Messy, imperfect, true love

family, finding love, jewelry, marriage, the meaning behind the jewelry By November 22, 2021 No Comments

I used to think I could create the perfect life. I had an image in my mind—our home, our children, our perfect marriage. But then real life happened and I quickly realized perfection doesn’t exist.

Leaning into what is real, embracing our flaws and strengths, and loving each other in that place is where the magic happens!

True love is not neat and tidy. True love is wild, amazing, and complex. Living together in the beautiful mess of every day makes life meaningful. I choose us!

I cherish our love. It’s messy and imperfect, but oh so true! I wear my Cherished Hearts Initial Necklace as a reminder of us. Pick a charm and an initial for each of your loves and create a necklace representing the wild and beautiful love that fills your life.

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All About Love: we are Better Together

finding love, jewelry, marriage, steve, the meaning behind the jewelry By October 11, 2021 2 Comments

We’ve worked really REALLY hard for this love. And just in case it looks easy or you feel like everyone around you has it figured out—it’s not easy and none of us have it figured out.

We’re learning a healthy relationship needs two whole people who show up and engage honestly.

I can’t make him happy.

I can’t make him whole.

I can’t make him feel loved.

He is responsible for himself.

And he can’t make me happy, whole or feel loved. I’m responsible for me.

God is the giver of these big, beautiful gifts we look for in a partner.

Happiness, wholeness, love—those are gifts God gives. They come wrapped in packages of brokenness, heartbreak, pain and uncertainty.

I know it makes no sense. It’s upsidedown and messy and I don’t have it figured out.

But I can tell you this—somehow as we lean into our brokenness we find wholeness. As we lean into our pain we find healing. As we lean into the mess we find a new, deeper beauty.

This is love. And we’re working really, really hard to love each other well.

Through it all, I know there is no other place I’d rather be than together. That’s the inspiration behind my “Better Together” necklace. Isn’t it adorable?? I’m giving it away as a gift with every order right now at my shop, but only for TWO. more. days!!

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you are worthy of love! {my ‘full of love necklace’}

finding love, inspiration, jewelry, the meaning behind the jewelry By July 29, 2021 2 Comments

Look at how beautiful my Full of Love necklace is! If you’re looking for a heart necklace, this beauty is so full of meaning.

I am prone to judge myself harshly—I wasn’t productive enough, honest enough, kind enough, thin enough {I could go on and on about my not-enoughs!}

I’m learning with practice, therapy, time, and patience to be more gentle with myself. All is well. Everything is okay. I am loved. I am worthy.

Full of love—that’s what the necklace is called {and what it symbolizes}. Pouring out love for family and friends. Taking time for quiet and reflection—time to nurture our own heart and believe we are worthy of time, energy, fun, play, silliness, happiness, goodness. We don’t have to earn our worthiness—we are already loved and worthy.

This heart necklace is so unique! The hand molded pendant shows the artist’s fingerprint, making each one a one-of-a-kind treasure. It’s the perfect little piece to wear around your neck every day. Your heart is so full of love!

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breathing in the beauty

an everyday moment, celebrate the every day, choose joy, finding beauty By June 18, 2021 3 Comments

There is so much beauty around us—this doesn’t minimize the pain and the mess of how hard it is to be human, but it brings BALANCE, hope and relief.

It’s easy for me to see the hard stuff—to feel overwhelmed, scared and frustrated—but I’m practicing taking time to notice the beauty, to breathe it in, to feel grateful for these gifts. Gifts like colorful flowers, snuggles, and time with my boys!


It’s strange how pain and peace often go together. Exhaustion makes way for deep rest. Sadness created space for joy. In my experience as a human, there’s no such thing as perfect—but there’s so much GOOD. You deserve good and beautiful things!

And friends, don’t forget to take the time to smell the flowers and notice the beauty around you. My sweet flower jewelry reminds you to do just that, like my Be You Wildflower Necklace and Birth Flower Necklace. Aren’t they gorgeous?

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one open heart

choose joy, finding love By November 29, 2018 107 Comments

I am learning one open heart can change the world.

On a sunny Sunday morning last year, we arrived at church a few minutes early. David slowly climbed the steps, one at a time, while holding my hand. Once inside he pulled away from me, wanting to explore the sanctuary before the service began. I set down my bag and followed closely behind him. I had no idea what was about to happen.

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David lives life inside a body that doesn’t cooperate. Because of his disability, he is very small, has only two fingers on his left hand and is non-verbal. David can’t speak with words but he has much to say. He communicates through gestures, physical touch and heart connection. As he moved around the room he ran his hand over the smooth wood of the church pew, weaving in and out of the narrow space. Then he crossed the aisle and made his way over to a woman sitting by herself. She was in her late thirties, had a kind face and a gentle presence.

We’d never met but that didn’t stop David from approaching her. As he got closer, the woman looked up and smiled at him. Once beside her, David turned around and backed up to her—it’s his way of asking to be held.

“He wants to sit on your lap.” I explained. “He can sit next to you if you prefer.”

“No,” she said, “I’d love to hold him.” She carefully lifted him onto her lap.

He tenderly wrapped his arms around her neck and laid his head against her shoulder.

“Is this okay?” I asked, anxious to be considerate of her space “Would you like me to move him?”

She looked up at me with tears in her eyes.

“My mom was diagnosed with cancer a couple days ago.” she said in a quiet voice. “I just needed a hug so badly. He knew exactly what I needed.”

I bent down beside them and touched her knee softly as she and David embraced. It was a holy moment of connection that soothed a hurting heart.

In that moment he gave her love, changing her world.

So often I rush around, trying to take care of people, trying to serve, trying to be good enough, trying to prove myself.

David doesn’t worry about these things. He is present in the moment. He is fully himself, unconcerned with what others think.

David’s simple act of love brought hope and beauty to this woman’s day.

He saw her and without pause met her exactly where she was.

It wasn’t accidental.

It wasn’t complicated.

It was David’s open heart that created a beautiful connection.

Maybe it’s not only grand, heroic actions that change the world.

Maybe it’s the quiet moments, when, in humility and brokenness we meet each other right where we are.

We offer hope and love.

We are present to witness another person’s pain and offer soothing grace.

When we stop rushing, stop trying, stop proving, we can be fully present in the moment.

We can be fully ourselves and open our hearts to each other.

David is showing me one open heart can change the world.

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Brave Love

finding love, the meaning behind By October 23, 2017 6 Comments

Becoming a family isn’t what I thought it would be. I started out optimistic and naive–determined to be the perfect wife and mom. When difficulty came our way I tried to stay positive. I told myself we would figure it out–but we’d solve one problem and another would pop up. I’m not perfect and I never will be–no matter how hard I try. Our family is made of real people–each with our own likes and dislikes, our own quirks and preferences. We tried having it all together but it was too much work. Way too much work. So we decided to be real instead. It is scary and hard and SO MUCH BETTER than trying to be perfect.

Love requires bravery–there is no love without risk and vulnerability.

We’re crazy, but our crazy compliments each other.
We argue, we scream, we get angry, but we also fight to stay together.
We are stable, not because the path is easy, but because we hold onto each other tightly.
When walls build up, we break them down.
We make mistakes, we own our mistakes, we forgive each other.
We each bring strengths and weaknesses–we wouldn’t be us without them.
Each of us is part of the whole.
We are better together.
You are you, I am me.
You make me braver, I make you braver.
Love makes us brave.
Together is where we want to be.
We are a family and that won’t change–no matter what.
We love bravely and with honesty. This is the meaning behind the Brave Love ring.
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It was beautiful

finding beauty By September 7, 2017 116 Comments
When I was nine years old my mom took me shopping for new shoes. Mine were worn out and too small and it was time for a new pair. As we entered our local Payless shoe store, I spotted a pair of emerald green flats and fell in love. These shoes were going to change my life.
“Please mom?” I asked.
“They’re not very practical.” She answered. “Do you promise you’ll wear them?”
“I promise.” I said
We drove home and I skipped into the house thrilled with my new green shoes. I could hardly believe I owned something so beautiful. They were mine, all mine.
I wore them even though they gave me blisters. I wore them when the color scuffed off around the toes. Eventually they wore out completely.  No matter how tightly I tried to hold on, their beauty faded.
I felt a little sad when we cleaned out my closet and bagged them up along with other too small or not needed items. But soon something else caught my eye.
A couple weeks later, my friend Marie invited me to her house to play.  When she opened her bedroom door I saw a four poster bed with a white ruffle canopy. I had never seen anything so fancy.  It was so beautiful I could hardly stand it.
It is the first time I remember feeling jealous.
I wanted that bed to be mine. But I matter how much I begged and pleaded, I knew my parents would never buy my a four poster bed with a ruffle canopy.
The green shoes wouldn’t be the last time I would try to own beauty and hold it tightly.
Marie’s four poster bed with a ruffle canopy wouldn’t be the last time a would feel jealousy and longing.
As I became an adult I still craved beauty. When Steve and I were engaged I was sure i could find something–incredible wedding photos or the perfect couch or the right lipstick–to satisfy my craving. For a short time I would enjoy these things but their beauty faded. Nothing seemed to keep that jealous ache away for long.
When I was 38 weeks pregnant, we learned something was wrong with our baby. I was quickly admitted to the hospital and two days later, Steve and I held our first son, David.  He was 4 lbs, 2 oz and had only had two fingers on his left hand. We were told he had a rare genetic disorder called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome This wasn’t the baby I dreamed about. The beautiful life I had planned was slipping through my fingers. I imagined years filled with doctor visits and wheelchairs and feeding tubes. We loved David dearly, but in those first days, I couldn’t imagine beauty as part of our story. The pain of losing the baby we expected combined with navigating David’s physical needs was almost unbearable.
I was fully aware for the first time in my life that I was not in control. I began to understand I had never been in control.
I worried a lot less about finding the right lipstick and spent that energy taking care of our new baby.
I wasn’t as concerned about having the perfect home. Instead I focused on rare quiet moments with my husband while our baby was sleeping.
When David was ten weeks old he smiled for the first time. His smile was like glue healing the cracks in my broken heart.
It was beautiful.
When he was three months old he laughed for the first time. It was a rolling giggle and it was the most incredible sound we had ever heard. Steve and I looked at each other with unbridled joy.
It was beautiful.
When David was eighteen months old, his brother Matthias was born. We were relieved to meet our healthy, happy baby. Matthias balanced out our family. He was exactly what we needed.
Steve and I had two boys.
They were beautiful.
We bought our first house and filled it with thrifted furniture we sanded and painted.
It was beautiful.
Money was tight those first years. We paid our bills every month but had little left over for fun.
Sometimes we would splurge and go to Dairy Queen for chili cheese dogs. I treasure those memories with the four of us sitting in the booth at DQ.
It was beautiful.
During a particularly difficult financial time, someone from our church slipped $500 into Steve’s briefcase. We were in shock. To this day we have no idea who gave us that money.
It was one of the most humbling gifts we ever received.
It was beautiful.
Last week I stood on the beach staring at the glittering ocean waves. I let the salty ocean air fill my lungs. My heart was happy.
It was beautiful.
There is beauty in a hot cup of coffee.
There is beauty in sitting with a friend and sharing our hearts.
There is beauty in sunlight coming through the window.
There is beauty in slowing down to rest.
There is beauty in an impromptu dinner with friends.
There is beauty when my arms are tired from holding my boys.
There is beauty in the emptiness of loss, because loss means I have loved.
There is beauty in the dark places–where we least expect to find it. I have found on the hardest days, beauty shows up in real and miraculous ways.
The tighter I try to hold onto beauty, the more it slips through my fingers.
When I look to my outward beauty, my home and material things to fill me I become frustrated.
Beauty cannot be owned or possessed.
Beauty comes to me when I open my eyes and open my heart.
Beauty comes to me when I stop trying to control things and let them be what they are–messy and amazing.
There is nothing wrong with green shoes or four poster beds with a ruffle canopy. There is nothing wrong with a new couch or the perfect shade of lipstick. These things are beautiful gifts–ours to enjoy for a while. But the little things; a smile, a tiny giggle, an anonymous gift, a small hand in mine, the ocean waves, the sun warming my shoulders, these are the most beautiful gifts of all.
I want to hold beauty with open hands. I want to remind myself although I cannot own it, there is no shortage of beauty. It’s impossible to run out of beauty because the God of the Universe has filled his creation with beautiful things. He gives us gifts to enjoy, to soak up and to share with others. There is an endless supply of beauty around me. My arms and my heart are full.
In fact, this very moment, right now, is beautiful.
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All Is Well

the meaning behind the jewelry, thoughts By July 31, 2017 133 Comments
About 30 minutes after our plane took off for England, David started having rapid breathing. We gave him his inhaler–which helped a bit, but we watched him closely and worried throughout the 10 hour flight. After we landed we took him to the emergency room in London. It ends up he had pneumonia–thankfully we caught it early. Everyone at the hospital was wonderful. They sent us home with meds and within a day David was back to himself.
I am a worrier.
I worry about David’s health.
I worry about my boys’ safety.
I worry when I’m a passenger in a car.
I worry about what others think of me.
I worry if I give my boys enough love and attention.
I worry about my marriage.
I worry I’m letting people down.
And on and on and on.
And my worry never helps me or anyone else–not one single bit.

I wrote this poem on a walk in the English countryside and I wanted to share it with you–because maybe you’re a worrier like me. I hope it encourages you.


All Is Well

Stress and worry
Have helped me not
My joy they’ve taken
This moment forgot

My thoughts bundled up
In fear of unknowns
My mind distracted

My present disowned

Detached from what is
I guess what may be
I imagine the worst

Dark and doom I see

Instead of the light
That always surrounds me
I am safe and secure

God loves me profoundly

My path is before me
God planned every part
Before my first step

From the end to the start

Life’s mysteries to me
Are by God fully known
I am His child

He cares for His own

When sorrow takes hold
And the light seems so dim
His grace and love find me

My hope is in Him

When the pain of this world
Crowds in to oppress
My God gently holds me

And shows me His rest

My worries don’t help me
I’m beginning to find
They wreck and they ravage
I am free, I can breathe
Nothing can alter
The path I am walking

My God will not falter

Today I will practice
Letting go of control
I am held by God’s hand

All is well with my soul

I will learn to be still
And quiet the fear
Today is a gift

My God holds me near

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I Believe in Magic

finding love, soul connection By May 16, 2017 3 Comments

Magic is… how our souls found one another.

Magic is… the way our hearts stretch to hold an unimaginable BIG LOVE.

Magic is… your HUG, which takes my pain away.

Magic is… the way we each LIGHT UP when we see each other.

Magic is… how your hand fits perfectly in mine.

Magic is… seeing BEAUTY grow where pain was planted.

Magic is… stepping with you into the unknown, and finding ourselves right where we are meant to be.

Magic is…. the unshakable love we share.

Magic is….knowing you are my answered prayer.

Some don’t believe in magic.

Yet when I look around, I see…

Magic happens every day.

It’s happening to me!

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How to Spell L O V E

be brave, finding love By February 21, 2017 1 Comment


First we need an L.
L is for learning.
Life is a series of Lessons teaching us about LOVE.
As we Listen and Learn, LOVE brings Lasting beauty that fiLLs our hearts.

Next comes the O.
O is for Overflowing.
When we come with Open hearts and Open hands we show LOVE to Ourselves and Others.
LOVE withOut fear Overflows with grace and hOpe.

V is Very important
Because V stands for Valiant.
True LOVE is an adVenture requiring courage.
Only the braVe see the Value of risking their hearts.

Finish off with an E for elastic.
LOVE stretches and grows to Encompass Everyone on Earth.
LOVE is Essential for a healthy heart.
It Enables us to know we are Enough, just as we are.


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