{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


   I love the bond between this girl and her dad, love the way she waves her arms in excitement when he comes home from work each day, love the giggles and grins she reserves for him. This particular moment was from Saturday afternoon, and it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.DCM_7917 (2) DCM_7918 (2)


It’s the return of Friday Night Dinners! We took a long break for the holidays and for January, and then had a few weeks where nobody came, but this last week brought good friends and good conversation (and good food!) to our table. Forgive this not-so-wonderful picture; I was too busy enjoying everyone to capture a decent photograph, and only snapped this shot of the aftermath.



Sunday evening found me with a very awake girl and a dinner to prepare, at an hour long past her normal bedtime. I would blame it on Daylight Savings Time (the scourge of parents everywhere), except that she woke up earlier than normal on Sunday and hardly napped at all during the day. I really can’t say what caused her absolute refusal to sleep, but, having already gone through our bedtime routine and expecting her dad home from Awana at any moment, I settled on this as a reasonable solution to the problem of where to put her. She was quite content to munch veggies and watch  my dinner prep; there are definite advantages to having a non-mobile child!

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Shortly after we bought this home, we bought several bushes to plant along the front. These bushes were bought from the same nursery and planted at the same time. They are all on the same drip system and get the same amount of sun during the day. And they are all growing and flowering at vastly different rates. I fear my brown thumb is showing.

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Those are the pretty, happy, funny and real moments around here this week. How about you? Head over to Like Mother, Like Daughter and join in the fun!

Family and Parenting, This Thing Called Life


10 Responses to {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

  1. Laura says:

    Friday night dinners sound like a lot of fun!
    I love your sink solution. Motherhood certainly brings out the creativity in us.

    • Jenn says:

      We love Friday Night Dinners! They’ve been wonderful for us.
      Motherhood and creativity certainly go hand-in-hand. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. We think it’s ingenious of you to plop that baby in the sink while you work! She’s in no danger of falling off the counter, and you can socialize while you work! I have eight children, and it never occurred to me to use the sink as seating. 🙂

    • Jenn says:

      Ha, thanks Jennie! It was truly a last-minute flash of inspiration. I walked into the kitchen with her in my arms and thought, “How am I going to get dinner going?” and then saw the sink. She loved being at a height where she could see what was happening.

  3. jywatkins says:

    It’s great you have a nice deep sink for your little one to sit in! So cute! We have been toying with the idea of Friday night dinners too. The logistics of it intimidate me though. Do you have specific people you invite or just do an open invitation?

    • Jenn says:

      We love Friday night dinners! (In fact, for the past few weeks, we’ve both listed it in our gratitude journal!). We do an open invite – I put a post on Facebook early in the week letting people know it’s happening, and ask for them to let me know if they’re coming by Thursday at noon. The last few weeks, I’ve also set up an event on FB and invited everyone who lives in the area – I think people sometimes respond better to a specific invitation. We have never had too many people (we typically have 8-10 adults), but if it ever gets to the point where it becomes very popular, I’ll put a cap in place – make it open to the first X number of adults to respond. For me, I’ve found that letting go of the need to impress (i.e. having a spotless house, serving a fancy dinner, and worrying about everything going perfectly) has turned it into something enjoyable rather than stressful. And you can make it simpler, too – I stole the idea from somebody who did “Friday Night Meatballs”, serving spaghetti and meatballs every week, but I wanted more variety than that.

      The goal for us, though, was to intentionally foster community, and there are so many ways to do that! Shauna Niequist wrote in Bread and Wine about a group of friends that met regularly for dinner (I think they called it Dinner Club or something like that), and about how meaningful it was for her. There were something like 6 or 8 of them, and they’d take turns hosting.

      • jywatkins says:

        Yes, I’ve read Bread and Wine, too. I think the open invitation idea is something we might try soon. We’d love to do the dinner club idea, because we love that idea of building a really strong community with a small group of people who you can really rely on, but I think it’s not the right time for the people we know to commit to something on a regular basis. With the open invitation, people don’t have to feel pressured to host or to show up every week, they can fit it in when it works out. Thanks for the details! I’ll let you know how it goes once we become brave enough to get something started.

  4. Amber says:

    Love the sink idea! So cute.

    Glad to hear you are doing the dinners again. I haven’t been on FB for over a month so I hadn’t seen anything about it – whoops. We’d love to see you guys again and I will have to try and put that back on our radar.

    • Jenn says:

      Oh, I hope you can make it to one soon! We’ve missed you. I have been meaning to email you to let you know we’d started up again – I’m sorry I never did. We will be on next week and then off for two weeks (we’ll be attending a fundraiser for some missionary friends on the 27th, and the 3rd is Good Friday), and then hopefully back to a regular weekly schedule after that.

      • Amber says:

        I apologize for not checking FB during that time… I really don’t like it and don’t find much value in it. I’d much rather read blogs with my online time. I’ve found that looking at FB makes me feel anxious, so it seems best to just stay away. But I don’t want my preference to be a hassle for anyone else! We’re not available next week, so we’ll have to join you after Easter. Thanks for the update!