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A Peek Into Our Life This Past Week

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Welcome to my weekly post where we take a break from money-related posts and I share about what I’m loving right now and give you a little peek into our life from the past week.

After a very long and full week, I came home from church last week and Jesse said, “Why don’t you just stay home and rest the rest of the day?”

“But I really should go and do those other things I’m supposed to do today!” I responded. He looked at me gently and said, “You need to give yourself some grace.”

You guys. I preach giving yourself grace and I believe in the concept, but when it comes to actually walking it out for myself, I struggle. My Type A/driving personality often tries to convince me I don’t have time to slow down or I feel guilt over letting go or saying no to people.

I’ve gotten better over the past few years, but I still have a long way to go.

“Be excessively gentle with yourself.” I heard @emilypfreeman say this quote on the The Next Right Thing podcast and it hit me square in the forehead. I am usually gracious and gentle with others, but I often heap all sorts of guilt on myself.

I’ve been mulling over this quote, thinking of how gracious and gentle my Heavenly Father is with me and how often I forget that He wants me to stop striving and pushing and trying so hard and just rest in Him.

What would it look like to be excessively gentle with yourself? That’s the question I’m pondering today.

Quill is getting SO big! Kaitlynn has done an amazing job of taking care of him! I told the kids they could get a pet as soon as they could take care of it (and I wasn’t allergic to it — which ruled out most pets, unfortunately). Well, they have taken that to heart because I have done literally nothing to care for Quill other than just to get to enjoy him!

This Past Week Was a Doozy

We’re almost to the Christmas lull that we get to enjoy every year mid-December through the end of December — when the internet is really quiet and I get to just step back and savor the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds of Christmas. The fact that my job slows down to an almost-halt midway through December is one of the BEST parts of the holiday and something I look forward to every single year!

But before we can get to that lull, it’s usually a little on the crazy side — and this past week was a doozy! And most of it wasn’t business related, but it WAS stuff we needed to or wanted to get done before the end of the year!

Here’s the rundown:

  • We signed a contract on a new house (!!).
  • We went through the application process for both girls to start at new schools in January (long story — we have a real peace about it even though, if everything works out, it will mean all three kids will be in different schools!)
  • It was Silas’ Presentation Week at school and Kathrynne had half of her mid-terms.
  • I also underwent skin patch testing for my recent severe eczema outbreaks — and that involved multiple doctor’s visits, wearing patches of 80 chemicals on my back, and not being able take a shower for 5 days… oh and dealing with a nasty, itchy outbreak on my back. But I’m SO grateful I did it because we got some very definitive results from it that I think are going to make a difference — after over 30 years of suffering from eczema!
  • We launched a new blogging course — Branding Basics 101.
  • And to top it off, we all came down with colds and I got really sick with a fever and have been in bed most of the day. (I think my body was just d-o-n-e.) Some weeks, you just do the best you can do… and you hold on and make it through!

Guess what? I ended up having a rare completely free weekend and I got to spend it just chilling with my people and watching some movies and shows, as well as reading good books. It was bliss!

What I’m Reading, Watching, & Listening To

Jesse and I got fully caught up on This is Us this week — only to discover we should have spread things out more because the next episode doesn’t come out until January 2. 🙁 Needless to say, we’re really enjoying this show and how it portrays real-life, real struggles, raw and honest conversations about the hard stuff, and the beauty of family.

We’re almost finished with watching all of the Gilmore Girls episodes. I’d say that we’re committed now so we want to make it to the end, but we’re not really enjoying the final season as much.

And we also got caught up on episodes of Designated Survivor this week — a show that we really love!

I enjoyed listening to Cultivating the Lovely podcast episode #44 with Kat Lee this week and also The Simple Show episode #105 on What’s Saving My Life.

And I read Loving My Actual Christmas and Hope Prevails. Neither were knock-out books, but both had some good reminders/encouragement in them that I gleaned from.

Links You Should Check Out

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  • Christina Maragh says:

    Please share a post about the kids school story when you get a chance! Love how quill is growing 😃

  • Rachel Ashby says:

    Please tell us about the good books you read and good movies you watched. Your recommendations are always good!

    • See the section right below that part on what I’m listening to and watching and reading for more details on what I watched and read.

      And I feel like I’ve been in sort of a book lull recently — where I haven’t found many great, amazing, or must-read books. Hopefully I’ll be changing that trend soon! 🙂 Maybe it’s because I really worked hard to *mostly* read books I already own this year and I’m feeling like I’m getting down to the bottom of the book barrel — which seems surprising that I could ever do, but it’s true. If anyone has amazing or must-read recommendations, send them my way!

  • Denise says:

    The last season of Gilmore Girls wasn’t directed by the same people 🙁 and it really ruined it. Still worth watching but don’t expect as much!

  • Quill is the cutest thing ever. 😀 I show my kids his picture all the time.

  • Shu-Hsin Bredthauer says:

    Thank you for sharing your eczema experiences! I had a really severe outbreak recently and had to take the oral steroid to calm it down. My doctor also recommended the patch testing. I would love to know if you thought the patch testing was helpful. I’ve trying to follow your suggestions of drinking more water, cutting out sweets, and more sleep… not perfectly though. I am praying that you can find relief to your skin… I know how debilitating it is. 😔

    • For me personally, the patch testing was super helpful and I’m so glad that I did it. I discovered that I’ve developed a severe allergy to nickel/nickel sulfate. We believe that I’ve always been somewhat allergic to nickel, but it’s become really severe in the last 3-4 months for some reason. And I was using a few different products daily that contained it. We’re hoping that by switching over to safe products, I’ll be able to avoid future severe outbreaks!

      By the way, it was exclusively on my hands and face — which is why they were sure it was contact dermatitis that I was getting from some product(s) I was using. If yours is not in places that are getting a lot of contact with chemicals or products or even all-natural things (some people are really allergic to coconut oil or herbs or beeswax!), then it could be something else. Many people suggest looking into restoring your gut health, too, which is something I spent the last year or two working on, as well, and is one reason why my overall allergies are doing SO much better and I’m able to no longer be on meds for those!

      I’m so sorry that you’re going through this. Skin issues are really hard — especially when you can’t figure out what’s causing them!

      • Shu-Hsin Bredthauer says:

        Thank you for the thorough response! Mine is especially severe on my face… the rest of my body is pretty well regulated at the moment. I have thought of my gut health too, but just haven’t gotten disciplined enough to pursue that… 🙁 I really appreciated you sharing about your patch testing results… I will be looking into that with my dermatologists. 🙂

      • CT Mom says:

        I had similar issues with nickel. My dematologist put me on a nickel free diet. I was SHOCKED how much food has nickel in it …

  • Victoria says:

    Wow! You guys went through Gilmore Girls quick! My teen and I are just a few episodes from the end (but we took just over a year to get there). I agree the last season just isn’t as good–which is why I thinking it is taking longer to finish it.

    I hope you feel better this week!

  • Tammy C says:

    The last season had different writers .The Palladinos could not come to an agreement with the studio so when their contract came to an end they left the show but did come back for the revival.

    Look forward to see how the new schools work out for the girls.

    • I read that in her book and was bummed to hear that. I’m really curious to watch the new Year in the Life show! But I’m hearing that a lot of people didn’t like it and found it to be a letdown. But maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised!

  • Kate says:

    You have to watch the Gilmore 4 part Netflix series, “A Year in the Life” once you are done. It is awesome and directed by Team Sherman-Paladino (the original team). The show ends just as Amy Sherman-Paladino always envisioned it would and it is fabulous!

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