i've been doing a lot of sitting and thinking today. just a quiet day off, chilly outside with howling winds that seem to roll across the face of the house. i've been reading a new blog quite a bit recently. i used to love to read, and have always been the type of person, that if truly interested in the story, could finish and enjoy a large novel in one afternoon/sitting and actually relished in doing so. i loved to get lost in the stories and the characters, and i think my love of reading and my love of writing have held hands my entire life. well, in reading this lovely blog, i feel as though i've internalized the content of it in a way that i haven't done since the last time i read a truly great book. getting to spy a little on the way amanda soule's lovely family strives (and succeeds, is the amazing part) at living a more simple and heartfelt life is one of the most fully inspiring things i've come across in a long time. i know i may be starting to come across as a crazed fan at this point, but imagine a dress that you'd like to wear... you imagine it being the perfect color, fitting you beautifully, and having certain details that would make it perfectly "you." To be able to see into her creative process is like finding that dress, but discovering that it could exist in an even better form than you imagined. the way she fosters the creativity of her children while still allowing them to be silly and messy and children, the way she savors (in beautiful photos too) the simple pleasures of home and what i would call hearth... creatively making new things from the old and writing about the warm feeling of knitting in winter for example. i love that she makes pillows from her children's artwork and that they are happy to receive a gift of her handmade jammie pants. that the corners of her home are peppered with embroidery in process and the remnants of with friends. in my struggle to articulate what i would like my "grown up" life to be, her writing has been like walking in to a store and seeing the perfect dress hanging, waiting for me. i don't know that you will ever read this amanda, but if you do, thank you for the bravery and vulnerability it takes to share such a beautiful existence with strangers.