Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Patch 2012


Fall wouldn't be complete without a trip to the Pumpkin Patch! We saw more gourds than you can imagine and tried to lift the heaviest of them. The farm animals with their greedy little noses sticking through the fence were just icing on the cake. Evie was especially taken with a billy goat, who cracked her up for some reason. She would laugh and say "Oh sheepie! Ohhhh, sheepie!" It was beyond adorable. And I took advantage of the huge pumpkin scale by sticking my girl on it to see what she's weighing in at these days. A whopping 23lbs. :) All in all, the pumpkin patch was a huge success. As soon as we were in the car driving away she said "So much fun, a pumpkin patch!" :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Project 52:43 {coming home}

thankful for...
coming home

Blurry but beyond precious pics of Daddy arriving home from work.

There is something so sweet about coming home. Whether it's been just an hour or a number of days. 

When we got back in town from Chicago, Evie was napping. When she finally woke up, we both went in to her room to get her. She saw us in the doorway of her dark room and gasped "It's mommy!? There's daddy!" And then she let out a huge giggle and stomped her feet. It was beyond precious and melted our hearts. 

We make a point to say 'mommy and daddy always come back' and 'mommy will be back soon!' when we leave. I really think it's helped her feel confident and sure that we will always come back, as she frequently repeats those phrases throughout the day or when we're gone. I think we would both be content to never leave her, but then.. coming home wouldn't be quite so sweet.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday Morning Thoughts

A little throwback for your Friday morning...

I am SO behind on blogging. And just feeling absent. But really, I'm okay with that. There are so many other things to focus on right now. I do, however, miss catching up on some of my favorite blogs to read. Some day when I'm lying on the beach somewhere, I'll get all caught up, right??

My job has changed/expanded a bit from simply writing for our clients to also writing DIY tutorials each week. I had mixed thoughts about this, initially, but it's been fun. And I've actually completed more Pinterest projects in the past month than the past year! Not all are projects I would normally have done on my own, but maybe some time I'll share some of them here.

Evie is going to be an owl for Halloween! She totally has the "Hooo hooo" part down. :) I made her costume and still need to figure out some sort of mask/headgear for her to wear. More pictures to come!

I am loving and craving coffee and warm drinks I had given it up for a while, but while in Chicago and with this cooler weather, I got sucked right back in. If a salted caramel latte is wrong, I don't want to be right.

I am up to my eyeballs in last minute projects and finishing details for Vintage Market Days: A Holiday Affair, which is in 2 short weeks! We are beyond excited about it. It's going to be so much bigger and better than the June event (which was awesome but brutally hot). I can't wait! I've even started setting my alarm to try to get up early and get a few things done in the morning before Evie gets up. If you know me at all (and how much I love my sleep), that should say something. I hope to see some of you there! It won't disappoint.

And because of all my last-minute painting, sewing, etc.. this is why I don't ever bother with manicures. Super cute, eh?

Groupon is offering a great deal right now- $10 for an 8x8 Shutterfly book. I haven't made any photo books lately, but I love to do them as Christmas gifts.

I've been itching to knit or crochet something for a while now. I'm thinking Evie will need some new, cute winter hats! I did finally give in and start crocheting some baby booties after seeing little Hattie sporting some. I've had to tweak my pattern a bit and still need to find cute buttons. But I'm hoping to get a few pairs done to sell at VMD!  

I am so seriously behind on planning Evie's birthday party, which is just a month away! We finally settled on the date and I HAVE to start planning. I don't think I'm going to do anything elaborate, but my girl loves her some Mickey Mouse, so I think I'll have to incorporate that somehow. I'm just not huge on themes, so I'll have to figure it out. When my brother turned 2, he had a Mickey Mouse party, complete with a Mickey head pinata that my mom made herself! I just remember some picture of his tiny little self swinging a bat at Mickey's head in the backyard. We briefly talked about doing that, but something seems a little off to me about bashing Mickey's head in. I don't think my sensitive girl would be on board for that. :)

We went to the pumpkin patch, oh, two weeks ago, and I just edited some of the pics. So I'll be sharing those soon! Evie was hilarious and loved every minute of it.

I just saw this little knit cowl on Pinterest. GAH! I'm dying of the cuteness! See!? This is why I need to knit! Evie must have one!

Happy Friday!


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Weekend in Chicago

This weekend we had a little getaway to Chicago with some friends. We had originally planned to take our kids, but changed our minds right before booking the tickets and hotel. We missed those babes, but it was so nice not thinking about nap times and hauling strollers through the airport!

Basically all we did this weekend was walk, shop, eat & drink. It was perfect. We stayed at the Intercontinental right on Michigan Avenue (which I highly recommend) and it was such a pretty time of year to visit. I didn't lug my huge camera with me, which meant I kept forgetting to take any pictures with my phone altogether. 

A few trip highlights:

Celeb sighting #1: Bill Rancic and baby Duke walking on Michigan Avenue. I sooo wish I had gotten a pic! I LOVE the Bill & Guiliana show. He looked thinner than I thought and no sight of G, but it was still pretty cool.

Shopping! It's so fun when you're actually in the mind-set to buy things.. rather than just thinking about whether or not you need it, how much, etc.

Taking a much-needed shopping break to sit alone in a nail shop, enjoying a coffee, pedicure and that blessed massage chair.

Having a heated discussion Friday night over what time to make dinner reservations on Saturday night... let's just say the blondes were all for the early-bird special and the brunettes were voting for a late dinner. This led to all sorts of marriage counseling-type conversations, where more and more lines were drawn in the sand between the blondes and the brunettes. Hilarious.

Finally getting to stop into a HomeGoods. This is definitely my happy place! We SO need one around here!

Heading to a crowded bar after dinner, only to feel like the some of the oldest people there. Yes, this is a highlight, because in no way do I want to be single or 22 ever again.

The taxi to the airport. One of our group was hung-over and literally moaning in the front seat. We were dying, trying not to laugh and praying the driver wouldn't kick us out. 

Watching the lady in front of us at the airport, checking in her bag. It was 10lbs over the limit, so they asked her to take some stuff out to avoid the fine. Which she did... only to shove it all back in when the worker wasn't looking! Ballsy!

Celeb sighting #2: Helen Hunt at Chicago O'Hare. Hubby saw her walk by and I didn't quite believe it at first, when I saw the back of her walking away. It didn't look like her at all! So we did a little recon and sure enough- it was her! She looked so skinny. 

Coming home to see our girl! We're already planning our next couples getaway. These trips have been much-needed and so much fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Project 52:42 {choices}

thankful for...

Decisions, decisions...

This month has kept me on my toes. And all of the action will continue right on into next month. It's a good kind of 'busy', but it definitely means some things are sliding. Blogging being #1 on that list. But truthfully, I am so glad to have these choices in front of me. To have this season of creativity that keeps my mind running and my hands active. Some days I just have to remember to choose to make dinner so that everyone else in the family stays happy. :)

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Project 52:41 {new experiences}

thankful for...
new experiences

I like to try new things, meet new people, travel to new places.


I also really like the familiar. I like to be home, eat my favorite foods and travel to the same cities and beaches that I know I like. So yeah.. it's a balance for me. But I think experiencing just some of what this big, beautiful life has to offer is a gift and I want to make sure I take the time to learn about and enjoy as much as I can. And, of course, teach my girl to love new experiences, too, as she tries things out for the first time.

Like horseback riding. Sister loved it. 
And don't worry- Daddy is just out of site in this pic. :)

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Monday, October 8, 2012

today is a good day.

Yesterday was a little rough for me. I'm not really sure why.. I definitely had some heavy things on my heart. We have some big decisions ahead of us and a busy season of life coming up. I don't know, maybe the weight of it all was making an impact, but I cried no less than 4 times yesterday. Seriously. For basically no reason I could explain.

It's so fun being a woman sometimes.

But today? Today is good. Evie is spending the day with her Grammy so that I can get a bunch of stuff taken care of around here. My sewing machine and I have been BFF all morning. Music is filling the house along with the yummy smell of dinner cooking in the crock pot. I am breaking for a quick bowl of homemade tomato soup and there's no guarantee that I'll shower or actually get dressed for the day. But that's fine with me.

So what am I sewing?

1. Evie's Halloween outfit. She'll be an owl and I'm making the whole thing. Cue the cuteness because, folks, I am impressing even myself with this one. :) Hopefully it turns out the way I hope!

2. A slew of pillows for the VMD Holiday Affair.

3. A ruffle Christmas tree skirt for the event. I have everything cut out but am contemplating using my glue gun instead of ruffling, pining and sewing. Yeah... definitely going glue on this one.

I also need to decoupage some pumpkins for a work post and hope to cut out some Christmas stockings for the event. Oh, and laundry. Don't forget the laundry.

It's all craftastic in here! All of these holiday projects get me so excited for the season. 

What are you up to today?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

my favorite psalm

We started trying to grow our family three years ago.. almost exactly.

I can remember it so clearly.. talking on the phone with a girlfriend as I painted our front living room dark blue and wondering how long it might take us to get pregnant, if we would be able to tell our families by Christmas, whether or not we would have twins. For some reason, I always suspected that I was fertile. Weird, I know, but it was a niggling little thought in the back of my mind.

Fast forward a month and a half, and two pink lines popped up on a Monday afternoon after work. I was shocked and elated... I think hubby was just shocked. Obviously, this was what we were hoping for, but talking about it, dreaming about a baby and imagining all that goes along with it is quite different from being told Yes. This is happening. Get ready, because life will never be the same.

And life wasn't the same.

We kept our sweet little secret for weeks before telling our parents. We made plans, talked about names and imagined what our girl might look like. I knew without question that she was a girl.

And then the week before Christmas, on a Tuesday night, I saw a few spots of blood in the shower. The next day we spent over 6 hours in the emergency room before learning that our girl was gone. That she had been in heaven for weeks... It was, without question, the worst day of my life. Even the trauma, pain and aftermath of the miscarriage over the next week didn't compare to the mental, emotional and spiritual blow those words had on me. I wanted to crumble to the floor and fall right through. I wanted to wake up to realize it was all a horrible dream.

We were advised to wait 3 months before trying to get pregnant again. So we waited. And grieved. And healed. And exactly three months later, I was once again staring at a little magic stick with two beautiful pink lines.

Our Tiny Dancer was born 9 months later. The love of our lives.

When she was about 8 months old, I started to get baby fever. Hubby- not so much. Evie had a rough start and the endless crying and sleepless nights weren't quite a distant memory yet.  It didn't really matter anyway. I was still breastfeeding, so getting pregnant wasn't exactly an option. But we did start talking about timing and when we might want the next one to come along. We thought that when Evie was about 18 months, it might be a good time to start getting serious.

So image our surprise when I got a positive pregnancy test at the end of February this year. We were fairly shocked. But happy. I immediately felt pregnant. Ohsotired, a little bit nauseous and just.. pregnant. We didn't tell anyone yet- hubby was still getting used to the idea, honestly. I was very excited and hoping this baby would come in October, just to spread the birthday cheer out a little bit (Evie's bday is in November).

Five days later I started spotting. And just like that, fear crept over me. Not once when I was pregnant with Evie did I spot or bleed. Not once. So while I knew spotting could be completely normal, all it signaled to me was something bad. After letting hubby know, I made two desperate calls for prayer and support. One to my mom and one to the girls in my bible study.

It's hard to think back on this season of my life. I have absolutely no doubt that this was a refining time in my faith.

I was no longer pregnant, but for the next month I prayed and pleaded to be. I spoke to my body and cried out to God and stood in faith, believing and knowing that I serve a God of miracles. That nothing is too big or too hard for Him. That He can breathe life where there is none. It was such a tough time. Very isolating. At the end of that month, I went back in to see my doctor and to confirm that I had miscarried. At that point I just wanted to know. I was trying not to doubt, but if this was the reality of the situation, I wanted to know for sure so that we could move on and start to heal. Once again.

In July, it happened again. A positive pregnancy test. A sweet little note to surprise hubby and calls for prayer for the new life.

And then in a blink, less than a week later, it was over.

Shortly after, I went in to see my doctor again, and he suggested I start taking baby aspirin. The low dose aspirin can help thin your blood, if clotting is what the problem is. We didn't know at that point, if clotting was causing me to miscarry, but baby aspirin won't hurt you and he didn't feel like it was necessary to do any testing yet.

Three weeks later, another positive pregnancy test (I mentioned I thought I was fertile, right??). This time, I put Evie in a little Big Sister shirt I had picked up on a whim at some point. She was wearing it when her daddy got home. He noticed, but didn't say anything at first. Then he kind of looked at me with a question in his eyes and I smiled and said yes.

It's hard to describe what disappointment and loss does to you. To your hope, your excitement. I can't think of anything more pure, wonderful and precious than a baby. And finding out you're going to be a parent, for the first time or the tenth time (I imagine), is such a rush of emotion. But looking for that excitement in someone else's eyes and not finding it is devastating. My heart ached that he didn't react the way I hoped he might. That he didn't jump for joy and cry out in excitement. Not that I expected him to any of that- not in the least. But knowing that his heart was guarded because of what we had experienced before, well, that made me want to cry. Please don't misunderstand.. my husband was very surprised and excited. But it's hard not to be jaded. The news loses some of it's luster when it's been delivered so many times before, just to be stolen away.

We waited a bit and then shared the news with our parents. Three weeks had gone by since my first positive test, so we were feeling really good about things. On the day of my first appointment, I woke up to some light spotting.

We went to our appointment that afternoon and everything looked normal. Super early, but normal. All we could see at that point was the gestational sac. But it had been the same way with Evie- they always measured her a week or so off of my dates- so it wasn't concerning. We would just come back in 2 weeks to see and hear the heartbeat. My doctor was not at all concerned about the spotting.

I wasn't concerned either, at that point.

But the next day, it continued. And on the third day I knew in my heart that it was over. The pain took my breath away. I just couldn't believe this could be happening again. For the third time this year. Three times. I had started three new baby books this year.. each with only one entry. I had written a little note in Evie's baby book each time I learned I was pregnant, saying we found out she was going to be a big sister.. I didn't want to wait to start documenting my babies. I didn't want to hold something in because of fear and doubt. But I still haven't decided what to do about those words written in ink. Three times.

I don't know what I would do through all of this without prayer and without my Savior. If I was not a Christian.. if I did not know that I know that I know that my babies are in heaven with Jesus right now, I honestly don't know how something like this wouldn't break you. I can't tell you how many times I just prayed that He would hold me, carry me, cover me in His peace. That he would heal my husband's broken heart. What do you do if you don't believe? Who do you cry out to and lay all of your cares on? Not once have I doubted how much God loves me through all of this or blamed Him. The opposite, in fact.

Ever since my very first pregnancy and loss, I have clung to Psalm 139:

o Lord, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways..
.. Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there..
.. if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139

This scripture speaks life and mercy and love right to my heart. But not just because He created my babies and formed them in my womb. Not only because He saw each of their unformed bodies and now holds them in His arms.

But because these words are also meant for me.

He knows the longings of my heart, of my desire to have more children. He cares about the small and mundane things in my life as well as the heavy. No matter where I go, no matter how far I might stray or how sad I might feel, He'll always be right there with me. Waiting for me to lean on Him, to rest in Him and more than able to carry me when I don't think I can go on.

I can't really even fathom that kind of love. But I am so very thankful for it.

At this point, we don't know what keeps causing me to miscarry. We'll start some testing soon. But truthfully, I don't really think there is anything physically wrong with me. I think the devil just wants to steal our joy and our children.

But he won't win.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Project 52:40 {little braids}

thankful for...
little braids

I always dreamed of having a little girl, with great big eyes and long hair that I could put into sweet little braids down her back. 

I don't want to forget these precious little plaits. How the left one curls more than the right. How they seem to trail halfway down her tiny little body. And that she looks more and more adorable as the day goes on and they start to get messy and come undone. I just love them on my girl.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

A Desk {Before & After}

A few weekends ago, we set out to hit up a few neighborhood garage sales and I scored this desk for a song.

Aren't neighborhood garage sales the best, by the way? So much less driving around aimlessly, looking for a driveway full of stuff to search through.

I offered the lady $5 less than she was asking and we had ourselves a deal. I knew I wanted to get started on making this piece over right away, because as you can see, my garage is quickly becoming filled with stuff for the upcoming Vintage Market Days event and half-completed projects I need to tend to. Story of my life.

So here's the desk in it's original state. Not too shabby and I knew it could easily be made over. I mixed up some paint from my growing stash and then did a light distressing and stain. I thought the original hardware looked okay, so I just kept it. If I were planning to keep the desk for our home, I would have switched it up, though.

So that's it. The ohsoexciting story behind this latest before & after desk action. There was no wad of money taped to the bottom of one of the drawers or treasure map scribbled in coal on the bottom of the desk. You know I would have put that kind of info up in the title.


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