Celebrating Baby Duncan

Celebrating at AuthenticVirtue.com

 “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.” Psalms 34:8

It’s true, sweet friends! Dalton and I are expecting our very own little one around December 28th. There’s so much I want to say but mostly we want to point toward our Abba Daddy, Who gives so many good gifts, and thank Him. We’re excited, in rapture, and full of joy. Two years of waiting has had its ups and downs but we know God does everything for a reason and I’m looking forward to celebrating this journey and enjoying it fully.

I hesitated sharing our news so early (I’m almost 7 weeks along) but this is something we have waited two years for and believe our little baby, however young and vulnerable, is worthy of great celebrations and massive amounts of confetti throwing! 🙂

(Can you tell we are over-the-moon excited?)

Be prepared for monthly baby-bump updates (I’ve always wanted to do those) 🙂 and new blog posts documenting my journey toward motherhood and all the lessons God will send me.

With love, blessings, (and a little less) coffee,

Frannie

Currently in the Duncan Home // May Series

Currently Series with Authentic Virtue Blog

Crafting: Handmade cards. I so enjoy hand lettering and creating cards to send to sweet people.

Anticipating: The last day of school! Ah … school lets out in seventeen days and I’m already antsy. Until then, I’m anticipating finishing strong in my last two weeks as well as a few substitute days I’m scheduled to do. I do love working with these young people!

Planning: Visiting family! As soon as school lets out we hope to drive down and enjoy the delights of family. Maybe even visit the river?

Dreaming: Of babies! (It’s that time of year …) 😉 For some reason I’e got baby-fever and I going crazy pinning nursery designs and dreaming up ways I’d house a little one. Follow my Pinterest for darling baby pins!

Smelling: Fresh, clean summer breezes! I am loving this time of year; it isn’t too warm yet and we’re just starting to get our spring thunderstorms.

Eating: Lots of salads and simple (but satisfying!)  meals. I’ve begun following Trim Healthy Mama’s meal ideas which is super helpful in planning out the week’s meals. I’ve always been good at meal planning but I struggled in sticking with it. So, rotating between S Meals (Satisfying and full of fats) and E Meals (Energizing with a side of carbs) has been super simple and helpful.

Plus, I’ve been eating a good amount of this homemade chocolate and not feeling guilty about it! 😉

Celebrating: Finding friends! Haha! At the beginning of the school year I met my wonderful friend Amy. I’ve become great friends with her — she is such a joy to me! Earlier this week we got together with our husbands for the first time and had a grand time playing Mario Party late into the night (for us early birds!). 😀

It was so fun and I thank the Lord for giving us a “couple friend.” I’ve been praying God would send a like-minded couple our way to have fun with and grow together with and He answered! 😀

Enjoying: Working out! 😉 I’m only a week in but so far I love this sustainable plan Dalton has helped me get on. I’m aiming to do hard, intensive, short workouts at least once a day. It looks a lot like this:

Monday: 15 Minute Leg and Butt Workout. I’m following this one (warning: tight leggings ahead) 😉

Tuesday: Stretching Day (Since I spend 5 hours on my feet and running around with kids for p.e.)

Wednesday: 2.5 mile walk downtown

Thursday: Stretching Day (Since I’m, once again, on my feet and pooped at the end of my 5 hour library class.)

Friday: Weight Lifting Day focusing on arms and shoulders (I lift until I can’t any more and take a break but come back 2-4 times in the day repeating the process).

Saturday: 2.5 mile walk downtown OR 15 Minute Leg and Butt Workout

Sunday: Stretch Day

Reading: Almost finished with Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss. Lately, I’ve been reading chapters in place of a devotional. It’s so deep!

I’m also enjoying light reading and am working my way through Lori Wicks Tucker Mill Trilogy. 😀

What does your late spring look like? What are you reading? Dreaming about? Anticipating? I would love to know! Leave me a comment below so we can talk about it! 🙂 

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

My Summer Reading Goals

AuthenticVirtue.com Spring Reading List

Ah … reading. Isn’t it the best? Last year I made a goal to read more and finished a total of eleven or so books. To some of you reading folk that number is laughable. But to me it’s progress.

This year I’m setting my sights higher. I’m already beginning to plan my summer-break reading list to include these great copies above as well as I few I’ll need to borrow from the library.

I’m a big believer in balance. During my early-twenties I over-taxed my story-loving heart by indulging myself in too many big theoretical reads and sermons. And while they did me a world of good they also burned my love for reading. So now, I aim for balance. I’m okay with reading heavy material as well as light-hearted novels or educational reads.

What are you reading this summer? Are you a lover of books or does the thought curl your toes? What’s the title of your latest read? I’d love to know!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Celebrating Us with Carnival Cruise + Eastern Caribbean

Hey sweet folk!

Three weeks ago my Darling Man and I flew south and embarked upon a glorious, fun 2nd anniversary trip (which isn’t actually until March 7th!). We just loved our seven day Carnival Cruise in the Eastern Caribbean. I only wish I had enjoyed it more! (And for you’re enjoyment click on the picture to see them up close.) 😉

We loved starting our trip by visiting wit Dalton’s aunt and uncle … they were so awesome and dropped us at the St. Louis airport at the crack of dawn (3 am!). We’re so thankful for you, Bob and Judee!

Oh, I also have to mention “Clubby,” the one-footed pigeon in the Fort Lauderdale airport; we loved being greeted by a tourist friendly bird. 😉

The ship was so beautiful. We sailed on the Conquest which housed … I think up to 2,000 visitors from all over the country. It was hard to choose what to do with the many pools and hot tubs, water slide, giant movie screen, live entertainment and music, and several restaurants.

We were so excited to get a suite — we decided that we were willing to pay to have a view! There were no regrets. Our room was beautiful and we really enjoyed our sweet room attendant, Aileen, who made our bed, turned down the sheets and always had our ice bucket filled up. I especially had fun squealing over her towel-animal creations; she was so talented! It was fun feeling like royals for a week! 😉

We sailed the first two days, and then visited one of the ports on Grand Turk (the capital of Turks & Caicos Islands). Such a lovely place! We went on an excursion where we snorkeled over a reef and then went to Gibbs Cay where sting rays were swimming around. I didn’t touch one but it was fun watching other’s squirm with them!

Before our trip was over we also spent a day at Amber Cove on the Dominican Republic and Nassau, Bahamas (which was my favorite).

What was our personal favorites on the ship? I know I enjoyed the coffee bar and since Dalton worked out at least 2-3 times a day I’d wager he enjoyed the gym. 😉

It was so special to spend my 26th birthday at on our cruise. Early in the morning we got a knock on our door where someone delivered Dalton’s surprise gift to me — a yummy chocolate cake and rose! He is SUCH a sweetheart! It was a lot of fun to spend the rest of the day docked in Nassau. We walked several blocks of the old, downtown area … I especially wanted to visit their library and my dear Dalton went to take me but we got lost among the old buildings!

This is where I have to stop and say how much more I wish I had enjoyed this trip. I had been feeling queasy most of our vacation (due to sea sickness, I think) but the day of my birthday ended with me spending several hours sick to my stomach. (What a waste of a perfect birthday cake!) 😉

Because of that I was a real party-pooper most of the trip. I’ve got to brag on my Man because all through the trip he continued to bless and encourage me despite my grumpiness. One of these vacations I’ll learn to take full advantage of it! 😉 Anyways, I have got one great man! Hearts!

IMG_4062I loved seeing D all dressed up for the elegant dinner on the 2nd day of sea. He’s such a stud!

I’m pretty sure all eyes were on us during the trip because of our (fairly) conservative appearance. More then once we were asked if we were Mennonite and which colony we came from! Haha!

I think that’s why I loved our “dressing up” night You can’t see it here but I had a beautiful, colorful hi-low skirt on paired with a black top and D looked super cute in his dress jeans, button up and black vest. We must have looked like very stylish Mennonites. 😉

p.s. I just have to ogle Dalton’s gorgeous beard! I love it when he can grow it out since work requires him clean shaven. Hahaha … oh, are you uncomfortable? But just look at how GORGOUS his manbeard is?! Okay, okay, I’ll stop. 😉 😀

IMG_4165

Overall, it was a splendid trip and I’m so glad we were able to go. Since we try to go on a big trip with each other every year I’m looking forward to next year’s anniversary itinerary. Next week I’ll have a packing list of what to bring on a cruise from my point of view.

Love, blessings and coffee!

Frannie

If I Was, I’d Be

It’s a great day for a little bit of coffee, relaxation and fun. The sun is shining and, as a blogger, I need a little silliness to lighten my load. One of my favorites shared this little bit of fun and her answers made me smile.

So, I’m carrying it on.

If i was…

a month: November

What other month has the excitement of upcoming holidays, first snows and winter coats?

a day of the week: Monday

It’s time to start. Plans, coffee, to-do lists and opportunities await. Let’s go.

a planet: Earth

It’s full of beauty, noise, life, quiet and God-made things. 

a sea animal: Sea Lion

They’re soft, cute and like to flop on each other. Plus they can swim … and all I can do is doggy paddle.

d91287ba73c0c2d50ab7c1bc0270282da piece of furniture: Front porch rocking chair

These pieces of furniture always offer comfort.  You can sleep, talk, and relax in these beautiful creatures. I’ve seen a lot of porches but the best have rocking chairs.

a gemstone: Aquamarine

This is my Beloved’s birth stone which makes it my most favorite. Plus, it is a delightful blue.

a flower: Morning Glory  

Because there’s nothing better then waking up early in the morning and facing the sunshine. Plus, Morning Glories come in all sorts of soft colors.

a kind of weather: Sunshine and soft breezes

Not hot, just warm enough for late afternoon walks with my Darling Man.

a color: Cornflower blue and buttercream yellow

These colors were the theme of my mom’s beautiful, Alaskan kitchen wallpaper.

an emotion: Rest

Peaceful contentment.

a fruit: Apple 

With nutty peanut butter.

a sound: My Keurig buzzing with fresh, hot brew in the morning

Yum. Is there anything better then this sound? It’s busy, quiet, soft and full of delicious promise.

an element: Water

Because I am both flexible and solid, quiet and loud, transparent and occasionally turbulent.

a place: Sitting on the trampoline looking at blue skies, white clouds and sunshine through Alaskan birch trees

This is my most impressionable, sensory-rich memory and it fills me with so many good thoughts.

a taste: Warm banana bread with butter spread across it.

Yum. Yum. Yum. YUM! 🙂 

a scent: Good, fresh black coffee 

Hello, morning. Is there anything better? I can’t think of anything more alert and welcoming?

an object: A chalkboard freshly washed or yellow paint

These things hold so much creative promise.

a body part: Probably a nose

A freckled, slightly upturned nose.

a song: Currently, this and this.  

a pair of shoes: flats, please.

Because nothing is cuter then a pair of flats with a flowy skirt. Right?

If you were, what would you be?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie