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06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

when i planted our garden in the beginning of June, i didn’t really have high expectations. i’ve never been much of a green thumb, and so i just figured things wouldn’t go as planned. luckily, it seems as though vegetables don’t really need much intervention or care about the color of my thumbs. they get watered every morning and a sprinkle of fertilizer every once and a while. i pluck weeds and bugs. i even invented a make-shift terrace:

06242011 - The Garden So Far

and, well, my veggies have done nothing but happily grow.

i love waking up in the morning and peeking out our bedroom window to the deck below to see how big our cherry tomato plant has grown in the night or how fluffy the cucumber foliage has gotten in the dark while we were all dreaming. it’s been really amazing. why haven’t i ever been brave enough to garden before?

i seriously have no idea.

anyway, my father in law built our two man raised beds and i converted two clementine boxes into little raised beds for lettuce (one container has mizuna and the other has mixed baby lettuces and three onions). all of the little plots are just set on the grass that was once our yard, coated in potting soil mix and fertilizer, and so far everything has been great. some of the plants are from a local little garden shop and the rest are from seeds i purchased here on Etsy.

i’ve got 4 cucumber plants, 4 gypsy pepper plants, one regular tomato plant, one cherry tomato plant, one japanese eggplant, and two banana pepper plants (one hot, one sweet). i’m excited to see little mini cucumbers growing and my first eggplant bulb peeking out of where a flower once was. the peppers seem to grow in inches over night. it’s amazing. wanna see?

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far

06242011 - The Garden So Far 06242011 - The Garden So Far

i’ve always wanted a garden, so this was a big step for me. it’s been a lot of fun, and i really enjoy sharing it with Elisha. he doesn’t quite understand it all yet, but he’s getting the hang of the watering can (when he’s not busy splashing himself) and he’s learned that only i should be doing the weeding. he loves to point out the peppers growing and i have a feeling he’ll get excited about big purple eggplants.

having a baby and having a garden have similar lessons about growth—sometimes, you just have to let it happen but overall you are responsible for cultivating and directing. i can’t hover over my nasturtiums and make them bud or flower. i can’t helicopter over Elisha and expect him to turn out the way i want him to. he’s already an amazing boy, and i’m here to encourage that, to lay a foundation for him that is firm under his little feet. he’s curious and eager to learn in ways i never expected, and that’s taught me a lot about myself and my expectations of parenthood.

this “growing” of a human being (other than myself) is really quite an adventure. it’s often revealing of things i don’t like about myself, but it’s also often rewarding when i can reflect on just how much Elisha has helped me grow into a better person (though albeit sometimes a sleep-deprived one).

06242011 - The Garden So Far

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2011 Calendar by GINNIP

2011 Calendar by GINNIP

I seem to have disappeared. My apologies for not being regular about my blog posting lately come wrapped in a candy shell—last week I announced to my office (my wonderful, awesome office) that I would like to pursue my own business as a self-employed freelancer. I’ve been sitting on that egg for a long time—almost 9 months, if not more. I didn’t want to wait until the new year, especially because I want to make the transition as painless as possible for both my coworkers and for myself. The moment was bittersweet, but everyone at work has been supportive. Sad, but encouraging at the same time.

I can’t complain about that, can I?

So, 2011 is going to be the start of a very big, very new, very exciting adventure for hubbs, the babe, the dog, and I.

It’s still a little scary; there are a lot of what ifs and what if nots hovering around in the back of my mind. However, I do believe it’s not only possible for me to make a living as a freelance designer and maker, but I believe it’s the best choice for our family.

I’ve wanted to work for myself as long as I’ve been a designer (that’s 10 years now, by the way), and I can say I finally reached a point where it was time to either pursue my passions or put them away and forget about them in hopes of stumbling upon new ones. I’ll admit that starting a family has changed everything for me, especially my connection to home. Going back to work in an office six weeks after Elisha was born was hard. For everyone. We’ve all managed amazingly well, I’d say, but there is still a burden for home that nags in my heart every day.

I also have felt the urge do more than just organize information as a designer; I’d like to make more visual art in the form of printmaking, cards, and other such things. I feel like I have so many ideas and so little time to express them. I’m finally making the time.

I don’t think I’ll end up disappointed.

I’m trusting that God is leading us in the right direction, that He has big plans for us and the kind of freedom that self-employment brings. I know it will mean more work, not less, but it will be a different kind of more. It will be challenging. It will be expensive. It will be a new kind of hard, a challenge that I look forward to. I want to be able to look back in another 10 years and see God’s faithfulness written all over it, too.

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dear blog,

i miss you, too. please stop making me feel guilty in the middle of the night. you and i both know things are busy right now, but that means that better things are in the works for both of us. thanks for your patience. i’ll be back soon.

xoxo,
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p.s. some of those new things include updates to my etsy shop and portfolio. stay tuned.

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random saturday-ness

this week’s we scout wednesday from scoutie girl is about passing on creativity to those who come after us. it’s rather timely, considering my little man is officially seven months old today. it’s been quite the adventure, watching more and more of his personality peek through each day, being blessed to see him become an individual with his own wants and interests, even while still a baby.

he’s already a curious, spirited boy. he’s been curious since day one, always looking, always observing. now that he’s older and more mobile, he wants to touch, to experience. he’s into everything—nothing on he floor is safe from his unhindered investigation. this can be both good and bad. he’s learning new skills, but he also has no concept of danger. he’s fallen off the bed. he’s put electrical cords in his mouth. he’s poked the dog in ways the dog didn’t like to be poked. still, as parents, it’s been our responsibility to keep him safe. to set boundaries. to put things away that might be harmful.

still, even now, we want to encourage his curiosity, to grow it.

Elisha comes from creative stock, if you will—i’m a graphic designer and the hubbs is a musician and producer. the boy has both audio and visual influences in his very genetic code. who knows where it will lead as he grows? he already likes, no loves, music. it makes him dance as much as it lulls him to sleep.

we have a responsibility to leave his path open, to let him choose the direction in life he wants to take as he grows. it will be hard to be unbiased in our education of his artistic sensibilities. what if he wants none of it? we have to be accepting of that, too.

however, creativity isn’t limited to drawing or painting or playing an instrument. creativity is a process—one can be just as much a creative mathematician as they can a creative soccer player or a creative engineer. creativity is a state of mind, a way of living. it’s an appreciation for interacting with the world around us in a unique and special way. a perspective. a part of each of our worldviews that must be cultured and nourished.

i hope we can pass on the understanding that creativity knows no bounds, that no one needs to be pigeon-holed. i hope we can pass on the understanding that failure is okay through sharing our trials, our short-comings, and our solutions. i hope we can pass on the understanding that all good things take time, from the process of sanctification spiritually speaking to the making of a cake to the layout of a successful website to the score of a catchy tune.

my desire for Elisha, as well as his siblings who are hoped for but yet to be, is that he grows up in a home that values quality over quantity, contemplation over consumption, and creativity over conflict.

as a parent, i’m now responsible for how the “next generation” thinks and acts. i’m now part of either the solution to our current issues or part of the problem. it’s both a blessing and a burden, but one that’s made more beautiful by the snuggles and smiles of that future i’m investing in the shape of an adorable little boy.

Sleepy monkey

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friday favorites: fluffy clouds

sometimes, you just need to look up, breathe deeply, and watch the clouds go by. this week has been one of those weeks.

Cuba Gallery: Tropical island palm tree / sun / sunlight / light / clouds / sea / sunset / natural light / retro / beach / ocean / wave / water ripple / vintage / summer / photography

Red Poppies And A Dramatic Sunset Sky Snow melted long time ago...

Sky Window

East side storm clouds above rabbitbrush

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Autumn Colors at Portland Japanese Garden

Autumn in the Chilterns Autumn Bokeh

take it in

~ Here Sleep Deer ~

autumn is my favorite season.

you can keep your spring flowers …

you can wallow in your summer heat …

you can bundle up in your winter cold …

just please, for the love of that golden light, give me autumn! all those colors—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet. now, so many of them finally visible. filtered, perhaps, for 365 days. stored, perhaps, just for the right season. autumn. green becomes red, red becomes yellow, yellow becomes brown. compost is the end of all things planted … only to become what new things grow in again.

i love it when the first signs of autumn begin to creep into the air—faint chills, a changing light, a perfect blue tint to the sky. everything begins to grow tighter, shorter, contracting in upon itself as if the universe is temporarily put in reverse. the trees begin to struggle, to falter in their green-growing-ness. indecisive in the slow unwinding of light and hint of cold in the air. some give themselves up early, letting their resolve fade into the brilliant colors of dying leaves as a prologue to the entire production that is autumn.

the rest of the trees, though green, seem to be only green by sheer bravado … or stubborn persistence.

the change of seasons is always so invigorating for me. autumn inspires me. makes me want to be productive—externally as well as internally.

this season above any other reminds me that at all times, all things are being made new.

even—or especially—in difficult times. fall brings rain and storms. hard, cold ones instead of the hot, raging ones of summer. the clouds are distant, brooding. the shrinking daylight drains me, despite my love of the season.

i cannot be content, and, like the trees themselves, am always confronted with the need to change before winter’s cold grip blankets us all. winter is a time of sleep, a time of rest, a time of death before spring returns with new life and new warmth.

autumn is the harvest time, the time when fields are ripe and ready. this year i can tell i have let my heart grow fallow—weeds, not crops, have come to grow in the garden of my heart before God. there is nothing to offer him right now, it seems. i feel as though my tired hands are empty, that my hard work has been for nothing this year.

Sparkling Sunrise

this autumn, i only have myself to give, tired and stretched too-thin like the taut, expectant sky above. worn out. i must shed my burdens as the trees shed their leaves. i must prepare myself to be made new once again.

and again.

and again.

like all those colors stored up in leaves, i must let it all out. i must drain. drop off.

be renewed.

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