This week’s learned, links, and thankfulness…
Glow’s in the all about mommy stage. Only I can change her diaper, only I can cuddle with her, only I can put her to bed, yada yada…
This cake is amazing!
I’m thankful my girls are so forgiving. I can be a crazy mom one minute, come to my senses, and then ask them for forgiveness. Thankfully, they say, “Yes,” and they carry on like nothing ever happened. I know it’s hard, but it’s so good for kids to see their parents asking for forgiveness and admitting where they fall short.
Ben and a group of his guy friends from our church family is working on this love dare. It’s easy to get in a rut in marriage, so I love how they are trying to intentionally care for their wives.
On another marriage note, I read somewhere this week (can’t remember where) a couple was asked what their secret to a happy marriage was and the husband replied, “My goal is to make her happy.” The wife then replied, “My goal is to make him happy.” That’s so true! We tend to be selfish in most of our relationships, including marriage, it can sometimes be all about what we want and “He’s not doing this…” But if both parties focused on the other person rather than self gratification, how different things would be! I’ve been trying to remember this more this week and things that would make Ben happy.
I’m thankful for this space and that I can be honest and express my feelings in yesterday’s post). I really was so scared to press publish (knowing it could possibly cause more negativity) and didn’t want to just come off complaining because I really am thankful for so much. I wanted to continue bring some realness to this place (and the internets) and share a bit of what’s in my heart. To be clear, I don’t necessarily think that those who engage in the sarcasm and criticism are jealous or particularly angry people. I think just as much as blog reading is a fun, little, time-waster-passer timer for us, it probably is just a fun and engaging thing for them to indulge in that kind of… I don’t know what to call it, observational-very-opinionated banter? Just like I don’t appreciate their judgement on me without fully knowing me, I don’t think it’s fair to call them jealous or unhappy because then nothing really makes us all that different.
What I’ve learned and take away for myself is that I need to work on applying Ephesians 4:29: “No foul language is to come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear.” Also, I’d love by example to teach my daughters Proverbs 31:25: “She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue.” I know I can definitely work on that too! With those verses, thank you for your kind and wise words, it definitely encouraged me more than you know!
I first came across GOMI a couple years ago. Some of the things they say over there are hilarious, and I get why they need this place to vent, but nevertheless, what was said in a forum about me, definitely cut. It’s no surprise to me to get ridiculed for our kid name choices (we aren’t oblivious to how unusual they are), and we were well aware of Soul Glo when we decided to name the child after Soul, Glow. And I know I have many blind spots about myself, we all do, and I have friends in real life who help me navigate those areas that need work. I’ve tried to think through the negative things said about me and examine if there’s any validity in it and if there’s something I need to change. I think there were possible truth in some things, but I think what hurt most was being said I was fake. I try as hard as possible to be as honest and candid. I have no problem sharing our messes or talking about me dropping f-bombs. I’m not a perfect mother and I’m always learning daily how to fight my natural inclination to be selfish. I want to always love serving my children, but sometimes I don’t, and just want to throw in the towel and crawl into bed until Ben gets home (yesterday was one of those days).
I’m not going to lie. There are some bloggers that make me scratch my head (maybe I’m one of those bloggers for you), and I’ve headed to GOMI to see if they make anyone else scratch their head too. I get it’s kind of a way to vent and see if your feeling are validated. After awhile though, the negativity got to me, and it didn’t make me feel great, and I’m not one to easily shrug these things off. As a blogger, I know I’m not going to please everyone, though I do struggle with wanting to, and I know not everyone’s going to like what I have to say. It really is such a battle of the heart for me, but for me, it’s better for me to not fill my self with it. I feel much better when I don’t indulge in reading the negative banter, even if it isn’t about me. Plus, kindness is magic, right?!
I have very much appreciated when readers have emailed me to voice their concern of how I might have come across in a certain post, or have kindly left a comment disagreeing (or questioning) something I do in the comments. It doesn’t feel great at first because criticism is always hard to swallow, but after rereading it and they way they said it , made me realize that they really just care. I’ve also received sarcastic comments, and those are especially hard because I don’t get the point (did they just want to put me down for fun?!) I’m well aware that this is just part of the nature of blogging, so I don’t expect it to go away, and if I didn’t like it and can’t take it, then I should just get off the internets.
So far though, I’m not going anywhere. I love blogging. I love the creative outlet. I like thinking of projects and things to share and it’s all things I would be doing anyway if I didn’t have a blog. We would still have our garden, I’d still be sewing, the girls and I would still be crafting, there would still be cooking, and our life would basically still be the same. I probably wouldn’t be taking step by step pictures, but there would definitely still be a lot of picture taking because I love capturing moments. Additionally, I have loved all the sharing that goes on, I love watching Rachel use her mad power tools skills, I love watching Katie’s bus to home transformation, and I love how Danni grows her business, or how Merilee keeps coming up with the cutest paper crafts! We all learn so much from each other and I’m thankful for that. Creative opportunities (can’t wait to share more about them!) have come my way that wouldn’t have happened had I not being blogging.
There’s so much good from it, and they definitely out weigh the bad, so I’m going to keep trekking on. I just wanted to share my thoughts on it because it has made me a little bit of afraid and I don’t want to be. I don’t want to be paralyzed by what others think of me and it’s something I continuously have to battle. Blogging tends to be a place where we want to garner the praise and affirmation of others, but with this platform, we will undoubtedly also draw the insults and critical eye of others too. I have to be able to take both.
Jessica at House Inhabit also made a good blog post of how mommy blogging has changed. I never knew exactly where I fit in because I started my blog when I started my etsy shop and wanted to jump into the community of crafters, so it was about crafts and vintage hunting, but somewhere it also became about my life with my kids, so I guess I’m a mommy blogger? After a few years, opportunities came and I’ve been able to collaborate with bigger companies. I’m thankful for the opportunities. It’s not something Ben can quit his day job for, but nevertheless, I’m thankful. I say yes to some things, and I say no to some others. Yes, I am a blogger who does sponsored posts on occasion, but I try to keep it real. I know not everyone may agree with sponsored posts, but again, I can’t please everyone.
Even now, I’m nervous to press “publish.” I know some will just think this comes with the territory of blogging, so I need to suck it up, which is true, and others may empathize with my feelings. I do enjoy thinking of projects and recipes and sharing it, I really just love being able to do creative projects. I love that I do get to stay home and work on these projects for and with my girls, and I’m thankful that it some thing that I sometimes get paid for. In the end though, I really just try to enjoy God through all of it. I know it may not make sense to some of you (and might sound ridiculous), but it’s understanding how my trust in God plays a role in every aspect of my life. I’m not perfect at all, so all my imperfections just teaches me to depend on God more.wood garden beds were taken apart to make room for some heavy duty corten steel beds. We’re having to do some switching around because some of our trees weren’t doing too good in the soil (gardening is all about live and learn I guess!), so we are raising them up to go into beds. We’ve had a specialist from Dave Wilson’s Nursery come out and he said that would be the best solution to get them thriving again. Some were doing good, but some were doing bad.
After much debate, and maybe disagreements, we decided to go with Cor-ten steel beds. Since we’re putting in trees in and wanted a container that will last a long, long, long time, this is what we opted for. After we took apart the wooden beds, we could already see a lot of deterioration on parts of the wood, so we knew going this route would be the best option for what we’re planning. We like the industrial metal look (as can be seen be the amount of metal furniture we have in our home and our use of steel I-beams in our backyard), and the rust that forms on Cor-ten steel serves as a protective coating around the core which, ironically, dramatically slows the rate of future corrosion. The other name of this type of steel is called weathering steel.
I wish we can say we DIY-ed this ourselves, but nope, we didn’t. Our neighbors who could clearly peep into our backyard from their second floor probably think we’re crazy for the different things we put in our yard. It looks just like big giant metal boxes now, but it will look so cool once we get everything in! At least I think (and hope) it will. I’ve pinned many corten steel garden beds in my garden board and I always love the look of it, so I’m sure I will love the look of it in our yard too.
You have to have a lot of patience when dealing with creating a garden because it’s not like all these plants and things happen instantaneously (though it would be nice if with a snap of my fingers to suddenly have what I envision in my head). There is so much planning, investing, and learning (and mistakes!) involved. I’ll continue to share updates on the garden and how the Cor-ten steel beds work for us!
about 2 servings
2 carrots, julienned
1/2 a large onion, thinly sliced
1 – 2 jalapeños (we did 5 serranos)
1 can mackerel
2 green onions, cut about an inch long
1/2 to 1 cup of water
1 tsp garlic minced
1 tsp korean red pepper paste (and extra on the side to add later)
1 – 2 tsp soy sauce (I used 2 tsp)
1 tbsp korean red chili flakes
1 pack of enoki mushrooms
Sprinkle of black pepper
Sesame (perilla) leaves (about 6 – 10 per person depending on leaf size)
Side of brown rice
In a small bowl, mix the garlic, chili flakes, soy sauce, chili paste, with a half of cup of water, and set aside the chili mixture.
Heat up 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large pan, give the oil a minute to heat up, then add the carrots and gently sauté. Spread carrots out along the bottom of the pan and proceed to place thinly sliced onions on top, then the jalapeños. Add in the canned mackerel (water from can and all), then pour the chili mixture over the fish, sprinkle some black pepper, and add the green onions on top. Cover with the lid and bring to a boil, then proceed to lower the heat to simmer. It only takes approximately 10 mins to cook. During the last two minutes of cooking, add the enoki mushrooms on top, spoon one of that broth on top, and put the lid back on.
Once done, taste the broth, if it’s too salty, add some more water, or if its too bland, season with the soy sauce. Canned fish is a bit higher in sodium so the extra soy sauce is probably best left out. I wanted more spice, so I sprinkled 1 extra tablespoon of Korean chili pepper flakes on top when I added the mushrooms.
To eat, get your sesame leaf (or can use steamed cabbage leaf), place a little bit brown rice on top, add on a piece of fish and some of that delicious carrots, onions, and jalapeños, add a dollop of chili paste, and devour!church family gathers, so after Sunday we go grocery shopping with the BFF (and her husband) and we stock up on so many yummy things. The BFF’s mama is an amazing cook, and we’re blessed she taught her daughter, who teaches us. We have a lot of the staple ingredients, so we can make a variety of different dishes from them.
If you’re iffy on the whole canned fish thing, we were a little nervous ourselves, it turned out fine (for us) and not fishy at all. Mackerel is a good fish for you, but it also could be quite expensive, so it was an affordable way to eat it. The meal was easy to make, as well as being delicious and nutritious, so for sure we’d make it again and I’d recommend for you to try it! I’m sure you could even make it with just vegetables, leaving the meat out, if you want to go a vegetarian route with it. It’s the chili mixture and broth that makes this really so tasty. My girls really loved it too! I made two batches, one with loads of spice and one omitting the jalapeños and red peppers. I love that my kids are (usually) willing to try new dishes! We tell them they have to try it first before saying no.BFF and her mom.
3″ birch pillar (bought from Michael’s Craft Store)
3/4″ drill bit (or whatever is the circumference of the candle you choose to use)
3 candle sticks
1. Choose the placement of your 3 candles. Mark its location by drawing around the base of the candle.
2. Drill your 3 marked holes about 3/4″ deep. Again, I just mark everything off and hand it to the husband to do, but if you’re power tool savvy, go for it!
3. Insert your candlesticks into the holes and set up your candlelight somewhere so you can enjoy a beautiful evening. photo display project. I love that 2 different and relatively easy projects can come from this one item. I like the easy switcharoo and I like having options. display photos or as a candle holder? Or just do both projects, since they are both so simple, and switch them out whenever you would like!