True Extravagance

{photo taken here}

"A follower of Jesus expresses
an extravagant humility
at an extravagant cost
 for an extravagant Savior."

Happy Sunday, Sweet Friends!


My "Go Texan" Self

I'm not afraid of my inner cowgirl {boots, jeans and a big ol' hat are right up my alley}, but there's one thing that scares me silly: getting out from behind the camera...and showing YOU the results!

But in the spirit doing one thing a day that scares me {wisdom from the Lululemon bag}, here's my Go Texan Day self. {This one's for you, Tiffini! I finally got out of my nightgown!}

A little awkward at first...

...so I cracked a smile.

Then got a little silly...

...firing off shots...

...until I cracked myself up!

Shot one in a little better light just to work my skills...

...then put my big gun down...

...and kicked up my boots!
{The beloved Luccheses.}

Time to dance in the kitchen till the mornin' light!
{This song will get you two-steppin'! And this one!}

Happy weekend!

P.S. I took the photos in front of a mirror.
{First time I've ever braved the self-portrait thing.}

Happy "Go Texan Day" Y'all!

Today's the day...
when big city folks get a little country!

Everyone gets all gussied up in their
boots, jeans, big hats and shiny belt buckles!

It's my favorite day to be a Houstonian!
{Funny that we call it Go Texan Day when it's just a Houston thing!}

Why all this country lovin' in the heart of the city? Because it's RODEO time in Houston! It's a three-week ordeal that brings out the inner cowboy and cowgirl in just about everyone. Even non-boot wearers scramble to find a pair this time of year. {I'm a Lucchese girl all year round. Made here in Texas...love 'em!}

And get this: instead of business suits and fast-driving cars on some of our city streets today, there'll be horses and covered wagons riding in from the dusty roads of the real country! {The trail ride is quite a scene. I'm hoping my mom will share her funny picures!}

Aw, shucks. Some cowgirls have to go to school!
{No hats allowed or they'd be wearing big ones!}

There's something about Go Texan Day that kicks my spirits into high gear. I wonder...does every Texan have this longing to be a little more country? To ride horses, dirty up your boots, talk a little slower, dance a little more? Or is it just me?

I don't know, but for today, I'm in good company!


P.S. You can bet your boots I'll be dancin' in the kitchen tonight! To a country mix this time!


Freedom To Be

Are you good at allowing yourself freedom to be?

To slow down...

...sit down...

...and be present without striving or accomplishing? 

God has given me in an unusual season of stillness.
And It's harder than I thought to just be.

Yesterday, I spent three quiet hours in this chair.

Shouldn't I get up and do something with my day?
Does anyone else sit here like this?
Am I wasting time?

Pressure and fear threaten to undo the stillness.

But God speaks...

...and I hear His gentle whisper.

It's okay, sweet girl.
This is right where I want you today.

Thank you, Lord...
for this season of stillness.

I don't know how long this season will last...
or what tomorrow holds.

But for today...
I'm free.

A special note to my friends with little ones:

A season of stillness feels so foreign, doesn't it? Days spent in solitude aren't your reality. {I remember it well...the noise, the exhaustion, the clinginess, the mess. } Your BE STILL and BE PRESENT moments aren't spent in a nice chair. They're often spent on the floor...building lego towers, drawing fields of flowers, playing a silly game, reading another story. These are the moments that beckon you to be still and present!   

Moms of older children always say this: I wish I sat with them more, played with them more, read to them more. And most of my teenage friends tell me this: I wish my mom would stop what she's doing and just listen. Can you hear it, sweet friends? Just be.  

The productive, visible accomplishments can wait. Your child will take a BE STILL mama over a PRODUCTIVE mama any day of the week! And for those of you whose children are grown, I bet the same goes for husbands. They love a little time to just be with you!

These are precious days, my friends! 
Let's live in them rather than rush through them.


Fabulous New Trestle Table + A Gateleg on Sale

My dining room table drama is over {thank goodness} but I know several of you are still looking, so I couldn't resist throwing this in the mix!. 

New from Wisteria
{my favorite home decor catalog}:

A beautiful trestle table made of reclaimed wood...

...with a uniquely shaped base...

...and a hard-to-find width of 35 inches...
for $1,349!!!
{Click here for details.}

If you love trestle tables, this one's a winner...especially for the price! I'm not saying you couldn't scour Craig's List for a less expensive fixer-upper, but Wisteria makes it so easy {quality products, friendly service, reasonable prices...and often great sales}. And the width...so hard to find for this price! {Just a thought: you could always "Frenchify" things with a little paint and distressing down the road!}

In case you missed it: I ended up designing my own trestle table {here} because I couldn't find the narrow width I wanted for a price I was willing to pay. It's easy to find a French antique with an intimate 33-36" width, but they are cost-prohibitive for most of us. FYI: new tables are generally 42" wide. I've never seen 35" on a good-looking reproduction!

And not that I need to be looking, but I can't resist sharing a deal when I find one. Included in Wisteria's online sale: a round gateleg table for a STEAL!!!

Generously sized at 60 inches, but it folds down beautifully.

I can hardly believe the price: $399!
Marked down 60% from $999.
{Details here.}

I'd so buy that for $399 if I had a spot for it.
Hmm...how about my kitchen?

Note to self:
Don't need a thing.

Godliness with contentment is great gain.
- 1 Timothy 6:6

Happy day to you, Sweet Readers!


Dancing in the Kitchen

What to give this amazing man for his birthday?

I knew I couldn't top the birthday book...

...but I wanted to give him something handmade and heartfelt.

It was the day before his birthday and I still had no idea what to make. So after all that talk about being an exercise rebel, I put on my new pants and went for a walk. And that's when it hit me:


My husband has hinted more than once recently that he misses dancing with me. He misses the big smile it puts on my face...and the way it draws us close and makes us laugh.

{Dancing to Nat King Cole's L-O-V-E on our wedding night.}

We danced a lot when were newly in love. But then we got distracted, distant and run down...with working, raising children and half-living. Every now and then my husband would turn up the music and grab my hand {and every now and then I'd indulge him} but we didn't make a habit of it...until now.

My gift to my husband on his 37th birthday: a mix of love-inspired dance tunes with a promise to dance in the kitchen whenever he turns up the volume and grabs my hand! 

And just in case you want to infuse your marriage with a little two-step, box-step, or make-up-your-own-step, I thought I'd share our mix {or playlist as it's called these days} to get you started:

{We danced to every single song on his birthday!}

This is good for a marriage {and counts as exercise in my book!}, so let's start with Song #1 and DANCE! {Your kids will love it, too!}
Well, you get down the fiddle and you get down the bow,
Kick off your shoes and you throw ‘em on the floor.

Dance in the kitchen 'til the morning light....
I'm already thinking about Volume Two, so tell me...what songs make you want to dance in the kitchen?

Happy Monday!


Wisdom From A Lululemon Shopping Bag

I never thought I'd be crazy enough to photograph a shopping bag {I love my camera, but a shopping bag?!?!}. But I've also never received a shopping bag that inspired me so much!

Introducing the Lululemon bag:

{Free with a purchase.}

Nice that it's sturdy and reusable,
but what makes this bag camera worthy?


I've always loved a good quote,
so I thought I'd share a few:

Yikes! Just reading that scares me!
{Does that count?!?!}

So what's in the bag?

A new pair of cropped pants...
for all the exercise I haven't done this year.

Because I've become a world-class exercise rebel...
not as good for me as becoming a to-do list rebel.

I was once an intensely competitive athlete...
but it feels so forced and uninspiring now.

And exercising so I can look good on the outside?
Tempting, but my heart needs to be in the right place first.

I hear about mental clarity and increased energy...
but I often come home fatigued and foggy.
{C'mon adrenals.} 

But even as I sit here,
I'm starting to feel a touch guilty for ignoring my body.
Because I know I wasn't created to sit in a chair all day.

So I think I'll drink one of these...

...put on my cute new pants,
and go for a very short walk!

And according to the shopping bag, I need to...

I wish I could take one of you with me to pass the time!

How about you, Sweet Readers?
Do you have a good relationship with exercise?
What motivates you? Any tips for making it more enjoyable?

Happy Weekend!


Wine, Chocolate + A Winning Pillow Fight

Aww...y'all are the sweetest readers! Your comments on our engagement story made Valentine's Day extra special! Between yesterday's post and the birthday book post, my husband is feeling like the most admired man in the world! Thanks for helping me give him the gift of praise and affirmation {his love language for sure}.

One funny thing he said after reading the book to our girls last night: "Had I known the whole world was going to read this one day, I would've spent a little more time on my drawings!" I love the stick figures! Wouldn't change a thing!

And here are three other things I'm loving:

1. This wine:

2006 Black Bart's Bounty Syrah...a BIG red!
$36 at some shops; $30 at Costco.
Drinks like a $50-$60 bottle.
{Don't you love the label?}

2. This chocolate sauce:

The King's Cupboard...divine!
{Purchased at Whole Foods.}

I'm sure it would've been good with fresh strawberries...

...but I skipped the berries and ate it with a spoon!

3. This winning pillow fight photo:
Photographer Allison Parker of Feathernest entered a national competition
and won SECOND PLACE with this photograph of my girls!
{You're amazing, Allison! Congratulations!}

What are you loving today?
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