A Corgi Called Gimli

This is our 11 week old Corgi affectionately called Gimli. We considered adopting a dog for some time now, more so in the past couple of months. Once we found this fluffy, little pup who could only hold one ear up, we knew he was meant to be ours. He is soft and and sweet and relatively silent.

corgiWe’ve had Gimli for just about 2 weeks, and he’s slowly but surely settling in. For now he sleeps throughout the day and overnight in his crate, but when he’s up… he is UP. The Corgi breed are herding dogs. Despite their short stature, they are highly intelligent and require lots of exercise and play. He loves to cuddle, as well as chew toys, blankets, furniture, clothes, rocks, sticks, grass, bugs, food, and anything else under the sun. He is friendly with everyone he meets and other animals.

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Gimli follows some basic commands and is getting used to his leash, but he also chooses when to listen to us. If we don’t keep a watchful eye, he gets into trouble and makes a mess. Look at that face! Yesterday, I had a rough morning trying to manage Gimli’s behavior while attempting to get work done. It was like he forgot everything he learned already, and was becoming a totally different dog. I ended up taking him to a trainer for a consultation that afternoon because of how frustrated I was.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

I learned some tips for how to engage with him, and she affirmed that he is a good puppy and well ahead of other dogs. With a young dog, it’s important to keep his experiences positive and focus on rewarding milestones. They don’t know anything about human life, and only have their instincts to rely on. It’s going to be a process for us and him, learning to live together and enjoy each other’s company. He already has brought us so much joy and companionship and a daily reminder of our need for grace! Patience and forgiveness are virtues necessary with pets or other people.

Vegetable Garden & Herbs

Most of our usable land is shaded by tall trees, so I’ve resorted to creating a garden on our wraparound deck. I have a raised planter and a garden bed. It’s been about 2 months since I planted the seedlings, almost all of them are organic Bonnie Plants in organic potting mix, not soil, to help with drainage.

herbsBasil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and parsley, as well as mint in it’s only pot since it doesn’t do well with other herbs.

veggies

Tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. Honestly, I had no idea how much these plants would grow. In the future, I would keep them all separate or in the ground. Tomatoes are fine for this bed, but the cucumber climbs like crazy and the zucchini needs more room to spread.patiopickers

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Sweet Million Cherry Tomatoestomatoes

goldenhourcherrytomatoesgoldenhour1Better Boy Tomatoes

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Zucchinizuc

John 15:5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Apparently it rained while we were away in Michigan last weekend. My herb planter was totally flooded, so I’m a bit anxious if they’ll survive. We also had a huge storm pass through today, too. I just LOVE the scent of these tomato plants, though, maybe more than the produce itself. So in awe of how these plants are growing with little effort on my part.

Getting Fit

fitbit

It’s been one month since I purchased the FitBit Charge 2. Honestly, I would not have gotten it if my company didn’t create a program around fitness and offer an incentive for employees to get involved (basically paid for half the price). However, I have to admit now that I love it!

I’m actually getting up and moving throughout the day when I used to be completely fine laying around. Unfortunately, that’s not an exaggeration. Working from home is an amazing benefit. You have flexibility and get to work around a schedule that fits your life while saving time and money on commuting. That flexibility can also sometimes look like a laptop literally on your lap while sprawled out on the couch. It’s so important to take a break from sitting at your computer whether at home or at the office. The tracker will send notifications with challenges to get up and move if it’s been too long. I love doing laps around our neighborhood, soaking up the sun and fresh air. It’s been awesome to track my exercise, heart rate, food/water, sleep, etc. The FitBit syncs right to the app on your smart phone and is super easy to use… as long as you remember to wear it and keep it charged. Another cool thing is that it’ll buzz when your phone receives a call or text message. This is an added bonus for those of you who keep your phone on silent 93% of the time or in a bag like I do.

3 John 1:2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.

neighborhood

I still have to figure out all of the features, but I totally encourage you to get one (wait for a sale/discount or the next holiday). Some people say it’s not worth it, it’s a “glorified pedometer”, but I can tell you that I am absolutely more aware about my health and well-being and making a conscious effort to be active vs. when I did not own one.

Join the FitFam!

Are you sure those aren’t poisonous?

A good portion of our acreage is this untouched overgrowth (eek). We have been trying to wrap our minds around some form of landscaping. Big ideas also require big budgets and big effort.

bushes

We see these tiny, red specks popping up everywhere. My husband, being from out here in the ‘country’ and more of a risk-taker, had no hesitation climbing right up to the bushes (I’d rather be prepared against things such as poison ivy and ticks).

A closer look revealed several wild black raspberry and wineberry (I had never heard of those before) bushes surrounding our little home! I won’t lie, my first response was… “Are you sure?” “You’re sure those are safe to eat?” “Are you sure those aren’t poisonous?” “How do you know they aren’t poison?”berries

He was sure, and I was delighted when he came back inside with a pile of juicy black raspberries! I’m more familiar with typical blackberries and don’t know if I’ve had a black raspberry before. They’re sweet little morsels and such a yummy treat on a summer day.

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James 5:7-8 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

A neighbor stopped to chat while walking his dog and admitted he’s picked the berries in the years no one lived here. I laughed and told him he can still do that for being an honest man, and there will definitely be plenty more. Now that I know what they are, I am waiting to get out there and pick some myself as they ripen. I am so looking forward to eating these raspberries sitting in what will be our patio. I cannot avoid feeling grateful for such a blessing we have been given to enjoy and share with others in the midst of all the wild brush.

 

 

Welcome to Willow Creek Cottage

oursWe weren’t planning on buying a house. Only three months had passed since our wedding when we decided to casually check out some houses, and ended up putting in an offer. We went in low and were beat by another couple. Cue a big, fat reality check. You would think that we would reconsider buying, but now we wanted to find our first home. We had already envisioned our future Christmas mornings and elaborate renovations of making a house our own scribbled on napkins and scraps of paper. By mid-October, we found a traditional Cape with a ton of potential in our top location, only to have the deal fall through weeks before closing due to the appraisal.

peonyThe stress and emotions between negotiations, paperwork, the winter season, full-time jobs, and money lost on the process got the best of us. We had no idea what we were getting ourselves into at this point. With the added pressure of a lease renewal and stalking the MLS and Zillow 24/7, my husband sent me a listing of a house I had already seen and added to Trash weeks ago. The moment we heard the seller was going to pull the house off the market the day they received our offer, we knew this was providential. I’ll save you all the drama that followed (i.e. do NOT switch jobs when applying for a loan) and fast forward to the happy ending. That modern Saltbox nestled in a patch of woods at the bottom of a big hill is ours. I never could have imagined this. I’m a Jersey girl with an affection for vintage style. I don’t understand streets without streetlights or sides without sidewalks or neighborhoods without neighbors close enough that you basically live in each other’s homes.

Hosea 6:3 “Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord; His going out is sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.”

bleedinghearts

The weekend before we closed on the house in March, a snowstorm came through and had us on our knees praying everything would finally work out. I totally get why the real estate market dips through winter. My husband was also away for the whole first week of our home ownership! But, the snow started melting, the air got warmer, and soon enough green was bursting everywhere. I’m still in awe that we actually did it. We are three months passed our move-in day, and feeling pretty settled.

fawn

We’ve had some funny moments (i.e. do NOT keep a lawnmower in your basement) and some frustrating moments (i.e. so. many. bugs.) and some real, sweet moments (i.e. watching a mama deer with her fawn from our back deck). I love stepping outside, hearing the small creek flowing, and seeing, smelling, discovering new things on our little piece of land in this big world.

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Into The Wild

“I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” – Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

In the past 5 years, I have encountered a new state, a new life, a new faith, a new marriage, a new job, a new house, and now a new blog.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Throughout it all, there has been trial and there has been abundant joy. My joy is found in good conversation, in my kitchen, and in Christ. My hope is to share it with the world!

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