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It’s my goal to take more pictures of the ordinary moments. For it is all of the ordinary moments that make our lives so special.

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#145 – baby girl taking off by herself for the first time

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#147 – worn gold glitter shoes

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#148 – a (fleeting) moment of sharing

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#149 – his new interest in playing the piano

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#150 – pinky promises

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I hope you have a wonderful week!

Put a camera in my hand outdoors and give me some spare time, and I’m in my happy place. Back in college when I was learning to develop film and prints in the darkroom, I could honestly stay in there for hours on end, and it would feel like 10 minutes to me. I don’t develop film or prints anymore, but being in nature is the same as being in that darkroom. I love every second. To look at the seemingly ordinary through my lens and see the extraordinary, that only a magnificent God could create, fills my heart with joy.

new buds of Spring

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Being the most vibrant purple, perfectly swirled, ready to open its petals.

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I had no idea that the moldy looking stuff growing on some limbs and trees was called lichen, or that it looked hairy. I learned something new!

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I wish I had red bud trees in my yard.

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I believe that God made nature in all of its different variety and colors purely for our enjoyment. How often do we take the time to notice?

“Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning

 

These are the best chocolate chip cookies. They’re so good, I’m a little hesitant to share the recipe with you.
I mean, I think I could seriously open a cookie store and make millions. Millions!!
I came across this recipe a couple of years ago, and it’s the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I’ve made since!

The BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies
The absolute best chocolate chip cookie served best warm from the oven!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  2. 1/4 C sugar
  3. 3/4 C packed brown sugar
  4. 1 egg
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. 6 oz all-purpose flour
  7. 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  8. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  9. 3/4 tsp baking powder
  10. 1 12oz bag of semi-sweet Ghirardelli chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream butter, sugar, and brown sugar until smooth, approximately 3-minutes with stand mixer.
  3. Add egg and vanilla and beat for an additional 2 minutes.
  4. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour until the batter is fully incorporated.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and mix until well distributed.
  6. Drop about 2 Tbl of dough per cookie on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges are just starting to brown and the center is still soft.
  8. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool for a few more minutes.
  9. These cookies are the absolute best when they are warm from the oven!
Notes
  1. This recipe can easily be doubled to make a bigger batch.
the Sparrow's Nest http://sparrowsnestblog.com/

 

If you have a kitchen scale, it’s best to weigh the flour.

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I usually bake mine for 13-14 minutes, but every oven is different! When you pull them out, they should look very soft in the center and just slightly brown around the edges. They’ll continue to cook for a couple of minutes on the cookie sheet.

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Yum yum yum. There’s chocolate in every bite!

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If you have a favorite recipe you’d like for me to feature, let me know me through the Contact link in the menu. I’d love to hear from you!

“We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.” – Psalm 39:6

Busy rushing pretty much sums up my life. And my attitude towards life. Hurry up! This has to be done now! I’m a girl that likes a schedule and will always choose to rush to be early than to be late.

A couple of months ago, I read Ann Voskamp’s ‘One Thousand Gifts’. I highly recommend that you read it, if you haven’t already. She says, “I can’t think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But tens of thousands broken and missed things lie in the wake of all the rushing. I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away….. Hurry always empties a soul.” Wow. Hurry always empties a soul. That’s powerful.

In her book, she explains why she started to make a list of all of the things she was thankful for and her goal was to list one thousand gifts. The gifts of grace that God blesses each day.

I started my own journal of thanks. When we stop to give thanks for the little moments, that otherwise go unnoticed, we start to realize that God is IN every moment. And every moment is a blessing from all of His grace. When I focus on His moments of grace, I am overflowed with joy.

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#139 – his love for reading

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140 – white irises growing in my front yard

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The one below looks as if it’s dancing, with arm bent over,  like a ballerina.

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141 – discovering the sweet smell of an iris

142 – hearing the song ‘Iris’ on Pandora as I walked inside from taking pictures of the irises in the front yard!
The song ‘Iris’ by the Goo Goo Dolls is me and my husband’s song from when we were dating
This was God just showing off 😉

143 – him reading an entire book in one day

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144 – her joy at checking the mail

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It’s officially Spring! I am. so. over. the bitter cold winter we’ve had this year. I went into the attic the other day to pull out my Spring wreath to put on the front door. I set it on the front porch and went back inside to find the wreath hanger… I couldn’t find the hanger, got sidetracked and forgot I had left my wreath outside. The next day, I realized the dog destroyed it. As in, there was no trace of it left anywhere in the yard. So, I set out to make a new wreath. Lucky for me, Hobby Lobby had their flower stems on sale, and lucky for you, I get to show you how I made it!

Decide what size wreath you want to make, get a bag of Spanish moss, and choose the flowers you want to use. If you go to Hobby Lobby, it’s worth waiting until they’re on sale. Some of the larger flowers can be around $8 or so.

supplies

You’ll start off by covering the front of the wreath with the moss. Just pull a little moss out at a time, and hot glue it to the front of the wreath.

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You don’t need a lot of glue. The moss already kind of strings together, so a little glue works fine just to hold it in place.

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Once you have your moss down, it’s time to put in the flowers. For the smaller stems, you can just break those apart with your hands.

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You’re pulling the stem of the flower off from the main longer stem. For these smaller stems, you can just stick them through the wreath, and they will stay in place.

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Now for the larger stems, you’ll need to cut around the plastic coating to expose the metal wire inside. Just bend the stem back and forth at the wire, and it will snap in half.

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For these larger stems, I will add some hot glue to the end of the stem before sticking it through the wreath. I also added some hot glue to the backs of the leaves to hold it in place better. My kids come in and out of the house a lot, and slam the door a lot, and I don’t want my flowers falling off!

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Note how messy the moss can be. I highly recommend doing this project outside!

Once you have all of the flowers in place, you can go back and add hot glue to secure some of the flowers together or to the moss. I also added more moss around the sides of the wreath.

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I love the finished look! Now I saw a pre-made wreath for sale at Hobby Lobby for…. wait for it….. $130. I kid you not. I even said out loud in the store, “One hundred and thirty dollars?!??” Crazy.

You can easily make one yourself! This wreath cost me about $30 and 20 minutes of my time.

If you liked this tutorial or want to share with a friend, please click the social icons below!

If you have a DIY project you’d like for me to feature on the blog, use the Contact form in the menu above. I’d love to hear about it!