Finding Gratitude.

Hello, friends. How was your weekend? Ours was up and down. Cold and sun, busy and quiet, and much purging of several sorts (housekeeping type and stomach flu type).

And yet, the gratitude is filling me up.

Weekend delights…


* Sunshine streaming in my windows after the longest, coldest spring I can remember.

* In my garden I am seeing progress. This time of year is the magical weedless moment that I live for. Seeds are in. Beets, peas, kale, chard, a few flowers (thanks to Lupine), and Peas. With only two of our five beds built, the garden is already brimming with possibility.

* Compost! A farmer friend hooked us up with all of the composted cow manure we could haul. Pete shoveled. And shoveled. And shoveled. And then rubbed his sore back. Thank you, baby. Grateful for your work!




* A new skirt from an old tablecloth. I some how whittled out time to craft this after Lupine's cup was filled during her bought of illness.

* And on that subject, I am thankful for her graceful journey to wellness. Lupine had what I thought was a soul fever late last week. I cancelled our plans. I held her close. I even dug out our old baby carrier and strapped her to my back for an afternoon. (Wow. She is big!) By the time the vomiting began I realized that it was a flu, not a soul fever. But I was able to tap into what I had to stay by her side and it was a graceful, connective experience. And now she's back on her feet.



* Simplifying: I downsized 2/3 of the books that remained after our last purge. We're down to just a few books. And it feels… amazing. The cabinets above were always a source of work for me in the evenings. The books askew from the kids sifting through, I didn't realize how overwhelming all of this choice was for them. So I selected a few favorites and purged or stashed the rest. Sage has his favorite book, The New Way Things Work, another favorite Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, a needle felting book and one Captain Underpants that he is currently reading. Lupine has six favorites laid out neatly for her to choose from.

We now have six large boxes of books awaiting delivery to a local second hand book store. The children's once packed book cabinet now looks sparse and approachable.

What about you? What blessings did your weekend bring?

22 thoughts on “Finding Gratitude.

  1. crystal.m. says:

    What a great idea! I have an old tablecloth that I’ve been saving for something special- and a skirt would be perfect! And I never thought about all of the selection being overwhelming either… thank you for the inspiration 🙂

  2. Nettie Black says:

    oooo what a lovely skirt!! and congratulations on the books! I have gotten Akailah’s book shelf cut in half, waiting for then next installment. The books are such a challenge for me.

    What I too had thought was Soul Fever last week turned into the stomach bug for Akailah as well. Then she appeared to feel better for a day and then it hit her again. Today is the first day she fully appears to be back on her feet. Glad they are both on the upswing. Hugs to you all.

  3. Cassandra says:

    We had that stomach bug the weekend before last. Ours came on slow for a week before as well…and I had also misdiagnosed it as soul fever! So curious.

    This weekend was spent mainly purging toys. It seems like it will be painful, but frankly the kids don’t even notice what is gone. That is such an eye-opener.

  4. Emily says:

    We were thinking about books this weekend too. We decided to cut down on how many books we check out from the library. Do we really need 100 books checked out at a time! So we scaled back to 5 each, we all love books so much. The book area seems more spacious 🙂

    I live in central Wisconsin, Wisconsin Rapids, and the weather was horrible this weekend. I am glad to see someplace in Wisconsin is nice, even though I am a little jealous. Have a wonderful week and I look forward to reading your blog!

  5. Lori says:

    Oh yes blessings of the weekends. We too are digging up the garden. I loved watching my 16 month old dig, explore and run around outside. My 7 year old daughter was digging for worms and playing with the neighbors. It was a slow, sleep in, outside in the sun kind of weekend for us. Lovely.

  6. says:

    HA! When I was little we had “The [Old] Way Things Work.”

    This weekend was great – I’m loving the warmer weather! Saturday, my two kiddos and I went to our local library for a May pancake breakfast, then played outside on their playground for a while. Playing is the best exercise! Then we went to the farmer’s market for some fresh veggies and kettlecorn for the kids.

    Sunday always brings church, and we have also been sprucing up the yard, excitedly watching the garden come alive.

    After some episodes of more serious purging, I’ve been putting other things aside in spurts as I come across them. I feel like I spend all my time cleaning and planning the next meal!

  7. Mariah says:

    I love purging stuff and have always felt better after going thru things and paring down- however- I do want to add a tiny note that when I was a kid and would go thru purges I would often get rid of books that I felt like were too young for me. Now that I am older and am thinking about starting a family there are many, many books I wished I had kept from my childhood and adolescence to pass along/read with my own child. Now I am having to go back and buy many of those beloved books that stuck with me….just a thought 🙂

  8. Rachel Wolf says:

    I would bankrupt myself if I checked out 100 at once! We pay fees most months for late books. I usually limit the kids to three each. If we go weekly that is a great deal of info! I love the concept of intimacy with the books you are currently enjoying – quality vs quantity of interaction.


  9. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Mariah,
    Thank you for that reminder. My mom was a purger too and there were things I really wished she had kept. Last night I set aside our most beloved books to put in their keepsake boxes. It is important to remember these moments and help them remember too.


  10. Sara Adams says:

    The hubby and I really cleared a lot out of our bedroom this weekend. I know I’m feeling stressed from all the junk around and I’m sure that’s rubbing off on the children. I’m enjoying all the extra space and really feeling more relaxed already.

  11. Pamela R says:

    Here is a post I found that summed up for me why it was so hard for me to simplify my book collection. I am grateful to have taken my rather simple life a few more steps in the crazy simple direction. (There are some in my life concerned that I’m going too far. Minimalist Mom has a post for that too.) Enjoy.

    Here is my comment on the post:

    I wanted to thank you for this post. I was one of those people, who at one time, felt hostile to the idea that anyone should live without owning huge quantities of books. To me, loving books meant being surrounded by books. Until I realized that less equals more. Now that we have fewer books (very few my American standards) and I check out fewer books from the library (I used to have checked out to me 75-100 books at any one time), we all read more. We love our books, spend time getting to know them and then bring them back to the library, resell them to a local used bookstore or give them away. How wonderful. My children (ages 1.5 to 9) all have a few really important books that they or we read over and over, but I’ve come to realize that that is all we need. (We also homeschool, which leads to having a few more than we would otherwise, mostly reference books.) We love books. We read throughout EVERY day. We don’t longer own huge (and I mean HUGE) numbers of books. I was skeptical, but now I feel free! I plan to send a link to your post to all those in my life that feel as though I’ve lost my mind. Thanks.

  12. Kristen says:

    I’m not getting rid of many of my books.
    A few, maybe?
    I consider some of them my oldest friends and others – friends whom I am waiting to meet.
    I think I understand the urge to simplify as our world grows more complicated. That being said, I reread books – often. I love going to my bookshelves and picking out a book based on what mood I’m in. I don’t feel overwhelmed by them or that I don’t give them enough time because I have so many of them.
    I don’t consider it particularly impressive that I have so many books or that I read so much. Most of the time, I consider it a vice…but like my other vice (napping) I don’t plan on becoming any more virtuous.
    I even have people that I really respect that are not readers, not even a little. They are every bit as intelligent as I, they just don’t read.
    That’s OK…just like having very few books is OK. If that’s what works for you.
    However, I just bought a new book that I adore and I’m on my second read through. I’m rereading it twice in a row because I loved it and the first time I had to get to the end to find out what happened. This time around I’m swimming in the detail of the author’s world, lapping it up, unrushed. I have the sequel on the shelves but I don’t want it until my brain completely owns the first one. I’m also sure that I will be back to this book. Maybe not this year or next, but I will someday be in a mood to revisit this world. And I want it waiting for me, on the shelf, right where I know I can find it at a moment’s notice.
    I don’t think you’ve lost your mind because you don’t have as many books as you used to…I think you’ve lost your books.
    But for some it might be like losing lots of other things people value (virginity comes to mind)…a great adventure.
    Life is short but it is wide…there’s room for all of us and our adventures.

  13. Rachel Wolf says:

    I love you. I know that you are crazy but not for giving your books away. 😉 I am simply amazed and impressed that you are doing it. I realized that it is really a lack mentality that was having me hold so many book. I can wait for inter-library loan, cant I? I, too, feel free.


  14. Rachel Wolf says:

    Hi Kristen,
    I agree that it is a wide path, big enough for all of our choices. I kept a few books that I dip into often (mostly craft books and homeschooling resources). The others I know that the library will provide. Im free! (And so are you – just in a very different way.)

    ~ Rachel

  15. Casey says:

    The book idea is fantastic. That’s one thing I never really thought to purge. Books are good, so lots of books must be better, right??? Wrong! The kids seem to choose the same ones over and over, and yet their bookcase was overstuffed with choices and outgrown books and books with questionable messages and and and and…

    So today it has been purged. Books with sentimental value that I worry about being damaged have been moved to my room to be pulled out for bedtime, and others have been removed for donation, leaving about a dozen favorites for the boys to choose from. I know it’s still quite a few, but several are counting or other board books for the little one…

Leave a Reply