Today, I put together a collection of little things that make me happy and add a special meaning to my life, or remind me of meaningful people or times past, or things to look forward to. I plan to make Things I Love a regular feature here on the blog, so I hope you'll come back for more! I believe to have a meaningful life, you need to surround yourself with things (and people) that hold special meaning to you. Whether that may be artwork, letters from your family, or photographs of your kids… whatever brings your heart joy and reminds you of someone/something you love is meaningful and important, and should be celebrated!
Here are a few of my favorite things to have around me, besides my people, of course.
Things that mean a lot to me are often art-related. I bought these three sweet watercolor prints last year and love that they tell the story of Chris + me + us. You can get your home state (or states, if you're nomads like us) from Pinecone and Poppy too.
I swoon over typography. Lettering, calligraphy, and gorgeous typefaces. I have taken a calligraphy class or two, and my goal is to carve out more time to practice it. Someday I'd like to offer a few art prints with sweet mama sentiments that lift my spirits, and hopefully yours too. Until then, I'll just continue to be inspired by this hand-lettered print that I bought for the girls' room, and this adorable card, and all of these (especially that gorgeous swoopy S below).
Songs are often meaningful too. They bring back memories of laughter, sadness, joy, or certain times in my life. For example, every time I hear the Wallflowers, I think of my youngest sister and our spontaneous trip to the Isle of Palms, SC in 1997. When I hear Chris Tomlin's Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone, I think of my Momaw Jiggs. (Valentine's Day will mark an entire year since she left this earth, and my heart is not looking forward to it this year.) I'm not embarrassed to admit that when I hear Tom Petty's Free Falling, I think of Tom Cruise slapping his steering wheel in Jerry Maguire, and I just have to do it myself. (Admit it, you do it too!)
I'm a visual girl, so my home office wall is dotted with framed quotes and encouraging notes from clients. This one is a favorite, and if you've been a newborn client of mine in the past year or so, you'll have received a version of this print as a gift from me! Having gone through PPD twice myself, it's so important to me that new mamas remind themselves daily of this truth. Especially when the nights are long and the days are hard. I look up at this print every day, and it makes me smile at what I've come through and it encourages me to envision where I'm headed now. :)
Sweet scents and delicious foods can sure conjure up terrific memories, can't they? I have an entire recipe binder full of wonderful memories and cherished family recipes that mean the world to me. My mom's potato salad, Momaw Bertie's Mandarin Cake, and Trish's apple dumplings. Our sweet tea needs no recipe, I know it like the back of my hand. Actually, I am trying my best to quit sweet tea. (gasp) Downright blasphemy from a Southern girl's lips, right? Well, I hope to at least cut back dramatically. I am embarrassed to admit how much I can consume in a days' time, and how little water I squeeze in. Sweet tea is a comfort food for me, and it reminds me of warm days watching a jar of tea slowly steep in the sunshine of Momaw and Popaw's side yard. Yellow lid, soft green grass, sparkling amber tea. Such a calm, happy memory for me. But healthy, it is not. I am from the South, you know, so a cup to a cup and a half of sugar goes into every pitcher. (I know!) So I'm trying to cut back and make it more of a treat, rather than a habit.
Since I cannot go without caffeine altogether, this delicious cold brew coffee has been filling in the gaps for me. There will never be a substitute tea for me (it's my standard Luzianne or nothing), but I can distract myself with flavored coffee so much more easily. My favorite flavors are Sweet Delight, Mocha and Sea Salt Caramel Mocha when I'm feeling super fancy. I add honey and almond milk to mine, and a little ice. I think I might try Caribbean Coconut next. I do love anything with coconut.
A few practical things that add meaning to my life are my Day Designer, my Simplified LifeBinder, and my PowerSheets. Honestly, they deserve an entire post themselves, but let's just say that I couldn't make it a single (productive) day without this super trifecta of organization and planning. They are beautiful, and they make me so happy. Bonus points that they were all created by strong, driven women who have a heart for creative entrepreneurs (and mamas).
And it goes without saying that some of the most meaningful things in my life -- besides my family -- are my family photographs. They are all around me, smiling up at me and encouraging me to keep my camera's shutter clicking with intention. To show them that they are important to me, and that their beautiful faces are truly God's artwork. The best kind! And it is my honor, and my life's work, to create meaningful photographs for you and your family.
Momaw meeting Charlotte. Priceless to me.
Possibly my favorite picture of Parker and Lila together, ever.
Lila and her beloved Bitty Baby.
Charlotte's "baby" and her shenanigans. She climbs into this shopping cart all by herself and I'm always afraid she's going to tip it over. She's so proud of herself!
This scrunchy smiley face, and all of those rainbow loom bracelets.
And that smattering of freckles that dance across her cheeks and nose. Ohhh. Things I love, for sure.
Now it's your turn…..
What meaningful things do you surround yourself with? Do you have a sentimental piece or two at your desk, or beside your bed? Do you connect memories to songs like I do? I'd love for you to share in the comments below, at least ONE big or small thing that is really meaningful and important in your life right now…