Photo Friday: Six Months


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I cannot believe this post is about our little girl turning 6 months old!

She is sweet and gentle.
She is very active.
She is triple her birth weight.
Loves toys.
Very tactile, loving textures and faces.
Enjoys smiling, cooing, drooling and blowing bubbles.
Moving, reaching, turning in circles.
Loves kicking her legs like a crazy little when her diaper is changed.
She does not like getting her nose cleaned.
She is very wiggle when we attempt to trim her tiny nails.
She takes short naps.
She has two of the cutest teeth poking out.
She thoroughly enjoys jumping and jumping and jumping!
She loves her big brother.

She has changed our life.
Our perspective.
We are thankful.


Photo Friday


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I was listening to the radio the other day and I loved what was shared…of course what I write will not be exact, but I think you will get the idea!

He was discussing houseguests. When we have them, most of us say, “make yourself at home.” Maybe we give them a key to come and go as they please. We welcome them to help themselves to food, towels for showers, etc. But, how would we feel if we came home, our guests had made themselves at home, were sitting on the couch, relaxing. Perhaps your friend is reading last years tax return, “hey Mike, I didn’t know this is what you made last year!” While his wife has helped herself to your wife’s clothes.

We asked them to make themselves at home, didn’t we?

But, I suppose when we offered our home to be their home we figured there were boundaries, rooms they wouldn’t enter. Items they wouldn’t touch. Of course we can relate this to our relationship with the Lord. Asking Him into most of our “rooms.”

I thought this was so very fitting on the day I happened to hear this. My friend and I have “phone dates.” She lives further away and that’s our only way to connect, since she has moved I have joined her in this mothering journey. I have always been in awe of how she parents and what an incredible loving, honest and authentic person she is.

We discussed surrendering in terms of motherhood. I am certain this is different for everyone. But a certain amount of surrender is required when you become a Mama, you have less time for you, for your friends, for life as you knew it. Sometimes change can be so difficult, it is only natural to cling to how things were, after all what we know is so much more comfortable. But, there can also be such freedom in surrendering. Accepting the changes, surrendering all the things that used to be and handing it over. Being present, being fully there.

This relates in so many areas. A new Mama has to surrendering to her new role, to her sweet baby and their needs. A new husband who has to surrender his bachelor life. Even someone who is finishing their degree and looking for a career. There is also surrender required when you give your heart to Jesus. When you make that change and promise to trust Him with it all, every hidden part. Surrendering what you thought you knew, giving over what you hold so tightly to. Giving it all to Him.

It was an “a ha” moment for me, a gentle reminder to start unlocking some of those doors that I still have so tightly shut.

Matthew 22:37
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”


Hope you all have a beautiful, summery weekend!

Us, Adjusted


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So, it has taken months for me travel back here. To have a moment to myself, to share my heart, to pour over photos taken over the past weeks. Yes, this is us, the new us. Totally adjusted.

We are tired. We are out of free time. Often out of clean clothes and dishes are often piling up on the counter.

But we are drenched in love. Seriously, dripping.


These kids have taken over our house, our hearts and I really can’t imagine it any other way.

Am I exhausted? Yes
Is everyday super, super fun? Nope!
Do we have meltdowns/breakdowns and lots of “breaks?” Oh, yes sir.

But for every moment like this….

IMG_2509ED_WMthere are moments like these…



 They refuel me. Gods grace exemplified, nurturing me, encouraging me.
This matters. This “job,” is so worth every sleepless night, every worry and every sacrifice.

I would rather hang out with these guys than do anything else.


IMG_0185ED_WMIMG_1704ED_WMIMG_1065ED_WMAnd what could be better than complete, toothless joy??

IMG_3142ED_WMThe most precious jewels you will ever have around your neck are your Children ~ unknown

Mama Monday: A Blessed Week


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Well, Miss Norla (Grays nickname for our little girl) is now a week and a half old. I already want to slow all of this down!

She is a great little nurser and has already gained 5 ounces, putting her just over 7 pounds. She is quite the snuggler, which works out great for me cause I carry and snuggle my babies as much as possible. I wear her most of the day, which provides perfect snuggles and free hands for time with Gray. We sleep cuddled up together at night which allows us both to get more sleep. Between Hubby, my Mom and my BF, K I have not left the house. I have not made a dinner, I haven’t had to do much cleaning, it has been awesome and we feel so blessed. My Mom comes over early so for these past 11 days Norla and I have not awoken before 11 o’clock, it is wonderful! Dear Hubby has been so incredible, he was there every minute to support me. Always making sure that I was eating, drinking and sleeping. I could not of asked for more!

We still have to give her a first bath. We will hopefully get out for a walk soon, if the weather holds. But, as far as our plan goes, we hope to stay in as much as possible as a family. Bonding and healing. Life is often too rushed and I believe a baby creates a glorious time to slow down and soak it all in. We are doing that as much as possible. This postpartum period had planning put into it, I think because postpartum with Gray was so different and slightly stressful. I really wanted this to be different and it has been calm, which I am very thankful for.

It is a bit funny because as calm as this time has been, her birth was not the calm, candlelit, water birth that I had planned! Our family never does anything according to plan and Norla made her entrance as a true member of this family. It involved an extreme rush to the hospital, seriously for you lovely ladies who have been through this, you know the most painful part is called transition. Well, we were lucky enough (snark intended) to experience this “change” in the car. In the middle of the afternoon, in the heart of downtown. Our car even stalled at a red light in the middle of a contraction! It was pretty funny and Hubby and I had quite a few laughs between contractions. Before we left for the hospital I was having to really breathe through my contractions. He found me upstairs, under our bed looking for my swimsuit. It was ridiculous! He tried to guide me to the car numerous times but I could not handle the idea of sitting down in the car. I remember leaving the house and with a big smile he said “this is so exciting, lets do this!!!”

We made it to the hospital in time, which was such a relief, because Dear Hubby asked multiple times if he should pull over and clean out the backseat! I discovered that my husband may of been able to be a very successful race car driver! He was weaving in and out of traffic, ineffectively honking his horn over and over. I was so happy to see the hospital and our midwife that was waiting for me. We decided not to wait for the other midwife to arrive and to just continue to the delivery floor. They let us in a room around five after four. I was resisting the contractions because I really wanted a warm bath. Hubby finally arrived after parking and lugging up two huge Rubbermaid containers containing my beautiful birth pool. It makes me laugh now that he thought we were still going to use it, it takes about an hour and a half to get set up! I think he came up to the room around quarter after 4. He was getting settled, taking his coat off etc, probably deciding in his head where to set up said pool. In the meantime, this Mama gave it up and our Norla entered this world at 4:20! It was a whirlwind of a birth! Much more painful than with Gray, I think due to the fact I was in a place that I was extremely uncomfortable. I do not recommend laboring in a car! But wow, when they put that baby in your arms, it is totally forgotten. I would do it again tomorrow. She was so beautiful. I feel like I had been waiting for her a lot longer than 9 months!

I didn’t even think to ask if the baby was a boy or a girl, I was too distracted with just holding my sweet baby. I remember Kane asking and the midwife trying to take a look, “Its a girl!” I was in complete shock, I really thought we were having a boy! The calm came after. What is so nice about having a midwife is the very short stay in the hospital. If everything goes well and uncomplicated you can leave within two to four hours. We were back in our car and ready to travel home at 7:30pm! It felt a bit surreal, being there for three hours and just being able to go home. It was so nice, Gray got to meet his little sister and we got to put him into bed ourselves. Plus, we got to sleep in our own bed! The midwives come to your house on day one and day seven, they are available 24/7. It has been so nice to be able to text anytime I have a question. It has been a lovely experience, when it is over at 6 weeks, I will definitely be shedding some tears!

So, there is a little update at what has been going on here. This little lady has only been here 11 days, she already owns more clothes then I do, she makes really funny sounds when she sleeps and she has undoubtedly nestled herself into our hearts. Thank you to everyone for their excitement! Thank you for being so understanding about visiting and for graciously dropping off meals and gifts. So many days, Norla and I would get up from a nap and notice another beautiful gift left at our door. So nice that so many of you brought thoughtful gifts for Gray too, he has so appreciated every single one! We feel so spoiled!

Nora Asleep

Mama Monday: Simplicity


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I feel like I have been searching for simplicity for the last few weeks. Or rather preparing our home for a simple start for our new family of 5 (yes, Dear Dog counts). I have been working my butt off to organize and clean this house, to have things all in order before the arrival of our sweet baby.

I have slowed down the daily crazy and it feels really good to finish Gray’s room and stitch some decorations for baby. I have been able to spend extra time with my parents and that has been wonderful. They have defiantly been spoiling Gray and I.

Our time with Hubby has been limited but I feel as though we have used our time to the fullest. I celebrated a birthday and we got a night out. The warm weather gave us some much needed family outside! We have been really focusing on Gray and simply spending time doing everything he likes.

Of course this includes a ridiculous amount of car races, dinosaur chases and indoor soccer matches. He has been enjoying watching his ever favorite Toopy and cuddling with his Daddy reading an extended amount of bedtime stories. We have been including him in preparing the baby room, we talk a lot about what it will be like, although I don’t think Hubby and I even know what it is going to be like having two!

But something must be connecting cause yesterday, out of the blue, Gray exclaimed, “I am so excited to meet baby!” I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a few tears. I think I have had some shaky nerves thinking about how he will handle all of this. Worrying about his sweet, little boy heart. Hoping that a piece of it doesn’t break when we walk through the door with a “new” baby. But his excitement these last couple of weeks has calmed me.

We are 38 weeks now, so expecting baby to make his or her arrival at anytime. Gray was born 15 days early so I have tried to make sure that we are ready even if this baby surprises us like he did. This week I will be finishing up some projects I have in the works. Grays bedroom is almost done, just a few touches here and there. The baby’s room has a few décor items to hang and I have a little project that I want to build for it tomorrow.

A few pictures these past few weeks make me smile. I thought I would share them.


I felt so blessed to be able to hold my boy during a very unexpected nap the other day. I scooped him up and we cuddled in silence for an hour. He hasn’t napped in over a year, so this was so special.


We have been enjoying spending some extra time with Grandma.


We decided Gray’s room wouldn’t be complete without having a
little buddy to take care of. Meet Frank.


Always ready to be silly for the camera!


Mama and her babies.

Have a beautiful Monday!

Photo Friday


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We came down for breakfast  and Gray requested pancakes and blueberries. He was eating away but his hair kept getting in his face. He asked me for a hat to keep his hair back, funny boy!

Beet PancakesI thought I would share this pancake recipe. It is a real hit in our house and may be just what you are after to celebrate Valentines Day!

Those pink pancakes have zero food dye. They are that beautiful pink color from the lovely roasted beets that they contain. Yum! Beets are full of vitamins and antioxidants.

I found the recipe at Weelicious. I made a few changes to cut out more sugar and make them a bit healthier. Below is my recipe adapted from this one,
Red Beet Pancakes at Weelicious.

Red Beet Pancakes
 (adapted from Weelicious)


1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 medium beets, roasted & pureed (about 3/4 cups)

1 1/4 cup coconut milk

½ cup of honey

1/3 cup plain greek yogurt

1 large egg

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Mix the first 3 ingredients into a bowl.

2. Place the wet ingredients in a separate bowl and whisk thoroughly to combine.

3. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet, stir until just combined, leaving some lumps.

4. Drop a ¼ cup amount into a greased pan over medium heat. Cook for about 3 minutes a side or wait to flip until pancake is bubbly.

This makes quite a few pancakes, I usually flash freeze them on a cookie sheet and then store them in freezer bags. They reheat really well.

Gray likes them with berries, plain yogurt and a little bit of honey.

10 Weeks


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Well the countdown has begun! I cannot believe how fast this pregnancy has gone, I felt like Gray’s pregnancy went much slower. This baby will be here before we know it.

I am not sure if I really experienced “nesting” last time but wow, I believe that whatever I am up to now would be referred to as nesting. I cannot sit down, I just want to clean and organize. Our house is really getting a top to bottom overhaul. That feels pretty good. The nursery is coming along slowly. But, to be honest Gray did not sleep in his room until after his first birthday so I do not think that the nursery is that urgent. I just want it to come together because I know I will have an extreme lack of time after baby comes.

We are trying to pick out names, finding ones we agree on has proven tricky! Gray has given a few suggestions, Elephant, Monkey and Baby (very original!). If anyone has some boy name suggestions, we are all ears!

Mostly, we are pretty relaxed. Just enjoying the kicks and movement. Trying to prepare Gray and talk to him lots about all things baby. He seems to be coming around to the idea. Although I think he assumes baby will arrive, ready to play cars. I acknowledge we are in for a transition, but it should be pretty exciting!

Here are some pics of my growing belly!


Mama Monday: Three


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I remember people telling me to enjoy every second once Gray was born.
Here he was, 6 pounds 2 ounces.


My beautiful baby boy, the one who so lovingly made me a Mama.

Well, even though I know that time flies; especially as I grow older; this amount of time has flown like no other. My precious boy has now been three for a little over a week and it has really hit me that this is going at the speed of light and I would really like to slow it down.

He is proud of being three and tells us multiple times a day. Trying to show us his three little fingers without the other two popping up to join. After every meal he tells me he has grown and that he is going to keep growing higher. My heart is so happy to see him growing and happy, delighted in the everyday. Today he was so excited to help with laundry, clean the windows and scrub the dishes. He is fascinated when the snow gently falls or when the birds gather around the bird feeders hanging outside our windows.

Being his Mom is honestly so much better than anyone could of ever told me. Even on the difficult days, the days when he presses every button I am so grateful that the Lord has placed him in our arms

You, my boy, are unbelievably precious. I appreciate you. I love seeing you smile and giggle. I love that you are curious. You almost talk more than your Mama! You are not afraid to ask questions. You enjoy learning and are so elated when “it clicks.” You are a very good sleeper, you always have been. Although, you are just starting now to think that maybe bedtime is not the best time of the day. But once your sweet blond head hits that pillow your dreams are sweet. You are almost potty trained, you made it extremely easy on us and have only had a few accidents in these past few weeks. Next is the potty at night, that should be interesting! You know your ABCs and your 123s. You love to sing songs, most are your own creation, but you really enjoyed learning Jingle Bells this past month. You thought Christmas was awesome! Daddy is teaching you to skate and he says you are doing really well! You make us so proud.

I see my stubbornness in you. You are strong willed and are certainly not afraid to fight back or back down. In this I see great strength, I pray the Lord guides your Daddy and I in order to direct that zest and passion in a positive way. You remind us often not to rush you, to take our time and talk things out. I often forget how similar we are.

You are so gracious with your Dad and I. We have defiantly been learning and growing through these past few years. You forgive and forget constantly. You are so sweet and innocent in the way that you love us. Always willing to trust that we will pull through for you. I can ensure you that we always try our very, very best. Thank you for being kind and gentle with us and for showing us how to love without judgment. You have taught us so much and we are better people because of all you have shown us.

You are so blessed to have an abundance of people in your life who love you. You are very social, especially with adults. You love to roughhouse with your Uncle D and wheel around with Uncle T. You always ask to visit them or call them. I think you have won their hearts as well. You have aunts that adore you. Always asking for hugs and offering you treats. Willing to sit and read with you or play your games on the Ipad. These girls will always have your back sweetie. Your Auntie K is always up for visits and you are very excited to play with her puppies and wheel around her house in an outdoor Fischer price car! You also always seem to clean her out of oranges!
Man, you are lucky!

And than there are those four crazy, gray haired people that visit. A couple of them have funny names, your Dad has a hard time keeping them straight, but we are lucky to have grandparents that oh and awe at everything you say and do. People who prayed for you before you were ever born. They encourage you, they delight in you. Most importantly they are always there to cheer you on. You rush to tell them news or call to talk about something silly. Grandparents are such a gift kiddo. Mama never experienced life with Grandparents and I am so happy that you are able to have this once in a life experience. You are blessed.

We have been talking a lot about what “Love You” means because we say it so often. I had a difficult time explaining to you exactly what that means. I have been telling you that it means that it means I will like you no matter what. No matter what you do or who you are. My love goes so much further than that so it is hard to find words to express that.

The Lords love has a far further reach. I pray you always look to the Lord for guidance, I pray He gives you a heart full of compassion. I pray every single night that He would bless you with a passion for prayer, in that you have everything. Jesus loves you, I always tell you that He built you. He did, He built every single part. Each of us have been built specifically by the Lord, He pours all of His love into us.

You have made these past three years absolutely breath taking. I feel so blessed to be able to be home with you every single day. Thank you for being you. I am so incredibly thankful to be your Mama. Happy birthday my baby boy.



Room Reveal: Our Bedroom


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I usually try and do a bigger DIY project twice a year. Hubby usually goes away for longer spans once in the fall and once in the spring. I generally enlist my Dad as my helper and get to work! I started our room in the spring and so it has been done for sometime. Of course there are still things I want to do but it is much better now than before.

I think a master bedroom often gets forgotten. You don’t make breakfast in there or have people over to watch a movie in there. So it has not been the top priority. Of course that also means it was not budgeted for. I set out to do this room as cheap as possible.

We will start with the before photos.



I know what are thinking….that is beautiful! Why would you want to change a thing? Hehe especially the fancy window treatments right?

I started looking for some inspiration on pinterest.

Via Nicety

Via Little Yellow Barn

I have always loved barn doors. So I thought an idea like this was perfect. With a few tweaks I knew I could make it work!

To be honest my taste has already changed since we started on this house. I know that there are a few “style” changes that I would make. I used to love industrial, old metal, old wood, farmhouse, etc. But now, I really love the cottage look. Clean, simple and lots of white.

I do not have the budget, the desire or the time to go around and change a bunch of stuff. So the rooms that are done will stay the way that they are. I may make a few tweaks here and there. Rules for those changes would be it has to be DIY, a gift and/or thrifty find.

I do not want a matchy matchy house but I do like to stay in the same genre. So for our room I tried to mix the two ideas above. Something with more white and cottagey but with a touch of rustic to tie in with the rest of the house.

There were things I had to keep. Girl on a budget, remember. The bed with the frame had to stay. But I wasn’t loving the bed frame anymore so I decided that I would have to build something behind it to change the way it looked.

Ok onto the after photos:



The side tables. I had one of these from Ikea, it made sense to simply get another and save the cost of getting two new ones.

I wanted a little bit of art and so I just downloaded some free printable’s, picked up some Ikea frames and that was that.

The printables can be found here and here.


Yahoo for window treatments! We have been here almost three years and it felt so good to hang curtains and blinds. My parents gave us money for blinds for our Christmas present last year. We are so happy with our choice and it really warms up all the rooms these blinds are in. We ordered them from here. They were easy to order, easy to install. And an awesome price!

I am not done the dresser on the other wall, so I will save that wall for another day.

One splurge I did make was a new chair. And I updated my bedding a little by purchasing a few new items to go with what I already had.


So maybe you would like to change a room or two? Think about using what you have and just adding a little bit of new to make it more like what you want!

Mama Monday: Always the Hero


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I never played team sports. Well, I was on some teams in junior high, but they were really more for fun! Hubby and I were watching a sitcom last week and one of the kids on the football team doesn’t love sports. In fact he was feeling bad about beating the other team. His kick meant the loss or win for his team.

He meant to miss it, but low and behold it was a beauty of a kick and his team won. Of course the team was thrilled but he was feeling a bit down. The coach talked to him after the team made their way to the dressing room. And he said “it’s fun to be on a team, and its really fun to be the hero.”

Hubby has played hockey since he was a wee one. He has always loved sports and enjoys playing on a team. He turned to me and said, “yep, so fun to be the hero.” I replied, “I am always the hero and it is wonderful.”

Truth is, I am. I am my son’s hero. I love in the morning when I make him breakfast and he says excitedly, “Mom, you made this? You made this? Yum!!” I love when we are reading a book and he looks up at me with his big brown eyes and giggles at my silly voices. I sometimes tuck him in, say “goodnight my sunshine,” close the door and think about our day.

Maybe I yelled. Maybe he asked me to sit with him and I just didn’t have time. Maybe I didn’t have patience when I needed it the most. Well, when he looks and me and says, “good job mommy.” Or thank you Mommy for the smallest thing. I know that despite my flaws and my inconsistencies he looks at me with his Dads smirky grin and thinks that I am pretty awesome.

Pretty awesome for just being me and being silly. Making him his favorite snacks. Getting down on the floor and playing with blocks. I am his hero for all the extremely simplistic things I do.

So I try to remind myself of this when all the cute ‘pinteresty’ things don’t get done in time for Christmas. Or when dinner is late, Gray is crying cause is tired and the day seems as though it will end on a negative note.

Do you know what you are to your kid(s)? A awesome hero! So even on your down days, know that your kid loves you, just the way they are. Their grace and love comes from the most sincere and innocent place.