hello sweet reader…

2

hello sweet reader… i’ve been thinking a lot about you. i really have. i’ve tried to think about this space here & what i hope it brings to you.

when i first began to write “simple thoughts” and honestly for the majority of the last 10 years since my first post (ten??!!! whatonearth??) i would think of this blog as my journal. my thoughts. my story. my my my —blah blah blah. and while it is my story, thinking of it in that way probably took any responsibility off my shoulders. if it’s just me & mine then i can sorta do whatever i want to with it & it’s not really wrong. right?

i’ve always adored you guys. i have. ya’ll are kind readers. ya’ll have been warm & genuine, you’ve been encouraging, you’ve spent time here & many of you are really real-life connections.

which brings me to where i am this afternoon. ya’ see, over the last few years things in the social media world have changed quite a bit. people are spending much more time on pinterest.  pinterest to me is sorta like justin beiber….all good, but i’m just not wowed…& yes, i realize i’m the only one who feels this way.  instagram has become the homecoming queen of social platforms. both pinterest & instagram are so simple, quick & easy to peruse. kinda like a drive-thru. meanwhile, reading a blog is more like a sit down restaurant and not always very convenient. combine that with the fact that many bloggers have just moved on over to insta because its so much easier. ohmygosh. so much easier. & i’ll be honest with you, there are very few blogs i read these days as well.

so here’s what my hope is for you & this little space. i’m still not ready to completely throw in the towel on blogging. not yet. i’m definitely not a multiple times a week writer. i just don’t have that many things to say. secondly, i do indeed have a responsibility here & a responsibility to you. if you’ve chosen to come here, park your car & c’mon in, i want it to be worth your visit. i’m not promising a big-gun grabber ‘how to’ post a week or a ‘fresh seasonal diy’ for inspiration but what i am promising is that my words here will be encouraging. sometimes light hearted & sometimes perhaps a little heavier but hopefully always encouraging.  i love to share what god’s teaching me & i love to share how he’s a good father to us. i want to share a fun recipe now & then as well as be a cheerleader for a few products that i love. i may talk raising girls & i may talk about loving our men. just like a coffee date would be. simple & thoughtful. i like the sound of that and i hope you do too!   maybe somewhere in the middle of drive thru and restaurant dining. & truthfully, if you want me to share or write about certain subjects please tell me. i’d love to hear your thoughts!  if it’s just easier to visit on instagram, well i’d love for you to join me there!

i have a few things to catch up on over the next few weeks and hopefully i’ll be a little more frequent around here than just once a month. thank you for spending time here!

a few pictures of life lately  a few months ago because i’m that far behind~

1718161920121

 

112221723

1410

15

April 21, 2016 - 5:38 pm

Amy Avery - Hey friend, So because I have come here and read your “Simple Thoughts” for quite some time and we have become friends through this very place, here’s what I want you to know as TRUTH. This place here just as it is is AWESOME! It’s awesome because of YOU. You are completely transparent and this place here is not the “I’m gonna change my blog a million times to follow the trends and get more readers” kind of blog. I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOUR BLOG!!! (I’m not shouting, just cheerleading 😉 ) In this very, very, very busy world where everyone compares themselves to each other and the blogs and trends become homogenized, I like to open up your blog and find the “REAL DEAL” which is you and your beautiful heart. So as Billy Joel once so eloquently sang, “Don’t go changing to try to please me, you never let me down before . . . I couldn’t love you any better, I love you just the way you are.”

April 21, 2016 - 5:53 pm

Lucinda - I always love your posts! The pictures and message always make my day.

April 21, 2016 - 8:42 pm

Lori H - Paige,
Glad to hear that you won’t give up on blogging. I will enjoy the blog and Instagram as long as you are willing to share your life and unique perspective with us! I admire the people who still blog – I have to think it is really hard and a lot of work. My sister keeps telling me I should start a blog, but I don’t enjoy writing. I feel like your girls have grown up in front of my eyes. If you ever come to Richmond, VA, I would be honored to meet you! You are such a good person, Paige; that shines through. And no, no one is perfect, but you are perfectly lovely 🙂
Lori

April 21, 2016 - 10:15 pm

Cathy G. - Well I’m reading about 5 blogs now if that…. and your #1…….. Love your style and your faith encourages mine…….glad your not done… Yet 🙂

April 21, 2016 - 11:55 pm

Cindy in Oklahoma - I love your blog… I love your dog… I love your story… I love your style… and if I don’t stop now this may turn into a very corny country song.

You and a few other ladies are my favorite blogs and I check on all of you often… but I’ve also discovered instagram, too, and am enjoying it just as much. I say do whatever makes you happy and satisfies your soul …and that will be enough. True?

April 22, 2016 - 8:27 am

Linda Stoll - Gosh, it’s so very good to see you again …

😉

April 22, 2016 - 9:27 am

Stacie - I have been reading your blog since your oldest was in high school!! Always excited to see your posts and can relate to them in so many ways. There are not that many blogs left from the old days, but I sure am glad you are one of them.

April 22, 2016 - 11:20 am

Terri - so thankful you are continuing your blog. To me, I take away real. Real life, real experiences, real blogging. It is refreshing and real all at the same time. I’ll be here as long as you want to continue. As for instagram…what is that?! sorry, kidding. I know what it is, but don’t have an account, etc.

April 22, 2016 - 12:29 pm

Cynthia - Thank you for years of pleasure. You are always uplifting…share great ideas…good books, fun adventures (Magnolia!!!). I honor the energy that it takes to do a blog…I quit doing it…so, I will probably go to Instagram if you should decide to end the blog journey….but nothing beats your blog. Just wanted you to know. C

April 22, 2016 - 3:19 pm

Peggy - Hey sweetie, first I so get you about Pinterest!! I mean I have an account but honestly it just doesn’t draw me. IG umm it might be my downfall. 😜 You are truly a sweet soul and such an encouragement so where ever you go it’s all good! Love you!! Now it’s time to get in gear so my dear hubby can come home to a tidy inviting home… it’s been a hard day for him. work stuff

April 22, 2016 - 3:19 pm

Diane Zundel - My sweet Paige! My response for you is simple, I just love you, your family and your blog. Just do what you need to, but I will always be here waiting to see the next chapter. You have always brightened my day, sent chills up my back and a few tears, along this journey from the beginning. But, I feel like I have gained a lifelong friend and I am the lucky one. Thank you for always being just you and so truthful and honest with all of us. Life isn’t always pretty little white picket fences, we all have some gravel roads to travel over. And, that is what makes you original and you. LOVE YOU, xoxo

April 22, 2016 - 4:43 pm

Jane @ See Jane Learn - It’s always a pleasure to read your honest blog posts…and see your beautiful photographs! I too have cut back in how many blogs I can read and how many I can write. We seem to have very similar goals:being encouraging, sharing what God is teaching us, ordinary life and talking about favorites. Even if you only post once a month, I’ll be interested to see what’s happening in your “world” on the other coast. Hope the wedding plans are going great! SO jealous you got to go to the Magnolia Silos…

April 22, 2016 - 10:48 pm

Debra - Hello, I have been reading your blog for for the past seven years. I look so forward to each and every post. It’s like opening up a present each and every time. So many times your words have brought me great joy, laughter, tears, or thoughts to ponder on. I am thankful that you have shared your sweet thoughts out loud with all of us. As a mother, wife and lover of Jesus and Seaside. I am greatful for you and your sweet girls & Dan. I truly believe God has given you a special gift to mentor to all of us here on your blog. Thank you for allowing us to have a front row seat to your blog. Xo

April 23, 2016 - 3:38 am

Marcy Norman Cox - Your photos tell a story, your words touch hearts. As the quote says ” it doesn’t matter how many days or months go by, a good friend is someone who can continue the conversation from right where it left off.” Thanks for being that friend and sharing your life through your IG & blog.

April 23, 2016 - 6:55 am

sheri - You are so cute! I think it’s perfect – love that you compared it to a drive thru – I HATE drive thru’s – only exception bieng chick-fil-a – 🙂 Blessigns.

April 23, 2016 - 7:15 am

Jackie Carl - Keep writing! I’ll keep reading! 🙂

I miss my other favorite blogs who have chosen to “move on”.

With Love,
Jackie
Marion, IN

April 23, 2016 - 7:28 am

Jalana - love your blog paige! can’t wait to see the wedding pictures & everything else. coming to the atl to meet you at sugarboo’s one day : ). <3 life is beautiful

April 23, 2016 - 7:52 am

Angela - Ditto to these words. You remain one of my favorite bloggers. I knew from the beginning that you were sincere. Nothing fake about you. Real is my heartbeat. Thankful for your heart and words.

April 23, 2016 - 10:38 am

Jan Fusco - I love the blog posts because you can see so much more. Like all the pictures you just posted. But I do follow you on Instagram so I can catch you there. I’m looking forward to wedding updates. Your one of my favorite bloggers. Do it when you can.

April 23, 2016 - 10:55 am

Pam - Still love reading your blog Paige. I totally get it though. I don’t read as many blogs as I used to. IG and Pinterest are my tos for a quick fix. I still think there is room for blogging, it just might look a little different these days. I can never get enough beautiful photos though so I hope you don’t stop anytime soon.

April 23, 2016 - 11:18 am

Sara - I’m with you in that I don’t read many blogs anymore, but yours is one that I definitely do read when you post (it definitely helps when you share it on fb because I don’t even open my reader anymore!). I cherish your wisdom. Thank you for your willingness to share. And I love your pretty pictures. 🙂 xoxo

April 23, 2016 - 12:52 pm

Kimberly - I’m so glad you will keep blogging, because I LOVE reading blogs!! Most of my favorite bloggers don’t blog anymore or hardly at all– so sad! I love your pictures and your topics. I have little ones– preschoolers and toddlers, and I would love a post from you on what you did to raise such faith-filled girls. That’s what I want for my kids as they grow. Did you do family devotions, get them plugged into youth group or young life– what do you think is the key for your girls walking with God? I’d love your perspective, if you have time and the desire to share in the midst of all your responsibilities.

April 23, 2016 - 2:02 pm

Mickey - I love your posts, doesn’t make any difference what it is about, it always inspires me & gives me strength. So glad you are still in the blogging world but I do know what you mean about Instagram. I have bought a couple pieces of Noonday from you & was so excited to find an ambassador here in Pa. ,sadly she no longer sells it, you will be my go to person. Have a great rest of the weekend. Mickey

April 23, 2016 - 2:46 pm

Kimberly Falls - I love your blog..it is one of the few I still read. It always seems to meet me where I am and I so appreciate your openness and honesty. I know it is a sacrifice so I just wanted to say thank you! Also Isabelle wants you to do her senior pictures so I need to get in touch to see when a good time would be…maybe late summer or early fall?..(I know you have the wedding late summer..how exciting!!!)

April 23, 2016 - 4:50 pm

Lisa Mothersead - I remember first reading your blog a few years ago. I asked my husband about those “things” that people write on-line and maybe they had some about decorating. He said, “blogs”. My decor adventures began. I have read hundreds of blogs, mostly decor, as I made the adjustment to being an empty nester. Your blog will always be my favorite. I am well educated, upper middle-class, liberal, and from the midwest. We only have a couple things in common on paper. But, I have related to so many of your stories, experiences, and joys. Thanks for the blog, in case I don’t get to tell you at some point. (Oh, and my house looks better and more updated, too.)

April 23, 2016 - 7:45 pm

Susie - Paige, I love, love, love your blog. I nelieve all who read it feels like they are part of your extended family. I habe so enjoyed watching your sweet family grow. So happy you are not throwing in the towel!❤️

April 24, 2016 - 8:05 pm

Michelle - I have been reading your blog for about 8 years. It has always been the one blog that I look forward to reading. My favorite posts are about home decor since that is my passion; however, all of your posts are interesting and inspiring. I hope you never throw in the towel with this sweet blog of yours. Thank you for sharing.

April 24, 2016 - 11:52 pm

Kelly - Love your blog for whatever you have on your heart to share, whenever you feel compelled to share. Your words have spoken to me numerous times, encouraging and uplifting, especially as a mom navigating teen years. 🙂

April 25, 2016 - 9:50 am

Amy - I check your blog each week and love your inspiration! Please keep them coming Paige 🙂

April 25, 2016 - 11:40 am

bethanie - your blog was one of the first ones i stumbled upon, and it’s one of the only ones i check in on regularly. maybe because we’ve met and you are as real and precious in person as you are in writing. maybe its our love of our girls and our guy, or our heavenly father…or the grove and all things passion city, or country living fair. whatever it is, dont go anywhere 🙂 xoxox b

April 25, 2016 - 12:27 pm

Curtis - How I have enjoyed the past few years watching you and your family grow up, become beautiful young ladies. Your honest and open approach to your life, and your willingness to share your life has blessed me so much. I totally understand that blogging takes time, and effort, but if you only knew the impact you have on us…. how your Faith, embraces us, and at times engulfs us, making us want to know our Savior more. This little blog is and has been a lighthouse for the faithful, and I know without a doubt a refuge for those seeking it. I will continue to read your musings if you post once a week, once a month every 3 months I do not care I love the way you weave your faith into everything that you do …. so you keep doing what you need to do, and we the faithful will keep driving in, parking our car and in my case sitting with a cup of tea in the winter and a tall glass of ice tea in the summer and read your words of wisdom, all along getting to be a part of your sweet family…. thank you for being you, being sweet, being honest… sending hugs and blessings your way from French Gulch California, Curtis & Sherrie ….

April 25, 2016 - 5:08 pm

Suzanne - Paige, I totally understand what
you are saying. While I love IG, I
do miss the “old days” of blogging
and the connections. There aren’t
a lot of blogs left where people
take the time to make a post special
and meaningful, because it takes
just that: TIME. And time is the most
precious commodity of all, because
we only get so much of it and “life’s
like an hourglass, glued to the table.”
I’d counsel you to spend that time on
what brings YOU the most joy.

Like you, I post infrequently, but I
hope that when I do it’s because
I have something to say that will
lift others and bring me joy in the
process of crafting the message.

We can survive on fast food (IG
and Pinterest), but who wants a
steady diet of that???

Thank you for sharing your lovely
thoughts, photos and most especially,
your kind heart over the years.

xo Suzanne

April 25, 2016 - 5:23 pm

Susan - Always look forward to reading and seeing your lovely photos Paige! You keep it real and yet you never do it in a harsh way and we need more of that these days! People can keep it real and be nice about it, whether you’ve had a bad day or not, telling us makes us believe all the world has problems and issues, but how you deal is what keeps you real! Thank you for all the adventures you’ve taken us on and continue either with your blog or instagram- we love you and will look at all you show us! Keep up all the good works and your such a blessing to see and read whats happening when we aren’t directly in your life!

April 26, 2016 - 9:56 am

Michelle - Oh Paige, I love reading your blog and words. Your heart for sharing God’s goodness and truths. Your beautiful,transparent life is a blessing to me.

April 27, 2016 - 12:36 am

louise - Love your blog. Not absolutely wowed by pinterest or intagram. I like words, want to read, want more meat on the bones than they provide,

April 29, 2016 - 11:58 pm

teresa - Even though you haven’t posted for awhile… I’ll admit, I have checked your blog nightly. This blog is my…. respite. After a long day, then house cleaned, laundry running, gone through the mail, child fed, bathed, story and bed…. this is where I finally come to at night when it’s finally “my time”…. I love your blog, your photos, your golden, yes I miss brinkley, I love seaside, and all your sweet, sweet posts….

May 9, 2016 - 1:01 pm

Janae - AMEN!!! I have been feeling the EXACT same way!!! I think blogs are overlooked these days….we are an instant gratification society….check out insta and we see a snippet (if we want to delve further we can but how often do we really click the blog link?!?!?). But I too am not ready to give up on blogging….
You can’t leave us now!! We’ve watched the girls grow up and now you have one engaged (CONGRATS). We will need wedding deets!!!
XOXO

May 14, 2016 - 9:53 am

AndieMB - I have been a blog follower since the beginning. I still love and read blogs!! Everyday. Please do not stop writing. I follow you on Instagram but to me its just not the same. I agree Pinterest is just ok. Blogs are where its at for me!

May 16, 2016 - 1:42 pm

Amy - I love following your blog….so pleased you’ll keep posting! I would love to know more of your experience with graduation gifts and going off to college. What gifts did your girls love? What gifts did your girls give their friends/fellow classmates? What items were necessities in the dorm? Any other details we may need for this season. Thank you for sharing with us!! Amy

15 & having courage

“We do not have to become heroes overnight.

Just a step at a time, meeting each thing that comes up,

seeing it as not as dreadful as it appears,

discovering that we have the strength to stare it down.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

images i lovec

i began blogging 10 years ago… little bit was 5. well the baby girl of the family turned 15 this past weekend! 15!!! and for those of you who have followed along since the beginning, maybe i’m not the only one who still sees that sweet little face above?

dan & i drove home from dinner the other night while she was hanging out at a track meet with friends. i told him how for the first time having just “one” around for much of the time is so different. our three older daughters were so close in age & now with the youngest of that crew away at college, little bit is often times the “one” with us. i’m thinking there was a sense of togetherness with all of them when we’d head out to dinner, or run out for dessert, or visit a new church. a little sorority if you will. their high school years over lapped, their time in the youth group overlapped & sometimes their friends overlapped. with emily being 4.5 years older than caroline, the gap is felt sometimes. while there’s perks to being the youngest, i think there’s some potentially tough times as well.

let me tell ya’ll, caroline is a dream kid. she has never, i mean never, woke up on the wrong side of the bed. she has never been grumpy or disrespectful to dan or i. she’s never gotten in trouble at school, although she can tell you about the one spanking she got at home. she’s laid back & kind. she’s tender hearted & helpful. she’s zilcho drama. she doesn’t sass or talk back and honestly never complains. she usually keeps her room tidy &  even cleans the bathroom without being asked. having said all that, i’ve encouraged her to share what’s she thinking. that she doesn’t always have to be the easy going one nor does she need to take one for the team. i’ve encouraged her to be brave & speak up, not to stuff her feelings. but she’s hardwired to be easy going …i’ll just keep cheering her on!

she was a talented dancer & tumbler and has now segued into playing a sport.  she made the high school volleyball team last year & has spent considerable time training & prepping to try out again in a few weeks.  she’s got great style & even though sometimes she catches some grief from her peers, i think she’s ahead of her time in the hipster/cool factor. she’s also the resident hair & makeup girl in the house & we all love when she “works” on us. she loves Friends & has great taste in music as well.

& she loves jesus. that’s the best part of all. she loves jesus & that brings me such much joy!!

she chose a giving keys necklace as one of her birthday gifts this weekend. the hand stamped word she chose? “Courage”. while it’s not my story to tell, the backstory made me a little teary and a lot proud. she told me later that day about a situation that was the catalyst for the courage key decision & it honestly left me speechless. i don’t think i’ll ever forget that story.

15 can be tough.  change is tough. being brave is tough. but i love that she wanted “courage” to hang around her as reminder that she can be brave. she can do the tough things. she can.

3738

4039

42

41

You’re a brave heart my little one & i’m crazy about you! i love you big as the sky!!

~~~

You have plenty of courage, I am sure,” answered Oz. “All you need is confidence in yourself.

There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger.

The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty.”

― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

March 23, 2016 - 3:04 pm

Lisa Mothersead - I love how you so sweetly share the wonderful unique qualities of each of your beautiful girls. Caroline sounds so much like my youngest (23) who has brought me so very much joy, also. Happy Birthday to sweet Caroline!

March 23, 2016 - 3:06 pm

Charles Norton - At the risk of sounding cliche, she has two completely fantastic role models in you and Dan. I can’t imagine her turning out any differently! Happy Birthday to her!!

March 23, 2016 - 3:06 pm

Charles Norton - At the risk of sounding cliche, she has two completely fantastic role models in you and Dan. I can’t imagine her turning out any differently! Happy Birthday to her!!

March 24, 2016 - 9:00 am

Donna - I know you are so proud of her. She’s lovely. Hope she had a wonderful birthday.

March 24, 2016 - 9:02 am

Donna - Love that little blue and white limo a thingy she has on. Where is that from? What is a keys necklace? I don’t blame her s but for being a make up girl!

March 27, 2016 - 5:23 am

Susan W - Belated Happy Birthday wishes for your baby girl! I’ll bet the day was fabulous and well documented with beautiful photos for her keepsake! Caroline is a precious young lady and it shows how well you and Dan do your best with her growing up! Blessings!

March 28, 2016 - 4:30 pm

Heidi Feguson - Oh, how dear this sweet post is Paige! Just now got a chance to sit down and really READ it instead of scanning. I just want to squeeze her tight and love on her and tell her she’s so special. I feel like I KNOW HER! Not that I’m agreeable like her all the time (Lord, give me MORE of that!!!) Not that this will mean much to her (am an “old” woman!) but I occassionally wore oxford shirts, sometimes with or without my dad’s tie. I was even known to wear a certain cologne of his! I was still girly but I just loved what I loved (my yellow converse high tops!!). The quote I chose for the yearbook to represent me: If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~Henry David Thoreau

March 30, 2016 - 9:24 am

christina - ive only been following along for a few years, but i feel like i know your family! (one day i’ll have the honor of meeting them all). but, this one … this one sure has turned into a beautiful young lady! Happy Birthday, Caroline!

April 13, 2016 - 11:05 am

Lisa - She is just stunning! What a testament! Happy Birthday to your sweet girl!

May 1, 2016 - 10:13 am

Gayle Olson - Darling girl! Now tell me where to get the cute blue and white top for my 15 year grandgirl, please.