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28 November 2011

Cyber Monday

Happy Monday! Are you busy shopping online today? It is "Cyber Monday", you know!? I've got lots of fun things in my shop that would make great gifts for teachers, friends, sisters, daughters, etc. Come by and take a look!

Head over to Mique's for some more great deals today!

Cyber Monday

27 November 2011


Saturday was our first annual Christmaspalooza. We stole the idea from my favorite cousin, Jodi. {Hi Jodi!} I loved the tradition her family started in Michigan, and with a few modifications, we've made the tradition our own.

Our day started by decking the house on the inside and out. Maren and I worked on the tree...

...and Brett worked on the lights. We added lights to the roof-line this year...way up there.

After her nap, Maren came downstairs to a few special presents under the tree. She opened a new Christmas book {I'll share my list of favorite Christmas books later in the week!}, a Christmas movie {Veggie Tales Little Drummer Boy...so cute!}, and new Christmas pajamas. I love the idea of giving the kids their Christmas pajamas early in the season so they can wear them all through December.

The house was still in disarray when we started making our dinner, as evidenced by the counter-top in the background. This day was more about fun than accomplishment, though. The decorating will get done sometime this week, right? We made homemade pizzas for dinner. Maren actually did most of the work on her own pizza.

Shortly after we rolled out the dough, Maren discovered a heart-shaped cookie cutter in one of the drawers. Sure...why not have a heart pizza?! It is, after all, Christmaspalooza. *wink*

Is there anything better than busy little kid hands?

Truett mostly bounced around here while we were cooking away. No pizza for him this year...but he did enjoy some sweet potato puree.

We ended the day with new jammies and a family viewing of The Little Drummer Boy {Veggie Tales style}. It was a perfect day, welcoming in my favorite season with my favorite people.
Do you have any favorite family traditions to help bring in the Christmas season? Do tell!

25 November 2011


I'm back! I think that I've figured out my little computer issue, and I should be back to blogging more regularly now...just in time for the Christmas season! Before launching full-fledged into the Christmas spirit, I wanted to share a few favorite pictures from our Thanksgiving.

I am increasingly thankful for these two.

I cannot get enough of their sweet sister/brother antics. I can't wait for Truett to be old enough to interact more with Maren. She loves him so much and desperately wants to play with him. Pretty much all day long. I am thankful that Maren is such a fantastic big sister. Last week she told me she wants 5 more babies in our family. I told her she'd better start praying, because that would take more than one miracle.

We loved introducing Truett to his first Turkey. Meanwhile, Maren and August kept a close eye on the day's activities.

Maren's papa smoked a turkey this year. It was deeee-licious! Aunt Tiffany also made her 'famous' roasted turkey. Truett and his Gigi had some quality snuggle time before dinner.

I have to admit that I'm one of those people who sort of wishes Thanksgiving away in favor of Christmas. I do love to cook, and enjoyed making stuffing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and {3!} pies this year. I love the time with family, and I enjoy the sense of tradition. But what I really love is seeing the first Christmas lights of the season while driving home, and anticipating what's to come...Christmas!

That being said, I do enter this Christmas season with an especially thankful heart. I never could've imagined all the lessons God had laid out for me this year. I never imagined I could grow so close to my husband in the midst of a trying time for our family. I never imagined I could experience so much peace and grace from the Lord in the midst of an agonizing diagnosis for my sweet boy. I never imagined the love and compassion that would be showered on us by family and friends surrounding Truett's surgery. I never imagined the immensely sweet talks I would have with my sweet girl. I never imagined how incredibly blessed I could feel to be sharing my days with Brett, Maren and Truett.

As I enter this, my favorite time of the year, I hope to remain grounded in the truths the Lord has made vastly evident to me this year. He is a good God, who has a plan laid out for each of our lives. He lovingly showers us with unmerited gifts...gifts of possession, friendship, family, health. He upholds us and walks with us through times of great happiness and times of despair...all the while offering a miraculous joy and the grace necessary to remain faithful. For all this, I am thankful.

18 November 2011

My Inaugural InstaFriday

I'm excited to finally jump on the InstaFriday bandwagon. Here's a few pictures from my phone, via Instagram. Enjoy!

August was missing for a day this week. We finally found her sleeping soundly in the dresser on the pants shelf.

Maren and I made turkey crowns one afternoon. I'll share more about this soon!

I went to a craft fair last Saturday, and I came home with Dublin Dr. Pepper. I know, strange. It's so good...if you've never tried it, you must.

This guy gets more fun by the day. Plus he takes 4 hour naps, which is pretty awesome.

life rearranged

10 November 2011

I might be missing...

It seems as though my computer has entered into it's final days. Really, though, it can't do that quite yet. So...I'm hoping that someone smarter than me is able to give it another go at life. We'll see. Meanwhile, I'm afraid this turn of technological events doesn't bode well for my little goal to blog every day this month.

I did get my new calendar in the mail yesterday, which makes me very happy!

Until next time, whenever that may be!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

09 November 2011

Somehow I blinked...

...and it's 9:01 pm. Whew. What a day. We had some friends over this morning for a little play date. I used it as an excuse to cook up some food of the brunch-y variety. Mmmm...I do love a good piece of coffeecake. {Almost as much as I love chatting with a dear friend while hearing multiple little girl voices giggling upstairs.}

This afternoon we had a visit with the pediatrician, who assured us that all is well with the kiddos in light of our recent fender-bender. Praise the Lord.

Our day ended with some fabulous Life Group fellowship. I love the way our church does Life Groups...we spend time praying together and we discuss Sunday's sermon. I have found it to be so beneficial to have a mid-week review of Sunday's teaching. Plus, I really like the people with whom we share these evenings. They're all pretty special. And tonight there was Blue Bell ice-cream. Yes, my day started with coffeecake and ended with Blue Bell. I have no complaints.

Since I don't have much to say, here are a few good reads from others today...

Julie posted about day 3 of her Happy Day Project {a thoughtful approach to giving this season}
Danni shared a collection of really fabulous packaging ideas
Rachel just makes me smile with her writing style...today it's all about therapy

08 November 2011

What a wreck

Last night I had a conversation with my husband about keeping it all together...or not. I was lamenting to him about my inability to do it all...some area of life always seems to be lacking.

If I have a 'super mom day' when Maren and I do 3 inspiring crafts, bake cookies, read 37 books, take a walk to the park and have a heart-to-heart conversation about Jesus, we leave behind a wake of dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, and we inadvertently eat grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner...and Brett's the one making the grilled cheese.

If, at the end of the day, the house is tidy, laundry is folded, floors are mopped, and we eat a tasty meal, I feel as though I often look back only to realize that Maren spent much of the day roaming the house alone, and we made nary a notable memory for the day.

Some days I find myself brimming with creative inspiration...leading to a sizable portion of time wiled away in the craft room. These days often lead to an increase in Etsy sales or a boost in blog readership. Thankfully, Maren loves to spend time with me in the craft room, and she's even got her own little table in the corner. Again, though, with the grilled cheese dinners and piles of laundry. {Have I mentioned that Maren's into changing her clothes about 7 times a day? This doesn't help my pervasive laundry issue!}

For now, regardless of what we do {or don't do}, Truett just happily goes with the flow, for which I am grateful. I know the days of him rolling around on the floor {instead of pulling every pan out of the lower cupboards or unrolling the ribbon and yarn mistakenly left at his level} are numbered. And, I'm actually thankful for that, too. I do look forward to the busy, more mobile days to come.

...that was a tangent...

My point is...I cannot do it all. I have finally decided, at the age of 31, to release any preconceived notion I ever had of being perfect. Once again this morning, I was reminded to invest my time in things that matter.

The kids and I were on our way home from gymnastics. {Maren's hobby...certainly not mine!} We were minding our own business, sitting at a stop light, when a little red car slammed into us from behind. I am so thankful for our recent minivan purchase. Our little accident was fairly mild, and I'm sure that's do, in part, to the fact that we were in the larger vehicle of the two. Both kids instantly screamed, I'm sure out of shock more than pain. After insuring their well-being, I shakily collected all necessary information from the other driver, and we were on our way again. {I do have doctor's appointments scheduled tomorrow for both kids, just to be sure everything is alright!}

I spent the remainder of the day praising God for protecting us, and thinking of what might have been...much in the same way I did this summer when we were facing Truett's heart surgery. The thing is...only the Lord knows how our days here on earth will pan out. The choice given to me is how I will approach each new day I am given. Will I choose to fill up my days with meaningless tasks in an effort to 'keep up appearances'? Or, will I thoughtfully and intentionally spend my days seeking to bring honor and glory to my God?

I have chosen {or, God has chosen to have me meditate upon} Philippians 1:9-11 during the upcoming year. It says...

And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ - to the glory and praise of God.

I actually do believe that keeping an orderly home is honoring to the Lord. What isn't honoring to Him is turning my home's appearance into an idol. The same can be said for how I approach each aspect of life.

So, I find myself frequently asking the question...

Am I doing this in order to make myself feel good or look good, or am I acting in order to show love and give honor to my God?

I pray that as the days and weeks unfold, I will learn to...

...have love abounding...
...discern what is best...
...remain pure and blameless...
...be filled with the fruit of righteousness...
...and bring glory and praise to God.

In the meantime, I hope to embrace the little 'wrecks' I find around my house...

...and to be thankful for this moment, so graciously given to me by a loving, merciful God.

07 November 2011

Just Thankful

Today I am thankful for...

...a husband who wakes up early every morning with Maren, and the extra minutes or hour of sleep I get as a result.
...a little girl who genuinely loves to spend time with me.
...seemingly unending smiles and giggles from my growing baby boy.
...sweet time with cherished girlfriends.
...a gracious God who so patiently corrects and guides me.

06 November 2011

November Gift Guide

This month's gift guide is inspired by books. I love to read and this season of cooler weather and longer nights always reignites my desire to curl up with a good book. Enjoy!

{for a baby}
{for a girl}
{for a boy}
{for a lady}
{for a gentleman}
{for a friend}
{for the newlyweds}
{another gift I just think is really cool!}

05 November 2011

Short and Sweet Saturday...a Winner!

Wow...this day just flew by. My sweet husband spent the morning with the kids so I could enjoy a few hours of shopping...alone! It was such a treat to actually browse just for fun, and to carry a small bag instead of a huge diaper bag. I returned home refreshed and with a couple new things to add to my cold-weather wardrobe. It's true that since becoming a mom my wardrobe has become significantly smaller and simpler. Still, I like to put forth a little effort to look nice, especially for my husband who is such an amazing partner on this parenting journey.

I picked up this lovely sweater...

Loft had 50% off all sale prices today {yay!} and I was lucky to find the last of these sweaters in my size.

So...now that you've been entranced by my shopping escapades of the day, how about a little winner announcement?

Shelley! You get to pick out a set of notecards from my shop. Email me with your choice and I'll get them in the mail to you next week.

I hope you're enjoying this autumn weekend!

04 November 2011

My babies at 4 months

I figured I should get a little 4-month post put up about Truett before we get too close to posting his 5-month post! {Confession...I started writing this post much closer to when Truett was 4 months old. Now we are just a week away from him actually being 5 months old. But I still do want to remember these things, so here you have it!} I do not know where the time is going. I really feel like 3 days ago was the first day of October. As I look back on these early months with Truett, it's good for me to remember to savor the days. Sadly, I need the regular reminder to slow down and soak in these days with my kids. They're both so much fun and bring such joy to my life.

I have especially enjoyed watching them interact together this month. Maren is an awesome big sister. She loves Truett so much. Our morning routine now consists of Maren climbing into Truett's crib for some morning snuggle time. She makes him laugh. She sings songs to him and 'reads' her books to him. I love that she already enjoys his company. I was {unnecessarily} nervous that she'd be jealous of him or would be bothered by having a baby around all the time. She actually asked me the other day if we could 'get' another baby. I told her we would wait and see when {and if} God chooses to bless our family with more kids. I'm just thankful that she's adjusted so well to having a baby in the house.

A little side-by-side comparison of both kids...{Maren is on the left}

Here are both kids and their stats at 4 months. I was amazed at how close they were in weight and height. {Truett was almost 2 pounds bigger than Maren at birth!} I'm sure Truett's heart surgery affected his growth somewhat. I'll be anxious to see if they stay this similar in the coming months, or if Truett will surpass Maren at some point. The boy loves to eat!

Truett loves to sleep. He typically goes to bed between 7 and 8 and will often sleep until 9 in the morning. He gets up once or twice in the night still, but he eats quickly and goes right back to bed. I honestly don't mind the quiet snuggle time with him. He's also been sleeping on his tummy ever since he learned to roll over. There's something so sweet about seeing his little bottom sticking up in the air while he sleeps.

He had his first cold this month. I kept a close eye on him...most days I'm able to treat him like a 'normal' baby, but when he gets sick I'm still on high alert and can't help wondering/praying/hoping everything is okay with his little heart. Thankfully, he didn't have a fever this time around. I pray often for protection for his little body as we're rushing into cold and flu season. It's always terrible to have a sick baby, but I admit that it makes me even more nervous considering the traumatic start to life he's had.

Truett is rolling all over the place. I'll often put him down on his quilt while I'm doing something in the kitchen and I'll return to find him several feet away from the quilt...often times he's wedged himself against a chair or a wall. He's also started to play with his toys.

My boy is going to be a finger-sucker. Maren never sucked on her hands. She'd put everything else in her mouth, just not her fingers. Truett always seems to have one or several of his little fingers shoved in his mouth.

We continue to enjoy this season as a new-ish family of four. The colder weather and darker evenings seem to bring with them plenty of cozy family time, for which I am grateful.

03 November 2011

12 by '12

I recently came across a blog that's quickly become a favorite in my reader. Danni at Hello, Friend has some fabulously inspiring and creative posts. If you haven't stumbled upon her blog yet, you really should pay her a little visit. You won't be disappointed! Danni recently posted a list of 12 things to complete before 2012. I am a list-maker, so this little challenge was right up my alley.

I did put a fair amount of thought into my 12 things...I wanted to challenge myself but I also want to remain sane during the upcoming holiday season.

Without further ado...I introduce you to my 12 by '12 list...

1. Revise budget for 2012

2. Finish handmade Christmas gifts

3. Write up a calendar of posts for my blog {through mid-January}

4. Set up a 'money system' for Maren

5. Plan and carry-out Christmalooza...{Watch for more on this! We're totally going to steal the idea from my amazing cousin...and it's a good one!} *Hi Jodi!

6. Plan and host a tacky-sweater party

7. Create a list of people to invite over for dinner in the coming months

8. Create or purchase a piece of art with my 2012 verse on it

9. Plan advent festivities to do as a family

10. Have family pictures taken

11. Re-organize the pantry

12. Take Maren on a special mommy-daughter date {we haven't done anything alone since Truett was born!}

I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress with the list. And, there will be some fun posts to accompany some of these things...I'm sure you can hardly wait to see what happens with the great pantry re-organization. You'll just have to be patient for that one, friends. *wink*

02 November 2011

A few things...

Happy Wednesday! Did you know that November is nablopomo?


Well, it is, and I'm going to do my best to post every.single.day. We'll see how that goes!

Today is a snow day. So far we've worked on letters, built a fort in the family room, played with the neighborhood kids in the snow, made chalk-art...and all before nap-time. I love cozy days at home with my kids!

This little man loves the bouncy seat. We pulled it out of the basement last week, much to his delight!

Why must children's toys be so cumbersome and crazy-looking? Seriously...it looks like Truett could orbit the moon in this contraption, doesn't it?

Yes, Maren is wearing shorts and a t-shirt today. She dressed herself this morning and I guess she's not going to let go of summer without a fight!
And yes, the pictures of Maren are blurry...she was a swiftly moving target this morning. I probably just need to learn how to use my camera a little better.

I made these for Life Group tonight...

{Source: via Pinterest}

They have chocolate chips and pretzels in them, and they are just as delicious as they look. Thank goodness, because the last time I tried a recipe from Pinterest, I was grossly disappointed!

A set of my notecards was featured in a fun hedgehog treasury. If you want to see some sweet little items, go check it out!

So, how about a little snow-day giveaway? Leave a comment with your favorite snow-day activity...and you might just win your choice of a set of notecards from my shop!*

*I'll announce the winner on Saturday morning!*

01 November 2011

I may have created a monster {but really, just a butterfly}

We had a wonderful time getting all dressed up yesterday. I have been fairly creative but simple with Maren's costumes in the past. This year she specifically asked to be a butterfly princess. The princess parts all came from her dress-up box {easy and free!}, but I decided to make the wings. Wow...what an act of love! Maren is already talking about what she wants to be next year, and I'm thinking I just may have set the homemade-costume-creating bar a little higher than I'd prefer. There is something special, though, about watching your kid prance around the house in sheer delight as she tests out the new duds. As for Truett...well, he was impartial this year and got to wear Maren's hand-me-down monkey suit from her first Halloween. I'm pretty sure this will be the first and only time that ever happens, seeing as how Maren is wanting to follow-up her butterfly princess getup with a pink bunny costume next year. While the bunny part may change, I expect the pink part to stick around for another few years. And I'm pretty sure Truett won't be convinced that the pink and purple wings really do bear striking resemblance to a Batman costume.

We shared our evening with the 'cousins', who aren't exactly cousins but some second or third version...we've resorted to just calling them the cousins, though...here's all the kids ready to head out for some trick-or-treating...
...and here's a more accurate glimpse into a photo-session with 3 overly-excited little girls and 2 babies about to head out for some trick-or-treating...
I'm so thankful for my sweet family and these shared memories.
And, I loved coming back to the house early with this little guy to hand out candy. Really...does it get any better than a face like that next to a bowl of chocolate!?