Thursday, December 27, 2012


Merry Christmas! It flew by too fast as usual and is a bit of a blur. I don't know how much of that is going through the holidays for the first time with two babies and how much was my poor sick two year old who was up every few hours with a cough and fever every night leading up to Christmas.

This Christmas a cough, last Christmas pinkeye...



Poor little man was pretty miserable both years, but after a few doses of good medicine he was up and about and playing with Christmas toys again! I'm really grateful for antibiotics--it's a terrible, helpless feeling when your baby is sick. Next year I'm going to put him in isolation right after Thanksgiving. 

P was a really fun age this year! He loved the Christmas tree and Christmas cookies and Christmas music, we talked a lot about Jesus' birthday. I got some electric candles for an advent wreath, which he didn't fully understand, but he called them Jesus' birthday candles and carried them around the house. Santa was super exciting too, he wasn't terrified. 

He got really into the old clay-mation Rudolph, from the 70's/80's. This is his "very, shiny nose."

Me, mom, sis and sis-in-law did our annual Christmas lunch at a great little place out in the country. Baby V is swaddled up and lying on the floor behind us for the photo :).

We even had some snow this year (before Christmas). P said it was "yucky."

Baby V was baptized on Christmas Adam (Dec. 23). It was a really sweet celebration and covenant with our church family. The church was decorated beautifully!

V is starting to look so big and be really interested in what's going on around him. He grabs at toys and smiles and laughs constantly.

Christmas Eve!

V was a party animal on Christmas Eve, but...

...he slept through Christmas morning.

P had a ball (even with his cough)! This is the train board we made for him. I painted water and roads and trees and such, then we glued down the pieces. It's really fun and he seems to like it. I'll post some more info on how we did it in a later post.

It was a wonderful Christmas spent with family. We are blessed beyond belief and rejoice wholeheartedly in God's great mercy, Christ came to dwell with us and to restore us to the glorious presence of God! Though there is pain and sadness and broken relationships here on earth, He will wipe all that away when He comes again. Come soon, Lord Jesus!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Thanksgiving Think it Through Thursday (a week or so late)

This is what I wake up to every morning. I am incredibly blessed. 

I am so grateful for the three sweet boys in my life and I praise God for the way he sustains us every day.

This Is My Father’s World

 Psalm 69:29-34

But as for me, afflicted and in pain;
let your salvation, O God, set me on high!
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving,
This will please the Lord more than an ox or a bull with horns and hoofs.
When the humble see it they will be glad;
You who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the Lord hears the needy and does not despise
His own people who are prisoners.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
The seas and everything that moves in them.

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we have a lot to be grateful for: a nation in which we are free to worship and where we have incredible opportunities; churches and pastors who treasure and proclaim the gospel; a God who is supremely worthy of praise, who is the author of “every good and every perfect gift” (James 1:17), who is “infinite, eternal and unchangeable” and who embodies all “wisdom, power, justice, holiness, goodness and truth” (WSC). We can see His glory in the beauty of creation, trees that are a riot of color and an earth that abounds in good things to eat and drink. He has blessed us with tongues to taste delicious food and good wine, mouths to laugh and sing, eyes to appreciate the beauty around us. We can enjoy and take comfort in relationships with friends and family.

Some of us this year can thank the Lord for good health, others may be battling illness, have lost pregnancies, have sick children or are grieving for lost loved ones. Many people have bills that can’t be paid, have lost jobs and homes, or have a struggling marriage. There is real pain and sadness in our lives and it can be difficult to lift our hearts in Thanksgiving. Some of us are pleased with the results of last week’s election, others are sad, angry and fearful of the future—unable or unwilling to see the hand of God in this decision.

Psalm 69 is a Psalm of David, through the first 28 verses he cries out to the Lord—describing his desolate physical situation, his sadness, shame, and fear. Then, at the end of the passage, he writes: “BUT.” A resounding, “BUT”—a dramatic change from the attitude of the previous verses. A declaration that regardless of pain and affliction, yet will he sing! God’s salvation still raises David from despair and revives his heart. Like David, in the midst of trial, our focus must be on the greatness and majesty of the Lord, who does not change and is always worthy of our praise and thanksgiving. The Almighty is not deaf to our struggles, He hears our prayers and sympathizes with us in our weakness.

Above all else, God is sovereign. He has not left the world to its own devices.

This is my Father’s world,
I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world
And let me ne’er forget,
That though the wrong seems oft’ so strong,
God is the ruler yet.

God is the ruler yet! No decision, ruler or government is outside of His sovereign control.  We live in a broken world, BUT our good, loving God is in control. We experience real pain and affliction, BUT God holds us in the palm of His sovereign hand. “I rest me in that thought!”

Lord, this Thanksgiving, let us be reminded that we are blessed beyond anything we could ask or imagine because we have the gift of your Son and the salvation that He made possible by His blood. When we are tried and hurt, remind us that all things work together for good to those who love you. Let us come before you with hearts ready to praise and with gratitude that flows from our lips and hearts in joy and irrepressible song! Amen.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Baby Shower and Gal's Weekend

Last weekend I helped throw a baby shower for my friend Brittany. She was my first college roommate and she's having her first baby, a boy! I'm excited, her little guy will be friends with Baby V, they will only be about 3 months apart. Here are the gals, the same group of ladies who helped with C's shower last year around this time. 

Right after the shower, we took off for girl's Christmas weekend. It was fun! We did the usual: ate a lot of great food, played cards and charades, exchanged Christmas gifts, and laughed a lot! See more photos of gals weekend HERE)

I set up the camera to take pictures automatically and it fell over...

Better...but I hate looking at pictures of myself. I'm growing my hair out and it is at such an awkward length.

Sidenote: I had a weird allergic reaction to my favorite shampoo (your body does weird things after having a baby) and my head and ears are all red and swollen. Wonderful...especially combined with the lack of sleep AND (sidenote #2)  my car was broken into while we were in church on Thanksgiving weekend. Shattered window and missing chocolate brown Longchamp, with wallet, nursing cover, lots of diapers and a handful of loose goldfish. Thanks a lot, criminal. I know without a doubt you are an Obama supporter and that makes me even more furious. In a year or so he will be taking what belongs to me and giving it to you anyway, just be patient.

On our last night, we drove up to the top of a hill to watch the sunset and drink a "sundowner"-it was a beautiful night. (Baby Sandwich!!) Overall a great girls weekend, I'm lucky to have such lovely friends.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tutorial: Draft Stopper + Noise Muffler=Sleep Sweeter

I love this thing. It helps me keep my sanity. 

Having two young children has taught me something: two babies awake at 2 am and howling for the attention of just one person is really not fun. The scenario is that the infant cries for milk and the toddler hears him and awakens...screaming. I decided to make a little something to keep this scenario from repeating itself every three hours until the end of time... (read that again but with a slightly frantic tone of voice). 

Don't get me wrong, there are tons of GREAT things about having two very young babies (one 2 years and one 7 weeks, to be precise), but sleep deprivation is not on my list. I'm one of those people who can't remember words when I'm short on sleep. Like last night I was trying to tell a story and couldn't remember the word...wait what was it again?...oh, yeah...werewolf. 

So I made this thing and it was really easy. It has multiple purposes--it stops drafts, blocks out noise (both while looking a little more chic and a little easier to manage than a towel stuffed under the door) and helps us all sleep a little sweeter. 

You need:
heavy-weight fusible fleece
home decor weight cotton 
   -2 rectangles
   -width= 9 inches+door thickness 
   -length=width of the doorway plus one inch
sewing machine with a sharp heavy-duty needle, thread, iron, yardstick, disappearing marker
5 lbs of rice

1) Cut out your pattern pieces. Two rectangles of home decor weight cotton using the specifications above, then back each piece with fusible fleece (leave about 1/2 inch of fabric 'unfleeced' on one short end to make it easier to stitch closed at the end.). The fleece helps make the stopper feel more sturdy, reinforcing the fabric, and it also takes up some space so you don't need quite as much rice to fill it. 

2) Pin fabric right sides together, with 1/2" seam allowance,  sew along both long sides and one short side. Turn right sides out through the open end. Now you should have something that looks like the photo below (without the two lines of stitches in the middle, that's the next step). 

3) Using the yardstick and disappearing marker, measure in 4 inches from each side seam and draw a straight line (the distance between the two lines should be approximately the thickness of your door). Using matching thread, sew along each marked line-stopping about 3/4 inch from the open end. Then you should have this:

Closed end:

Open end from top:

Leave some room so you can turn the raw edges under:

4) Sorry, I didn't photograph this next step because my hands were full of thousands of grains of rice. You could use a funnel, but I took my chances and it worked out ok. Fill each side of the stopper with rice, be sure to leave enough space for folding under and for your machine foot and don't fill the "under-the-door" part.

5) Now tuck the raw edges in, pin, and stitch across the opening--forward and back stitching securely. Trim any loose threads and slide it under the door!

I love mine! The best part is that it slides with the door, no adjusting or slipping on towels (that happened more than once in my house). They really do help block noise, I tested it. This thing is for real!

Comment if you make one and love it or if you have suggestions to make it better!

(The cute red chevron fabric came from Hobby Lobby). 

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Beware, this is a picture heavy post with all kinds of fall updates! I'm trying to get ya'll filled in with details from my 5 week absence. We are enjoying Baby V, figuring out a new normal and feeling incredibly blessed!

I haven't experienced fall since 2010. In New Orleans, we enjoyed summer and spring-like weather all year long, but I have to say...I missed cool, crisp mornings and that wet, earthy smell you only get once the leaves are lying in piles on the ground. I love all the typical fall activities. Right after V was born, I took P to the apple orchard with some friends. We ate apple cider doughnuts, fed animals, drank cider slushies, slid down a slide on burlap sacks and sat on pumpkins. It was thrilling :). 

I've also had grand ideas of taking pictures of my two boys with some beautiful, fall foliage in the background. I picked a gorgeous, warm day and we tried...I took 30 pictures...this is the "good" one. 

We did get a few belly laughs out of the deal...

The leaves were beautiful at the lake this year, here's P with Papa catching his first fish. His favorite part was pushing the release button and plopping the fish back in the water then reeling it in just to start all over. 

Another iconic (at least in my childhood memory) fall thing we missed last year were woolly worms, P calls them "Squirmies" and collects them in his bike basket. 

And Halloween! Love it, just love it!

P wanted to be a monkey (an "Ooh-Ah-Ah" in his language), I picked up a costume from Old Navy. It was super warm which was perfect for the drizzly, 35 degree, trick-or-treating. V was a pumpkin. Can you get any cuter really? I made this costume and I'm going to be posting a tutorial...which I realize no one will use until next year. Maybe you want a little, baby pumpkin for Thanksgiving though? The hat is certainly fall appropriate by itself.

My Mom and I did some practice trick-or-treating with P before the big night. He went up to a bedroom door, knocked, held out his pumpkin bucket, said "Candy" and then "Thank you!"

Yes, we tried to teach him to say "trick-or-treat" but he's a very literal child. Example: most of the folks handing out candy stood outside on their porches, P walked right past them to knock on the door before backtracking to pick up a treat. I wish I had it on video.

V accompanied us, he stayed snug as a bug in his carseat, wearing his PUMPKIN HAT!!

Can't express to you how much I love this hat, it was very easy! (Tutorial to come) Please make one for Thanksgiving.

On a pumpkin sidenote, you must go to Trader Joe's and buy the Pumpkin Butter ASAP. 


"Sooner than as soon as possible." (Gilmore Girls reference for all of you GG fans). 

It is awesome, especially when you toast an english muffin, slather it with butter then add a thin layer of Pumpkin Butter. I like it so much I feel like it should have a nickname...Pum Butt (nope)...PB (already been done)...oh well. 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baby V's Birthday

Our boy was born Friday. It was so different from the birth of our first baby.

We got to hold him for the first two hours, skin to skin. His little cheeks were chubby and he looked around, so alert.

Big brother, P, came to visit. He was fascinated.

Our first baby had to go to the NICU immediately after birth. This boy stayed in our room, a full 40 weeks old and the answer to so many prayers. My heart could not contain the joy and gratitude.

We brought him home the next day. Big brother announcing, "My turn!" He was so anxious to examine his little hands and feet and show him around the house.

We're exhausted but thrilled and looking forward to what comes next.

So is this little guy, apparently.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I made a...

QUILT!! I made a quilt, a legitimate quilt. I pieced a queen sized quilt last year but chickened out when it came to actually 'quilting' it. For this one, I was determined to do it the right way. I used a template and a rotary cutter to perfectly square up all the pieces, pressed all the seams open, and used hundreds of safety pins to make sure that the layers of batting, backing and top were smooth and flat before quilting. Bingo!

I used Jay Bird Quilts' "Large Dot Party" pattern and it was really simple. I used all prints instead of a single solid color with a few contrasting prints like the directions recommended. I'd like to try that too.

You can see here that P's room is still a work in progress. Lamps with no shades...nothing hung on the rails on the 'big boy bed.' We are slowly transitioning from crib to bed, I'm waiting to see how he does at night with baby brother's room right next door before I give up the luxury of having him contained. I love, love, love the bed! It's exactly how I imagined it (think Downton Abbey hospital beds :). It's from Pottery Barn Kids if anyone is interested, I snatched it up when they went on sale a couple of weeks ago.

The quilt is backed with a soft, black and white ticking striped, cotton duck (on sale at Hancock's right now) and I used a super low loft batting. I love the back almost as much as the front and will definitely  use both sides, depending on what sheets are on the bed, etc...

One of the things I adore about quilts is how they look after being washed and dried, I think I'll love this one even more after a few washes. There are raw edges around every circular shape. I think it will add a lot of softness and a vintage feel when the edges fray.

P had a ball pointing out animals and toys and colors. I am wild about every single print and tried to keep it playful and boyish, he will be able to use this for years. I used so many prints that I'm not going to list them all, if you have a specific question just leave it in the comments section.

The only shortcut I took with this quilt was to use the backing for a self-binding, instead of cutting bias strips and all that. I like it and don't think it takes away from the look or the quality at all. I totally finished it in 3 nap times, not bad for a twin sized quilt. (Disclaimer: my little guy takes anywhere from a 3 to 4 hour nap-so maybe a 12 hour project)

1) Preparing/cutting/assembling the blocks
2) Piecing the quilt top
3) Laying out quilt sandwich/pinning/quilting/binding

I think he likes it! Cozy!