My Happiness Project

New year, new beginning.

I am a person who gets completely inspired by planning ahead, but I tend to get overwhelmed by the reality of actually executing all my goals. I make resolutions and break them. I agree to things I regret when the time comes to follow through. Sometimes I give myself a goal in the middle of the week, only to forget by the time Sunday rolls around.

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Reading Challenge Update 2018

You guys. I can hardly believe that 2018 is almost over! It’s almost time to start the reading challenge of 2019!

Which also means it’s a good time to share my progress on my 2018 reading challenge. Doing a reading challenge has been very beneficial to me, and I hope you are challenging yourself to read more and different books, just like I did with the 2018 challenge. Just to refresh your memory, the challenge was to read 26 books, which is a rate of finishing a book every two weeks.

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Baby Violet

She’s here, she’s here, she’s here!

Introducing my lovely little daughter, Violet. She started out a tiny little squirt, despite arriving nearly two weeks late! You will have to pardon my delay in posting (she is nearly 3 weeks old now!), but life with three kiddos has been beautifully exhausting.

I am still right in the thick of that twilight zone where I can’t remember when I last took a shower…but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t today. Between nursing constantly, homeschooling a kindergartner part-time, and spending the rest of the hours reading to a contrary preschooler, my days have been very full!

Violet is a bright spot of sunshine for us. She smiles constantly in her sleep (and is beginning to smile when awake, be still my heart!), adores staring at our black-and-white striped curtains, and is perfectly willing to let her older siblings hold her hand. We love her dearly and can’t wait to see how her sweet personality develops as she grows!

photo credit: Photography by Karen Brown

We love, you, Violet!

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Books I’ve Read in 2018, Part 1

Hello, friends. It sure has been a while since I’ve written here, but I hope you’ll extend some grace to me! I found out on New Year’s Day that I am expecting a new little one, and wow has she been requiring all of my energy! (And so have my other two tots. All the energy and more patience than I have had to spare. Say a prayer for me, friends!)

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The Thief

“The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy. I have come that [you] might have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Sometimes, a thief comes to steal my joy. But he does it reeeeal sneaky-like. It sounds a little bit like this:

“You’re on vacation! Live your life on vacation ‘to the full’! Maybe instead of dessert, you could enjoy another glass of wine.”

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Books I Read in 2017, Part 2

In 2017, I started out the year thinking I should spend more time reading than watching TV, and I cautiously hoped to read 30 books in the course of the year.

At the halfway mark, I had already read 22 books (thanks to the help of Audible, which definitely did some of the heavy lifting for me!). By the end of the year, the count was up to 52 books (woo! kicked it up a notch)! Additionally, I started read-alouds with my kiddos in the second half of 2017, and we read 6 chapter books aloud together as well as 2 books of poems. I will always cherish that time cuddling next to them on the couch and sharing the gift of story.

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Jake’s Birthday Costume Party

How in the world did my son turn 5? It’s not like the days or years have felt short; I honestly can’t even remember (because it seems so long ago) what my life was before this kid made me a mom. It’s just that I remember so clearly thinking he would be small forever. That his little hands and his little feet would always be doll-size. That 2-year-olds seemed as big as monsters.

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Savored Grace

I am pleased to announce that Smells Like Brownies is moving to a new home! (In fact, it has already moved!)

Welcome to Savored Grace.

JOHN1.16

When I concluded that the name Smells Like Brownies had run its course, I almost simultaneously gulped with fear.

Do you know how hard it is to name a blog?

It’s really hard.

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Books I’m Reading in 2017, Part 1

2017 Books Part 1

My mom had so many pearls of wisdom for me when I was a kid. Most of the time, I probably rolled my eyes at her when she would repeat one of her classic phrases, but as an adult, some things resonate more clearly. Like this:

Garbage in, garbage out.

Luke even affirms this for us: “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart…for out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.” (Luke 6:45)

With this in mind, I set a goal to read more books than I watch TV this year. *gasp!*

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