostly, our days right now look like nesting little corners of our house, unpacking endless amounts of boxes, and twirling around in natural light giggling that we get to live here. We all especially love the staircase – Harlo can’t wait to go to prom down our stairs, Major finds endless travel on them, and I can’t wait to get busy on a stairway gallery wall I’ve always dreamed of.  Life is pretty sweet here, even at our new Miller Manor.

xo

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a heart of thanks

We had a very different, and very lovely Thanksgiving this year.  Our families were traveling, and since we were only in our home for a few days, we decided to sit this holiday out and spend it together in our new home.  I wrote this on  Thanksgiving morning:

“As I am writing, it is Thanksgiving morning.  I just love Thanksgiving.  I woke up early and walked down to my brand new kitchen in my brand new home.  I prepared my turkey(breast) and arranged my dishes.  I turned Christmas Music on and opened up my back door to let in the crisp morning air.  As my children gobbled up some yogurt, a hot air balloon flew just exactly over our backyard.  It all seems almost too perfect.

This year I am feeling so particularly grateful and full of thanks.  I am still in awe and wonder about the way my life has unfolded with my beautiful family I have been blessed with.  It feels so sweet to be newly nestled into the home my children will grow up in.  We are here!  This stage of life has arrived, and it’s so sweet it puts a lump in my throat.

We have been on the receiving end of so much loving service, and I feel unworthy of such blessings.  For us to be sitting in this house came after such an army of people offering us their time, skills, willingness to help us with so much.  I am just feeling especially loved and grateful for all the angels I have surrounding me.  I know that God uses us to bless each other, and I have felt so much of that in recent weeks.

I can’t wait to get my hands to work serving and giving back this holiday season, and today I am starting by making my family a home cooked meal in our new home!”

Of course we missed family, and our usual thanksgiving tradition of spending it at the family cabin with the Millers this year, but I must say that cooking 6 dishes alongside my two older girls in our newly unpacked kitchen had to make the list of my favorite Thankgivings to date.  I looooove everything about Thanksgiving.  The weather in St. George, the low-key vibe of the holiday, the cooking all day, the snacking all night.  It’s just the best.

This year it was 75 degrees outside, so naturally we opted to eat on our outdoor picnic table.  After dinner, we went and walked through our empty downtown cottage together as a family.  It was a sweet way to end the day.  We spent the rest of the holiday weekend getting settled into our new house.  I think we’ll be “settling” for quite some time here, but it just feel so good to be here at HOME.

Definitely a year to remember.

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Leaning into Faith

For a couple of months, Mr. Miller and I have felt a bit… restless.  I can’t explain it in any other way, just that there was a building up to a breaking point of sorts.  We started wondering if we were really doing what we were called to do here, and prayed for  God’s help in showing us.  Areas of our home life, work life, family life started shifting and we wondered what changes we needed to make that would be right FOR US.  So on one particularly tough Sunday, we prayed diligently, pleading with God to guide us to our next step, open to whatever that might be.

The next morning, a dear friend of ours approached us about buying our house.  Even though this was no where on our radar at the moment, we couldn’t help but feel how “coincidental” the timing was, and so we felt we at least had to hear the guy out, and explore our options.  As we stepped forward in faith, even though I really didn’t want to sell my house, I started seeing how wonderful of an opportunity this would be for my family.  The painful thoughts of leaving this dream home of mine faded with the peace and excitement of this opportunity.  I have come to know that God is the only way to feel peaceful, and where there is peace, there too, is God.  In the last decade of actively pursuing a relationship with God, I have let those same peaceful feelings guide me, and so I recognized that easily in this situation.

It is important for me to point out that God didn’t reveal what the whole plan was when this initial prompting of taking this opportunity happened.  This is where our faith really carried us.  We knew, and had faith, that if God provided us an opportunity as an answer to our prayers, He would lead the way.  So we continued in faith, even though we weren’t exactly sure where we would go once we moved from here.  We explored all of our options and kept moving forward until God would reveal to us our next step, having faith that He would.

In my own spiritual journey, a weakness I have is letting go of my own control.  God has to remind me of this ALL THE TIME, “I promise, I’ve got this Cass.  Go ahead and let go.” He whispers to my soul, and through white knuckles I try to ease my grip.  After years of practicing, I had the ultimate test when the day would come where I would have to sign the sellers contract on my sweet little cottage before knowing AT ALL where we were heading next.

We had seen multiple rentals, all of which fell through for one reason or another, we had friends offer us to stay at their homes, but with such an uncertain timeline that seemed hard to commit to… We had even reached the resolve that if worse came to worse, we would take this show on the road and live in our little trailer and travel for a few months until we sorted this all out.  I felt anxious and wrung up over every last option. (I also learned how DOWN I was for God’s plan, as I would have been willing to do any of these things had they felt right.)

So, on the last night it was possible, I signed the contract, making our sale official.  With not a single hint of what we would do next.  I pleaded with God what felt like that entire night, and felt a strong impression that help was on the way.  THE NEXT MORNING, my husband called from work asking if I could be ready in 20 minutes to go see the house I had coveted on the MLS site (knowing full-well I couldn’t buy it – we had planned to not even start with the home buying process until we could file our taxes which wouldn’t be for a few months, at least..  We had to be out of our home in 28 days.)  Brady told me he’d explain, and to get the kids ready.  Turns out, that morning’s meeting landed him with just the right person who would be connected to a real estate agent and a mortgage broker who worked mostly with business owners like us.  A call or two later, we were meeting the real estate agent at the dream house, and by that afternoon, we placed our offer.  Is your head spinning?  Let me say it again, that afternoon, we were placing an offer to buy the home I didn’t dare dream we could buy.  It was a spiritual trip to say the least.

Because the home buying process is never ever easy, I can’t say this process has been a breeze, or without it’s hiccups… but I can say that we have been guided every single step, and we have been 100% fine with whatever God had in mind for us – even if that meant facing our own disappointment for a time.  Of course, our God is one of grace and mercy.  Our suffering has been washed over with His peace time and time again when we’ve come up against trials in this process.

As I am writing, we are a couple of days away from closing on both homes, and we are still having to lean into faith over fear every single day.  There is still a chance things could fall through, and there is still a chance we’ll see another miracle in our lives come to completion.  I have faith in the latter, of course.

I will tell you that I don’t think I’ve ever had a time that was so apparent that God was working in our lives.  I mean, truly I would have never imagined this would be possible, and I hadn’t even dared dream beyond our home.  But God nudged me in the gentle, reassuring way only He does, and I am watching the next chapter of our lives unfold right before my very eyes.  How grateful I am to that hard time in my life ten years ago that lead me to God, that lead me to changing my life for His will that day and every day forward.  After ten years, I am still not over the miracles God has performed in my life and continues to perform in our lives. <3

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gather here with grateful hearts

As you can imagine, life here has been bustling.

It is a stressful process of selling and buying, and we feel those growing pains for sure, but we are also so grateful to have this particular set of stressful happenings. ;)

Moving is often bittersweet, but I don’t think I’ve ever in my life experienced such deep meaning to the word.  On my walk yesterday, as I planted my heart in gratitude, I could hardly hold tears back as I expressed my gratitude for this sweet neighborhood I live.  It’s beauty, the stories and history it holds.  The wonderful people, businesses, happenings, and charm.  I am so lucky to have been able to walk these streets as my own each day, taking in each season in richness.  I have a feeling that my walks around these streets will be one of the things I’ll miss the most.

This neighborhood will be heartbreaking to leave, and our dear house, nearly impossible.  Our children doubled in number in this house, my last babies birthed right here under our roof.  We went around the dinner table last Sunday, perhaps our last Sunday dinner here at the house, and took turns telling some of our favorite memories.  We could hardly narrow the best days down, although we agreed that the births of our sweet babies were unanimously on the tippy top.  Birthdays, baby blessings, holidays, home school, first days, last days, hard days turned good days, and all the days in between have been overall happy here.  My favorite season of life to date, how about that?

A few weeks ago, before we knew any of this, we had an opportunity to be shot in our home by the always lovely Janae Allred, who shot our video for Maskcara a couple years ago.  I couldn’t have known at the time how much it would mean for us to have this regular Saturday at home documented for us to always treasure.  What a blessing this will be!

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The Millers are Moving!

Well, I’m not sure how to write this all out, but in very short – we were given a sweet opportunity to sell our beloved downtown cottage we lovingly call “the Miller Manor”, and take a leap of faith as we find the NEXT Miller Manor.

You can’t imagine the heartache, prayers, tears, and time we have spent over this big decision for our family.  But the Lord is good, and He is guiding us as the opportunity unfolds.

For the first 7 years of our marriage, as a couple of new small business owners, it was impossible for us to qualify for a home loan, but it remained our hearts deepest desire.  All we wanted was a quaint little place we could call our own in those years (and years) of rentals.  We witnessed a small miracle happen in our financial life that year as we turned our worries to God, and our sweet little house fell into our lap.

It had been a childhood dream of mine to live in downtown St. George, to buy a little old house and fix it up.  As a young girl, my parents owned a quaint little beauty salon right in the heart of the city.  I grew up in that salon, ran around the grounds, and became dearly acquainted with all the business owners – most of whom still have businesses there today.  We would go for walks, and play in the tree-lined streets and as we drove home to our suburban neighborhood, I would pick my favorite houses up the block and day-dream about the life I would live there when I grew up.

How sweet it has been to see that dream come to life.

This house has been such a tender mercy for me, and even writing this makes me teary.  This house has been my dream come true, and I haven’t even dreamed beyond it.  I have felt like the luckiest girl in the world to have this precious place of safety, security, and so much joy.  A little house literally bursting with my own children and a happy, full, beautiful life.  I have not, and will not ever get over it.  This dream of mine was hard won, but worth it ten million times.

But this house wasn’t our forever house.  It was a house to wrap us up in a time we needed it, to provide us shelter from life’s storms for a season, and has provided us an opportunity to turn the page to the next chapter of our lives.  What a sweet gift this house has been.  I can’t say that enough.  This home will be cherished for the rest of my life, in some of our happiest of memories.

But for now, I am looking forward to the home waiting for us.  Because as I have been reminding myself, it’s not the manor that makes the Millers, it’s the Millers that make the manor.

*cue all the tears*

 

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Life Lately

Life lately is waking up to get kids off for school – oops! Late again… scolding myself on the way dropping off, “you should be more responsible!” “Being on time is mostly up to you!” “Set a freaking alarm, for crying out loud.  You are a 28 year old woman!” and then pep talking myself the whole way home, “You are doing the best you can.” “A few minutes late does not make you a terrible mother.” “We all have our strengths – your kids are not questioning your love for them today.” Woooo…  being a full time mama is an emotional roller coaster.

It’s coming home to freshly awake and groggy toddlers in my kitchen.  It’s snuggling while he drinks his “baba”, and tickling her back under her nightgown.  It’s changing diapers and changing clothes – SOOOO many clothes, I did not realize motherhood would basically be changing kids, finding shoes, and doing laundry.  That makes up the majority, bless my ever loving heart.

It’s being in the moment whenever possible.  How fleeting I see these days passing now.  Harlo is closer to being a teenager than a baby now, my goodness how quickly that passed.  I thrive on going for walks with my babies in the stroller, dog to my side.  I can take in my days and process my life in such a quiet, happy way.  My stroller has had a broken front tire for two weeks now and I am feeeeeling it physically, but mentally as well.  I have come to rely on those moments of groundedness in my day.  Time seems a little slower on my walks. Prioritizing those times for myself is necessary.

It’s taking a second for myself while the baby naps – the longer into this motherhood journey I venture, the less time for myself I find.  Balancing work, house work, relationships, downtime is becoming nearly impossible, but I’m embracing the way they crash all together at once, I guess.  Swirling around me in a beautiful string of life.  Realizing that life rolls in seasons, and what doesn’t make the cut this season can have some time in the next.

It’s sitting on the porch as the sun tucks behind our house, squealing with the babies when the bus rounds our corner.  Hearing all the things while I figure out supper, and sitting with a full heart at the dinner table with my entire family of six.  Finding more of myself as one of “the moms” and being completely content with whatever that means.  This is a good and bustling season.

Life lately has been relying completely on faith.  We have made some big decisions this year, and as we have prayerfully prepared for each one, we have felt guided and peaceful about the ones we’ve made, even when we’ve felt torn.  Grateful to be celebrating 10 years in faith this month.  What a decade it’s been.  My heart is overflowing recounting how my life has changed as I’ve built a relationship with God. Asking for grace, extending myself grace, and finding all the grace I can spread around the family, because the Good Lord knows we need it.  Where we fall short, there His Grace will be.

Good to be back, dear friends.  I love coming back here after some time away.  It’s like slipping on my favorite pair of jeans after being pregnant for 9 months. ;)

Feels good to be back!

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saying goodbye to summer

On our last day of summer here at our little Manor.  We really snuggled into this place of ours this summer.  The seeds we planted over the last few years have come to life here in a lot of ways.  This is the longest we’ve lived anywhere since our family started, and it feels like such a sweet corner to be nestled into in this season of life.

We are very much entering our “middle” phase, as we’ve seen the hard work from our “early” stages start to pay off over the decade, we still aren’t necessarily coasting.  Our life is so so so so so full, in every sense of the word, and sometimes it feels like we’re tredging through stressful seasons, but at the same time breezing by in the scope of life.

I asked Harlo recently if she ever thinks about moving out of here and she said, “Never.  I love this house.” and it pierced my heart to the core.  We have made a happy little home here.

It is not perfect, the office needs to be tweaked again, I’d like to freshen up some paint, and we have just that little bit to go to finish up the original remodel.  We are our best with projects, creative juices flowing, and hands busy in service for our home and family.  I’m so grateful for the opportunity of service this little home provides.

When we bought this house, we really loved the idea of living this season of our lives intentionally simple.  We hope to plant seeds for our future while we live here, but rest here in this happy place we’ve worked so hard for.  We have learned so much, and taught our kids along the way.  I have grown up a lot in this house as I have progressed to my “late twenties”, and have birthed two more children while we’ve lived here.  We have continued and started businesses in this home, and every day as I walk our streets I feel inspired to do and live better.

I know we are always growing and shifting and always on the look for more, but this season has been one of letting go and just being still for a time, and that has gifted me such joy and happiness for choosing this path.  Business, success, independence, space, time, and uninterrupted sleep will be in the seasons to come.  I can only pray they are just as full of beauty as this season we’re in right now. ♥

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building our tribe

Last week, for the fourth of July, we had our second annual holiday bash at the Miller Manor.

I had posted about the night on instagram, and someone messaged me and told me how she envied the group of friends I had, and how lucky I was to be raising my children alongside my best friends.

This touched my heart, and I’ll tell you why.  Because I had a season in early motherhood with little to no friends in the same season I was in.  I felt loneliness and craved something more.  I felt an answer to my prayer was to be patient, focus on my family and not worry about friendships – they would make their way into my life later.  And they did.

A couple years later, by divine placement, I had some precious friends in my life.  These women were strong, and wonderful, and real, and loving wives and mothers and friends.  The only problem was, most of them didn’t know each other.  In this season I had a strong impression that I was to bring this group of women together.  So I started a book club.  I invited a few friends, they invited a few friends, and before we knew it we had a big ol’ group of awesome ladies discussing books and life and all that entailed.  Best friendships formed, we learned from each other, grew with each other, showed up for each other, and felt our loads lighten by the friendships we had formed.

This very inspired idea of bringing this group together may be one of my most treasured blessings in life.  I genuinely have the greatest group of women surrounding me.  REAL women.  Women who aren’t interested in gossip, and materialistic accomplishments, but that are coming and putting it all out there, and accepting every one else doing the same.  These types of friendships are rare, I know this from experience, and I am so grateful to have these women in my corner for life.

Upon our purchase of the Miller Manor, one of the main things for me was to have a place for our tribe to gather.  We kept this in mind with every renovation we did.  We don’t have a ton of space in our 1900 sqauare foot home, but we have created places for our community to come in and feel loved.

The 4th of July is just a reminder of all we have built with this community.  I love that my yard is big enough to hold alllll our kids, and that our families continue to grow.  I love that our kids are raised more like cousins, and that through our friendships have become a sisterhood unlike anything else.  Each of us have built this community up, and I am forever grateful. (only the friends in town on the 4th pictured — but you know who I’m talking about even if you weren’t here!)

Are you in a season of loneliness?  Perhaps your tribe is just on the other side of inviting a friend or two over for a BBQ, organizing a book club with a few women you think would hit it off, arranging a weekly playdate with other moms, whatever you like to do.  Sometimes it’s just about gathering up your people with food and love to fill your soul.

In my experience, my willingness to invite and host has given back to my family 100 times.  Who can  you love into your tribe?  Who can you cook a meal for?  Who can you invite to a park and pick up pizza on the way?  Build up a community you love being a part of.  I promise it will be worth it.

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