Auld “Lange” Syne

There’s nothing like adding a new member to your family to make a year memorable. Add in a trip to the beach with a four-year-old and an infant, starting a rigorous new Bible study, selling our first home, moving, and starting the building process…2015 held so many treasured, blessed, exhausting moments. If I’m being honest, I had to look at pictures just to remember what we did this year! The lack of sleep is getting to me, people! Fortuntely, my 8-month-old has FINALLY started sleeping through the night. Most of the time. (cue the Hallelujah chorus) I can’t wait to see what 2016 has in store but I’d like to catch my breath first. That’s how life works, right?!

I’m not usually one to make resolutions. They’re either unattainable, unmet or uninspired. I remember a particular year in middle school that one of my resolutions was to “wear crazy eyeshadow colors. like yellow.” Yikes! Thankfully, that never happened!

This year, in an effort to simplify my life and streamline my thoughts, actions, belongings, & body (HA!)–I figured some goals should be set in place. All too often, I muddle through the day as a stay at home mom. I feel overwhelmed and underwhelmed all at the same time. If I’m being honest, some days I wake up looking forward to bedtime. When bedtime rolls around, I feel disappointed that I didn’t accomplish more than keeping everyone fed and safe. I know being home with my babies is my greatest ministry right now. There truly is no where else I’d rather be and I’m beyond thankful. I think it’s important; however, to acknowledge these feelings and have a game plan for combating them.

Putting those goals here for all to see should hold me accountable! I know I won’t be able to accomplish everything on this list; however, it is a reflection of the person I’d like to be. And in keeping with the goal of giving myself grace, I’m going to try not to stress over the things that aren’t crossed off my list!

 

Mom/Wife Goals

  • Cook more often
  • Ask for help before losing my mind
  • Plan more dates
  • Actually play with my kids
  • Give and receive grace
  • Let go of guilt (particularly mom guilt)
  • Laugh! Stop being so serious 24/7

Family Goals

  • Take more pictures of the four of us
  • Learn & memorize scripture
  • Eat healthier
  • Be more active
  • Simplify our belongings–only keep things we love and use regularly

Personal Goals

  • Give myself permission to say “no” to things that I don’t want to do and “yes” to things that I do want (sounds simple, yes?)
  • Create–just for the love of it
  • Daily quiet time
  • Stop being ruled by a fear of failure
  • Exercise 3x/week even if it’s just 20 minutes of stretching/yoga
  • Utilize a daily schedule to make better use of my time and energy
  • Designate time to spend by myself recharging

 

For someone that doesn’t usually participate in New Year’s Resolutions, that sure looks like a lot! I think it will be interesting to review these at the end of 2016 to see what I accomplished. What are your goals for 2016? I’d love for you to leave them in the comments!

 

 

I love it so bad!

I’m still a kid at heart on Christmas Eve because I can never sleep! I’m the only one awake & figured now would be the prime time to sift through all of the Christmas pictures I’ve been meaning to post. I’m feeling extra thankful tonight for the sweet family I’ve been given. As Remi said while opening gifts at Christmas Eve brunch, “I love it, love it, love it! I love it so bad!!!!” Perfect description of how I feel about this time of year! #AllTheFeels 

Back in October we had pictures with Santa. Don’t ask me why I’m finally posting them. My only valid excuse is that I was waiting until after Thanksgiving to share & then we moved & my mind has been elsewhere for the most of November & December! Whoops! Better late than never. We loved our pics with Santa last year and were so excited again this year. I don’t think Remi was anticipating having to share Santa with his baby sister. Haha! We love that jolly guy! _DSC0518_DSC0520_DSC0523_DSC0530_DSC0546_DSC0549_DSC0559_DSC0592
My inlaws had a friend take pictures of them along with Remi and Ruby Kate for Christmas cards. They turned out pretty cute considering neither kid wanted to cooperate! Typical! _DSC7605-176_DSC7609-183_DSC7627-219_DSC7637-240_DSC7650-9_DSC7653-12_DSC7656-15_DSC7673-32_DSC7678-37_DSC7684-43_DSC7708-67

Love those little stinkers! Sometimes I can’t help but imagine humorous dialogue between the two of them! For once I’m pretty sure the eye rolling during a picture session isn’t directed toward me! 
If you haven’t seen the “Movie on Cwismus” that our church media team put together, you must check it out! It’s such a sweet perspective on the Christmas story. Remi was asked to participate and it’s by far one of my favorite experiences to date!

Remi’s long-winded note to Santa was too funny not to share:

“Dear Santa,

I got you some cookies and I hope you love them and I hope you enjoy them. Santa, I love you and I hope your reindeer enjoy the carrots. Thank you for the presents. Santa, I’ve been good and some I’ve been bad. And now I’m gonna be nice all day long! We got it all decorated and we’re bout to put up the fire. We got the stockings hanged up for the candy. I’m spending the night with SuSu so you got to come to SuSu’s so I can get my presents. And all I want for Christmas is Joker. I hope Mrs. Claus is going to be great and I hope she takes care of the elves. 

Love, Remi 

(And Ruby Kate too!)” 

I can’t wait to see the faces of these little loves in the morning when they see their gifts! There’s nothing like seeing the magic of Christmas through the eyes of a child. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Birthday Jesus!

Ruby Kate’s Bright + Fun Nursery

It’s unreal to me that our sweet girl will be here so soon! I feel like the months leading up to her arrival have flown by and now we wait! Poor Ruby is definitely a second child–I didn’t get started on her nursery until my third trimester. I had a few ideas in my head of what I wanted (brights + neutrals) and absolutely no motivation to make it happen! I think the most overwhelming part of working on the room was the removal of the wallpaper and border and repairing the sheetrock + texturizing the wall before painting. Ok, that and cleaning out all of the junk that lived in there! I can’t help but smile and feel a little surge of pride when I walk in her room now. You’ll understand why when you see the mortifying before picture!! I’ll try to post source info for everything in the room but many of the items were things that I made or previously owned and upcycled. I’m still not done with the room and would love to take better pictures when I get around to finishing (is there such a thing?) but my time with Mom’s camera was limited so night time flash pictures are all I have. Of course, I received the changing pad cover after I snapped these pictures and returned the camera to my mom so a few are taken with my phone. I can’t wait until Miss Ruby Kate is here and I hope she loves growing up in this room that I had so much fun creating!

 

 

Photo Feb 19, 7 13 00 PM

BEFORE {cringe! makeup, craft supplies, leftover Christmas decor..this room was a catch-all!}

 

room1

room4

room5

crib: Ikea // crib sheet: Candy Kirby Designs // tassel garland: Studio Mucci // orange swaddle blanket: Stitched Baby // mermaid doll: Sophie and Lili // flamingo: “vintage” Beanie Baby // paint color: Sherwin Williams Mindful Gray // rug: Homegoods // dresser color: Sherwin Williams Zany Pink

room2

room9

room3

dresser: Craigslist upcycle // rocking chair: already had // sun pillow: Ikea // orange quatrefoil blanket: Tuesday Morning // pink color block pillow: already had // acrylic book shelves: Clear Solutions Displays // curtains: Target // curtain rod: DIY

room7

room8

room6

pineapple2

pineapple

lime green framed art: DIY // round cork: Michaels // print on cork: Pen + Paint // oval frame: Michaels // yarn tassel: DIY // zebra plaque: DIY // white frame: Walmart // all framed art prints: Me & My Big Ideas via Hobby Lobby // lamp: already owned // lamp shade: Walmart // never grow up banner: DIY // changing pad cover: Little Woolf

 

Other special details:

 

The hardware on the dresser/changing table was handmade by yours truly out of copper following a tutorial from Upcycled Treasures. I discovered the copper + pink color combo about a year ago and fell in love. I struggled with finding hardware to fit the holes previously drilled in the drawers and happily stumbled across the DIY copper drawer pull tutorial on Pinterest. I couldn’t be happier with the results and love the dash of modern that the hardware adds to the traditional style dresser.

The hand painted sign contains lyrics from the song “Ruby Baby”. Have a listen here. The song has a lot of sentimental value to me because after we chose our daughter’s name, my aunt told me that my grandfather used to sing it. I never had a chance to meet him–he passed away before I was born, but I’ve always felt a special connection to him. Hearing the song and imagining him singing it when my dad and aunt were younger felt like confirmation that Ruby was the perfect name for our girl. The name Kate was chosen in memory of my late aunt, Debie Kate. I love that Ruby Kate’s name holds so much meaning–at least to my super sentimental heart!

Just for grins, I’ll post a before picture of the lime green frame art and the dresser. They both endured quite a makeover!

frame

found at a thrift store and painted right over it

craigslistdresser

this is the picture from the Craigslist ad

 

I’m proud to say that most of the room projects were completed by me. Special thanks to my sweet, handyman step dad for all of the help and for letting me borrow (and teaching me to use) his tools! There’s something so gratifying about getting your hands dirty and making things happen–maybe even more so at 30+ weeks pregnant! Working on this room gave me the confidence to just “go for it.” I’m usually one to make safe decisions when it comes to design. I’m always a little bit terrified to do something funky or different for fear that it might not look good. I’ve learned a lot about just doing what you love and not worrying about matching or making sense. In fact, I’ve already changed several things around since I took these pictures and I’m sure it won’t be the last time! I’m so happy to be mostly done with the nursery and I’ll be propping my feet up until Ruby Kate arrives!

 

 

spring pictures 2015

It’s that time of year again: pollen, spring pictures, and bunny ears! We finally got around to taking Remi’s spring pictures this weekend and I love them! Every year I say I’m going to learn some more about the camera and get better shots, but I’m still pointing and shooting and hoping for the best! He’s pretty dang cute so he makes up for my lack of camera skills!

spring1spring2spring3spring4springcollagespring8spring9spring10spring13spring14spring17spring18spring20

 

It’s hard to believe there will be a little girl in the Easter pictures next year! Remi can’t wait for Ruby Kate to get here and neither can I, but I’m savoring these last few weeks with my first baby! And maybe getting a little teary-eyed looking back at pictures from the last two years {here and here}. I hope everyone has a blessed Easter celebrating our Risen Savior!

a reminder to live

 

 

Photo May 02, 7 45 31 PM

This boy loves his Poppa and riding through the pastures in Daddy’s truck.

Photo May 02, 12 37 17 PM.jpg

He loves making wishes.

Photo May 03, 7 10 47 PM.jpg

And picnics with his Jon Jon and SuSu.

PicMonkey Collage

He loves sitting on the counter and prolonging bedtime.

Photo May 04, 3 44 10 PM

And hanging out in the shop. (pre-haircut!)

Photo May 04, 4 19 46 PM

And hanging on Mommy’s legs.

 

 

He just loves life.

This boy of mine reminds me to live–to see things for more than they are. The way his eyes light up at the simplest things reminds me to slow down. All too often I’m reminded that tomorrow is not promised to us. We can make great big plans for the future but, friends, we’ve got to relish today. We’ve got to live more abundantly. Don’t let the enemy creep in and tell you that you’ll have more, do more, be happier down the road. Cling to the truth that He has lavished His grace upon us. Now is the time to allow yourself to really live! Start today.

 

 

cutting corners

All too often I rush the bedtime routine. I find myself cutting corners, reading one less Golden book, trying to convince my three year old that we aren’t going to rock in the rocking chair tonight even though we are “supposed to”, thinking about 50 other things I need to get done before bedtime, etc. Sometimes I’m at my wits end because the day has left me utterly exhausted and I just need some time to myself. Other times, on the rare occasion that my husband is home at bedtime, I’m trying to get my little one to bed to have some couple time before mommy and daddy both fall asleep.

But tonight, I listened to Remi when he told me he wanted me to rock him. I held his little feverish body tight and I prayed out loud for healing over him. Seeing my son sick or hurting always breaks my heart. In the stillness of the moment I held him tight and stroked his hair. I whispered over and over again how much I loved him. He quietly listened and snuggled in. I began to think about all the things that I really haven’t allowed myself to think about. You know–like when someone hurts you, or a circumstance brings you to your knees and you just can’t understand. I feel like I’ve been hit with a couple of those lately. They’re bearable because I don’t allow myself to think of them. But if I’m being honest with myself, and with you, when everything is still and quiet, I’m reminded just how much it stings. In a way, I’m grateful that Remi didn’t feel well tonight and asked me to rock him. It reminded me to hold him a little tighter–life is SO incredibly precious.

Life also hurts. It knocks you down. It whispers in your ear that you’ve failed yet again. It breaks your heart and tells you that you’ll never heal. These are lies straight from the enemy–the devil himself.

In the dark, still corner of a messy toddler bedroom, we rocked and I had a talk with Jesus. I allowed Him to chisel at my hardened heart–my greatest defense against feeling something. I couldn’t think of a better parallel: a mother holding her son and a Father holding His daughter. God hates to see his children hurting just as I hate to see my own child hurting. We nurture our children, comfort them, wipe their tears. How many times has God patiently waited on me to turn to Him so he could do the same for me? Why do I find it so hard to surrender whatever semblance of control I think I have and just lean on Him? I can’t do it on my own. I’ve tried a thousand times before yet He continually extends grace. When I try to take the reigns and cut corners with Christ, I end up hurting myself and hurting God. It’s a lose-lose situation. My only option in this earthly life is to fully rest in Him.

 

You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.
Psalm 119:114

 

 

anniversary trip

On May 1st, Jarrett and I celebrated four years of marriage. We rarely get to spend an entire 24 hours together–with or without Remi, so a quick trip to Dallas for the two of us felt a little indulgent. We scheduled the trip around a class I was attending on Thursday and it worked out perfectly! Here’s a quick recap of our trip:

IMG_2413

and we’re off!

 

IMG_2422

driving into Dallas

IMG_2446

Our hotel was gorgeous! Jarrett did a great job finding us a place to stay. It’s been around since the 1920’s and features a gorgeous art deco style. I loved it so much. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Uptown Dallas, you won’t be disappointed with Le Meridian Stoneleigh.

IMG_2439

view of the courtyard from our room

PicMonkey Collage

original switchgear display in the lobby

After check in, we hung out for a while and had a drink at the Stoneleigh P across the street. Trust me when I say it is in no way affiliated with the Stoneleigh hotel. It’s an old dive bar with a casual vibe. Classy digs, dive bar across the street–best of both worlds, right?

Jarrett’s brother and his wife know we’re sushi lovers. They told us about a restaurant in Plano called Osaka that we knew we had to try!

the best miso soup I've ever had!

the best miso soup I’ve ever had!

IMG_2472

After we had our fill of sushi, we decided to try our hand at cooking our own food in the hot pot. Let’s just say I’m sure the outcome is usually very delicious but I was a bit turned off by the whole shrimp and fish balls. I think Jarrett’s face describes our hot pot experience best…

IMG_2473

No trip to Dallas is complete without a trip to HomeGoods. My momma taught me well. Jarrett can’t deny he loves HomeGoods {not}…I went in for the sneak attack with this picture.

IMG_2478

We hit the Stoneleigh P one last time then called it a night.

IMG_2508

on the porch at the Stoneleigh P

Getting ready the next morning was…interesting. I have the hardest time condensing my makeup to fit into a travel size bag. I’ve gotten used to having so many different products at an arm’s reach that paring it down to the basics just feels weird!

PicMonkey Collage.3

serious tile envy. loved the chunky window sills too.

We had an early lunch at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Jarrett had BBQ from the Pecan Lodge and I had some yummy Mexican food.

IMG_2561

IMG_2553

IMG_2554

Next up, exploring Dallas and a little bit of shopping before my class.

IMG_2564

I found a new favorite store. I still love you, Anthro, but the Gypsy Wagon is pretty dang awesome.

IMG_2566

fringe-y mocc heaven

fringe-y mocc heaven

Then, it was time to head back downtown for my class. Hello, tornado warning. We could hardly see in front of us. Between the crazy weather and parking garage I think I had a mini panic attack. I hate parking garages as it is but then Jarrett had to parallel park. I couldn’t open my door so I crawled through the driver’s side and Jarrett gave me a piggy back ride to the elevator since the ground was flooded and I was wearing cork wedges. Obviously didn’t check the weather before getting dressed {and curling my hair that morning}!

pretending not to freak out

this is my “I hate parking garages” awkward pose

The class was given by two amazing makeup artists, Amber Dean and Steffanie Strazzere, as part of their “No Filter Makeup Tour”. It’s still so surreal to me that I had the opportunity to meet and learn from these ladies that have inspired me for so long. They were totally down to earth and just all around awesome. Such a cool experience!

IMG_2594

After class was over and the tornado/monsoon weather died down {so we thought}, we headed for one last pit stop in Deep Ellum–burgers at Twisted Root.

IMG_2598

Jarrett has permanent food envy--mine was better!

Jarrett has permanent food envy–mine was better!

IMG_2604

The sky was so pretty on the way out of Dallas. Of course, I had to drive through blinding rain the majority of the time. I think I prayed the whole way home. It was so terrifying to hardly be able to see the tail lights in front of me. The only moments of visual clarity were when the whole sky lit up with lightening.  We made it safe and sound FINALLY.

Overall, it was a fun trip. I think we needed it more than we realized. Thankful for four years of living, loving and learning together.

 

And a HUGE thank you to our parents for dividing up the task blessing of keeping Remington! ;)