The Rythms of Life





Today not only marks the last day of January, but also my intention of getting back into the rhythm of life and this ole blog. I can feel the desire to write here reawakened and have my posting calendar marked out for the year. I will be posting every Wednesday, because who doesn’t love a good hump day escape? I have shed the guilt of self care and defined what that looks like for me. We tackled our budget and have set new goals. Our family calendar could not have been a better decision for our family. I even took time to tackle my closet again with the tried and true Mari Kondo method as I knew that space no longer sparked joy. My need to scroll and scroll again has been broken, I have allowed myself to dream again, and have filled my head with so many inspiring reads all while intentionally moving my body in a way that works for me. This month has been dedicated to ordering my steps in a new way with hopes of not loosing myself in the shuffle of daily life. These are the days I don’t want to miss. My days are fleeting with my loves. I am sure over the next year I will have mis-steps, because life happens in big ways, but I hope the habits I am developing will be easy to come by once again. Thank you for going on this journey with me and I can’t wait to see what the rest of this year has in store for us all!

xx, Paula

An Ode to a House


Today marks three years since moving into this old fixer upper. This home has been a beautiful place to grow roots in a community we have come to love. This home has housed many fits of laughter, sickness, healing tears of joy and heartbreak. We are prayerfully navigating teenage years and learning how to grow deeper in our marriage. The front room provides sun bathed naps. The backyard has given us many s’mores nights with loved ones. Family dance parties in the kitchen are often had when the music moves. I find myself caught in the crossfire of neighborhood kids nerf gun fights that take over the whole house. We have embraced team work makes the dream work when faced with the never ending leaf supply that our glorious trees shed. We have tackled so many DIY projects we have lost count. We have painted every square inch and are slowly making this home ours. This year we have a few significant changes coming. Some due to need and some for sheer pleasure. We will forever be grateful to the previous owners who loved this home well. We still here stories of fun times had here by neighbors who once came to this house as kids. I hope we too can leave behind the same great legacy.

Now to head down memory lane…

The before - Master bedroom, kids spaces, family room & kitchen, living, dining, & powder room

Ellie’s room today & before

Kellen’s room here

Kitchen revamp on a budget, here

powder bath update here

New laundry closet, here

the dining room here

our living room although the leather chair has shifted and this one took it’s place

our family work station here

our family room here

Want to see even more of the progression, you can see them all here.

Getting Lost in the Story


Ever since I was a child I have loved to read. I would get lost in a book for hours on end. Nancy Drew may have been my favorite then, but now my tastes range a much larger spectrum. One evening when the Mr was describing a part of who we are to a group of folks he stated that he likes to work on his intellectual side and I am driven by my soul. I thought this could not describe me any better. So as I share a few of my favorites that I go back to again and again you will see a pattern of books that feed my soul. Some in a practical way, others are words to get lost and then found in, and some are just light and fun although those I normally check out from the library. The ones that have potential for me to read over and over are bought and normally underlined or highlighted throughout.

books that are worth more than one read:

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Kondo . I wrote more about how the book influenced me here, but was worth a mention again on my favorites list.

    • “To truly cherish the things that are important to you, you must first discard those that have outlived their purpose.” pg 61

  • The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Xander & Benjamin Zander. This book my husband recommended and I could not agree more. Perfect for any leader, communicator and or boss. It spurred me in ways that left me looking at how I perceive myself, how I can treat others better, and gave me a shift in my everyday perspective. It is one of the only none spiritual books I have listed, but it stirred my soul none the less.

    • “There is no such thing as bad weather,” he used to say, “only inappropriate clothing.” pg 64

  • Free Fall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons. This book was recommended to me by Trina McNeilly who we will also get to in a second. It follows Rebekah’s life when anxiety and mental health hit her hard. It’s her fall through it and I could feel myself within her words. She gave me my “me too” moment and I will forever be grateful for this book in the season I needed it most. Her second book is just as powerful, You are Free.

    • “The roller coaster returned. Just as life was looking up, the floor was dropping out from beneath me. This relapse meant something was here to stay and my will alone would not be strong enough to change it.” pg 124

  • Chasing Slow by Erin Lochner. This book put into words all the feelings I could not pull apart. I found my story tightly wound around hers as she spoke on days of blogging and what we now call influencers. I found the drive to be more intentional and the drive to step back. Her words make me want to stop and ponder.

    • “there is only today, with holes in our pockets, with time spilling out. We cannot keep it for tomorrow. We cannot mend our seams to hoard, save carry.” pg 146

  • La La Lovely by Trina McNeilly. She may have been one of my first blog friends along the way. We both had a deep love for design, home and making life beautiful. I also believe at some point we all got lost along the way. She tells a story of her own that reminds me to look for the beauty even when it seems hidden.

    • “We grow out of so much in our teens and twenties. We are herded by peers, culture, and authorities. We are told to grow up, to “be this” and to not “do that.” We are eager and willing to leave our younger selves behind, and maybe of us do it in search or a more sophisticated version of ourselves. When we do reach the ends of our thirties, we are no longer trying to grow up or out but into who we were always meant to become. And it’s here we realize that, perhaps, we are not all there. We have left who we were behind.” pg 277-278

  • Present over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Let me start by saying that EVERY single book she has put out I have devoured and her last one was just the same. She writes in such a way that you feel as if you are hearing her story directly from her over coffee. You can easily imagine her life with her kids and husband as your own and I think that is what makes her books so powerful.

    • “This isn’t about working less or more, necessarily. This isn’t about homemade or takeout, or full time or part time, or the specific ways we choose to live out our days. It’s about rejecting the myth that every day is a new opportunity to prove our worth, and about the truth that our worth is inherent, given by God, not earned by our hustling.” pg 128

  • Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Ya’ll I’m about to be real honest. I almost didn’t read this book, because of the title. It wasn’t as poetic as I normal gravitate towards and seemed like maybe it was meant for the younger generation, but here I will tell you I was so very wrong. This book is for every woman in every stage of life. I have so many good one liners that it was hard to choose one, but I think this one says so much…

    • “Friends, it’s not about the goal or the dream you have. It’s about who you become on your to that goal.” pg 69

  • Unashamed by Christine Caine. This book I could not help but read without hearing her Australian accent. It almost added to the need for me to really lean in and listen to what I was reading. This book is also tear stained. Christine has a back story that is hard, my back story if I focus too long can grieve me of moments lost. This book helped me look at it right in the face and set my grieving of a lost childhood into a space of healing and freedom to not hide my story but wear it as a success story.

    • “sometime shame can be out of sight and out of mind for days, or even years - only to sneak up from behind, knocking us off our feet.” pg 176

  • A Simplified Life by Emily Ley. This book was recommended me to by a friend when I was sharing my new journey and she said this book sounded like all that I was feeling and still putting into words. She was right. I read it on a day and am about to read it again. It is a practical guide on how to achieve that so called simplified life.

    • “Have you ever noticed how much a (perceived) lack of outfit choices affects your attitude throughout the day? Many of us have closets bursting with options, but we still feel like we have “nothing to wear.” Our wardrobes are filled with clothes that don’t fit, look too worn, require lots of ironing, or aren’t trendy anymore. So we keep on buying and stuffing our closets and finding ourselves bummed at our choices. Who wants to sort through that every morning.” pg 28

  • Becoming Mrs Lewis by Patti Callahan. I know I haven’t mentioned any so called fun reads, but this one fits into that category and I will still read it again. It’s a fictionally story, with plenty of truth intertwined, on how Joy became Mrs. C.S. Lewis. I found myself laughing out loud at times and had the hardest time putting it down. "

    • “A sense of calm so pervasive I didn’t recognize the stillness inside. It might pass - the need and fear might rise again as old and familiar comforts. But deep down, I knew the Truth now.” pg 325

Have any great books that I should put on my list this year? I love a good light read and those that speak to my soul.