This past week has been full of outdoor adventures: Running barefoot through the grass or squealing as we dart through the sprinkler. I lather Rebekah and I with sunscreen every day. We both have very fair skin. And if she is anything like me, the sun will blister her skin long before she ever tans. This Badger Balm Kids Face Stick SPF 35 – Tangerine and Vanilla works great and smells amazing. Though it is a bit hard to rub in. I worried about finding summer sunscreen that would not irritate Rebekah’s sensitive skin. Fortunately, this face stick hasn’t caused a single issue. It helps that it is natural and mostly organic. No sunburns for us–as long as I remember to put it on! (Affiliate link.).
We waited out a couple heat advisories indoors by reading, playing, and trying easy DIY ideas for play dough and finger paints. My Pinterest boards are brimming with ideas–so it was time to start testing them. Rebekah found the play dough intriguing, but the finger paints were a hit. And easy to make.
I carried my camera around with us during our outside adventures. I can’t wait to share more pictures with you in coming weeks. However, I don’t want to be the annoying camera lady. And I really don’t want to miss out on engaging life because I think I need to document it. So I am limiting myself. It helps that my phone storage is always full, and I rarely want to tote along my camera. However, I find that I love capturing life behind a camera lens. Even the most mundane can become beautiful.
Speaking of mundane, I didn’t appreciate sedum until I photographed it. My mother-in-law always sent us pictures of their sedum around my husband’s birthday. She claimed it fully blooms during his birthday week. To be honest, I always thought it a dull plant. It did not have the flashy blooms of other flowers. So when I discovered several sedum plants at our new house, I thought, At least we will have something blooming in the early autumn. But, oh how I underestimated this sweet plant. Watching it transition–ever so slowly changing colors–is now a daily joy.
I think we miss a lot of beauty residing in the details of life because we don’t slow down and take a closer look.
When I need to slow down and relax, but my hands crave activity, I crochet. I am hoping to finish crocheting two receiving blankets together for my cousin’s new son. It takes awhile to punch through holes using the blanket stitch. But the border always goes fast.
My dear friend Kelly embroidered sweet Benjamin’s name on the blanket with her sewing machine. When Rebekah was born, a woman in Phoenix surprised us with her name embroidered on receiving blankets. I remember being so touched and thinking how beautiful it was to have something with her name on it. I was touched by this thoughtful gesture. When I give a gift, I try to put a personal touch to it because I know how far that can go.
God is faithfully teaching me value of friendship and community. Embracing new relationships can feel taxing. But I treasure the gift of friendship. It is worth the work. There are few things so wonderful as a good conversation with a friend. And even though I may not be the most extroverted, I can’t imagine life without human connection. And God has opened so many doors for Mitch and I to grow friendships at our church, in our neighborhood, with old friends, and within our community.
I think one of the challenges of community and growing friendships is overcoming differences. Whether that means personality, ethnicity, faith, or something else, learning to connect is a challenge worth taking. Reading Brown Girl Dreaming with Woodson speaking memories spoken through free verse and vivid imagery reminds me how important it is to listen and learn about the experiences of others. Too often we assume things that simply are not true, or are unfair. Too often we make these assumptions based on appearances and stereotypes.
I am mere pages away from finishing this book. Since it is written in free verse it is a quick read. Each chapter is only a page or two. So I keep thinking, One more chapter and I will stop. But you can’t read just one . . .
As always, check out Ginny’s Yarn Along posts for more ideas!
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