Beautiful Magical Words

love-pen-bed-drinkingWords are a beautiful, magical, substance. They may be flat blobs of ink or pixels, scattered around a page or screen, but they have depth. Words can have impact on our heart and soul. When we feel lost listening to a meaningful song can make us feel less alone. When we’re in depths of pain a quote can bring hope. When life is too much our favorite book is there to embrace us. Reading an old letter from a dear friend can remind us of the love that surrounds us in the midst of darkness. When we feel as if all hope is lost the Lord’s word can inspire us.

We can also use this beautiful magic to release what is in our hearts, words we are too afraid to speak aloud. When we feel full to the brim with confusion and anxiety with a pen and paper we can release our thoughts and come to better understand our hearts. Amidst smiles and tears we can madly type out a vivid world that may be fictitious but crafted with our hands and strands of reality.

The power of words is great, whether used for good or evil. I long to continuously learn to use them better. To be more kind, to inspire, to create, to connect, to learn, and to discover.

Fur, Feathers, & Quills

This week has introduced some rather spectacular changes in my life. One week ago Hannah informed me and Caroline that she was giving us a joint birthday/Christmas present. When she told me what it is I was shocked, terribly excited and happy, but shocked. I couldn’t really believe it until I was holding it in my hands Monday afternoon. That gift? A baby hedgehog. 

Meet Dame Thimbetack of River Shribble; or just Thimbletack, or Thimble. She’s twelve weeks old and the sweetest little snuggle-bug. The breeder did an excellent job with keeping her and the rest of the litter healthy and socialized. Oftentimes when you meet a new hedgehog they’ll be grumpy because they’re unsure of new people and because they’re nocturnal and want more sleep. However, when we met up with the breeder and Thimble and her two brothers, despite it being the middle of the day they were friendly and running up our shoulders wanting to play and cuddle. 

Since then almost all my thoughts have been on my little darling. I even started a pet blog, Fur, Feathers, & Quills. I’ve wanted to start a pet blog for quite awhile now, I’m terribly passionate about animals and have been wanting to share my knowledge about them, so this was the perfect opportunity to start that. I hope to use it to share both the love of animals with others who are passionate about them, and to also spread more knowledge and awareness about animal care. Of course all of that will come with plenty of cute pictures and stories of Thimble and future pets.

I love my little Thimble dearly. She’s a little sweetheart. She’ll just spend hours cuddling with me and Caroline, but she also has an amusing little attitude at times. I’ve loved spending the past few days with her, and I’m so thankful to have her in my life. If you want to follow little Thimble on social media you can do so at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr. You can also follow Fur, Feathers, & Quills on Blog Lovin’ or via RSS.

I look forward to sharing mine and Thimbletack’s adventures with you in the future, and I’m sure you’ll fall in love with her as well.

Do Something That Scares You

Du se inte? Jag får inte. - Don't you see? I can't.

Du se inte? Jag får inte. – Don’t you see? I can’t.

When I was little I hated trying anything new. I was always too worried about failure to even try. My mom would encourage me to try without pushing my limits, and because of that I’d slowly come around. Two of the things I love, art and cooking, I was absolutely against trying when I was little. Yet now they are my passions. I still remember the shock on my grandmother’s face when I said I wanted a cookbook for Christmas when I was nine. 

All too often we let our fear get the best of us. We let the fear keep us from even trying something. This is something I’m still working to overcome. I started vlogging because it terrified me, and now it’s a lot of fun. For many years I’ve wanted to learn another language, but I always put it off. Whenever I would think about it, or even begin to attempt to learn, I would remember how much I hated speech therapy. I have auditory processing disorder, which means my brain does not process sounds properly. Due to this I had to go to speech therapy to help me learn how to properly pronounce and spell words since I couldn’t properly “hear” them. While it was something very important and I’m thankful I had the opportunity, it was something very discouraging. 

Due to my past with speech therapy I would tell myself that I couldn’t learn another language–I had a difficult enough time with English! That I wouldn’t be able to learn the subtleties of different sounds. That I wouldn’t be able to pronounce the words. That if I tried speaking with a native speaker I would just embarrass myself. I let my fear get in the way for many years. However, when I recently read a Swedish book about fika I realized I wanted to learn Swedish. I decided not to let my fear get in the way of me this time. It might not be the most common of languages, but it’s something I’ve been excited about for months now, and the excitement keeps growing.

kärlek kan tina en frusen själ

Kärlek kan tina en frusen själ – Love can thaw a frozen heart.

I make mistakes, but instead of letting them control me I’m trying to use them to help me improve. The other day I made a mistake in a phrase on Tumblr. I felt terrible about it all day, especially since other people had reblogged it so I couldn’t correct the mistake everywhere, only on my personal Tumblr page. However, I went and researched how I made the mistake and how to properly phrase what I was saying, and after that and correcting myself I was able to let go of the anxiety.

I may still only be in the early stages of learning Swedish, but it’s already worth it! Not only did I find something else I’m passionate about, but I’ve made progress in overcoming my fear. 

What is a fear you want to overcome?

Home Sweet Home

IMG_0106editblogWe are finally all in our own home together! After four months living in my grandmother’s house, living out of boxes and bags, sleeping in recliners and on air mattresses, five weeks ago Hannah and I joined the rest of our family in our new home. They moved in a couple of weeks prior to us to work on renovations that caused fumes. While there are still many renovations left, we didn’t want to wait another day to join them.

I absolutely love living in our new home. When the realtor first showed us the house the feel reminded my sisters and me of our home back in south Louisiana growing up. The feeling of home has only grown. I love the cozy safe feel. Watching birds and squirrels frolicking among the trees in the backyard. Having conversations while one person cooks in the kitchen and another watches on. Going on walks through our neighborhood and being greeted by kind people and dogs. Enjoying the view of the tall trees overlooking the small lake. The wait for this home might have been long and difficult, but it was worth it.

Things have been crazy since moving in. After four months being stuck in my grandmother’s house I find the adjustment back to whatever my normal is wonderful, but difficult. I’m trying to figure out how to fit everything in. Once I fit one thing in I accidentally neglect another area I need to focus on as well. That is why, until now, I’ve yet to resume blogging. However, I think writing out and sharing a list of my goals will help. 

  • Lyme treatment
  • Bible/prayer time
  • Light exercise
  • Healthy eating
  • Regular blogging
  • Continue to learn Swedish
  • Pick back up studying programming
  • Reading
  • Art practice
  • Keep in contact with friends
  • Spend more time in the kitchen
  • Business studies

Well there you have it, that’s what I’m hoping to focus on for the foreseeable future. Hopefully writing it all out will help me better be able to focus on what I need to, when my health allows. What helps you keep on track? Do you make lists of your goals, or schedules? 

Thank you for visiting Lavender and Honey! I’m thankful to be back to writing here, and welcome if you’re new here and welcome back if you’ve not been in a while! I look forward to sharing with you, getting to know you (you can comment bellow!), and experiencing the upcoming holiday season together. <3

Girls can be Engineers and Boys can Like Ponies


I can vividly remember shopping with my mom and stopping for lunch at McDonald’s when I was little. She was ordering me a Happy Meal while I took caution of the “wet floor” sign and gingerly walked over to look at the toy selection. The girls selection was once again something frilly or colorful, which is fine, but not what I was interested in that day. I noticed something cool “for boys'” and walked over to my mom, tapped her, and whispered that I’d prefer that toy. It always annoyed me that boys got the cool toys while girls were always told they had to play with dolls. I had dolls I liked, but on average I much more preferred to play spies or aliens. I preferred sword fights over tea parties. I wanted a zip line. Yet society repeatedly tells children that certain toys are for boys and certain toys are for girls.

Friday Target announced that they will be removing gender stereotyped signs and arbitrary color gender stereotypes to classify toys, entertainment, and bedding as either “for boys” or “for girls”.  When I learned this yesterday I was overjoyed. Sadly there has been much backlash. Many think it’s some “gay agenda”, or worry about how they’ll pick out a toy for a child without signs to direct them to toys for the “appropriate gender’s toys”. 

Saying both boys and girls can enjoy aliens is not gay. Saying they can both enjoy My Little Pony is not gay. A girl loving mechanics and wanting to become an engineer is not gay. A boy wanting to become a ballet dancer is not gay. There is nothing about swords inherently male, and nothing about baby dolls inherently female.  

There’s a taboo that boys shouldn’t play with baby dolls. Girls are allowed to play with them and practice being mommy, but boys are told that’s only for girls. What about practicing to be a loving and caring parent or sibling is only for girls? Shouldn’t every parent be kind and nurturing? 

There is no reason for girls to not play with swords as well. We shouldn’t perpetrate that girls shouldn’t know how to handle a weapon and fend for themselves, that they just have to wait for a man to come around and save them. We should help everyone be able to defend themselves. 

Instead of arbitrarily choosing a toy for a child based on gender, why not ask the child or their parents what the child’s interested in? Maybe they love science, unicorns, books, sewing, cooking, or building. If you learn what that child’s interests are and buy them a toy in that area they are more likely to appreciate it and use it. You will also be nurturing an interest of their’s which can help shape their passions and talents as adults. You might not be able to see what use a unicorn toy is, but maybe it will help them discover they have a passion for animals, or art. If for some reason you are unable to ask, why not pick out something that can help them learn? Puzzles, building supplies, and art supplies are all great options.

As a child I saw arbitrary rules that boys can like certain toys and girls can like certain toys, but it wasn’t often acknowledged that both girls and boys can like the same toys. I remember flipping through magazine pages and seeing doll after doll for girls, but the boy’s section had zip lines, tepees (which I had as a child), swords, and so much more stuff that I was interested in! It greatly upset me at the time, and still does to this day. Why must we tell girls that they can’t be interested in those things? Why tell boys that a pony, a type of animal, is only for girls?

I’m thankful that Target is making this decisions and hope other stores will follow the example.