Birthday and books – 5 places I found joy in the chaos this week

Every week I like to take a moment to showcase the moments that brought me the most joy. Sometimes they are awesome activities and other times it’s a sweet moment between the kids. There are always moments that can fill us with joy if we choose to see them with a thankful heart.

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We started the week with a birthday and ended it with the possibility of another winter storm. Thankfully the 4-8 inches they originally thought we would get turned in to barely a dusting that melted on it’s own but that might not be the case with the snow we are getting today. But I’ll save that for next week. 

I’m working on a new daily/weekly homemaking schedule. I’m still using the methods I learned in this course but I’m simply swapping some days around and also doing some time blocking thanks to some tips from Crystal Paine’s Productive Life course (not currently available). So far I’m accomplishing a significant amount more during the day but still taking time to breathe, exercise, and get some reading in. I’d say it’s a win if I can stick to this new schedule! 

But on to my favorites from the week 😉

1. 8th Birthday

Our second born, the boy I called “Little Mister” for so long, is now eight! He’s an incredible kid with a huge heart. He’s soft spoken – usually 😉 – and loves reading, art, LEGO, and video games. His dreams for the future usually include drawing or art of some type. I think right now he wants to be an art teacher. He’s also a huge fan of super heroes so it wasn’t surprising that he wanted a Captain America cake for his birthday.

2. Just Open the Door

This book from Jen Schmidt is GOLD you guys! In it she shares about her love for inviting people into her space, even when it’s messy, unexpected, or the complete opposite of a Martha Stewart gathering. You see, when we open ourselves up to those around us, when we invite them in, that’s when Jesus can work some incredible miracles. 

Your home doesn’t need to be spic and span or your table setting the most immaculate. What matters is your heart. That you are willing to reach out and create a safe space for people.

I have a big heart for hosting groups but it’s hard in this season of loads of littles. Our home isn’t really suitable for extra kids if the adults want the good living room so for now I’m sticking with having some friends over when the kids are in bed. But you better believe that I am more than happy to have you and your kids over for a play date during the summer or just you for a cup of coffee – as long as you don’t mind me hollering for my own kids to stop wrestling 😉

You can get a preview of this book over at incourage or pre-order your own copy here. 

3. Pork Chop cookie

This girl loves pork chops. It usually doesn’t matter how I prepare them, she’s bound to eat at least two during dinner. Last week I made ranch pork chops and towards the end of the meal she asked for seconds. I loaded one on her plate and asked if she wanted it cut in squares or strips and she responded, “I don’t need it cut!” and started chomping away. She ate the whole thing like a cookie! 

4. Lazy morning

On Thursday I had a double workout. I did my normal daily workout in the morning and then went out with friends that night for a Zumba class. We laughed so hard at ourselves and had a huge blast – plus the instructor was awesome! I was incredibly drained the next day and we were a little slow to get moving. While Micah took his shower I flopped into bed… and the three little kids quickly joined me. We don’t let them in our bed very often but it was nice to cuddle together and have a slower start to our grocery shopping day. 

5. If I Run Series

Terri Blackstock’s novel If I Run was the first book I ever read of hers. I picked it up randomly off a shelf at the library two years ago and was immediately hooked. I’ve read nearly every single one of her books since then and it also launched me into a search for all the suspenseful Christian series I could find. Micah laughs when I find a new one because within a matter of days I’ll have finished a new one and be on the hunt again. 

If I Live is the third and final installment of the If I Run series and it took me a bit to get my hands on a copy. I started with the audiobook using Hoopla but once our library had a physical copy listed in the catalog I immediately put it on hold. I enjoy audiobooks but sometimes, especially with fiction that I haven’t read before, I do better with the written words. This book sucked me right in again, just like all her books do, and I had a few moments of tuning out the world to keep turning pages. I picked it up on Friday afternoon and I had it finished by Saturday night. If suspenseful mysteries and “catch the bad guy” books are your thing then give her series a try! 

Where did you find joy in the chaos this week? What was your favorite part of the week?

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