Let’s Share What We Learned in February

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetIt’s the end of the month and that means it’s time to share what we learned! I’ll go first and then, it’s your turn. Here are 12 things I learned in February in no particular order:

1. I can still do a toe touch. Granted, it was on a trampoline. But it’s nice to know that if I needed to touch my toes in the air in an emergency situation while standing on a bouncy surface, I could.

jump2. Asking someone “What’s bothering you?” is perhaps the most revolutionary question you can ask.

3. Waterlogue is an app I’ll never truly need but will always deeply love. I even paid money for it because it’s fun to watch my photos turn into watercolor.

4. When I’m feeling lonely or discouraged, I can’t wait for someone to notice or pursue me. I have to notice and pursue. This does not come naturally but it is also not impossible.

5. It takes a week for my body to readjust to Eastern Standard Time after being in Uganda. Someone told me every hour you travel outside of your time zone is the number of days it takes you to re-adjust to your home time zone. I don’t know if this is scientifically true, but when I returned from 8 hours away, it took about that many days to re-adjust.

6. We have a box-like deer who lives in our front yard at all times. Learned this when I posted a before and after photo on instagram when it snowed a few weeks ago.

snow before and afterAnd everyone commented on the deer and it took me forever to see it. It’s a combination of my brother-in-law’s mailbox in the background and our next-door neighbor’s lending library in the foreground. See?


7. Speaking of neighbors, I remembered in February how much I like ours. Instead of holing up in the house in the snow, everyone comes outside for sledding, four-wheeling, and a fire pit.

Jeff Goins & Brianne McKoyJeff with the lovely Brianne McKoy

8. Jeff Goins’ last name is pronounced ‘Goyns,’ diphthong style. He is a first name-last name person (as in it’s hard to say his first name without also saying his last name.) So I repeatedly called him Jeff Go-ans in Uganda and he graciously never corrected me.

But then I finally told him I know I’m probably pronouncing his last name wrong and for this I sincerely apologize but I will never be able to fix it because I have friends with the last name Go-ans and it is forever stuck that way. He said the pronunciation varies even among those in his own family which made me feel a bit better. But he pronounces it Goins, as in “joins” or “coins.”

9. The International Space Station looks like a fast-moving star in the sky. And the app that tells you were to find it is spot on. John and I sat outside with the kids a few nights ago and watched it fly right over our heads. It was the first time I’ve seen it and even though it only looked like a star, it was fun to know it wasn’t.

10. Julian Fellowes might have a heart after all. After last years Downton Abbey season finale, it was nice to have a more gentle ending to the season this year.

my table11. The simplest decorating tip ever – clear the surfaces. Thank you, sister, for reminding me what a difference a cleared off surface can make. I took such great delight in cleaning of my kitchen table with a hot rag.

12. Speaking of my sister, we learned in February that her book The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful will release on April 29! It’s hardback and colorful and filled with inspiration for your home – not just how to decorate, but how to think about decorating. The best. Pre-order it now and give your future self a gift.

Now it’s your turn! (Tip: When you choose your image for your post, pick an image that people will be most likely to click.)


  1. says

    The fact that you can do a toe touch and shared it with us just makes me love and respect you even more.

    And Downton, I am still not sure I’m back in love with it. I was so distraught over season 3 and I was all like “You better make me love you.” But then the whole Anna story just did not make me love it again. But, the ending was OK I suppose. I did make it through all the episodes.


  2. says

    Always love your lists, the photo on the trampoline has to be my all time favorite though. You’re all kinds of awesome. So, I’ve been sitting here practicing Jeff ‘Goyns’, completely threw me for a loop. Had no idea. I wish I could get that waterlogue app on a Droid, I’ll have to see if I can. Love it. But then again my favorite medium is watercolor. Have a great weekend my friend!

  3. says

    Whoever took that picture of you caught it beautifully, love it! I’m so going to look for the space station app that sounds like a fun thing to do.

  4. says

    I LOVE the picture of you on the trampoline. And such a good tip on clearing surfaces–that immediately makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Thanks for showing the sacred in the small!

  5. says

    Yay to the link up! I enjoy reading your list, Emily. I honestly thought that the touching-toe-picture was one of your daughter dressed up more grown up. Really. And how cool is #7 (I wish I could do that here in upstate NY. Hanging out around a fire pit in the snow? Love it!).

    I really enjoy writing the “things I learned” post. This has helped me learn myself better and that’s one of the reasons I started my blog! Thank you for hosting such a fun link up! Have a wonderful weekend! oxox

  6. says

    How awesome that you can do a toe touch!?! Pretty cool!

    I’ve heard only great things about Waterlogue and would love to try it out but I have an Android :-/

    I learned that I can pray in my waiting to ask God to calm my spirit and He will.

  7. says

    Hi Emily! Wonderful things you’ve learned in February! I am still enjoying A Million Little Ways and marking it up, making it mine. Thank you! You are an intelligent elegant writer. You’re so well-read and I feel blessed by that!
    What I learned: When my imagination begins to spin and spiral, working in consideration of the “imaginary audience” I wish to STOP and change course in order to please Jesus and Jesus only. That’s good for the LOVE month, right?
    Oh! AMAZING toe touch! Well done! Also, thank you for the fun app suggestions! Watercoloring my photos = DELIGHTFUL!

  8. Mindy says

    I know this way of base, but could you tel me the brand of jeans you are wearing in the first pic please? I love the flare on the bottom. Style maybe if you remember where you bought them:) thanks so much. I don’t blog so I can’t link up, but I look forward to these every month.

  9. says

    1. I learned that if I lock my cat in the bathroom at night so he doesn’t meow all night at my door, he WILL protest by pooping in the shower. I’ll spare you the photo I texted to my husband.

    2. I FINALLY, after 33 of living, learned to accept that I don’t like having parties for my birthday. So, this month I went on a bunch of individual dates instead – MUCH better.

    3. For the first time I learned to say “I am a good writer” out loud. (So liberating.)


  10. says

    About DA, we {husband & I both like it, who would have thought!} said the same thing; so curious for new plot dilemmas and so glad they did not traumatize us in the last episode.

    recently finished absorbing Million Little Ways.
    Such expansive inspiration for seeking God’s unfettered design for one’s life.

  11. says

    Those deer photos are excellent, and the fact that one of the components is a neighborhood lending library makes it even awesomer.


    P.S. Someone in my town just built a children’s library to look like a British phone booth: http://wp.me/p2EmLc-1K1

  12. says

    That toe touch is very impressive. What a fun pic! While inconvenient, I feel like the snow storm brought so many great, unexpected blessings. Seeing your neighbors out enjoying it was a highlight for me, too. Thanks for hosting this link up. I have a love/dislike relationship with blogging, but this post is one I look forward to on my blogging calendar.

  13. says

    I’m so jealous of your toe touch! I was pregnant all last summer and our trampoline is currently buried under 5 feet of snow. You’ve inspired me to see if I’ve still got it. 😉

  14. says

    The toe touch thing brought back memories – some good, some not so much.

    I learned that February is not nearly as predictable as January or July. One day you can be rushing to the store to stock up on bread and milk and Cheetos and a week later you can be watching the grand kids running around shirtless in a spring preview.

    And I learned that a snow day…smack dab in the middle of the week, when there’s nothing to do but sledding and building a snowman named Bob, gathering up family to eat chili, play cards and board games and listen to the grandson stranded at home from college play guitar…is a gift beyond price.

    And I am not sure how to pick an image so whatever shows up will be whatever it is.

  15. says

    Thank you for this delightful link up. I have been having so much fun writing down my list at the end of each month. :) #4 in your list spoke to me because that is something I have been learning for the past several months, too. Being introverted in that area is difficult.

  16. says

    Wow! The fact that you could ever touch your toes like that is amazing, but to still do it after 3 kids is beyond impressive.

    That space station app sounds so cool. I love looking at the night sky and to think that something man made is hanging up there is pretty incredible.

  17. says

    Yay for the toe touches! Keep it up and you’ll be 50 and still jumping on the trampoline doing toe touches. 😉

    It took me forever to see that it wasn’t a deer in your photo.

    #10 – yes.

    And I’m super excited about your sister’s book!

    Happy March!

  18. says

    Emily, I love your book. I think I have something marked and starred on every page! At my age, (54) I am learning so much more now, than ever before. February has taught me to let go. To let go of my 25 year old daughter who lives across the country. It’s been a tug of war, with joy on one side and grief on the other. But the real lesson is that God is changing me in all of this. No matter how old my kids are, I am still a new mom in so many instances. So, I say to God, “change me” everyday.

  19. says

    So, I love these post and enjoyed some time writing up my own “things I learned”. Thank you!

    I might have spent way too long searching for your elusive dear though. Plus, I’m taking that toe touch as a personal challenge. :)

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