letter from melissa

summer 2017

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Hi! I hope you are doing well. Oliver is napping right now and my dog Maggie rests at my feet under my desk. The June weather has shifted into humid, flower-withering, grass-browning, July heat. And I am thankful for air condition! 

Today I am sharing with you my monthly-ish letter that goes out only to email subscribers. The letters often include insider information like what I've been reading and loving, as well as updates on my latest projects, or behind the scenes photos. 

Thank you for your support and for following my blog.

May God strengthen you with His gentleness.

You have also given me the shield of your salvation: and your right hand has held me up, and your gentleness has made me great.
— Psalms 18:35
 

What I've Been Reading

Lighthearted Poolside Reads

The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

I liked this sweet read! Just kind of charming. 

Artistic Inspirational Read

Brazen by Leeana Tankersley

I loved many parts of this book and enjoyed the artfulness of it. I highlighted quite a bit. 

More Serious or Intense Reads

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

I had to push myself to get through the extra scientific parts of the story and found it sometimes a little melancholy; but it was worth the read because the writing is great, and there are some exquisite nature analogies! I felt smarter for reading it too, haha! Also, loved the authors honesty about her challenges with mental illness.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

This book is intense and heartbreaking, but an important read for me since I am from Tulsa. Here is a bit of the Amazon description; "Through intricately interwoven alternating perspectives, Jennifer Latham's lightning-paced page-turner brings the Tulsa race riot of 1921 to blazing life and raises important questions about the complex state of US race relations - both yesterday and today."

For Some Health Inspiration

I Quit Sugar by Sarah Wilson

Love this book! No I am not totally cutting out sugar, but it inspired me to cut out as much as I can and at least cut back on sugar consumption. Love the cheerful layout and easy recipes!!!

Spiritual Reads

School of Prophets by Kris Vallotton

This one is not everyone's cup of tea, but I really loved learning more about the different prophets in the Bible. He wove many stories of the prophets throughout the book. 

Invitation to Solitude and Silence by Ruth Haley Barton

Listened to the audio version of this book while folding clothes. I liked it a lot. I found it soothing and it brought a good reminder of the importance of taking time to sit in stillness and wait on the Lord.

 

 
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summer inspiration + what I'm loving

Creative Bug Classes: I signed up for the free 14 day trial. My favorite class was the one on "found image art" by Molly Hatch (who designs for anthropologie). I also love all the classes by Jennifer Orkin Lewis. She is an artist I enjoy following on Instagram. 

American Girl Legos: On the 4th of July I ended up playing legos with my niece, my sister-in-law, and her younger sister Francie. I love the pretty pastel colored Legos!

Moana: Disney movie Oliver, Jeff, and I watched on Netflix this past weekend. We all enjoyed it!

The Great British Baking Show: I kept hearing people recommend this show, so Jeff and I finally watched it together. 

Molly Smith'S Spotify Holy Yoga Playlists: My friend Molly leads Holy Yoga classes here in Tulsa, and she has great playlists on Spotify.

 

 

What's New + Behind the scenes

1. I'm so excited to be joining Ruth Chou Simons book launch team for her book Gracelaced. She is a successful artist and blogger who inspires and encourages me with her faith, her words, and her art. You can pre-order her book now and follow her blog or instagram account too.

2. I opened up an art shop on my website!!!! You can order custom watercolor paintings with any photo of your choice. My goal is to have prints and original art available for purchase this fall after Oliver is in school and I have time for more focused painting. We will see!

3. Maggie is back! Our dog had been living with my in-laws until our house was finished with renovation including the new fence that was finally put in this summer. She is an angel dog; so gentle and obedient.

4. Oliver turned 4! This was the first year he had a birthday party with friends (and not just family). We celebrated at our new home and in our new backyard. It was a special day.

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On the blog lATELY