Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Trust in God - Proverbs 3:5,6 Scripture Print

Here's a little gift for you. In my devotions this morning from She Reads Truth - Women in the Bible, I was meditating on Proverbs 3:5,6 about trusting in God's plans and placing our hope in Him for our future.

My heart's tendency is to trust in God when I can't handle something on my own first. And that's not what He calls us to do. It's not trust when you've exhausted all other avenues, but trust in Him first with all of our being. My "own understanding" is so flawed and my perspective is so narrow. God sees all of history and all of the future, His understanding is perfect. He sees how all of life fits together into his wonderful plan of redemption.

Just open the image in a new window and save as a .jpg and print! Great as a 5 x 7. Email me if you want it as an 8 x 10.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shrimp Boil & Summer BBQ Wedding Shower

On Saturday, along with 9 other bridesmaids, I hosted a shrimp boil and summer bbq themed couples wedding shower. There was a ton of prep work to do before everyone showed up at 4, but we did it. I left my house at 10:30am after getting Miles down for a nap and didn't get home until 9:30 that evening. Miles spent the entire day with Mike and did great, except that he was boycotting his naps. I missed them both, but I was glad to see them for a few hours at the shower.

I think that Vicki and Ryan (bride and groom to-be) had a great time. This was my first ever jack and jill shower. It really felt more like a big party and it was nice to have both men and women attend. All the paper products were created by me and I had a blast doing them. Assembling the 140 shower favors were not my favorite things to do though. I'm glad all the prep work is done and now we can focus on making Vicki and Ryan's big day super special. Come on September 21st!

It's so exciting to see one of my dearest friends commit her life to a great guy. God has blessed them greatly with finding each other and I pray that their marriage reflects God's design for a family. I'm so glad that God created marriage and made it such a neat example of his love for the church!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Coffee Date 8.21

I know we were supposed to get together every Friday for a little virtual coffee date, but as in real life, I can be flaky and forgot. But to make up for it, I'll share a little secret with you. I found the best coffee ever through Jessi's Instagram (she blogs at Naptime Diaries). Rudabegga's artisan coffee concentrate is amazing. I ordered the Sea Salt Carmel Mocha variety and it blew my mind. This is going to sound so lame, but the flavors are so complex. I just add some ice and unsweetened vanilla almond milk and I'm ready to go!

Once I stop talking about my awesome new coffee obsession, I'd ask how your week is going and what's new in your life. If Miles were napping, I'd listen intently, but if he's not, I might have to ask you repeat the last line. (He's moving around a lot and trying to get into everything - especially shoes!)

I would tell you that I'm feeling a little overwhelmed these days. I'm a bridesmaid in one of my best friend's weddings in late September and we have her shower coming up on Saturday. I don't know why I volunteer to complete tasks that are a little too large for the time that I have. But I'm spending most of my free minutes putting together the favors of little spices and wrapping silverware with baker's twine. The shower will be great, but I'd be lying if I said that I weren't ready for it to be here and for the work to be over.

Last week my design work was slowing down and that always makes me a little bit nervous, but I was enjoying getting more housework completed. But then over the weekend, BAM, my work picked up and I was once again a little stressed about all the different projects with short deadlines.

I might even fill you in on how much I hate change, and that I was dreading Mike going back to teaching. He had his first day on Monday, and on Sunday night I was grieving the loss of our summer. The thing I'll miss most is our slow mornings together. Miles typically wakes up between 5:30 and 6:30, and then I would usually bring him in bed with us so we could all play and snuggle. But now that Mike heads out the door at 6:45, there's no time for our lazy mornings together.

But soon enough I'll get into a new routine with Miles and we will anxiously wait by the door for Mike to get home after school each afternoon!

Besides being busy and letting the stress of life get to me, not much else is new. I'm hoping that when we "sit down" for coffee next week, that I'll feel more at peace!

Until next time! 

photo from Rudabegga's website

Friday, August 16, 2013

Modern Eclectic Baby Boy Nursery

Seven months ago, we did Miles' newborn photoshoot with Amber Martin of Jeremy Hess Photographers at our house. I love how she captured his room. For months before Miles' arrival, Mike and I worked hard at making his nursery fun and fit our sense of style. I think we nailed it! We love all the different pieces and how it still is suitable for a little boy. I think my favorite piece is the white deer head above his changing table. Everyone told us how he would be scared of it, but all three of us love it!

If you have any questions about where we got anything, feel free to ask in the comments! 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Can't Help Myself

Incase you are having a bad day, here's an adorable picture to cheer you up! How can you resist smiling at a baby in a houndstooth bow tie?!

Sorry for the fuzzy iphone photo! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Etsy Finds - Bright Triangles

It's no secret that I love Etsy. I have an Etsy shop which has been good to me. And I often just search and browse to find beautifully handcrafted items. Each week, I'm hoping to put together an Etsy Treasury showcasing a beautiful color, trend or theme.
This week's theme is bright triangles. I love shapes and for a longtime the triangle was in the background. But now it's super trendy and it's great to see it on everything from stationery to pillows. 

Click here to see the Treasury with links to all the featured items' shops. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013


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Dear Jesus - Part I

Jesus is doing some serious things in my heart today. After this morning's sermon, I'm not sure what God wants from me. I think that because of God's love, we should be completely transformed. My heart is being changed and I have a stirring that God is asking much of my life.

I'm hoping to share more of what God is calling me to as I pray through it and study the Bible. But my prayer today is "Dear Jesus, show me." Show me your heart, show me who I should be, show me where my heart is, show me where to put my hope, show me everything...

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Morning Tradition

Our little family of three has a tradition of heading downtown to Lancaster Central Market every Saturday morning. We roll out of bed, get dressed, brush our teeth, grab our market bag and we are out the door. Central Market is one of the greatest treasures in our small town. I love buying local and getting a lot of our produce while it's in season from area farms.

Last two images from Lancaster Central Market Facebook.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Coffee Date 8.9.13

If we were able to sit down for coffee together at my house, I'd probably be drinking a homemade cinnamon iced coffee with almond milk. (I make a mean cup of it every morning with my iced coffee concentrate - I'll share the recipe on the blog soon). But you can drink whatever you want. Now that we have a Keurig, it's so easy to make a cup of anything! We'd probably settle down on my living room floor to chat while we watch Miles scoot around on the carpet. He'd be giving you crazy big grins and won't stop until he gets your attention. He is such a sweetheart at almost 7 months. Everyone gets a big gummy smile as his eyes light up.

I would tell you that this week has gone fast and we've been busy. But the good kind of busy, where we spent our days with friends and family. I would tell you that although I am an introvert, that being with friends breathes life into my soul. There is beauty in sharing your life with others and in delving into their heart. I spent time this week with a friend from church, a friend from high school and her two sweet boys and my mother.

I bet we would chat about how work is going, weekend plans and how weird the weather has been this week (feeling like fall in the beginning of August!).

You might even tell me how well rested I seem. And I'd start to brag about how my little boy slept through the night last night! Miles slept from 7pm to 4:45am, then promptly fell back asleep for another hour after nursing. I even went to bed at 9:30 because I was falling asleep on the couch. I would tell you how amazing sleep feels, and probably lament at how we had to let Miles fuss in his crib for a few minutes to help teach him how to sleep. I'd say that I'm sorry we had to do that, but I'm not sorry because he is much happier and well rested.

We would talk about what God is doing in our lives. I would admit that for the past 6 months, I haven't spent much time in the Word. That I had chosen work, television, Instagram and really any distraction over spending time with God. But I would rejoice in the fact that God has stirred in me and that I've been spending each morning reading the Bible and journalling for the past two weeks. I would preach about how God is so gracious to never rejects us, but to always welcome us back into his arms. I might even share with you that I am starting to feel like God wants really big things from my life. And that I'm tired of simply being comfortable, but that I want to be worthy of God's beautiful calling on my life. I have no idea what that looks like, but I'm asking God for guidance.

I would probably complain about the end of summer and that Mike is headed back to school next week (he's a teacher at a local college). Miles and I will miss our lazy mornings together with him. But I get excited to hear about all his students and what projects they are working on.

I can guarantee that we would say that we should get together more often and that we will make plans soon. I hope that we might even pray together before we leave.

Thanks for having coffee with me, let's do this again every Friday, ok?

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Big Latch On

On Saturday morning, Miles and I headed on the road towards Leola to participate in an event to set a record for the largest number of women nursing their babies at one time. I was hesitant to go to The Big Latch On because I thought it was going to be awkward, but I wanted to show my support for breastfeeding, and it gave me a chance to tour the new birthing center my doula, Wendy, just opened. Family Trees Birth Place is wonderful. It's so great to have a warm and welcoming place for mothers and families to come together to learn to care for their babies and support each other. And construction just started on the birthing suites. I hope to birth our next baby there! But back to the event.

We were all sitting in one large room waiting for the clock to strike 10:30am so we could all nurse our babes at the same time. Once the organizers' announced the time, we all put our babies to our breasts to eat. But of course in awesome Miles style, he was too distracted to eat. He heard all the noises and wasn't motivated enough to stay latched for the full minute. But we did our best and were counted as one of the 25 women at the local event.

It really wasn't as weird as I was anticipating it to be. I swear that babies are the greatest icebreaker. They make is so much easier to make conversation and meet people. I even made a new friend at the event who lives near me and just moved to Lancaster after being a missionary in Africa. Her and her husband might even visit our church.

Feeding Miles for the first few weeks and months was exceptionally difficult due to oversupply problems and an overactive letdown. But I'm so glad that we worked through our issues and have now been exclusively breastfeeding for six plus months. It's by the grace of God and the support of a lactation consultant and my husband that we've made it this far. I'm constantly amazed at how awesome God designed our bodies to work. It's the best feeling to be able to nourish my baby and to watch him become a chubby baby because of nursing.

The 2013 Big Latch On event did break the record with 14,536 nursing mothers, beating last year's record of 8,862.

Here are a few photos from the event by Glimpse in Time Photography.

Friday, August 2, 2013

10 Newborn Baby Essentials

Those first few weeks (or months in our case) fly by because of lack of sleep, frustration/helplessness and insurmountable joy. There were a few items that helped make those early days easier.

1. Fisher Price Deluxe Bouncer - My Little Snugabunny. This bouncy seat saved our lives for the first few weeks. Miles would take every nap in the seat swaddled and comfy. He was so content to sit in his chair and watch what was happening around the house too. I loved that it wasn't huge but could fit nicely in our living room. I think he might have even slept in it overnight when we got desperate for some shut eye. The seat has a smooth bounce and a vibrator that runs on batteries. Now at 6 months, we use this in our kitchen so Miles can watch me cook. He loves to bounce himself by throwing his arms around.

2. Ubbi Steel Diaper Pail. I searched high and low for a diaper pail that would work for both disposable diapers and cloth diapers later on. This was practically the only one on the market that wasn't a bucket. I love that it is stainless steel so it doesn't absorb the stinky odors. We ended up doing both disposables and cloth at the same time, so we had to buy a wet bag for the cloth diapers anyway. I will say that the Ubbi is one good looking diaper pail. My only complaint is that when you open the little door on the top all the stink pours out into the room. But when the pail is closed the room doesn't smell at all.

3. Timi & Leslie Annette Diaper Bag. This was my splurge for myself. I had my eye on one of these diaper bags for months while I was pregnant and once they went on sale on Zulily, I snatched the Annette style up! This bad boy is huge and has about a zillion pockets and compartments. The insulated bottle holder and changing mat are big bonuses. I did not want a diaper bag that looked like one. Any of the Timi & Leslie bags look more like large purses instead of frumpy baby bags. I give this bag two big thumbs up! It fits diapers, wipes, toys, books, extra outfits, blankets, and all my stuff too.

4. iPhone. My trusty iPhone helped get me through many late nights without falling asleep - sometimes you just need a good distraction while nursing or rocking a baby. I spent way too many hours looking at Instagram, Facebook and baby websites. But when you are pinned by a sleeping baby easy access to the internet is important to help keep a new momma sane. It is easy to feel disconnected from the outside world, but being able to catch up with my friends via Facebook and text messages made it easier for me to feel like a real person.

5. Solly Baby Wrap. Honestly, I don't know how I would have survived Miles' third month without this wrap. He would only fall asleep while being bounced, walked or jiggled. I wore this wrap while walking around the house, strolling around the block or bouncing on my exercise ball. I never tried the moby wrap because I was intimidated by the sheer amount of fabric. But I decided to try my hand at getting into the Solly Baby wrap because it's not as wide as other wraps. After the first few times, I was a pro at quickly getting wrapped up while Miles screamed. Once he was comfortably in the wrap, he settled down and I was able to get some things accomplished around the house or even sit at the computer. Now that he's older, we still like this wrap for outings. But for longer walks, we use our Ergo structured carrier.

6. Britax B-Agile Stroller. Originally, we wanted a cheap lightweight stroller that would be easy to use. Boy am I glad we changed our minds about that one! We live in a city where even sidewalks are few and far between, and a little umbrella stroller never would have allowed us to take walks around our house. The B-Agile stroller isn't small but it is super easy to unfold and is fairly lightweight. It has an incredible turning radius and front shocks so it is easy to maneuver around our little city.

7. Boppy Nursing Pillow. This breastfeeding pillow makes it onto almost every new mom's essential list. I liked it so much, that I had two. Miles and I really struggled to make nursing work in the very beginning (well really the first two months) and this pillow helped support him so I could use both hands to position him. Now we use it to help Miles stay supported while sitting so he doesn't crack his head on the floor.

8. Burt's Bee Baby Shampoo and Wash. When I pregnant, I researched everything. I knew that I wanted to use natural products for Miles and really didn't like the chemical ingredients in most baby shampoos. I landed on using Burt's Bee products because of their natural ingredients, soft scent, price and easy access. Miles has fairly sensitive skin and the shampoo and wash, lotion and diaper cream never irritated him.

9. Infantino Square Twist and Fold Activity Gym. From the start, Miles enjoyed laying on his back watching the cute stuffed toys or chilling on his stomach looking into the mirror. We still use this and he loves to reach up and play with the toys. We did add some different toys since the ones that came with the gym were a little boring for him as he got older. It has held up great to all of Miles' tugging and biting. He does a lot of his independent playtime on this mat. It's not the most attractive baby item, but it does the job without being too visually obnoxious and it folds up nicely.

10. Aden + Anais Muslin Swaddle Blankets. The super star bankets were the first things I bought when I found out I was pregnant. Miles loved to be swaddled for months and these blankets are perfect. They are breathable, large, square and soft. We use them now as lightweight blankets to take to the doctors office for when they make him strip down to his diaper and to the park to drape over the swing. They just get softer as you wash them and even though the blankets are muslin, they don't wear thin. I think this will be my new baby shower gift for every expecting mother.

But the one major thing that helped us navigate parenthood that didn't make it on the list was the help of our loving family. I battled some seriously crazy hormones and possible postpartum depression and anxiety which made things a little tricky. I seriously don't know if I would have survived without the consistent help of my mom. She's the best!

What are some of your newborn essentials?