THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM IS ALWAYS BITTER… BUT CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT

with Christmas just around the corner (yup, just 26 days…!) and all of the merry hustle and bustle that we love to get swept up in, it can be hard to wrap our heads around the distinct and glaring contrast of the peace that the holiday represents with the unrest and injustice going on in our world today.

I’ve noticed that everyone seems to be in a hurry to get Christmas HAPPENING this year. people seem to be putting up their trees and decorations early, more facebook statuses than usual have been posted with an open longing for the season to begin, and it seems that Christmas music was blaring a couple weeks sooner than it typically is.

I don’t think this is chance- I think there’s a very communal and vocal desperation for the beauty of Christmas this year that hasn’t been quite so loud in recent ones. I think our hearts recognize the reverence and sacredness of Christmas, and this year we’re starved for it. we’re stuffed full of shock and sadness and the ugly unapproachable-ness of our current reality, and we’re just so ready for a little peace and hope and rescuing.

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I think this is where we need to be.  Continue reading “THE ROAD TO BETHLEHEM IS ALWAYS BITTER… BUT CHRISTMAS IS ALWAYS READY WHEN YOU NEED IT”

HOLIDAY HOME TOUR 2016

The home tour is here!!

I have been waiting for this for weeks, and I’m just so excited to welcome you in to our first stop… our very own Avrick apartment, little 104❤

to see the other home tours, click here:
monday: Meg’s Colorful Vintage Home
tuesday: Rachel’s Frosty Floral Home
friday:
saturday:

hi there friend… step inside.

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I love our little entryway… recognize the little DIY? ;)  Continue reading “HOLIDAY HOME TOUR 2016”

JORDAN & AMANDA // MARRIED

to celebrate mailing out the images of this beautiful couple, here’s a blog post of some of my absolute favorites from their special day!!

there’s something uniquely special about getting to shoot a wedding for someone you know.

Amanda and I attended the same church for over a year, and in that time I had the great pleasure of getting to know her a bit.❤ she is such a treasure! so when she got engaged, I was so happy for her, and thrilled to know there was this awesome guy with whom she’d get to spend the rest of her life.

I got these wonderful little sneak peeks throughout the whole planning process of just how lovely the day itself would be, but no amount of glimpses or glances did it justice. their day was BEAUTIFUL… and not just because of the gorgeous venue or the sweet and feminine color choices… but because Jordan & Amanda so obviously love one another in a genuine and real way.

they were so. much. fun. and so were their beautiful families and charming bridal party.

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A&J18.jpg Continue reading “JORDAN & AMANDA // MARRIED”

BUMPDATE // WEEK 30

you guys.

30 weeks.

what.

these past few weeks have been a brutal season for us. no joke. and during it all, our little Io has been growing like CRAZY nonstop. we can’t believe it’s just ten short weeks until we get to meet her face to face and welcome her into our little family. we already love her so much!!

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Iola Grace
movement– always. ALWAYS. this girl loves to move. she pushes off whatever is sitting on my belly, she gets super excited when her daddy leads worship on sunday morning, and likes to stretch out end-to-end in mama’s tummy :O  Continue reading “BUMPDATE // WEEK 30”

NO EXIT STRATEGY

I’ll be honest with you.

tonight is one of those nights where I’m coming to my keyboard for my own healing. where I’m just hitting the keys and letting all the things stopping up my heart flow free because I can’t choke them back anymore. where I’m coming unfiltered, simply as I am, shaking under mercy. where I’m working out the kinks and tangles of a tossed-up heart.

I’ve been kind of a wreck today. it seems that in almost every area of my life there is strain. there is a push-back. there is tension. there is woundedness uncared for and an insensitive rubbing of the deepest parts of me. again and again over these past few weeks I’ve been forced to lean into the pain, lean into the theatrics, lean into the very real instances where I have come with hands open and left still empty.

so are the times.

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my body is breaking down, getting ill yet again from the exhaustion of both physical and emotional stamina that’s been strained and drawn out. and tonight all I’ve wanted, all I’ve been capable of, has been sitting on the sofa with a blank stare. it’s a theme, you know… getting to the end of myself.

and so here I am, just as I am- seeking truth in the spilled-out thoughts, flipping slowly and painfully through my dearest copy of Scripture, opening up the journal I kept this spring when newness and freedom seemed so possible.

but it doesn’t anymore, and I feel empty and angry and sad. and no matter where I go, coast to coast my heart feels like an outcast under steeples and in good company. and I don’t understand why Divine Love keeps leading me here, sick-to-my-stomach disturbed and lonely.

and this is what I find written in my own handwriting… Continue reading “NO EXIT STRATEGY”

CALLING ALL BLOGGERS // LINK UP LOVE

hey bloggers!

do you like link-ups? (the answer is no- you LOVE them.) because I’m hosting a super fun one to bridge November & December in a bind of awesomeness!😉

one of my all-time favorite things to come across online all year round (but especially during this Christmas season!) is home tours. I love getting to see how other bloggers have chosen to make their house a home, and it always feels so special and intimate to get “invited over” to their house for a few short minutes as I scroll through the beautiful images and read their personal thoughts on the touches they’ve added throughout the nooks and crannies of their spaces.
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here at Untidy Grace, I’m ALL. ABOUT. INVITATION. I’m all about belonging and welcoming in. and with that the way it is around here, it just seems right that I’d have you blogger besties all over to my little cozy apartment for Christmastime😉 would you like to join us?

we’re throwing a Christmas Home Tour party, and you can be a part of it! I already have four fabulous ladies who are excited to open up their Christmas-clad homes to invite in our wonderful internet followers for the holiday season. (and I might even make extra coffee😉 )

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you can check out the participating gals & their blogs here:

moriah // untidy grace creative co.
meg // it’s meg dean
rachel // rachel rossi design
simone // the adventures of everygirl
kristie // life with kristie

if you’re all like “YES! ME! I WANT TO DO THIS!” then send me an email!
untidygrace@gmail.com

hope to see you soon🙂

CHRISTMAS WITH UNTIDY GRACE & LIFE LATELY

hey friends!

I thought I’d write a little update for all of you who follow along here at the blog so you’ll have the inside scoop into what’s going on this season with me & my little fam, and so you can get excited about some of the great things to come in preparation for Christmas with Untidy Grace!🙂

LIFE LATELY
1.) the slow transition from fall into winter has blown by in this life season of pure chaos for us. with an emergency room trip for me at the beginning of last month, and then an ER visit & hospital stay (complete with surgery!) for J that bled over into this month, it’s felt like one crisis after another. we’ve definitely been kept on our toes. thankfully, we’ve been loved on by my sweet Holy Yoga family and by dear friends- both here in WA and all the way from the east coast in MD! still, the healing process, mixed with entering my third trimester of pregnancy, with anxiety and exhaustion sprinkled on top has not been fun. (did I put that mildly enough?😉 ) Continue reading “CHRISTMAS WITH UNTIDY GRACE & LIFE LATELY”

I DON’T FIGHT MY DEPRESSION

I don’t fight my depression.

yeah, you read that right.

I just don’t. in fact, after 5+ years of losing every single battle I’ve tried to fight with this beast, I have decided it’s just not worth it to fight anymore. It isn’t worth it to wind up bruised and beaten, licking my wounds.

before all of you go crucifying me on the cross of panic and political correctness, let me explain.

I don’t fight my depression, because I have a greater goal in mind- I don’t want to keep getting beat until I can no longer get back up. nope, I don’t care any longer to be a hero. I don’t want to fight it. I want to survive it.

and I can’t do both. I can’t both keep fighting AND survive.

this is not a pity party, and it’s not a declaration of defeat. this is not me throwing in the towel or waving the proverbial white flag. this is none of those things. this is a decision so much bigger and so much braver than nonsensically charging into battle, armor-free, which is what it is like trying to fight depression.

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hear this well: there is no armor strong enough to protect your mind from itself when it is determined to take you away from everything you are, everything good, everything safe, everything that is true. regardless of what you think you do or do not know… depression plays by only two rules, and those two rules never change: shame and isolate.

you cannot beat shame and isolation with brute force.  Continue reading “I DON’T FIGHT MY DEPRESSION”

DIY CHRISTMAS DECOR // EMBROIDERY HOOP WALL HANGING

I’m so excited to be able to feature this year’s first Christmas DIY!🙂 I love Christmas, and I love simple do-it-yourself projects, so I had a blast throwing this super-easy wall decor together for the upcoming holiday season! I think you will too.

the best part about this little project is just how easy it is. literally all you have to do is cut and tie fabric. so. stinkin’. simple. seriously guys, I just made this in about 10 minutes (preggo brain and all), and I cannot stress enough that you cannot mess this up.

also, I’m pretty sure the total spent on this was about $5 or $5.50. so it’s also budget-friendly, like the rest of my Christmas decor ideas!

here’s what you need:
~an embroidery hoop (I think mine was 10″)
~3+ types of ribbon in colors/patterns of your choice (I liked the variety in texture between lace and twine and ribbon!)
~scissors
~Christmas music playing in the background
~a cup of hot coffee/tea/cocoa😉

that’s it!

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you might already have spare ribbon at home, and that would bring your cost down further. I purchased the embroidery hoop for just $1.60 at Hobby Lobby, and grabbed the ribbon from various places.

how to make the wall hoop:
1.) choose your statement ribbon, and decide how long you would like it to hang.
I picked the widest, thickest ribbon for this. I also started long with the ribbon, and got shorter as I went up the sides. so decide if that’s something you want to do, or if you want it all hanging the same length. Continue reading “DIY CHRISTMAS DECOR // EMBROIDERY HOOP WALL HANGING”

HOW PREGNANCY HAS HELPED ME FIND MY VOICE

so… you should probably pour yourself a cup of coffee and get cozy for a second.

it’s one of those heart-to-heart, wish-we-were-doing-this-in-person kinda posts. it’s one that I want to chat about friend-to-friend, and let you know that this Holy Becoming thing is so hard and good and just incredible. I want to tell you about all the crazy ways God is real and big and just present here in new ways lately. I want to talk about how wild this journey is and how wonderfully terrible it can be to grow into a more Jesus-like creature, to grow into more of who we’re made to be.

I guess I’ll just jump right in, then.

when I was growing up, I was kind of a doormat.

no, really. I have always had a really tough struggle when it comes to communicating and voicing what I need and want from situations and people.

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I’m a chronic “yes” girl. saying no is HARD. so, for years I would go long periods without saying it, and then suddenly burst into a stubborn fit of “no!” to make up for the pent-up fear and frustration that I had allowed to build. this took its toll on friendships and situations in which I’d end up used and bitter because I’d stayed quiet and small instead of being vocal and brave. Continue reading “HOW PREGNANCY HAS HELPED ME FIND MY VOICE”