One Day

I’ve heard the song below several times on a Spotify playlist that I love. In all the times I’ve heard it, I’ve not really taken the time to listen to it. Does that ever happen to you? One day you  hear a song for the first time, even though you’ve heard it dozens of times? Maybe you’ve read a bible verse and it seems totally new? It could be as silly as finally reading a sign you’ve passed for years and being surprised at what the sign says.

I think those things happen at times because something needs to be hidden from us. We have to progressively grow into some knowledge. Some truths have to be revealed when we’ve been more prepared. And honestly, I think you don’t notice something till you need it.

I needed to hear this song yesterday. Maybe you need to hear it today.

 

I see you laughing on the other side

Where the walls have tumbled and the flowers grow wild

I see you laughing on the other side

with your broken heart under open sky

 

There’s hope, friends. It won’t always be like this. You’ll laugh again.

 

 

 

 

 

P.s.- Added bonus, there’s a video of Christa Wells talking about this song! Check it out!

August 1SE Video + Note

Note Portion of Blog Post

A contributing factor in this video not getting out to you all sooner was of a rather moral sort. I felt stuck between a rock and a hard place as a parent in the digital age. I think many parents, especially those in the blogging world, grapple with how/how much they share about their children. In the original 1SE video (NOT the one I’ve shared here) there is a day Adam and I both felt couldn’t be shared for the whole world, but wasn’t something that needed to be deleted all together. Sharing pictures and videos of your children in various states of dress is dangerous anymore. It’s not to say I can’t have an innocent photo or video of Victor telling me a story during bath time, or showing off his big boy underpants, or even just in his swim trunks without a shirt, I just shouldn’t share them all over the Internet. Obviously there needs to be balance and continued discussion on this topic, but I wanted to share this with you all. As a parent I think you’re frequently trying to make and keep the best boundaries for you and your family, and my little family is working on that here. I will continue sharing the 1SE videos as long as we feel comfortable… Annnnnnnnd with all this semi heavy stuff being said, I really do hope you all continue to enjoy these videos. They’re very special to us. ❤️

 

Video Portion of Blog Post

 

P.S.- You all know the drill by now. 1SE

Terrible, Teachable, Terrific

I’ve missed you, friends.

This week I’m talking a little bit about parenting a toddler and our attitudes. Even if you’re not in the parenting season of life, I imagine you could change your perceptive or attitude about a situation or season in your own life.

Have a great holiday weekend.

 

It’s LIIIIIIIIVE: A Youtube Channel Update

Happy Saturday, friends.

I did a thing.

Finally.

After a lot of whining, and fussing, and being hassled by friends/family/God, my youtube channel is live. It’s public. Other people around the world just perusing youtube can find my videos and hear their messages.

This might seem silly, but it’s a big step for me.

I hope you are encouraged to take a big step this week.

 

 

P.s.- Like the Frankenstein vibes of today’s title??

July 1SE Video

Middle of the month sharing my 1SE video?

Yeah, I’m a bit behind. My bad.

In any case, you’re gonna want to watch this with the sound on for sure. Victor is talking so much more and saying such funny (and interesting) things.

We also had a few firsts:

  • First time watching 4th of July Fireworks
  • First parade
  • First Ice-cream Sandwich
  • First Lollypop
  • First time solo swimming (sorta solo, I was with him)
  • First night in his big boy bed

Overall, a great month.

If you still haven’t purchased this app, or gifted this app: WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? It’s totally worth the $. I think of it was a new generation’s home video platform. It’s changed the way I view each day and the big/little events happening around me.

Happy Wednesday, friends.

 

p.s.- If this is your first time visiting my blog, here are the other 1SE videos I’ve shared. (June, Vegas, May, April)

 

You’ve Got [Happy] Mail 2

I’ve missed you all! It’s been a wild couple of weeks for Cook Family 3.0. Some great things, like birthday parties. Some not as great things, like icky potty training messes. I’ll share more at a different time, but I do want to get these resources out to you.

I originally tried to record this, but I got FIFTEEN MINUTES INTO IT and my program froze. Also, HOW? Like how does a person talk that long about paper?? Apparently I can and I fifteen minutes care about it. Instead of just talking about it, I’ll be sharing some photos and links!

Let’s go over a small detail that I think can take your happy mail to the next level. Also, it gets your happy mail to it’s destination… yes I’m talking about stamps. People joke about collecting stamps as such a boring or stupid hobby, but since getting into sending happy mail I can understand why people would collect them. (This last statement might say a lot about the kind of person I am…). You can purchase stamps at your grocery store or office supply store, but they just sell generic American flag forever stamps. BORING. Do yourself a favor and head on over to the post office (Yeah, who does that?! Cool kids with cool stamps.). You could also order stamps from the USPS on their website!

(Here are my two sets of stamps I have left, so I’m do for a post office trip soon!)

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Lets get into the card portion of this resource post.

Target

I love checking out the Target Dollar Spot for their cards! Often times they have little themed areas and stationary that matches. The cards come in sets of 8 often times and cost just $1 (which comes out to about $0.13/card)! These cards are blank inside and can become a card for just about any occasion you might find yourself needing a one. Here are just two examples I pulled from my basket:

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Another place in Target that I’ve gotten some great stationery is near the actual cards. Please don’t think I’m against purchasing regular cards for birthdays or holidays or just because. I love a good Hallmark $6 card every now and again, but for my regular happy mail habit $6/card isn’t gonna work for the budget… However, next to the regular cards is a section of ‘Thank you’ cards, birthday invites (with matching ‘thank you’ cards!), more expensive packs of blank stationery, and such. Several years ago Adam found a HUGE set of VERY COLORFUL notecards with matching envelopes. I’d like to tell you they were $13, but I cannot remember or find anything like it on their website. If you’re interested, it seems like you’ll have to check your local Target (hooray for you!). These little notecards have come in handy when writing small notes to Adam or when giving a gift card to someone for a holiday. You can match cards to their envelopes to mix-and-match for some fun. Very cost effective if you’re doing a high volume of cards, so you teachers or leaders looking to send encouragement to your team or students this might be the route to take.

(I used one color envelope but all the colors of notecards for reference)

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T.J. Maxx

I don’t hit up this place often, but if I do, I check out their stationery section for some hidden happy mail gems. They have some super amazing quality cards at really nice prices. The one set I purchased there makes me SO HAPPY. It’s a 20 count set for only $3.00 (coming out to $0.15/card). This makes my heart and wallet very happy.

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Michaels

Hands down probably my favorite place to hunt out new stationery. This craft supply store as all manner of things to elevate your happy mail, even an entire aisle dedicated to  crafting your own cards/envelopes! I’m totally not on that level, and probably won’t ever be, but if thats what you’re into they’ve got you covered. Michaels also has little bin sections in various places around the store that has inexpensive themed bits and bobs: notebooks, ribbon, packs of cards, decor pieces, bags, and who knows what else. The packs of cards are my favorite. These often come 6/pack at $1.50 (a little more pricey at $0.25/card). I like that there aren’t so many in a set because I can usually use them up quickly, thus not feeling guilty getting more. I’ve found all kinds of great card sets, so I only chose three to photograph for you all. Christmas cards from there might be the best for those of us who don’t send a million, they have so many with great messages, and it’s basically the only place I’ll purchase ‘Thank You’ cards.

(Side note: Michaels has other really neat stuff and great coupons. A+ shopping in my book.)

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Etsy

If you’re not familiar with this website how are you internet-ing?? Literally in my top 5 favorite websites to shop. Etsy is full of individual shops where people are selling thrifted goods, paper crafts, pottery, cross-stitch, jewelry… basically all manner of handmade things. Please go check it out and support some great entrepreneurs.

Below I’m going to link to some of my favorite shops for stationery. These places are less “cost effective” but I like to purchase these cards like I would from Hallmark. Anniversary cards, Galentine cards, graduation cards, etc.

I need to stop there because I HAVE SO MANY PLACES I LOVE ON ETSY.

Buuuuuuuut, there are two more places I’d like to share under the Etsy header.

Emily McDowell and Little Low were two places I’d originally purchased from on Etsy, but have since GROWN to their own sites! It’s amazing how supporting people’s business can help them expand and gain more exposure. It makes my heart so full and happy to know these people were supported and they kept on their grind to make their business work. And their products are AWESOME! Unique happy mail is great mail.

Bonus

I almost forgot to share with you a little thing I like to add to my cards. These little ‘Awesome Citations‘ add another layer of fun to your happy mail. I find they also make people laugh, which is a mega bonus with happy mail. I also use their ‘Pep Talk Nifty Notes‘ in many pieces of happy mail. You can find Knock Knock products on their website (already linked) or check out some of your local bookstores.

Final Notes

Sending happy mail isn’t so much about the vehicle but about the message. You can have a $1.00 card, $7.00 card, or $0.15 card but a million dollar message. Sharing your heart with people you love and care about matters so much more than what it looks like. I loved sharing these resources with you, but don’t get so caught up in the aesthetics and choices that you don’t just go out and send. the. mail. Have fun with this and spread some positivity around, people need that in their mailboxes.

 

Feeling Low

Happy Wednesday, friends. The title of today’s post didn’t exactly make you feel like I’d start off with a ‘happy’ anything. This blog and I are full of little surprises. Or little contradictions. However you’d like to look at it.

This is going to be another music post. I’ve shared some on here before about how much music means to me, so if you’ve missed it check that out here. I’ll be doing these as I feel lead to, and this week I think someone might need it.

United Pursuit is one of my favorite worship bands to listen to while I chill at home. They’re equally relaxing and profound. They make me smile but could also make me cry. I hope by sharing some music with you I can help broaden your music horizons! I’d also like to shout out my great friend who introduced United Pursuit to me: Thanks, Kelly!

If you’re feeling low, take a listen and shake off those low feelings for just a little bit.

Things can (and usually do) get better.

Love you, people.

You’ve Got [Happy] Mail

I’m trying out this two part post thing. Next week I’ll be sharing where I get my cards, my feelings on stamps, and all that good stuff.

I also wanted to share with you a verse that came up in my FB memories today while I was preparing this post.

Like a cool drink of water when you’re worn out and weary 

is a letter from a long-lost friend.

:: Proverbs 25:25 The Message ::

Send out some happy mail this week and let me know who you send it to!

Music: There When You Need It

There’s a lot on my mind, a lot on my plate, and a lot rolling around in my heart. Hence you all getting another text post. (insert lady shrugging emoji)

If you’re a music person, in times of heavy hearts or elated heart, you turn to music. Music can move you right into a memory, one so real you can almost taste it. Music can move us. Music can make us laugh. No matter what you think, we can all agree that music elicits something.

This year I’ve been especially into a particular artist. JJ Heller is one of my favorite singer/songwritters. Her music has moved me and inspired me many times. She’s also really great to follow on social media because she’s just so human. Two of her songs have been rolling around in my mind (one of them is brand new too!), and I wanted to share them in the hopes that they might speak to you too.

“What if the world doesn’t end when the fears come true?

What if we have what we need to make it through?

There is manna from heaven and mercies new

What if God is still here in this desert too?”

These are words I’ll be thinking on for awhile, friends.

There is hope within the breaking of the heart of every seed

I know you feel the aching at the end of all good things

I believe in restoration

I believe that you redeem

Because I know somehow the sycamore will bloom again in spring

These are words I have been thinking on for awhile. And will continue to.

 

But I do have one more song to share. It’s can’t be all melancholy piano heavy thoughts, people.

When I move my body

When I move my feet

When I open my mouth

Then the darkness flees

It’s important in any season, to remember to praise Him. God’s been with me through it all, and He’s not finished with me (or any of us!) yet. I’m resting in a hope higher than that which I can see.

 

Happy Saturday, friends. Thanks for letting me share some thoughts and some music with you.

 

P.S.- JJ Heller has a Patreon account. Check it out here. Throw some dollars her way, she’s great.