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What a lovely month March has been here in the Pacific Northwest! We have enjoyed a nice combination of sunshine, rain, and the lovely lengthening of days. I think that March is now my favorite month of the year. Not too hot. Not too cold. Just perfect.
This end-of-the-month post seems to be coming more quickly with each passing month (at least for me) but I’m really enjoying this practice. It is interesting to stop for a moment and look back. I like to do this with setting goals and in doing so, see where I need to tweak, remove, or add areas of growth in my life each month. I don’t know about you, but sitting down once in January and trying to envision a year’s worth of goals is daunting for me. This method helps me to be moving forward but in a realistic way.
So, onto some of things that are inspiring me this month as well as what I have learned (of course, this is a partial list for your sake! ;))
What I’ve Learned & Been Inspired By This Month
If you’d like to learn calligraphy, I recommend the Learning for a Latte series on The Postman’s Knock. This is one of those sites that I visit here and there just to sit back and revel in the gorgeous hand-lettering. This year I want to move past my girlhood dreams of learning calligraphy (I have so many memories of my mom lettering various certificates and such from my childhood), and want to actually do the thing. I am definitely asking for this set and this one too for Mother’s Day! 🙂
Discovering children’s books at the library and local used bookstore is always a joy for me. This month, my favorite find was How to Hide a Lion by Helen Stephens and my daughter’s favorite was definitely The Bunny Book by Patsy Scarry (illustrated by Richard Scarry). I had no idea The Bunny Book would be so very loved when we bought it for Christmas!
I took the time to look something up and learned that the bright red lizard-looking-things I’ve been seeing on our walks are actually young Columbia Torrent Salamanders. I am not a snake or lizard or creepy crawly fan so every time I’ve seen one of these, my heart jumps out of my skin but for some reason, now that I know a little bit about them, I’m fascinated. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a creature that is this color combination in my life (there’s a picture of one of these little guys in the collage above.)
Getting up early really works for me. A random thought, but true. Even if I get up an hour earlier than everyone, I feel like my day is set properly in motion. I’m able to write, read from the Bible, pray, think . . . Once the day starts, it is easy to procrastinate all of those things (which is never a good thing for me!)
I am in love with using dates as a sweetener. Okay, so I mostly have used them in making my own Larabars and granola bars but oh, they are so delicious! You would think I would be very knowledgeable about dates having been raised in California (apparently, the land of dates), but I didn’t start eating them until recently. I made these granola bars this month (subbing peanut butter for almond butter and taking out the chocolate chips), and they were so incredibly delicious. Our whole little family loved them. 🙂
And finally, I acted out on a truth that I already know for myself and scheduled out a couple weekend mornings for a creative retreat. I know I need this time away to recharge but I’ve thrown them out because I want to be with my family and the weekends seemed too busy (excuses, excuses.) When we finally sat down and wrote two dates on the calendar, it felt like Christmas in my heart. Seriously. I will have to write more about my experience in the coming months. But my conclusion is this: creative retreats (even if they are mini-retreats) are a must.