Monday, September 30, 2013

more love letters movement

The other day my friend Amy from Little Hip Squeaks tagged me in a photo on Instagram. It  was someone posting a picture of their "move love letters" encouragement card. I've never heard of the movement before and decided to investigate it. I don't think Amy realized the rabbit trail she had me going down. A trail of ideas and inspiration of wanting to write some letters of my own to randomly encourage people. I felt like I was encountering a story from "Chicken Soup for the Soul". I stayed up till 1 am writing the card below on several different cards. My plan was to carry the letters in my purse then drop them off at random places while I go about my errands for the day. 

My first stop was Joanne fabrics. I put the notecard right next to the big sale sign in the yarn section. I hung out in the area for a good bit pretending to look at yarn or more cards (Amy Im now addicted). After awhile I figured people are going to think Im strange for hanging out for so long in the yarn area so I made my purchases and left. 

Then I stopped by Wegmans. Scott told me that the people who probably need the most encouragement are the ones hanging out at the coffee aisle. So I waited till the aisle was empty and I ran over to the Starbucks Via display and placed the card right in front of it. Circled around the store a few times to see if the card was picked up but after 30 mins I finally left. 

I still had two love letters to hand out but I was feeling pretty worn out from all my errands and from being a single mom all week while Scott has been working 12-16 hour days. To tired to walk into a Starbucks I drove up to the drive thru one near our house. The traffic was horrible because of construction down the street. People were impatient and not being really kind to each other. After I gave me order to the drive thru cashier I saw two girls in the car behind me and I thought "they are going to get a card!". As I paid for my order I told the cashier I wanted to pay for the people behind me and I wanted her to give them this card. She said that she was having a rough day and that this was really sweet of me. So I said "well I have one more card it must be for you!". She had the BIGGEST smile on her face as she tucked the card into her Starbucks apron to read later. 

After I drove off I saw the two girls read their card. Then they paid for the persons order behind them. 

I really love this "More Love Letters" movement and I am now inspired to keep a handful of letters in my purse to place in random areas to hopefully encourage someone who needs it. 

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Friday, September 27, 2013

10 Smiler. Encouraging our troops.

Whenever I hear of a 10 miler I always think of the Army 10 miler that is held here in the DC area in the fall. If you have ever ran or attended the Army 10 miler or the Marine Core Marathon in the DC area then you are well aware of the strong sense of patriotism during the race. When you arrive at the race your in awe of the sea of people dressed in their military fatigues and your heart swells up as tears come to your eyes when you hear the cannon go off signaling that its time to start running. When Scott suggested that we encourage our adopted soldier hero Brett with an "Army 10 smiler" I asked him what he meant. Scott wanted to go into Wegmans and find 10 special treats that we can mail off to our friend that would encourage him and make him smile as he finishes out his race while he is being deployed. He has a few more weeks until he is home and reunited with his family. Scott wanted to help him push through the last few weeks by encouraging him with an Army 10 Smiler package. I know when your running a race those last few miles are the toughest. 

I had a few people ask me about "adopting a soldier" who is deployed to encourage them. If you are interested in adopting someone for a few months feel free to email me at jessica.a.west (at) and I can get you connected to someone. Its really inexpensive to send out care packages and I know the soldier and their family appreciates that someone is encouraging them. Also if you know of a soldier who could use some encouragement email me their information and I can try to get them connected to someone. 

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013


For a few months I've been talking to my husband, sister and a handful of friends about the possibility of either closing down my shop for a long period of time or that I should stop taking custom orders for a season. The struggle is my desire to crochet items to encourage others and yet being able to pay for yarn and shipping. 

Since this holiday season will be filled with my sisters and step mom coming to my home for the first time ever to celebrate Thanksgiving, Judah's birthday, getting involved with mom groups, nurturing the relationships I've made at my church, really digging into the bible study I've joined and  fingers crossed and lots of prayer Scott and I would like to have another baby soon. All this while trying to be the best mom I can be to Judah and wife to Scott. I didn't want to add the stress of deadlines to my already busy schedule. 

In my free time when I get to crochet I have found that I want to have the freedom to crochet what I want. If I feel inspired to crochet a banner, hat or cowl that I might think would uplift someones spirits then I don't want to feel pressured with a stack of pending custom orders. I love crocheting custom orders. Right now, in the season that I am in, I truly want to focus on encouraging others and I feel slightly anxious just thinking about crocheting custom orders during the holiday season. Anxiety and baby making do not go hand in hand. 

After praying about all of this, I really felt that the Lord wanted me to stop taking custom orders. That He wanted me to focus on others things, like encouraging people. That encouraging others literally makes your heart and soul happy and that other things will fall into place because I wont be carrying around the anxiety of custom orders. So from now until 2014 I wont be taking any custom orders. I will be stocking my shop for the holiday season and using my free time to really focus on who I can encourage with a banner, cowl, hat or ear-warmer. I want to see where the Lord will lead my heart in this.

If you have already placed a paid custom order with me do not fret I will complete it in the time I gave you. 

Thank you for walking alongside us in this encouraging others journey. Im really excited to see how the Lord is going to use the crochet items to encourage some hearts this holiday season.


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Monday, September 16, 2013

Judahs favorite library books

I've taken a step away from blogging for a few weeks. Dealing with some personal heartaches and trying to focus on the blessings that are in my life right now. This morning we finally made a trip to the library. I feel like I've been renewing our books online for awhile. Just like everything in life when you find something good its hard to let it go. Judahs recent favorite books are listed below. 

Judah loves this book! No fits, Nilson teaches my son how to work through frustrations that he may have through out the day. When Nilson has a fit and screams "ROAR" his sidekick Amelia helps him calm down and work it out. Whether Nilson is frustrated from standing in line at the post office (this happens with us weekly) or if he gets hungry and upset over seeing another child eating something that he wants. The illustrations are great and I know Judah got the message because I was frustrated at grocery store the other day when they sold out of this one ingredient I needed for dinner and he said "no fits, mommy!".
Growing up as a military brat we lived all over the United States and Europe. One of my most fearful memories was being scared of a "tornado". Once the warnings popped up on TV where we lived (Kansas or Florida) I would sleep in the bathtub for the night. I didn't understand storms and all I knew about tornados were from the aftermath images on TV. Looking at these images and not being able to fully understand how a tornado happened scared me as a child. I like this book because I am able to walk through with Judah what a tornado is. The images are not as scary as the ones on the news and I am able to show him what people do when a huge storm (with possibly a tornado warning) happens. This book did no give Judah nightmares, he requested to read it before nap and bed time.
We always check out the different versions of Goldilocks and the three bears and I can honestly say this one is by far my favorite. The story is very endearing (I actually cried) and charming.

To view my full list of great library books visit my Pinterest board here

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