olive june: 2019
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ten things i love

"and i say to my heart:
rave on."
-mary oliver, thrist

a late summer home tour

today i am sharing a glimpse into our home for a late summer tour - before i add a few fall touches soon. for fall, i love to add real pumpkins and a few dried flowers throughout. i want our home to look like something that's been curated over time in a thoughtful way; mixing old and new for an eclectic look. if i am honest with you, old homes have my heart. and probably always will. but... we don't currently have one- this home was built in 2014 and although i am so very, very grateful for it, it's not exactly my style. therefore, i try to add pieces with charm and pieces that have meaning for an overall aesthetic that is minimal, personal and cozy. being a mother and working from home and wanting to create meaning and connection more than anything else, has forced our family to simplify our lives. it's been hard (especially at the beginning- where to begin?) and yet, so incredibly refreshing ... and much easier to take on and continue now. we try and pick a few things to focus on each month and that has really helped us.

i hope you enjoy a little look inside...

september intentions

"never forget how wildly capable you are."

things i always want to remember | 1 and 3.5 years old

there aren't many things i love more than a baby in a bonnet

an afternoon at the carnival

we spent this past sunday afternoon at a local festival with the boys; a fun way to send off this special summer; a summer where the boys became even closer - the first one where they were both mobile to play with one another. i know it is one i will always remember.

five diffuser blends for august

we have been weaving essential oils into our everyday rhythm for awhile now - ways to calm and heal and create rituals for our family. they purify our home and nurture our bodies. i have enjoyed exploring different blends and salves and mixtures. they have become a way to live with more intention and with care and with earnest goals of lifelong wellness. here are some diffuser blends that i am currently loving for these late summer days.

childhood magic | 15 natural activities

when i was a little girl, i spent most of my childhood outside. well, outside and at the local library.  i played in barns and creeks until the streetlights came on, rode my bike until my legs couldn't move, swam with friends, explored local lakes, built snowmen and secret forts. it is clear that my love for the world outside has been passed on to parks and nash. whenever we need to breathe easier and find solitude, we venture outside and it's as though we are floating through the earth. 

this morning, i took the boys to wing haven- a beautiful garden and bird sanctuary. they both splashed in the mini waterway and ran barefoot and noticed the bees having lunch in the flower bushes. 

days like this with my babies, it's who i am, it's what i'll remember most. 

a grateful heart

“the thankful heart and a praying mind
are the revealer of the secrets of beauty.” 
― toba beta

an afternoon at the park

august 12 . 2019

a grateful heart

perhaps in the waiting 
you are doing more
than merely waiting 
but you are growing 
in the way you were meant to 
you are finding that Light 
shines on you 
strengthening you for the season you are in 
reminding you over and over again 
life can be beautiful 
in the waiting

mindful practices

'When your world moves too fast
and you lose yourself in the chaos,
introduce yourself to each
color of the sunset,
Reacquaint yourself with the earth
beneath your feet.
Thank the air that surrounds you
with every breath you take.
Find yourself in
the appreciation of life.'
-Christy Ann Martine

august intentions

...counting down the days until i can wear cozy knits...
while also embracing these final weeks of summer
the days of letting our toes breathe, floral sundresses, dewey skin and watermelon slices

gentle reminders

"you are worthy of a beautiful, fulfilling life just as much as anyone else." -mhn

a beach trip to avalon, new jersey

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"don't rush the wild ramblers, 
wanderers, dawdlers and dreamers

don't push or compare the child 
who tarries and turns over
every pebble-

who stops to fill overflowing pockets,
talk to trees and look for a 
shimmering chrysalis under
every milkweed leaf-

who listens to the wind current &
message of each spiraled shell. 

don't rush them,
for they will grow up
to be the noticers, connectors
and guardians.

their pace will carry a certain peace
back to the rest of the world."

-nicolette gowder

essential oil blends for summer

it has been awhile since i have discussed essential oils on the blog, but i am hoping that that is going to change. our family uses oils for so many things but one common thread is that they seem to change with each season. there are also ones that are wonderful year-round but i thought i would share some that i tend to pull during the summer months. here are two roller ideas and two diffuser blends that i love for summertime. 

a summer week in the country

we took two trips back to my hometown in the midwest in june and enjoyed the simple days together - spent swimming in the pool, s'mores and stories around a campfire, watching the sun set to the west + the stars shine above, smoked meat and hometown pizza and ice cream cones, country music and most of all, catching up with all the people we love and who love us. i can always feel the love. apart from the infinite exhaustion, we have been loving our travels this spring and summer. throughout this year, our kids have traveled around 180+ hours in the car on road trips - and have rocked them all. they don't always sleep the best when we arrive, but we really have the best little travelers. 

july intentions

"do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do." -oprah

a birthday reflection

a june evening: i went to bed as my birthday began to my husband rubbing my back and the warm sound of summer rain pitter-pattering a soft birthday song outside our bedroom; one year older, one year more grateful. and awoke to: "happy birthday, mommy!" and a beautifully curated rattan breakfast tray (with my favorite clay mug and cloth napkin and a homemade trolls card with purple crayon scribbles) ... i spent some time stretching and then pondering, dreaming, reflecting on this past year. it was a hard one. really hard at times... two young boys- a toddler and a baby. yet, it was one of my very favorites... if not, my favorite of all. thanks to so many things; things i am forever grateful for. 

first birthday celebration | a garden picnic for nash {part two}

yesterday i shared some scenes from the garden picnic birthday party we threw for nash last saturday, june 15 near uptown charlotte. 

'i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere 
i go, you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true) 
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here if the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud, of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)

-ee cummings

first birthday celebration | a garden picnic for nash {part one}

a year ago today was nash's due date... and now we are reminiscing about all of the joy and wonders and beauty he has brought us. i thought i was as connected as i could be one year ago...  however, it turns out there's always room for growth and connection. our healthy, happy little boy makes us smile so much our cheeks hurt. he's a heartbreaker with his tooth gap and tiny, soft curls. he is a daily reminder to celebrate the simple moments and to take every day slowly. 

nash loves sitting on a quilt and playing at the park; eating fruit, listening to music and throwing balls. when we visited my friend's urban garden at the end of april, he intently watched the chickens cluck and peck all afternoon. it was then that i knew a garden picnic party- next to the chickens- was just what we should do to celebrate our nash charlie turning one. so this past saturday morning, we gathered with a couple of close friends and my husband's family and we had an intimate picnic in the garden. i kept looking around: taking in the perfect weather, the way the shade trees swayed above, the rooster protecting his coop, and jovial kids running about and playing together.  

it was endearing. 
and was full of so much love for our son.

his birthday gathering was everything i had dreamt of for him
and more.

simply loving


"and the beautiful thing about 
God is this: even though we
cannot fully comprehend His 
love, His love fully comprehends." 
-morgan harper nichols

june intentions

your soul knows what moves it most; what makes it flow and thrive and just be

what are things you have done for yours lately? 
setting intentions for each month this year has allowed me to set goals and to become more of the individual God has created me to be. there is no doubt that this season of life is hard but i am trying my best to not only manage it all - but to enjoy it all at the same time.

nash charles is one!

The Messenger

My work is loving the world. 
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird- equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep i the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? 
Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work, 
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. 
The phoebe, the delphinium. The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture. Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here, 
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-cloths, a mouth which to give shouts of joy to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam, telling them all, 
over and over, how is it that we live forever."
- Mary Oliver

my sweet nash
my love for you is forever 

may you always love the world with simple and sincere gratitude
with intentions 
with roots
with kindness

a letter for nash on the eve of your first birthday

it's the eleventh of june and tomorrow our sweet nash charles (or 'nash charlie' or 'charlie boy' as i often call him) will turn one. 

still my baby, always and forever. 

yet, i am having a hard time with this milestone. he's been such a dream baby and i have tried to take in every moment, every stage with him. the simple moments together; heartfelt embraces, his contagious giggle, the smell of his soft skin. 
and it's all gone by more quickly than any other year of my life. 

oh my, has this week been hard. 
and at the same time- it's been so incredibly magical. 

a grateful heart

"may you approach 
this season with
gratitude and a 
deeply rooted hope
that every day will
teach you something
that is an integral
part of your growth"
- morgan harper nichols

favorite shoes for summer

this past monday was the unofficial start to summer and with temps in the high 90's in charlotte lately, i thought i would share some shoes for summer that i am loving... 

a weekend by the sea

You are the moon, 
dear love, 
and I the sea.
The tide of hope swells
hight within my breast,
and hides the rough
dark rocks of life's unrest
when your fond eyes
smile near in perigee.
But when that loving face
is turned from me,
low falls the tide,
and the grim rocks appear,
and earth's dim coast-line
seems a thing to fear.
"You are the moon, 
dear love, 
and I the sea.

// ella wheeler wilcox

a grateful heart

why i wake early

hello, sun in my face
hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories, 
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and crotchety-

best preacher that ever was-
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light-
good morning, good morning, good morning.

Watch, not, how i start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

-mary oliver

nash charles . month eleven | things i always want to remember

"gather courage like-
wildflowers."
-jak major

mother's day moments

redefining motherhood

it is the look in my mother's eyes,
every time we say goodbye.
it is the pregnant girl on the bus, 
softly singing lullabies to her unborn child. 
it is the woman staring at the negative pregnancy test, 
longing, hurting, grieving.
it is the elderly lady standing in line at the supermarket,
her hand on her son's shoulder, guiding him through life.
it is the barely visible smile of the woman passing by on the street, 
a sign of recognition, a safe haven.
it is the woman hiding her tears, enduring the pain, 
not wanting to worry her children. 
it is the raw power of my body that keeps on going.
it is the task of safeguarding with every fiber of your being.
it is the protective instinctive behavior, the tightening of my muscles, 
the adrenaline rushing through my veins. 

it is the new version of me. 
the softer, stronger, tougher version of me. 

may intentions

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"for the rest of this year,
stay strong.
Let no one and nothing
make you feel like
you are not good enough
or that you do not belong.
It does not matter
how good they are
at what they do, 
your story is being woven
intricately and uniquely
by the Ono who created you."
-morgan harper nichols

thrift store tips

-a home scene-

a grateful heart

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sharing a snack with his dad under the trees 

tiny bluebird + a spring playlist

serenity.

easter memories

i am currently listening to tift merritt radio with an afternoon coffee while the boys nap. and i can't help but reminisce about yesterday and how much this day, this easter sunday, meant to me. our first easter as a family of four was so deeply sweet. parks woke up a bit later than normal; snoozing next to his dad while nash and i took in the morning downstairs. nash was the first one to discover that the easter bunny had arrived. parks' reaction to his basket was everything. he was so tender yet so ecstatic over every single treat. we shared homemade muffins while billie holiday played. 

at our church service, we received a beautiful message on Christ that moved the contents of my insides all around simply because he lived and still lives - and that our church community is everything i ever could have dreamt of for inspirational spirituality in our lives- and so much more. it's magical. 

then we went to a nearby park and took in some moments together before heading to my husband's parents' house for a fun-filled day with family. a cheeseboard, an egg hunt, cocktails, facetime with my parents, and dinner together on a gorgeous spring day  - celebrating Jesus and his unconditional love for us. 

my heart was so full at the end of the day.

nash charles . month ten | things i always want to remember

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on april 12, nash charles (my 'charlie boy') turned ten months old. we spent the day traveling up to the philadelphia area to visit my husband's family. what was supposed to be about ten hours took 12.5 hours due to traffic and accidents. however, the boys were awesome! (not sure how we got so lucky with these tiny travelers!) but we are both so very thankful. my husband and i talked and listened to enneagram podcasts and i read the book, educated (highly recommend). although it was a long trip, time with family is always worth it... 

i shared some highlights on instagram, but we all enjoyed exploring the kennett square, pa area. both of my boys are growing by the hour and it was special to see them interact and play with their cousins. 

spring break fun | altitude trampoline park

this post was sponsored by altitude trampoline park . thank you so much for supporting this blog
a few weeks ago, our family spent a sunday afternoon at the new altitude trampoline park in gastonia, north carolina.  and we truly had the best time! altitude was founded in 2012 and is the fastest growing trampoline park company in the world; offering fun for people of all ages. this location is altitude's most adventure packed park to-date- it's fresh/new and is the perfect place to spend spring break if you are staying around charlotte for a 'staycation.' looking ahead at summer, this would also be a wonderful spot to escape the summer heat and keep your children active during their time out of school. from attractions such as trampoline basketball, dodge ball, a ninja course, warped wall, a foam pit, gymnastic tumble tracks, wipeout, a kids court, stunt bags, a ropes course- and so much more- i am not sure who had more fun... parks or us. jumping around the park wasn't just an absolute blast, but it is also a low-cost way to be active. after 30 minutes of jumping, you can burn over 100 calories- so great! most of all, i felt like we all couldn't help but smile watching parks have the time of his life + we both felt like kids again. i am so glad we discovered this place - none of us were ready to leave...

creating soul spaces

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"dismiss whatever insults your soul." - walt whitman 

an easter basket for parks + nash

this way you
so gently, yet confidently 
ask me to grow,
you are flowers and fire
so softly, yet knowingly
awakening me
to all the things
i want to become.
-spring

                                        - butterflies rising

april intentions

i took a small break from this space last month to do some spring cleaning and organizing... between march 1-22, i took over every space in our home: every drawer, closet, corner of our home- and i purged, re-arranged, thoroughly cleaned- made our nest new again. there were endless trips to donation centers and some very, very long days (doing this with two kids adds a whole new dimension!) - but i also feel like it was so worth it. 

and although i am happy with the end result, i have a yearning to become even more minimal and reduce the amount of things in our home... however, i also want to enjoy springtime with my family + i want to shift my mindset to something new; something that's more important in my heart. i have found that i can get wrapped up in the process and personally, it's not something i want to look back on in life and feel like i was constantly doing. i want to take in the simple moments, laugh with my kids, spend time alone with my husband, explore our city- i want to 'be.' i know i will be doing slight purges daily, but i am hoping to shift my mindset to other things this month...

an email time capsule for kids

a few years ago, i shared this kids memory journal idea that i heard from a mom of grown kids; something to keep next to your bed for simple, daily stories, tidbits, etc.. it's easy and personable and something to have to reminisce- to share laughter and to cry with down the road...

 this past november, i went to birmingham, alabama to visit my cousin for the weekend. (here are some of the travel highlights- it was such a wonderful trip! + i love my cousin and her husband and baby girl, hollis, so dearly) while i was there, my cousin shared an idea with me ... and i wanted to share with you all in case you would also like to do this for your children. when her baby was born last august, she created an email for her ... a place for people to send photos, achievements, memories... and then on her 18th birthday, she plans to give her the password. i adored this idea so much and decided to start one for parks and nash - small notes of love. i love to send a photo with a poem or a song or something they did that day that was touching.

 i hope they both appreciate reading messages from their loved ones, especially at a time in life that can often be difficult to maneuver through...

isn't this the cutest idea?
so thankful my cousin shared this with me + hope you are inspired as well! 

simply loving

this is my favorite home in uptown charlotte
and my mom's as well
a classic victorian with a large front porch and charming trees
 i see it every time i go to the post office 
-a small joy-
 i thought of her this morning
listening to a willie nelson song 
and dazing off 
and dreaming
for a bit.

motherhood | stories lately

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reading picture books (and movie nights) have helped us get through the winter days and nights- especially the drearier ones. these moments remain one of our most treasured times of the day as a family. looking back- praying before every meal, riding my bike to the library almost daily, sharing a room with my sister, and my mom or dad reading books to us before bed are some of my favorite parts about my childhood. lately we've been reading lots of simple, quiet books (besides #5 on my list today- that is a fun one!) 

just by chance, a lot of these titles follow kids on walks around the world, pointing out everyday magic, or making it themselves. several of these books focus on the comfort of routine and the joy of discovery. i wanted to share with you ... in case you want to read with your family. 

nash charles . month nine | things i always want to remember

time is passing through me like a rushing river. it was just a few hours ago we were having a dance party in our loft with a positive pregnancy test. it was just a couple minutes ago we broke down when we heard that hammering heartbeat. 

and then saw his face; crying for the first time and so beautiful.
-nine months ago today-

in case we've never met


this post was inspired by morgan harper nichols

neutral sweaters


the boys and i spend a lot of time thrifting . and honestly, they are both a dream when we shop together- they seem to love it as much as i do. parks is at the cutest age (i am LOVING three so far) and nash is chill - so chill (just like my husband.) this morning, we spent about three hours searching for treasures and found a lot of great finds for well under forty dollars (it was half off day at the local thrift stores/the last wednesday of the month- so the lines were really, really long but the prices were unbelievable). the elderly men and women (i also really love older people) adore the kids and parks has so much of me in him - that he just really seems to enjoy the experience as well. some of my favorite things to hunt for: homemade afghans, vintage kids clothes, books, homewares, art, wood toys, records, and neutral sweaters. neutral sweaters and mom jeans / madewell jeans and a pair of sneakers have become my go-to outfit as a sahm. today i am sharing some non-thrifted sweaters that i am currently loving...

bleubird

free.

a grateful heart

a grateful heart //

a nephew to love | julius imoh

9:20 am
mid-morning

the crisp chillness in the air
 takes my breath away
as i step out of the car in oakley
a milky latte 
the wind is blowing
quietly

in route to the hospital
gender still unknown
a niece or a nephew
to watch grow

naked winter trees 
brushing loudly
there is more to you today than yesterday

but when i look back 
on this day
i will always remember 
the serenity 
the stillness of the hallways 
and the way my sister softly nods
as i whisper,
'is it a boy?'

it all feels so right-
perhaps this is where 
the Light shines through

valentine