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denajoan denajoan

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Dena Joan 🍂  ☾ solo mama † saved by grace ❖ lifestyle blogger ➵ focused on sustainability & wellness ✶ live simply ⋆ love madly ✽ make magic ☆


To Gather // Together • I hope that you had the most beautiful Thanksgiving, friends. Ours was spent in celebration and bounty, surrounded by loved ones. It was my first time hosting Thanksgiving and it was a whirlwind of work (with help from my mother, sister, and sister’s mother-in-law), love, and laughter. It wasn’t perfect surely, but it was perfect for us.

With Thanksgiving, the holidays have officially kicked into full swing. For most, it is a time of deep reflection upon the year that has passed and the year to come. For me, gratitude is a daily practice. I have learned that there is really only one path to happiness, and the path is gratitude. I count my blessings daily, sometimes hourly, and so — while gratitude remains a theme for me through the holidays — I take this time to seek more. In the final months of the year, I seek to manifest what I want for myself and my family in the year ahead.

For the past several years, I have chosen a “Word of the Year” which serves as a theme and guidepost for my intentions. In 2015, my word was Survive. In 2016, my word was Bravery, accompanied by two quotes: ➳➳➳ “Fortune favors the bold.”
➳➳➳ “By acting bravely, we become brave.” In 2017, my word was, and is, Strength, accompanied by three quotes: ➳➳➳ “Be the strongest person that you know.”
➳➳➳ “You have a spine like a sequoia.”
➳➳➳ “Never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be.” In the coming weeks, I hope to reflect and share more about what these words have meant to me. As I’ve mentioned many times, and talked in detail about in my newsletter, the past three years have been full of enormous life changes for me. The words that I have chosen to guide me through the years have been critical to my ability to get through it.

I am so proud to say that I have been the living embodiment of each of the words that I have chosen for myself. It is a practice that has helped me in a way that has been so profound, it is difficult to explain. It comes down to the power of manifestation. For many years I have known that we move in the direction of our most dominant thoughts. Read more at LiveLoveSimple.com

"You see what you want to see and you hear what you want to hear. Ya dig?" —Harry Nilsson 🌿 #livelovesimplehome

We took these photographs last month when we were still in the middle of our glorious Indian Summer. Now the cold weather has set in. We woke to thick frost on the grass this morning. Roman came running into my bedroom to say, “Mama the grass is white!” Of course, Marina was quick to run to the window to see what the fuss was about. She is her brother’s shadow for certain. It’s such a blessing to witness my babies experience the wonders of the world through the seasons. It’s another blessing to witness the sweet bond between them — and even the relentless fighting too!

Sometimes it all gets to be a lot, this motherhood thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There are days when you’ll find me locked in the bathroom with tears in my eyes. But more often than not, I stop, pause and remember that I am so blessed. I had been wanting to take some pictures of my little loves together for awhile. It is, of course, much easier to take their portraits separately, but getting them in the frame together, in all of their sweetness, makes my mama heart happier than words can ever say. ❤️🌿

When it comes to depression and anxiety, sometimes the victory is not in overcoming it entirely, but in remembering that it can be overcome. • ...opened up this morning about the depression that's been hitting me hard this month. Link to blog in my profile. 🍂

"November" 🍂
by William Cullen Bryant
Yet one smile more, departing, distant sun!
One mellow smile through the soft vapory air,
Ere, o'er the frozen earth, the loud winds run,
Or snows are sifted o'er the meadows bare.
One smile on the brown hills and naked trees,
And the dark rocks whose summer wreaths are cast,
And the blue gentian flower, that, in the breeze,
Nods lonely, of her beauteous race the last.
Yet a few sunny days, in which the bee
Shall murmur by the hedge that skirts the way,
The cricket chirp upon the russet lea,
And man delight to linger in thy ray.
Yet one rich smile, and we will try to bear
The piercing winter frost, and winds, and darkened air.

“I feel myself shutting down, closing off, like I should tell people, ‘No, we don’t use this heart anymore. It’s too fragile.” —Courtney C. Stevens 🐝 #iphoneonly

Braving the cold to adventure with my babies all day long. ❄️🐻🐭🍂

I am finally opening up about some personal issues that I have kept close to my heart for a very long time. If you want to read along, be sure to sign up. Direct link in profile.

#Vegan Buckwheat Soba Noodles with #Raw Veggies & Seeds: Recipe is up on the blog now. www.LiveLoveSimple.com 🌿❤️🍜

"If you have been brutally broken, but still have the courage to be gentle to others then you deserve a love deeper than the ocean itself." —Nikita Gill

You can't know how strong you really are if you're never tested. 🍂

One day I will stop posting Trick-or-Treating pictures. But today is not that day. 🎃🍂💛 #pixel_kids #childhoodunplugged

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