Here’s to friends, fun, and feeling all the things

The weather forecast was "on the bright side" for this week coming up, plentiful sunshine and warm temps. I'm gladly welcoming it after more ice and AMI (learn at home) days last week. Here I am again, being intentional about sitting down to this blog.  If you're here and reading on the regular, I thank you.  This is my mile marker, my "let's set the good stuff in stone" place.  I started this blog post last night but after an 8 mile bike ride and Sunday evening food prep I was too wiped out to have a word to type.

A big goal of mine this year is to take the girls biking more regularly. We have outstanding trails that connect all of our local cities and they are grown enough and strong enough that their stamina really holds up.  Yesterday was our first time out in months and we all did great! I'm using an old mountain bike of Brett's, which is a major upgrade for me. 

Back to my Sunday prep-I have a few routines I stick to even if I don't feel like it.  Like last night, for example when I was really tired it was hard for me to want to do the prep but I kept telling myself how much easier and smoother it would make my week and it did already today, truly. 

My routine consists of a few small things-get everything laid out in the car or by the door we need for school, make salads for all five days of the week (plus dressing), make Magic Cookies, put gas in the car and wash it, make a pot of soup or something to eat on Monday/Tuesday, and make a to do list and schedule for the week.  These things help my week run very smoothly. Just today as I dug in to my salad and the vinegary dressing that's a staple around here it felt like a small comfort of home.

This was our ice last week. I was incredibly grateful the power didn't go out and we could still learn from home. Although I'm really, really hoping we don't get any more winter weather! Bring on the sunshine, gardening, our Spring Bucket list, hiking, kayaking, biking, and more!

Plus, when we're in the building I can speak my heart and grab hugs from dear friends  (you know who you are) in the hallway and there is nothing that compares to that.  Something I've been working on in the past year or so is first, letting myself get to know people better and also be known.  Second, figuring out who are my closest confidants, the ones I can truly trust with anything and be honest with, leaving nothing to hold back.  My goodness, those friends are rare and valuable and so much needed.  I can say I have that,  and my heart is lighter because of it.  

When the sun finally came out last week it was absolutely glorious. I just stared at it out the window like I'd never seen it before.  There is something so energizing and healing about the sun.  
The only way we stay truly warm on learn from home days is by being a fire or two and sitting by them with our laptops.  Also, we are loving citrus fruit right now.
Finished puzzle! I have a puzzle pattern-I get in there and try real hard for a day or two and then lose interest and the rest of the family has to finish it up.  Actually, the rest of the family LOVES puzzles so it isn't any burden to them.  Are you a puzzle worker? 

I usually have one out in my library and the kids love them. 

Basking in that warm, healing sun a weekend or so ago before the ice! 
I was also just messing around and having fun with my phone, seeing what neat shapes of light it would make. 
Speaking of those wonderful types of friends, these are two of them! My sister and college roommate, to be exact. We got to hang out a few weeks ago and it was so much fun and went way too fast.  We went thrift store shopping-our favorite! 

If you're local, I really like the Goodwill by Fiesta Square and the Potter's House in both Springdale and Fayetteville. 
The jacket that got away. I loved the pattern and length on this coat but my sis convinced me it was way too big.  Turns out, she was right as she always is. :) 

We have seen several "rainbow clouds" lately, God's little/big way of reminding me He's got his eye on me, hasn't forgotten me, and I'm dearly loved. 
Just a happy little scene at home.
Another dear friend! We work in the library together at one of my schools. We were dressed up for 2-22-22! It was so much fun! We even had a dance party at 2:22.

Great song!
Read Across America is this week so I repeated an idea the teachers liked last year. I wrapped a special book for each teacher and wrote a note on top explaining why I picked it for them.  The teacher/class can then unwrap the surprise book and enjoy!

Ran across this and wow.  This is speaking a lot to me right now.
Book cover love!
Still hitting that treadmill, those squats, the kettle bell, and bike.  I want this to be a year of great strength.

My face when I have 41 students join my library Zoom! 
The girls enjoyed some creative play last week and I got to sit and listen to them imagine and talk.  It was pure bliss.
Haha! And then the water beads spilled everywhere and bounced all over the floor.  A funny memory.
Green nails this week! Brett's favorite color I ever use...which is why I picked it. :)

Strung up some more lights because why not?
We saw a rainbow ring around the sun!  Google says it means "impending doom", but I'd like to disagree.
A real (fancy) date night!
When I pulled the curtains back this day I thought "here comes the sun....". 

Book character dress-up day is coming! Do you know who I will be?
Thank-you!  (tucked this compliment in my brain for myself)

My bike riders! 
Ha! A shot up my nose, but also my lashes are super full after taking collagen since June. So it all depends on what you're focusing on. :) 
Also, this is very happy me on my bike. 

Another week of as many plants as possible! I tried a daikon radish for the first time and really like it! 

Futuresteading by Jade Miles is INCREDIBLE. Yes, it even deserves all caps it's that good. I have only flipped through the book slowly, one time and already I'm in awe. It covers rhythms and rituals for the seasons, gardening, recipes, ways to live naturally, and more.  It is a truly special, one of a kind book.

Now for some outfits! 
I never know what to type here. Should I tell you where I got each item? (spoiler alert-thrifted most likely)

Should I say where I wore each thing? 

Is this only fun for me? 

Date night look.

I do want to pause and talk about this lipstick I rediscovered and am loving. It is "twig" by MAC.  It stays on really well, fades to a lovely shade, and can be put on heavier or lighter, depending on what you like.  It also doesn't dry my lips out. I just put a dab of chapstick on top of it. 

Also, a tip-if you want to try a MAC shade but don't want to shell out the money for an entire tube of lipstick you can also order a mini size first. 

I got this jacket/sweater thing half off at the thrift store and then wore it three days in a row.
No shame in my game!

Twig lipstick again, with less layers. 

Someone wanted to join my outfit selfie. :) 
Last, my new necklace that I adore.  Did you know the lotus flower can stand for many different things, including new beginnings?
The back of the necklace says "bloom" and it can be worn either way.  I am looking forward to having this special reminder around my neck on a daily basis.  

No mud, no lotus, remember? This is what I remind myself.

Ending this Monday so very thankful for so much.