Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dad's Birthday Surprise!!

Just wanted to share a few pictures of my little brother's return. It was a great surprise for my dad. Can't believe it has been over a month now that he was here. Such a great but short visit.

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

They are In...

Mother's Day was great.

It started with coffee with my mom before she went back home. Then my in-laws came over and we had breakfast. Afterwards my hubby and father in law put up the shelves in E's room.

Here are a few shots!

Notice the blue tape on the wall. That is for another shelf that will go up shortly. It is low enough for her to reach when she gets older. Here is an closer look at them.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Preparing the Soil.......

The title comes from being a farmer's kid. You prepare now for what you want in the future. I love watching the show Extreme Couponing when I catch it. I also love watching the Suze Orman show, Dave Ramsey and Till Debt Do Us Part. Yes, it is a little dorky but if you know anything about me I love to save money. I read every article I can about saving money , how to become a millionaire, preparing a nice nest egg, pretty much anything that has to do with money and future financial freedom. I think I have been doing good so far but there is always more to learn.

I would love to be super financially stable and get to retire at a young age. The other part of that is that I know I won't stop working because of who my parents are and how they raised me. But one day I really would like to retire and have enough money in my "pocket" to really enjoy it.

I know that if I want to live comfortable in the future I have to be smart now. This includes grocery shopping. So I am not planning on becoming an extreme couponer but I do plan on using coupons and using my mom's techniques of shopping and freezing. I also want to get better at meal planning. Meal planning is becoming important for me right now because I feel a little short handed on time since having E. I want to be smart with my time and use it wisely so that I am enjoying her as much as possible.

So I am not exactly extreme couponing but who doesn't want to save a buck when they can. My mom was an amazing shopper, heck she still is. She feed 11 kids 8 of which were boys. That was a lot of mouths to feed. So she is savvy. When things were on sale she bought and froze everything. Everything that could be frozen was.

So I have been planning meals, buying stuff on sale, freezing prepared meals, and using things in my pantry. I do not want to have stock piles of grocery items and never use them either but I want to be prepared and smart about what I do buy.

Here is to being savvy while grocery shopping, couponing, meal planning and keeping a budget.
Here is to preparing the soil for a bountiful harvest!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

E's Nursery

Okay, today I decided to post a few pictures of E's nursery. I know she is almost 4 months but better late than never. The real reason for the post is because (God willing) this weekend her daddy is going to be putting up her shelves he built for her so we need some before and afters.

This is her crib and wall decal. The decal turned out amazing. My dear friend, E-beth, came over and help a very pregnant lady's vision come true. What a blessing to have someone so willing to help out! I think it looks so great in her room. I love it and we even impressed the hubby by how accurate we were in measuring for the crib. I use we very loosely here, I simply did the leaves the rest was done by E-beth.

Please ignore the storage bag under her crib. A future project in the making. It is a storage bag we had on hand already and decided to use for her excessive amount of blankets.

Here is a different angle of her wall and crib. On the far right you can see a bare wall. That is the spot for her shelves. (It is the best picture I had at the time.)

Below is the daybed in her room with owl pillows my friend, MAC, made for her. Aren't they just the cutest? The pink & yellow striped pillows were made by none other than myself. I think they turned out cute, if I say so myself. The rest of the pillows and comforter we already owned. And on the far top left hand side is the Sesame Street Alphabet poster I pick up for $5 at the JBF sale. It is perfect for her room.

Here is a full view of the day bed and rocker. Notice the windows. They give such amazing light in her room. I am still working on the whole curtain issue. I want something light and bright but haven't found what I am looking for. I did start some plain white curtains but gave up after the first set. Notice that on the left there are curtains but not on the other. It is a work in progress, what can I say?

This is her dresser/changing table. I really wish I had pictures of the before. Her daddy worked so hard on this and I think it is so beautiful. Again, a little shoot out to E-beth, who walked us through the whole refinishing of the dresser over the phone. E loves looking at herself while we change her diaper. I love it because it is not new and it has character but mostly because her daddy worked so hard on it. I can't help but smile when I see it in her room.

(This pic. isn't the best but you can see the bare wall where her shelves will be in the reflection of the mirror.)

Here is a close up of J's hardwork. Isn't it a beauty? The handles are original to the piece. J decide to just spray painted them. They turned out great and I love them!

Stay tuned for the updated pictures of her bare wall and new shelves!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Little Late...

Tuesday was my hubby's birthday and our anniversary.

It was a great day. I dropped off the baby and surprised him by returning home to pick him up for breakfast. Before E we always had breakfast on his day off then would run around and rummage through Habitat for Humanity or go to Home Depot. We are crazy like that. Since E we haven't gone out to have breakfast together. So we did all the things we use to do before her. And it was fun. It made us grateful for the time we got to spend together but also reflect on how much life has changed.

Happy Birthday & Happy Anniversary to the most amazing guy!! Love You!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Back To Work

I truly believe in mind over matter. While I was pregnant I told myself that I would not be that person who hated it. I wanted to enjoy it and I wanted to reflect that on the outside as well. And I think I did a pretty good job at that. And before E was born I decided I wanted to not be that parent who was so concerned about the dishes, laundry, dinner, etc., that I didn't take the time to enjoy my child.

I have gone back to work full time. And it is hard. It is hard to have to leave her and have no other choice. It is hard because I can't think of anything else but her throughout the day. It is hard because I can't stop thinking about all the things I am going to miss out on in the future. But I have made up my mind. I am not going to dwell on those thoughts I am going to be present where I am everyday. When I am at work I will continue to think of her but will be at work because that is where I need to be. And when I am home I will be home with E & J. Work and dishes will always be there. Those things will never go away even if she is with me.

So I have tried so hard to be well prepared with dinner, laundry, dishes, etc., so when I pick her up I can hang out with her for a while. I am working on organizing myself enough to be present all the time. I have learned so much in that last 12 weeks. I admire all mothers, but mostly I admire my sisters for being able to balance all the hats they wear. I know it is possible to do it all because I see them balance life with such grace.

This is what I strive for...for grace to be all that I need to be for those around me and for myself, for the ability to enjoy it all now and have no regrets later, to know that failing is inevitable but rising is a choice, for loving wholeheartedly even when things are not easy and for being able to see beyond the moment...to be forever grateful.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Stacker

How cute is this. My friend, Mary Alice, made E this happy stacker. Isn't it just the most adorable thing you have ever seen. She is amazing and so talented. I just wanted to share this because I felt so loved when I saw her making it. It took her an entire day and by that I mean sun up to sundown and still part of the next morning.

But it is beautiful and I know E will love it just as much as I do.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Future Project

While visiting my parents, I came across these great looking glass containers.

Yes, they were coffee containers in a previous life. But I just love their style, their lines and shape. Of course my husband wanted to know my intent with them before I could even consider bringing them home with me. Being the amazing daughter that I am, I asked before claiming them. I am not sure what I am doing with them yet but I think chalkboard paint is in the mix.

Once I have decided on what I want to re-invent them for I will let you know. Stay tuned. And I am open for suggestions.

New Shoes...

Look what I made. I tried to make these for my niece's birthday but it didn't work out. Now I have completed them and thought I should share.

And they are reversible!

Friday, March 11, 2011

" A Funny"

A funny is what my sister, younger brother and I would call a funny story. So here is my funny that I wanted to share.

My sister is quite funny herself, unintentionally but her kids are even funnier. So she is running errands before taking them to the Dr. for a check up. My sister is a great mom. She somehow manages to have a full schedule and can accomplish just about anything. She even can incorporate treats and fun for her kids while running errands. And she is very thrifty too.

So she had decided that if they would be running around she would get her kids a treat that day. But her kids decided to be a little difficult that day. So she lets them know. " You are getting a treat today. I was going to get you a drink or ice cream at Sonic but you have lost your privilege." To this her kids grumble, whine, complain and finally give up.

While at the Dr.'s office they manage to be well behaved. When the Dr. walks in he ask, "How's it going?" To which my sister responds, "Fine, we working on regaining our treat."

Then my 5 year old nephew says, " Yeah, we don't get to go to happy hour anymore." I could only imagine how red my sister must of turned and how she must have stumble to get the words out to explain. " They lost their chance to have a Sonic treat."

Kids? What can I say?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Paper or Plastic......(cloth or disposable)

So it has been a while since I have written anything. But since becoming a mom...just 2 mths & 1 day. I thought I would write about my time at home with my little one. Warning: This will be the first of a few post about that. And to my little brother...sorry I now write about mom stuff :)

So I decided that today I would write about my experience with cloth diapers. Yes, I am crazy in every sense of the word. When I found out I was pregnant I decided to research cloth diapers. I am trying to be as environmentally conscience as possible and thought this would be a great start. And I had heard of the tremendous savings they were and several other perks.

For starters, there are different types and brands. None of which I am promoting or advertising for profit or any perks. So I will refer to them in generic terms (i.e. fitted and one size).

Left: One Size Diaper Right: Fitted

For obvious reasons I like the fitted. They look cuter and fit her. There are several sizes to choose from and right now E is in the smalls but will soon transition into the mediums. These particular fitted diapers have removable liners. What I have noticed is that the inserts will shift and the liners has to be removed with the insert to wash. Not a deal breaker but that also mean you have to have addition liners and inserts. Still not a deal breaker.

The One Size (OZ) diaper are a little bulkier but adjust in several ways to fit her. The perk to the OZ diaper is that they will fit a newborn until they are toddlers. So that is a one time purchase. And when it comes to washing it is easy. You just throw them in the wash (of course there is some pre-rinsing that occurs).

Don't get me wrong. These diapers are not cheap but the fact that you can use them over and over again. They can be used until your little one is potty trained. There is a tremendous amount of savings in that. So in that aspect the OZ diapers are a investment that will grow with your child. With the fitted kind you must purchase several in different sizes. So to each their own. As for me, I do both. One because I purchased before knowing the differences and now enjoy them for different reasons.

Again, I am not promoting any brand or type, I simply wanted to share my experience. I plan to use them the entire time that I am home with E. Once E goes to a sitter I will not insist that the sitter use cloth diapers. But at home and on weekend cloth diapers it will be. I don't feel I can make people use cloth diapers if they are not comfortable with them.

In general, I do recommend them for anyone who is looking for a way to save or who is concerned about their child's carbon footprint.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


So let me start off by saying this. As I begin writing this post, I am holding my 7 week old precious sleeping baby girl. The last seven weeks of my life have brought some clarity to life for me. Yes, I will continue to be an optimistic pessimist for all eternity.

In the last seven weeks I have been shown how precious life truly easy and how we must appreciate it now and not in retrospect. In the last seven weeks my husband and I have had attended a total of 6 funerals. Two were children's funerals .

What I have seemed to gather from these funerals is that life is short, precious and not guaranteed. We don't know how long we have with the ones we love. One funeral was three siblings. Another was a young lady who left behind a one year old son. These parents did not know how long they had with their children. Another funeral was a set of twin girls. These were my friend's little ones. And she knew from the beginning that she would only have moments with them. She carried those lives inside of her with such love, grace and strength. It was too short. It was unfair. And at the same time it was so beautiful.

I am not doubting God's plans but am reflecting on my own life and how sometimes I focus on the unimportant. I have been given a precious life to care for and I pray that I have many years ahead of me to continue to do just that. So for you that have children or for that matter loved ones realize that we do not know that time we are allowed with them. So love them...cherish them and hold on tight to all those moments we are given.

I love you all.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Baby E. Photo Session

Baby E turned 1 week on Saturday and had her first photo session that same day. Here is a sneak peek of her session.