Saturday, December 1, 2012

A portrait of Portland

IMG_9197IMG_9285 IMG_9204

Due to the awesome generosity of many to watch our delightful children for us – Donald and I were able to get away for a long weekend to celebrate our 7th anniversary and his 30th birthday!! 


We got an amazing deal on plane tickets to Portland (turns out not everyone likes to fly the red-eye??) and we were off to explore a new city to both of us.


*we were there at this amazing time when the grapes are finished being harvested; and as soon as the vines have given their fruit, they die and turn this amazing color.  The fields were so beautiful.  It only last for a couple of weeks.  Such a delightful blessing.  Nature: you never cease to amaze and humble.


Portland, you did not disappoint.  You were filled with all things dear to the Wallace household.  Beauty, great food, awesome coffee, delicious wine, casual, more beauty, and great beer.  Dallas community of friends and family – you are the only reason we returned. 

IMG_9289   IMG_9329

*We drove to this one vista, and as we arrived, the clouds momentarily cleared and we could see a glimpse of Mt. Hood.


‘How often I have ralized the poet’s buoyant hopes amid…solitary rambles through interminable Forests!’

-Thomas Nuttal, Botanist 1834

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday Hope


Portland 2012

As we prepare for the week, I am filled with hope.  Especially in these past few years, I have clung to hope as such a beautiful and generous gift that the Lord offers us. 


Portland 2012


    But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
        like a weaned child with its mother;
        like a weaned child is my soul within me.
    O Israel, hope in the LORD
        from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 131

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Why, Hello, Fall!

And just like that it was fall…and just like that the temperatures returned to 90 degrees.  Oh, Texas.  I just adore fall.  Like a good many people, it is my favorite season.  I love the pumpkins – the leaves changing – the crispness in the air – the need for a warm drink and a scarf.  Ahh, fall.

So, Abi & I have a little tradition on the first day of fall.  We bake a pumpkin pie.  Oh right – I also love the food of fall.  It’s just delish and heart-warming.  I love doing this with Abi – from the past few years:

IMG_9894 IMG_9898


IMG_5610 IMG_5619


IMG_2580 IMG_2593


And then this year…


We made a good ol’ mess (she can help me clean up a little bit now, though!) and just enjoyed one another.  It was a delight to see how Abi’s little heart appreciated tradition at this early age – I love that.  I hope those little things continue to take root in her.


May your falls be delightful and your pumpkin pies oh-so-tasty!


IMG_8357 IMG_8360

(enjoying the fruit of her labor…and Nate didn’t want to miss out…pretty indicative of life around here)

Friday, October 5, 2012

A little happy friday

Many years ago, a dear friend told me about a tradition that her family used to do (and she continues to do with her boys) involving ‘Friday Treats.’


(a delicious treat enjoyed with girlfriends…perfect for fall…out of this world pumpkin soufflĂ©)

Oh goodness, do we love ‘Friday Morning Treats’ in the Wallace household.  This has evolved for us to breakfast (usually) someplace fun.  However, just concentrating on making our Friday(s) special has really made all of us see this day as  unique and we’ve anticipated Fridays with expectation (the good kind!).

photo 2(2)

(thanks, D for helping keep the tradition alive!)

With our current lot in life…this also involves D bringing us our Friday morning treat.  Because I’m not quite brave enough to sit in the coffee shop with all three of them.  You’re welcome, Dallas.  (and if I’m honest, I don’t have my act together to get all three of them out the door to head to breakfast – without breakfast being at 10 or some other child-inappropriate hour!)

 photo 4photo 3(2)

(their creativity on a friday…a treat in its own right!)

May your Friday be filled with happiness!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sanctification through Motherhood :: Calm & Crazy

Welcome to our playroom.  Or you may know it as the nursery.  Lots of things happen in this room.  Lots of crazy.  In fact, the crazy escalated in this room so much that the lovely little dollhouse has since been relocated to Abi & Nate’s room (even though I’m not a fan of toys in bedrooms, this was classified in my mind as a ‘peaceful toy’ and therefore allowed).



Oh goodness, these pictures are so normal.  Crazy.  Misplaced.  Messy.

Many-a-day they drive me insane.  And I’m not even the cleanest person in the world…but I just feel unraveled when a room looks like this.  And in our house…rooms look like this pretty quickly these days.

But I am reminded that I have been given an amazing gift.  I can tap into the source of eternal peace.  He waits to calm my heart.  His truths are separate, above my circumstances.  He invites me to dwell in peace and contentment despite of the seemingly abundant crazy.

He then gently reminds me that I will miss this crazy one day.  The house will soon be neat all the time with no little footsteps thundering down the halls or a crash radiating through the house as a box of toys is dumped out.

And then I see this…



This sweet little being sleeping away.  A calm in the crazy.  A great example to me.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Things that are beautiful to me…


(sweet Will on his first trip to the lake)

One of my favorite “non-important” things that I’ve gained from marrying Donald is darn-good appreciation for the band ‘Waterdeep.’  Oh my.  What a goodie.  Soulful / folky (is that a word?  Don’t think so) / poetic – there are so many great things about this band.   The song we danced to at our wedding / what we sing to our kiddos at night / what we listen to in order to both praise and grieve…Waterdeep.


(little Nate admiring a huge moth on the flowers at the arboretum)

Anyhow…one of the choruses that I find myself singing alot when I am needing beauty / searching for goodness is this:

Its just like you to bring beauty to ashes
Its just like you, Lord it's just like you

It reminds me of this…God can make anything beautiful.  It is in His nature, it is His essence.  Beauty.  And can I tell you that in the middle of piles (and piles) of laundry - of feeling like I always smell because of having spit-up on my chest or chasing an 18 month old boy – of never having make-up on except on Sunday mornings :: I need reminders that play in my head that I am still part of something truly beautiful.  The unmade bed / the sink full of dishes / the crazy (funky, as abi calls it) hair…it is part of a beautiful life.  And I struggle to see that at times.  I need reminders.

photo 2(1) photo 3(1)

(a fantastic dinner party hosted by a delightful friend)

The other reminder…it is just like the Lord to be about these things.  He is good – He is FOR good things – it is just like him.  I serve a God who wants “bests.”  This is beautiful to me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tomato Delight with Slave-Free Tomatoes

Rewind to the beginning of the summer – here I sit delighting at the season that begs me to eat BLT after BLT (which I am oh-so-happy to oblige!) and I had no idea that there was about to be a wave of discussion in our home about the little, beautiful tomato. 

American Slavery.  What??  Not a history lesson.  But, today, currently, there is a modern-day slave situation in our country surrounding tomatoes.  There are men and women who are treated unjustly as they harvest the millions of pounds of tomatoes that our country consumes.  We were blown away and our hearts were saddened.


 (aren’t these beautiful?  When we shopped for our co-op the last time…grown in Texas, no slavery here as far as I know)

So what to do??!!  These realizations beg for action to be taken on our part.  Thankfully there are great grocers in our area (Whole Foods & Trader Joe’s) that have made a commitment to only buy tomatoes from responsibly grown sources.  (PS – I’m always grateful when companies do some of the hard work – makes shopping and life a bit easier).


(the best kind of tomato – grown in Donald’s momma’s garden)

And then there is this – testifying to change and eating.  That is my kind of movement.  IJM has hosted throughout the summer really delicious recipes to encourage and remind us of the situation in Florida.

Check it out here.

An oldie-but-a-goodie.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day :: Mercy Project

When I start to her ‘Labor Day’ pop up in conversations in the month of August, my mind usually drifts towards a few ideas…food & hanging out with friends and family / the end of summer / and that D gets a three day weekend = hooray.  Quite honestly, I don’t reflect on the reason that our country even has Labor Day.  I don’t spend much time pondering that there were groups of individuals who fought to guarantee fair wages, safe working conditions, and prevent discrimination.

I often fail to really let it soak in that there are so many laws in our country that strive to protect the  vulnerable.  And who are the most vulnerable?  Children.  Unfortunately, this is not the case in Ghana.

mercy project

Today as we’re celebrating the systems in our own country that strive to prevent injustices like child trafficking
and child labor, we’re mindful of the many child slaves around the world who are unprotected and the
organizations, like Mercy Project, who are working to free them.

mercy project1

As a momma, it’s completely impossible for me to imagine my children working 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’m unable to wrap my brain around the thought of my children engaged in long, hard days of physical labor, eating one meal a day, and then falling asleep at night on a dirt floor filled with other slave children. Yet this is the
daily reality for kids who have been trafficked into the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa. As with much of
Africa, there is a great deal of poverty in Ghana. Unfortunately, this leaves many mothers in an unimaginable
position: sell their children to someone who can take better care of them or watch them starve to death. Most
of the mothers are told their children will be given food, housing, and an education. Instead, the kids are often
taken to Lake Volta where they become child slaves and their mothers never see them again. Thankfully,
Mercy Project is working to break the cycles of trafficking around Lake Volta by providing alternate, more
efficient, sustainable, fishing methods for villagers – ultimately eliminating the need for child slaves. Because
of the work Mercy Project is doing in Ghana, the first group of children will be freed this month from Lake

Take a few minutes and watch this video…it both breaks your heart and offers a surge of hope.  And hope is a powerful thing.





hanging out at Nanny & Grandpa’s last labor day

This Labor Day, I am thankful that these images  are the reality for my children; but I am ever-mindful and pray with fervency for the mommas who, like me, delight in their children and hope for good things for them – and are faced with such a different reality.  Whenever I learn more about the sad realities of this broken world; I am humbled that I must have a response.  I cannot learn these things and expect my life to look the same.  I am thankful for a community to work through these issues with – I really feel that this is where change happens.


To find out more about Mercy Project and what is happening in Ghana please head to their website.

Facebook -

Twitter (for those who are cooler than I!) -

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nate the Great – 18 months


Oh sweet boy…how are you 18 months?!  OH my goodness.  I truly think that God timed your 18 month birthday and William’s 2 week birthday to be on the same day intentionally.  Such a contrast.  I think I was a bit more reflective since one date shared two milestones in our little family.


Nate – you are crazy.  And you are such a little lover.  No one gives hugs like you do (except your daddy, but from all accounts, you are quite a bit like your daddy when he was a little boy!).  You make me want to scream and make me want to cry with joy in about 30 seconds.  I am laughing and then I am begging God for patience.  Your little life is sanctifying me so much right now.  I am being driven to my knees, and while I cry at times while going there, I am so thankful.


You have my heart in a way that only a little son can grab his momma’s heart.  I have been so delighted by you.  You have a great laugh – you LOVE your sister something fierce – you are learning about timeouts and consequences – you have the stinkin’ cutest lower lip pout I have EVER seen – your eyes mesmerize me – you love to sing – you are learning words – you are so intelligent and understand everything I say (and are often very sneaky pretending you don’t so that you don’t have to obey…we’re working on that too!) – having daddy come home is one of your most favorite things – like a true child of mine…you adore animals – you really enjoy being dirty – have I mentioned that you drive me crazy? – have I mentioned my love for you?


My darling Nathanael, we pray great and wonderful things over your life.  I pray that you continue to have a heart that loves easily and strongly, and that your will would be molded to love the things that reflect the heart of God.  You have blessed us richly these past 18 months.



Saturday, August 18, 2012

A wait well worth it…

‘I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry…’

Psalm 40

As soon as we found out the amazing news that we would have another little Wallace in our family, I didn’t put much worth in my end of July due date.  I knew that there would be a wait.  This just seems to be the case with my body and babies. 

Photo Aug 01, 8 41 12 AM

(ohhh, look at that belly!  Not too many days before the wait was over…)

I anticipated a season of refinement, as the Lord was patient to teach me many lessons through my pregnancy with Nate and I hoped (with holy trepidation too) that this would be the case with my third pregnancy as well. 

 Photo Jul 04, 6 18 26 PM Photo Jul 04, 6 18 56 PM

(waiting while enjoying and being taught the value of living the in the beauty of each day)

IMG_7335 IMG_7338

(waiting while preparing for the little one who would soon be swaddled and snuggled)

I waited…for the waiting.

And, in the beautiful way of the Lord, His timing unfolded so beautifully.  A date was selected for an induction three days shy of 42 weeks – Donald & I wrestled with having the induction, begging the Lord for His peace – He is faithful and granted peace in so many areas, and our hearts were still and filled with excitement at meeting our son on a Thursday morning.

Photo Aug 08, 7 34 28 PM

(Donald & I out to dinner Wednesday night – we planned on enjoying our last date night for a while…and were also accompanied by contractions!)

And my contractions started Wednesday evening.  In the same manner as with Nate.  The Lord had me wait / had me place my faith in His perfect plan daily / He showed me the joy that comes with depending on Jesus.

He put a new song in my mouth; a hymn of praise to our God.

Psalm 40

And our beautiful wait ended just five hours later with the arrival of our son, William!  He is amazing – we all are quite in love with his “little/big” self.


And one week later…