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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Week 30/31...Time for Nursery Crafts!

Less than 10 weeks left...YIKES!! I am so not ready! Keep on cooking, sweet little boy!

His nursery is slow coming together. Hopefully this week I can crack down and get stuff sorted out/packed up/moved to the basement. That room has been a guest room/office for a year and a half, which really translates to a dumping ground for everything that doesn't have a home otherwise. I'm wishfully thinking that one solid evening of work and I can get everything cleaned out.

But until the current furniture and "stuff" comes out and the crib and baby gear gets moved in, carpet scrubbed and so on...I can keep myself busy making some cute decorations! Now that we have a name picked out, I wanted to make something cute to hang on the wall with his name. I looked into buying those wooden letters you can get anywhere and painting them, but they run between $3 and $6, depending on where you go and what style you choose. Add in the cost of paint and I'd be over $20. Not going to break the bank, but I knew I could do it cheaper.

My cheaper DIY solution involved only cardboard, a small bit of fabric and my hot glue gun!

First, I printed off the letters I needed from a basic Word document in a cute, but simple font. Each letter took up almost one whole page. Printing off the letters and cutting them out took less than 10 minutes.

I took a scrap cardboard box and traced the letters onto the cardboard. I made sure it was heavy cardboard, just to give the letters more bulk. A layer of foam or some kind of padding would work glued onto the cardboard too. Cutting them out was the worst part! I didn't think to do it with a razor or Exact-o knife, which would have been much easier. I used scissors, which is insanely difficult and my hand is still cramped this morning!
So my advice to anyone wanting to try this is to find a more effecient way of cutting out your letters!

Then I picked out the fabric that coordinated with the other nursery gear I've bought/registered for. Months ago, I placed a huge fabric order online, so I have a bunch that all matches. These barely used any fabric though, so I can't count that as an expense. I used the cardboard cut outs to trace onto the fabric, leaving extra space the whole way around. The mistake I made here was not leaving enough fabric. I'd say to leave at least an inch, possibly more. Using the hot glue is downright painful if you don't have enough fabric to work with! (Take my word for it.)

All that was left was to glue down the fabric onto the cardboard letters! This was pretty simple, although like I mentioned before, I wish I had left more fabric to work with! My poor fingertips are quite burnt today! Going around the curves in the letters got tricky at some points, so I think I'd choose a simpler font if/when I attempt this again. But as long as you keep it pulled tight as you glue down, it's quick and easy!

Start to finish, the whole thing took about 2 hours. Not bad at all and I'm proud of how they turned out! Cramped hand and burnt fingers were worth it!

Oh, right, by the way, baby boy's name is Levi! =)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today, I choose joy!

I was slapped upside the head with a huge realization last night...

Being joyful is a choice.

There is so much in life that is sad or just hard to handle. There's no way around it. Jesus himself told us that we'd have trouble in this life (John 16:33). But every minute of every day, we have the option to choose joy. In the middle of all the ugly, messy junk that finds it's way into my life, I can choose joy.

Now, I'll admit, I'm not facing any truly horrible trials in this season of my life. But there is so much in the weeks and months ahead that can't be controlled. If I'm being honest, I let the idea of not having control overwhelm me and drag me down. I've wasted so much precious time worrying and wondering what's ahead when there's truly no way of knowing. What's the point? What's the end game? No matter how much effort I put into worrying, I can't change the fact that some things just can't be controlled.

So last night, I decided to choose choose find hope.

There is so bringing me joy! My Jesus, my husband, our life together, the new, beautiful life growing inside me right now...I could go on forever.

There is not room in my life for both worry and faith. Worry says that I don't believe that my God can handle things. And that couldn't be more untrue. So I choose to have faith and that drives out any worry I might have.

And with joy and faith ruling in my life, I can't help but find hope!

Today, I choose joy. And I invite you to do the same. It's a beautiful, peaceful way to live.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Week 29! (Or 30?)

As of today, we're officially into week 29 of this pregnancy! Although we've gotten some conflicting due dates, so it may actually be the beginning of week 30...who knows. Either way, it's going by way too fast!

Baby boy is so active all the time these days! And I absolutely love that feeling. This weekend, he had hiccups for the first time! Cutest thing EVER. (Speaking of...hiccups as I'm writing this!) I'm so loving having him in there and so not ready to give that up yet. At least being pregnant, I have some feeling of being in control...something I'm told goes completely out the window after baby is born!

I'm still feeling comfortable, for the most part, which makes it much easier to just enjoy this time! My back has seen better days, but I know that I've let my posture go down the drain with this extra weight in front. Days that I'm really focused on keeping straight, it's not nearly as sore. Sleeping through the night is a challenge, as I'm constantly rolling from one side to the other and getting up at least once to use the bathroom. The only other complaint I have is the heartburn! I never had heartburn once in my life until a few months ago! Now it's constant and doesn't seem to have anything to do with what I eat or don't eat or if I'm upright or laying just burns more than it doesn't! I'm so hoping this means that our sweet boy is growing lots and lots of curly hair!

Pregnancy certainly is a roller coaster! There's so much I love about it and at this point, I'm hoping I really do have a whole 10 weeks (or maybe more!) left to go and I want to do it again as soon as possible! That may change towards the end, but I'm loving it more than I'm not loving the miserable stuff. I've been so fortunate to be missing the really miserable symptoms. I'm so excited to meet him and hold him and see his daddy with him, but this special time, just us, is so beautiful!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies...YUM!

As with most males, my husband understands love best when it's offered through food. And he has a royal sweet tooth!

A few years ago, I came across this recipe for Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies in a Taste of Home book that I've used and abused. Typically, he's not a peanut butter fan, but he seemed eager for me to bake these, so I went for it. And the response was completely worth it! Since then, they've become a go-to special treat. And this week has been a crazy week in our house. Lots of overtime, lots of stuff going on, lots of time not getting spent together. Just one of those weeks in a law enforcement family. So I made these cookies, just as a little "I love you" for him. Totally worth always is =)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Household Binder Adventure!

I don't know if you can call it nesting, since it's not necessarily centered around cleaning, but I've got a serious desire to get some household "stuff" in order ASAP!

We've been thinking for a while that our renter's insurance probably needs updated to match the current value of our possessions. That got me thinking about how if something was to happen to me and I was unable to handle our banking and bills for whatever reason, how would my husband know all of the account numbers and passwords to everything?

(Side note: My husband is not an idiot. Early on in our marriage, the banking and bills just became my job because I worked at the credit union where we bank and the budgeting and bills is fun to me and a headache for him.)

So now I've decided to put together a household binder. Get all of our important info together, just in case. Past of my inspiration came from Household Management 101 ( but part of it is my own crazy head. I'm still working on exactly what I want/need to include, but here's what I have so far:

- Household Inventory: Basically a list of everything we own (sounds daunting, I know), with a description, receipt (if we have it) and a photo. This would be in case of our house being robbed or catching fire. Just think about it...if your house burned to the ground tomorrow, would you actually know what to claim with your insurance? I don't think we would! And having photos, especially of your big ticket items, will help the insurance process go much smoother. Obviously, you need to think about where you're storing this list also. I'll be putting a paper copy in my binder, but we'll need another copy stored elsewhere. Whether this is a digital copy on a cloud drive or a copy (paper, disk, flash drive, carved in stone) stored at a friend's home or in a safe deposit box at a bank, it just needs to be somewhere else. Again, imagine your house burning to the ground. The most wonderful binder in the world doesn't help if it's in a pile of ash.

- Banking/Bills info: A list of all of our bills, account numbers, customer service numbers, day of the month that they're due, online log in info, etc. Not only would this be handy just to have all compiled in one place, but especially in case of something happening to me, hubby would have an easy, go to source.

- Personal info: Social Security number, blood type, etc for both of us, soon to add baby on to. Again, just to have that all together, just in case.

This is all I have so far...I'm sure I'll be coming up with more to add as I get started! Time to go get myself a snazzy binder! (That may be the most exciting part to me.)

Monday, March 10, 2014

WHEW! It's been a while!

I've taken a little hiatus from writing because things have been happening like CRAZY on the home front!

Tomorrow, I will be 28 or 29 weeks pregnant (depending on who you ask) with our first little one! I have no idea where the last seven months have gone! And I'm certainly not ready for the next couple of months to come to an end either.

My whole life, more than anything else, I wanted to be a wife and a mom. I've got almost 5 years under my belt as a wife and it's honestly been better than I could have imagined! So I thought the process of becoming a mom would be just as blissful...well, not entirely.

While I'm grateful that I've missed out on the ugliest physical pregnancy side effects (yay for no morning sickness!), there's been a whole mess of emotional disasters that I could have done without. The first few months were lots of worry about my baby. The next few months were spent being terrified of becoming a parent and having to create an entire who is kind and hardworking and loving and all the other things that we want our children to become. That's a huge task! One time, I literally woke up in the middle of the night in a panic because I didn't know how to be the mother of a 20 year old. (Lucky for me, you get 20 years of on-the-job experience before that point!)

Finally, somewhere in Month 6, I found my peace. We decided to find out the gender (BOY!!), the kicks became something that we could really feel and I found myself moving from a constant state of panic to enjoying being pregnant and looking forward to bringing up this incredible little man! Now here we are, just a little more than 10 weeks from the big day and they only thing bringing me down is the idea of not being pregnant anymore! I love having him in here, all cozy and squirmy. I'm not quite ready to give that up yet. (Though you may want to check back in about 8 weeks and see where I stand.)

So now, I'm just enjoying my days of all these sweet kicks and rolls, working hard to finish the blanket I've been knitting since before I was pregnant and trying to get all the other pre-baby "stuff" together. We're getting down to crunch time!