Thursday, January 26, 2012

funny story

but I don't have time to tell it, so instead you can see the video of H singing "Ice, Ice Baby". It all started when he started calling Popsicles "ice" and I might have taught him to sing that anytime he wanted one....

In other news H is cracking me up everyday. This week he used the words "either" and "belong" appropriately in sentences. When he sees me get ready in the morning he always tells me "Woah! Mommy beautiful!". Melt my heart. Will try and post some more pictures soon.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I got busy over the Christmas break finally sewing some things and tackling projects I purchased supplies for YEARS ago. The project I am the most excited about is tackling the new curtains for the playroom. The curtains in there came with the house and the room used to be a dining room so they were pretty formal looking and not playroomish at all. Here's the before and after:



I wanted a faux roman shade look and got some ideas online and came up with my own pattern. I've never attempted curtains before, but they turned out pretty good!

I bought fabric years ago to make Christmas place mats and I finally got around to that too!

I used a book I got with embroidery stitches and figured out how to applique the little people onto the other side of the place mats. They turned out pretty cute.

I also finally completed one of my pinterest projects I've been wanting to do. I got a basket at the dollar store and got some jute and glued it around the inside and outside of the basket.

So, three projects down, 93 to go!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Stuff for New Moms

Since my sister is having her first baby in March and I am having some emotional ‘baby fever’… however, on an intellectual level I am acutely aware that we are not ready for another child. So, to placate myself I came up with a list of things that are a new mom’s best friend.
Sleep deprivation is part of the territory so some tools to help you not look like the mess you feel are:
Benefit’s eye bright pencil. It works small miracles in making you look awake even when you don’t feel that way at all!

Some other life saving beauty products are dry shampoo and tinted moisturizer. It was a rude awakening when suddenly I couldn’t take a shower when I wanted to (or needed to) and so using dry shampoo saved me more than once. If you have dark hair, the best kind that I have found is this:
Oscar Blandi Pronto Invisible Volumizing Dry Shampoo Spray

Not only does it absorb the grease but it adds volume to your hair so it doesn’t look so flat.

What makes tinted moisturizer so great is that when you don’t have time to really apply make up you can still rub this on real quick and it evens out your skin tone and also provides SPF protection. My favorite kind is this
Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer SPF 20 – Illuminating

As someone who has always been in school full time or worked full time (currently doing both), it was a hard adjustment for me to stay at home. I liked being busy and the tangible feeling of accomplishing something. While taking care of a baby keeps you pretty busy, it can be easy to feel like your life is a circle of diapers and feedings and things are never really finished. Once we got into a kind of routine, I decided I wanted to start tackling some projects, and that is when I learned to sew and knit and started re-doing some furniture. Finding these kinds of hobbies helped me gain that sense of accomplishment that I had missed and just provided an outlet for me to use up some energy. There are tons of great resources out there if you want to learn to sew or knit, some of the books I have used are:
One – Yard Wonders

What was cool about this book is that it included 100 patterns for all kinds of things you can make with only one yard of fabric. This book along with some online tutorials were what I used to learn to sew.
I had a friend who showed me the basics of knitting, but when I wanted to learn more about how make patterns I used this book. Stitch N Bitch

What was cool about this book is that it spelled things out for me really clearly. I’m just now learning how to use patterns, but this has been a good book so far. I have also referred to several youtube videos when reading doesn’t make sense and I need to see someone cast off or add a new ball of yarn, etc.
I don’t have a lot of other wisdom or products that will make motherhood any easier - just give yourself a lot of grace and try to remember that it really is just a stage and before you know it your baby will be doing something else you were totally unprepared for!
One of the classes I’m taking this semester is developmental psychology and we are learning all about psychological development from infancy to adulthood. We are only in infancy right now and one of the reoccurring themes is that our children teach us how to be parents. We carry around this weighty responsibility of taking care of them, providing for them, teaching them, etc. and all along at every stage of development, they are actually teaching us how to respond to their needs and be good parents. We just need to pay attention, be responsive and take care of each other. Take time for yourself to do the things that re-energize you, whether it is shopping, spending time with friends, reading, whatever it is… when you feel burnt out, give yourself permission to take a break – you will be a better parent for it. My son is only 2 and 2 months, so I still have no idea what I’m doing most of the time, but being his mom has been one of the greatest privileges of my life (preceded only by being Jeff’s wife and being a daughter of the King). Motherhood isn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be and I’m certainly not one of those parents that make it look effortless … but real life is so much better than perfection =)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Books Read in 2011

Here's my book list for last year (minus texbooks - blah):

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Bronte by: Syrie James

This was the second book I read by this author and I really enjoyed it. Even though I didn't remember much of Jane Eyre and wasn't familiar with Bronte's other works, it was still a funny, engaging, portrayal of what Bronte's life could have been like and I'm now convinced it was not fiction but rather a really entertaining biography.

The Hunger Games by:Suzanne Collins

I read this book on the recommendation of the angst filled teenagers that I work with. I gotta say, I was not disappointed. It was just the right combination of thrilling plot, endearing characters, evil villans, heroic lovestory and yet it didn't leave me with a bit of cringe in my mouth like some of the other teenage literature out there. (coughtvampirescough)

Catching Fire by: Suzanne Collins

I had to immediately begin the second book after the first cause I just.couldn't.wait. Fortunately, I bought them all in a bundle from Amazon. Whew, that was a close one. I can't pick a favorite book from this trilogy, they were all so good!

The Love Dare by: Stephen Kendrick and Alex Kendrick

This was a great book I hope to re-read at least every 5 years. Every married couple should read this book at least a few times a decade to gain some fresh perspective on loving your spouse and some practical ideas and challenges. Jeff & I didn't read this book together, which I think was actually better - makes things more surprising for the other person. Now I can't wait for Jeff to read it... =0)

Leota's Garden by: Francine Rivers

I heart Francine, and so when this book came up for free on Kindle I decided to download it to my phone and read it. Turns out I love reading books on my phone. Since I sleep with my phone by my bed it is like having a built in book light. Even though it was a little slow at times, I totally cried and fell in love with these characters.

The Heart of the Matter by: Emily Giffin

I love this author and loved this book. I also read this book on my phone and definitely stayed up past my bed time and read it on my lunch break. What I loved and hated about this book was that it all seemed so life like and real. I can appreciate a story without a perfect ending, so that made this book more endearing to me.

Mockingjay by: Suzanne Collins

Things got pretty intense in book 2 of the Hunger Games Trilogy, so after a brief hiatus I was ready to come back and finish it up. I will totally read these books to H when he gets older... and he will LOVE them! I can't wait for the movies to come out!

Happiest Toddler on the Block by: Dr. Harvey Karp

While I liked this book, I can't say that the discipline behaviors in it worked for us. I didn't find it overly helpful in that area, but it did give some really good ideas for providing positive feedback for your children and reinforcing good behaviors. Other than that, I wouldn't recommend this book.

The Help by: Kathryn Stockett

I also read this book on my phone and love, love, loved it! I finished it just in time to see the movie, which I actually really liked. Usually after reading such a good book the movie is a disappointment, but both were done really well! Great read!

Two-Part Invention: The Story of a Marriage by: Madeline L'Engle

L'Engle is one of my favorite authors and it was so fascinating to read her account of her courtship and marriage. This is not only a terrific love story, it is a great account of the sacredness of marriage and the grief of loss. While saddening at times, it was very inspiring and of course beautifully written.

Stress-Free Potty Training: A Commonsense Guide to Finding the Right Approach for Your Child by: Dr. Peter Stavinoah

While I can't say potty training has been stress FREE, this book certainly helped give me some practical direction. I bought this as a .99 download for Kindle, and while I wouldn't read this book again, it was certainly worth what I paid for it!

As a Sunday School Class we read a book on Managing Money in your Marriage, but I can't find it on Amazon. I also seem to have misplaced the book. However, it came at a good time in our marriage (after just purchasing our first house) and has helped us make some better choices.

Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by: David Platt

This was the next book we read with our Sunday School Class and I loved it. It was very challenging and even though some of the theology in the book was pretty deep stuff, he managed to make it very understandable without watering it down or making excuses. I enjoyed his somewhat in your face style and appreciated the experience he was bringing to the table, as opposed to just telling you how to live. Christians, read this book. You will probably like it, hate it, and believe it is the Truth.

Searching for Meredith Love by:Julie Christensen

I read this book post finals because it was a free Kindle download and I wanted something to read on my break. Overall, I would give this book 3.5 stars. It took me a while to get into it and sometimes the writing style was a bit distracting from the plot, but I did end up caring about the characters and wanting a happy ending. Not bad for a free book!

The Devotional I started reading this year (in July so I'm not finished yet) is Jesus Calling by: Sarah Young

Although I'm not finished yet, I have so loved this book. I got the journaling one with places to journal each day and it has been really good for me. Honestly, I usually find devotionals to be kind of cookie cutter, slightly cheesy and I quit doing them because I just don't feel like it is encouraging me at all. This one is different. I find it to be challenging but uplifting and I like that it is written from the perspective of Jesus.

So, that's what I read last year. What should I read this year?