half-full. (and lot more than 4 favorites)

 I went on a little adventure this week. I love day-adventures. And I love where I live - just a short drive away from snowy mountains. A quick journey away from sandy beaches. My mom and I had some things to do in the city, so we ventured through a rainstorm to the middle of Los Angeles.

The lovely Grove was almost empty...Southern Californians don't really know what to do with inclement weather. We were surrounded by somber shoppers, arms laden with big bags from high-end shops that never, ever have sales. But we happily meandered under the trees and by the big fountain, arms free of any bags, our boots splashing through puddles on the shiny street. enjoying being out. Being together. Laughing at simple things. Admiring beautiful things. Loving our little, simple un-extravagant adventure.

I want to have a big, beautiful fabulous life. But as I get older, I am amazed at how "big, beautiful and fabulous" does not translate into designer clothes or fancy dinners. I am finding "big, beautiful and fabulous" in the little things. In splashing around on a slick rainy street laughing under a wide-brimmed umbrella. Exploring a colorful farmer's market. Enjoying summer-like sunlight in February. Sending a real, hand-written letter. Sipping steamy coffee from a ceramic mug with an old friend.

And as I get older, I realize that I would rather be wise than rich. I'd rather be happy than wealthy. And I'd rather really know the Lord than be known by the world. I'd rather have a simple, beautiful life than a rich, flashy one. I sure do like pretty things just as much as the next girl. But do we really need closets full of every shade of Jimmy Choo shoes or 3 different Birkin bags? Does this really make us happy?

I'm learning, happiness is in taking the imperfect and making it beautiful. The unexpected and turning it into something good. The unanticipated, the Plan B's, and making them something sweet.

It is in taking the simple things and making them grand. Looking at the glass and seeing it as half-full, not half-empty.

And when I looked at mine this week, it was half-full. Beautifully half-full... with simple things. And love.

Speaking of love...I am loving all these simple things... (oh and for my Friday 4 Favorites? Forget it - there were way more than four favorite things this week)

i love...finding a farmer's market...be still my heart.

i love...vibrant colors on a dreary, drizzly day.

i love..."gilmore gas station". it was old. and charming.

i love...literally stumbling onto interview sets and meeting random Harlem Globetrotters. (yeah, not gonna lie - definitely didn't know who he was. i'm more of an NFL girl. but hey - "Big Easy" was super nice and now i know all about the globetrotters.)

i love...vintage signs hanging above random old-fashioned stores selling miniature porcelain dog statues and hard candy.

i love my mama. and colorful tropical flowers unexpectedly popping up their sunny heads in a rainstorm.

i love sea birds who bravely fly even in the blessed rain.

i love blue skies after rain. dark, heavy clouds replaced by sunny streams of light and fluffy white pillows against the blue.

i love... my new favorite drink - ocean spray cranberry juice, sparkling...way better than soda.

i love... slipping outside, sitting down on the porch steps and drinking in the glorious, warm sunshine.

i realize jenn's eyes look a little posessed in this picture..thanks to the light and editing. ahhhh a little scary!

i love...meeting up with old friends who are more like family. the kind you ask, "wait..how long have we known each other?" and she replies, "a long time..." 13 years i've known this sweet one. she's a gem with a beautiful heart and wisdom far beyond her years.

i love... being a free spirit.

i love... my new valentines kiss mug because it is so me. and little billows of steam from mugs of tea make me so insanely happy.

i love....the color red. because (just as a certain elle woods said) "red. it's the color of confidence." yes ma'm.

i love...red in the form of spendid little delights. i think they'll find their home in a strawberry pie.

i love...finding little inspirations in tiny boutiques.

and i love...that this is true for you and me -

{Jesus said}

"...i tell you -
do not worry about your life;
what you will eat or drink or about your body, what you will wear.
look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns,
yet your heavenly father feeds them.
are you not much more valuable than they?
can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"
-matthew 6:25-27

if you look at it right, life is beautiful.
go drink that half-full glass til it's dry.
find as many favorite things as you can.

and love, love, love... til it hurts.

happy weekend!




Friday Saturday iPhone Photo Drop

{from instagram, to follow search: erin_sweetnessitself}

ps - I'm so sorry if you had tried to leave a comment since I posted - I'd accidentally hit the "disable comments" button when I posted :(  sorry about that, loves! XO