November 23, 2017

A Peek into My Week of Beauty and Bedlam


Our IG month

Sweet friends – Can I call you that? Friends?

Anyone who has taken the time to faithfully hang around my corner of the blogosphere for awhile, comment here, on FB or even connect in some small ways through sharing both the beautiful moments as well as the bedlam ones, I truly see you as friends (but it’d be just a tad better to share some tea on our front porch.) 🙂

I’ve been in a creative funk over the last month or so, and I’ll have to try and process it in a post, but that accounts for the fact that I just can’t seem to turn on that computer like I should. I want to go back to the times of early blogging when I could just throw something up without having to think through all the varying “aspects” of blogging in this new era and for me, it’s just starting to happen on Instagram. I realize though that many of you aren’t on IG, so I thought I’d start doing a weekly check in here with a peek into our life.

Nothing grandiose, but just my simple, unedited musing throughout the week which line up with some of the pics. Many of these were posts from IG that you may have missed. SO, in no specific order beginning from the collage above: 

Family: We’ve had the entire family home together for the first time since June. I can’t tell you the joy it’s been to watch our kids grow in their love for each other and for this momma who has spent 20 years having them ALL around 24/7, it’s been quite the transition to only have three here now.

Porch: What a difference 18 months have made. Have you seen the “before” of “Our Porch that took 17 years to build?” The transformation is amazing. Our homestead still has lots more work, but every step is so exciting and I’m immensely grateful.

Praying that in some small way, 2015 will bring me one baby step closer towards beginning our Huckleberry Homestead Hospitality Barn (even if it’s just saving to clear the land and add the long road.) I’m dreaming big on this one, even though we don’t have the money yet.

Sidewalk: I got a bit teary watching this happen. Who would have thought that a lump of concrete as my Christmas present could be so wonderful? For the first time in 18 years (since we built our home), people will come in the front door. Friends have entered through our laundry room for nearly two decades. So much mixed joy goes into the waiting for something that most would consider such a little thing. His time table has not been mine, but it’s that much sweeter. I pray that if you are in a season of waiting, He will fill you above and beyond what you ever imagined.

Peek in a life

As I see all the people post for this year, most encourage us to put the past behind and press forward. Often, the most important thing we can do is to look back first, so then we can truly appreciate the new road before us.

Enjoying a full basketball season, which is pretty much my entire life right now with one daughter playing on the middle school team and then my two teens playing on varsity. Schedule is crazy, but I can enjoy watching our weird, unsocialized homeschoolers (although I have a bit of all kinds of schools now.) If you’ve ever asked the question about socialization you have never met our crew. They need a bit LESS socializing.

Frugal Fashionista that never got posted. Frigid NC temps led me to look at the wonderfully bright spot of my day sitting through eight hours of ball games – my mint cords and my favorite, fun, new Shine necklaces. $2 yard sale shirt with thrifted cardigan and pants from the outlet. Necklaces from Dayspring (you know I love them.)

Barn: Even though finances can stand in the way of that big dream, it doesn’t mean you stop dreaming, planning and taking baby steps towards that goal. We will have that party barn someday. 🙂

Life of beauty and bedlam

Yes, bedlam reigns and I came “clean” on New Year’s Eve (since I’m such a party animal) about my sock dilemma for all to see on instagram. Everyone started giving me suggestions, but I already had come up with an amazing solution to this problem which I’ll share later

Here was my feed from that night: On this New Year’s Eve, full of party pictures and excitement, there is a reality behind everyone’s life that they choose not to show. Mine is awfully glamourous and mismatched socks in our bedroom are the bane of my existence. When I’m done the ones that I’ve been holding onto are all getting thrown away. Finally! It will be freeing. And yes, five kid athletes have obscene amounts of socks. (And I’ll tell you that most who started giving me suggestions have never had football and basketball guys with multiple practices a day going through three pairs of socks in a day…;))

While I was pairing socks, our entire house was full of high schoolers. There’s no where I’d rather have my teens on New Years Eve then right in our home. Yes, there were a few bedlam moments, but I’ll leave that reality for a new post.

Thrifting – even though I’m supposed to be decluttering, I can’t help but pop into a few thrift and “junking”stores. Those HUGE metal letters! I LOVED them, but for the life of me couldn’t figure out where I’d use them, but they were so amazing!!

Packer Otterbox Defender Case

And now I’ll just end with a moment of silence for the big game tomorrow.

Our beloved Packers, yes, we still bleed green and gold even though we’ve been in NC for years, are playing for the NFC championship. What better way to show our allegiance than by showing off my son’s new Otterbox defender case acknowledging our favorite team.

I’ve bought so many Otterbox cases over the years. It’s the one investment that needs to occur when you have a parcel of active kids holding phone. I’ve never had a problem with my phone, even after multiple drops.

Otterbox Commuter Case

After years and years, I just updated to the iphone 6 plus. Yes, it’s pretty much my EYE-phone because they just don’t quite work like they used to. Otterbox sent me this amazing case in my favorite color. After always getting the defender series for myself, I decided it may be a bit big for this wonkin size phone so I got the commuter and it’s PERFECT!! In fact, everyone who sees it asks to hold my phone. It’s a bit odd, actually, but shows the power of its presence.

So that is my inaugural, random, peek into our week (or two).

I’d love to hear one beautiful moment of your week, as well as one of those bedlam moments we can all relate to. 🙂

>Let’s pretend we’re chatting on my front porch in the beautiful 70 degree weather. 🙂


  1. Christi {Jealous Hands} says:

    I DO follow you on IG but still love seeing updates here. Love you! xo


    Jen Reply:

    You are always such an encourager, Chrisi!! Thank you!! xoxo


  2. I follow you on IG too but the ability to write a little longer post and keep the conversation going still appeals to me. I like the depth you can get in a blog as opposed to IG. I think of IG as a happy in the middle of the day and blogs as a treat that I sometimes have to catch up on during the weekends.
    Your porch stories made me a little weepy. I never tire of the amazing ways that God provides for us. I know you never thought you would have to use your porch fund TWICE to pay for other things. But I know the provision was like water in the dessert when it was there. That sweet porch will be all the sweeter now. I know you will love lingering there and be reminded of His faithfulness to you and your family.
    My beauty this week was watching my 22 year old daughter be so very happy in a new stage of her life. It is very fun to see. I so enjoy watching my young adult children become the people they were meant to be. My bedlam was my kindergarten class this week. My, oh my, they are precious little critters but if you could tell me how to get them to stop talking, I would be forever indebted to you! I think there is a secret trap door where they hide the batteries for 5 year olds and I have yet to find it. They are precious and keep me hopping. I am so grateful for my job!!!

    You encourage so many through your blog. Take the rest you need for those creative juices to flow and we will meet on the porch again soon.


    Jen Reply:

    Thank you for your kind words and I just love hearing about your daughter’s next stage. Our eldest just turned 21, so he’s just a junior but just got the dream internship that he’s wanted for the summer. Those few they take on will be hired right out of college if nothing changes, so I understand about watching those young adults soar (even if he’s given me a few gray hairs too. 🙂

    And kindergarteners? You are a saint!!! I have nothing for you on that one. I was one of those that probably wouldn’t stop talking either. 🙂


  3. I don’t use Instagram myself but I do understand the draw of its ease and ability to pop in for a quick thought. I am always thrilled to read your blog posts though, most “savings blogs”, which is the list I found you on, just list the coupons or deals of the day, I so love that you take the time to share your life with us.

    Beautiful moment of my week was all day today, my best friend of over 35 years (we met in 1st grade) and I live on opposite sides of the state and occasionally manage to meet in the middle for lunch and shopping and today was one of those days. It was great to catch up with her!


    Jen Reply:

    Your best friend is from 1st grade? That is just wonderful!! I don’t keep in touch with anyone from that long ago. How very special!! 🙂


  4. Katherine says:

    I live in NC too, Statesville! We love it here. Our home is a double wide and it is awesome! I am able to stay home with the kiddos and homeschool so it is our dream house for sure. The weather today is so warm all the windows are open so that is pretty nice too! As for bedlam there is so much laundry with the 9 of us I feel like it will defeat me and we had a sickness last week so you can imagine but it is worth it. We also need to buy a new car seat, fix whatever is wrong with our van and our heat pump, all the kids need socks and two need new glasses, it just never stops.


  5. My friends are all so good about posting to Facebook and instagram, and I llove to watch their lives on Facebook. I started an instagram acct years ago, and immediately forgot the login and password. (Dork.) one of these days I will sit down and figure it out again.


    Jen Reply:

    I have had to reset my password for different things SO many times, but honestly, life was lived just wonderfully before Instagram so you are fine if you never remember to log in. 🙂


  6. My beauty last week has been the continued progress of potty training my toddler and watching him and my almost one year old begin to really play together. It’s so sweet watching their relationship grow.
    Something kind of funny is that yesterday we did the bulk of our grocery shopping for the week after i planned out meals. Everything was great until this morning when I realized that I really needed a cucumber for a sauce and made a special trip with my older son to get one. It was great mommy-son time. Then I got home and realized that I was right in not having that cucumber on my original shopping list, it was apple I needed for this raita. Now, to figure out something to do with that darn cucumber!


    Jen Reply:

    Stacia – that sounds like something I might do. Way to go though on getting all that meal planning done for the week (with or without the cuke. :)) Slice it up and dip those babies in ranch. 😉


  7. I’ve have followed you for years but I don’t have IG. I love your posts, especially the ones on your thrift store finds.

    We love the Packers also. Jordy Nelson is a Kansas product, he grew up about an hour away, from where we live. And he is a beloved product from our KSU Wildcats. We wish they could’ve pulled it out. Dang

    My happy from the week, is watching both our boys play basketball and baseball over the weekend. They grow up so fast, we try to soak it all in.


    Jen Reply:

    oh yes, soak away because I know some people don’t like the reminder but it does go SO fast!!! Our home is still in a state of disbelief over that game. I think we need to move on from the mourning into some therapy. haha Good thing that nothing in life really revolves around football losses. 1st world problem. 🙂


  8. Love your website! I have been following it for many years.


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