Friday, March 21, 2014

Celebrating Our Baby Girl!!

One of the ways I have continually seen the Lord's provision in my life is through friendships.  In Charleston he blessed me with THE most amazing friends.  We are all scattered throughout the country now but still keep in touch.  It's been amazingly fun to see them change in the last TEN years!!!  We've been through so many things together and the hardest thing about leaving Charleston two and a half years ago was leaving those friendships.  The comfort.  The stability.  The unconditional love.  They were and are a true picture of what friendship should be!

As you know when we arrived here Peter had a 6 month deployment immediately.  We barely had time to learn directions to the nearest grocery store let alone find and establish good friends.  Thankfully the Lord sent a couple of dear Charleston friends ahead of us who really helped me get through that lonely six months.

I rarely say this but IF ONLY I had known that a treasure trove of sweet ladies was waiting for me literally blocks from my house.

When Peter returned we started the search for a church.  Around the time we were here for a year we finally settled on one that is literally 4 blocks from our house.  And there waiting for me were more fabulous kindred spirits.  They are already so dear to me after such a short time.  And clearly they love me too!!

My Mom & Aunt came to visit in February and when my dear friend Mica came out she planned a shower for our sweet baby girl so that they could attend.  This was so special to me!!  And let me tell you....these girls should be professional party planners.  It was the cutest....prettiest...most special day ever!

Like the awesome photographer that I am I brought my camera and proceeded to leave it in it's case the entire time. Thank to my Mom & Aunt's new obsession with their iphones however I have a few shots of the special day!

 My friends know that naming this little bundle has been quite the feat.  Um yeah a month later we still don't have one.  They planned games where everyone gave name suggestions and then we got to take them all home.  It was so fun reading through everyone's ideas!!

I have to admit I mourned a little when I started going into stores and the baby boy clothes are too small for anyone in our family.  And then I had my shower.  And opened outfit after outfit of THE cutest little outfits ever.  I think I'll be ok.

Just a shot of everyone.  You can see some of the cute pink & green decor

Two of the hosts, Mica & Kristen and my dear dear friends!!!!  So blessed to have them in my life!!!

My Mom!

Are these not the cutest decorations ever?  And the onesies & tutu?  Made by my friends Kristen & Erin!!  I can not WAIT to get this girl into those outfits!!!!!

Amd let's talk about this wonderful food!!  Their theme was "ready to pop".  Everything was pink and green.  There was a popcorn bar....cake pops....strawberry/kiwi kabobs....rice krispie treat pops.  It was all pink and green and it was all delicious!!

More decor and my dear friend Mica!!  

My Mom & My Aunt.  So thrilled they could share this special day!!

My friends literally showered us with special gifts for our little girl.  It was so fun just spending time with these special people that the Lord has given us here in Tacoma.  Our time here is limited but I know the friends I have made here will be friends for life!!!!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cleaning and Organization Update

Just a little update on my organization.  I hit the downstairs hard the last two days and only have a few more spaces to finish and will be done!!!  I am so happy with my progress!

This is our build-in.  It is right by the back door (hence the funny lighting in the picture).  It is kind of a catch-all.  It is mostly filled with kitchen items I use very occasionally, craft supplies and paper products.

Here is the before

As you can see it was a mess!!

I should've taken this picture with the doors open but here is the after.  The top part is filled now with Stafford's Melissa & Doug toys and games that have lots of little pieces.  These are "special" toys that we get out when Reed is occupied or asleep.  on the second shelf are two bins filled with craft supplies.  There are a few more craft supplies on the bottom shelf.

The drawers have paper products in the bottom two, craft supplies in the next two and the top drawer is empty!!!!  Threw away so much JUNK from this area!!  Our washer and dryer are directly across from this so I also cleaned off both of them.

 This is our sunroom.  The boys use this as a playroom now.  If you are standing at our dining room table this is the left of the room.  Behind the little couch is a small bin with drawers I purchased at Target.  It keeps smaller toys, trains etc.  There is also a basket with larger toys.

Here is the right side of the room.  Train table!!  This gets so much use in our house!!  Hard to tell how big the room is but the rug is probably a 3x4.

Organized the boys books and put into these baskets.  There used to be a pretty piece of antique furniture here with a pitcher on top but I feared for it's longevity so it now lives in the basement until we have a bigger house and less rowdy boys.  I've heard it is better for kids to have books in baskets because they can get to them better so that is where we keep all of ours.  Minutes after this Reed emptied both on the floor and started reading.  Yay for the reading.  Not so much for the mess.

Another area of books.  The large books that won't fit in the basket are on the bottom shelf.  Then to the left another basket on top of Bear's cage.

And this is Reed listening to "I Like to Move it Move it" over and over while I cleaned.  I just moved him up into his 2T clothes this week and I'm in a little bit of denial!!!!  He is only my baby for a couple more weeks!!!!!

Hopefully will have additional progress to report soon!!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Few Nice Spaces

I think I've been convincing myself that our house was really not "that bad" for a while now.  We're able to easily clean it and get it ready when guests come and for the most part the floors are always picked up etc.  But there is just hidden STUFF everywhere.  I mean everywhere!!  It is amazing!  In order to combine my inevitable nesting, spring cleaning and just a desire to live with less I am doing my own version of the 40 Bags in 40 Days challenge.

I only have 34 days left until my due date plus I want to avoid cleaning on Sundays so I am doing a 20 day challenge.  I've made a list of small spaces in my house that I want to tackle and then I try to do two of these a day.  I know some days I might do three and some days I might do zero.  But it really helped to go through the house and make a list!!

Here are some of my completed spaces.

The Entryway

We don't really have super functional closets.  And with as little as the boys are I want to make cleaning accessible to them.  I had a small bin for shoes but now with two boys and feet that are getting bigger we were running out of space.  This equalled shoes all over the floor all the time.  They both are fabulous about taking off their shoes and putting them by the door so this was just the next step.

I also cleared off anything that didn't really have to do with either the car or diaper bag (or that is decorative).  I know I technically need some larger objects on it but it gets so much use and the boys climb on it I just don't want to invest in pieces right now that will get destroyed.  They've already broken a decorative vase so for now it will just stay like this.  I'd love to have a lamp but sadly there is no electrical outlet within 10 feet of it!  Peter and I each keep one pair of shoes (flipflops) for doing things like running the trash out etc otherwise our shoes go upstairs.  I also found the missing set of car keys so that will make Peter happy!

Tops of the Dresser & Chest of Drawers (Master Bedroom)

When we got married my sister gifted us a beautiful silver comforter.  So I painted our bedroom, our furniture and bought accessories to go with it.  Eventually that was replaced and I realized that I felt stuck with the dark color scheme.  This space was really hard for me to clean because I got rid of quite a few decorative pieces that I bought early in our marriage.  But we don't NEED them.  In fact they were just collecting dust which mean I never dusted because there was SO MUCH STUFF on top of both of these surfaces.  So yesterday I finally forced myself to just get rid of them.  And once I started it was actually pretty easy!  

When we moved here initially Peter deployed almost immediately.  I was way more concerned with learning where the nearest grocery store was and getting baby gates up and not too worried about paint color.  We also have a lot of plaster in this 100+ year old house.  It just makes doing improvements hard and since it's a rental and we know we won't be here forever it hasn't been worth it. So....I am living with the paint colors that I don't love and waiting until we move to change the color of furniture and curtains etc.

I moved most of my loose jewelry to the top of the chest so the boys can't get it.  They still can with a stool but unless the self create there isn't one readily available.  Then I put our picture frames on the dresser.  

The chest belongs to Peter and the dresser to me and we both still need to go through them but that is for another day!

Eaves Closet (Master Bedroom)

This is a tiny little space beside our bed but I love it!  I keep my business supplies for Rodan + Fields on the left side (mailing supplies...prizes for my awesome team....a few samples and products).  On the right side is a stack of books that I want to read.  We just don't have the space for a bookshelf (who am I kidding with only 2 bedrooms with barely have space for another baby!!) so they are stacked there out of the way.  I tend to be a stacker and these were in piles beside my bed...on the nightstand...on our coffee table.  Then we also have a small rod that I have baby girl's clothes hanging on.  She doesn't have a room or a closet or a dresser yet so until we get one they will have to stay there.

Hoarding Queen

Here is an example of the ridiculousness that I found while cleaning.  I had bag after bag of empty button bags from clothes I had purchased.  What in the world was I keeping these for?  They were just taking up space and collecting dust.  My goal with this project is to really evaluate every single thing that is in our house to see if we need it!  It's been very freeing and I'm realizing that you just get tied down with stuff.  It's more to clean....more to organize...and you just don't use it all!

Here's my list!!  Some of my spaces are larger and will take more time like our back closet (kind of a catch all) or the built in.  But other spaces are small.  The pantry for instance is tiny so it won't take me too long to go through it.  But it's just good to do!  Other examples of nooks and crannies I included were the changing table, top of piano, mantle, all drawers in kitchen, top of washer and dryer. Can't wait to update as the house gets cleaner!!

Do you have a system for keeping junk and excess from accumulating in your house?  I'd love to hear your tips and tricks!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I've always been a music lover.  There is something about poignant words set to a beautiful melody that can just set your heart on fire and bring you to tears.  We spend a lot of time listening to The Wheels on the Bus & If You're Happy And You Know It lately and I have to admit I miss "grown up" music.  We sang this song in worship a few weeks ago and it has been on my heart even since.


You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Do you ever feel like you are in the ocean?  When I was a kid I loved to get as far out as I could.  I loved the feeling and waiting for a huge wave to come.  Of diving underneath or jumping over.  Even though I was so small I felt invincible.  I could rise above.  The unknown and mystery of the water wasn't scary or daunting.  It was an adventure.

The older I get the less I like the ocean.  And certainly now that I have kids I'm a little more apprehensive about going in.  It's not really that I think of all the "what ifs" but just that as an adult I'm more aware of what could happen.  The mystery...the unknown...the depth.  It's a little scary.

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Lately life feels little like that ocean.  Unknown.  Deep.  A mystery.  

But I just love the word picture of this song.  

My soul will rest in your embrace.

I will trust you t keep my eyes above the waves.

You have NEVER failed.

And no matter how deep the water...your grace abounds.  Freely given.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

Can you say you trust the Lord without borders.  In everything?  

What are you worried about.  What seems to crash above your head...pulling your feet out from under you?

He wants not only to save us from the waters but to allow us to walk on them.  To take us deeper.  To strengthen our faith.

I've been thinking about how to draw closer to the Lord during this season of Lent.  Lot's of people decide to give things up.  But I've decided to focus on trusting.  On letting HIM keep my eyes above the waves.  On resting in His embrace.

I hope you will too!

Monday, March 3, 2014

The Reedster

Dear Reedster,

You are 22 months old and I just can't believe that in less than 2 months you will be a big brother and you will be 2 years old!!!  I've had a hard time thinking of you as a big boy and pretty much want you to stay my baby forever.  You are an absolute JOY to be around.  Your little voice...your smile...those dimples.  I never want to forget how fun you've been this year!

One of my favorite things to do is ride in the car with you.  You are already very observant.  When we get in the car you say "Backhoe?" or "Skoo bus?" indicating that you want to look for them.  I always respond...We'll look for them and then you say "Yeah!!" with enthusiasm.  You LOVE all forms of transportation.  School buses and airplanes in particular.

Lately you've been adamant about going "down" as soon as we get in the car.  We live at the top of a large hill and you love going down the hill in the car.  You shout "Wheeeeeee" and "Whoohoooooo" the entire way down.  You get a little put out if you discover we aren't headed that way.  You also enjoy driving by the water on Ruston Way because we see lots of trains and boats.  You make sure to point them all out.

You are also really into lights.  Christmas time was a blast because each and every time you saw Christmas lights you would yell out "lights!! lights!!"  

You are still a pretty little guy but are tall.  You are starting to grow out of some of your 18-24 months clothes but pjs and others still fit.  You have lots of very straight blonde hair.

You are a climber and very very active.  You have started climbing out of your crib at every opportunity so we have you sleeping in a sleep sack now.  It seems to have helped things.  I'm just not ready to have both you and your brother in big boy beds right before your little sister arrives!!  You love to do anything active and play basketball with your Daddy a lot.  Your favorite game is "GoGoGoLaugh" which consists of Daddy chasing you around the house, catching you and wrestling with you.  Often as soon as he gets home from work you will run to the door and say "Gogolaugh?" all in one word.  It's adorable.  I have caught you moving chairs into the kitchen to use to get to the counter as well as turning over baskets of books so you can use the baskets as step stools.

You really love to play with toys and are into things you can stack.  Lately you also really like puzzles.  I got a bunch out and you immediately knew what to do with them and were able to put them together without any direction or help.  You have also started using shape sorters.

You love to be outside.  You love animals.  You love jumping in puddles and find them whenever you can!  You love to play "Jesus" on my phone (the animated Bible) and often ask for it and for help to find Jesus.  

You are into everything.  One of my favorite things you do is move these cotton facial cleansing pads from drawer to drawer.  For a while you were doing it almost every day so it was always a surprise to me which drawer I would find them in.  

You still like to have your picture taken and will often say "cheese" as soon as I get the camera out.  you even still smile for pictures which I love!!  

You are a good eater and a good napper.  You play hard all morning and usually crash in the afternoons.  Your brother is your biggest fan so sometimes I have a hard time keeping him from going to wake you up after he is up!  You have finally started to sit still a little bit to watch an occasional TV show (usually Mighty Machines) or read a book.  When you read independently you always hold the book upside down.  Always.  

One of my favorite things is listening to you talk.  You don't say a lot but you have this really cute high pitched voice.  You are really enthusiastic when you speak.  You are better at answering questions so we hear a lot of "yeah" and some "no".  You also like to sing.  You have starting to sing something that sounds like your ABCs and you also sing a song that Peter made up.  I need to get it on video but it's quite humorous.  It's to the tune of a Les Mis song but has special words just for you!

You've started to recognize people and places.  When we go to Bible Study you've started saying "Levi" because you know you'll see him there.  You also called out "pizza" the other day when we turned down 26th street because that's the only time we drive that part of 26th.  

You love your stuffed animals especially a stuffed dog.  You also really like your blanket and often want to take it out of bed with you in the mornings or after nap.  You still sleep with a paci at naps and at night.  You also really like trains and matchbox cars and are really good at playing with Stafford at the train table.  Stafford will often build you a special track on the floor.  Your favorite train is Belle.

Other words you say are up, down, Boom boom (your water), plane, train, truck, BigBee (this is a city bus and it's the word Stafford taught you), yellow, red, blue, T, Jesus, love you, thank you, please, excuse me, slide, puppy, blocks, puddle, puzzle, duck, cat, fish and pizza. I'm sure there are more but I just can't think of them right now.  You've also started putting two or three words together.  

One of my favorite things about you is how polite you are.  You always say "mimi" which is your word for excuse me when you want to get through without being prompted.  You also do this if you burp or have gas.  You also say please and thank you most of the time unprompted.  Sometimes you will take your plate over to the counter after you are finished eating.  You also love to help clean up and will sing "clean up clean up" when it is time to do so.

You are basically just fabulous and I love being your Mama.  We certainly have our times but for the most part you are sweet, easygoing and just generally fun to be around.  I keep hearing reports of how sweet and gentle you are with the babies in the nursery and I can't wait to see you as a big brother!  

We love you so much buddy!!!!  We just wish you would slow your grow!!!!!!!!


Mama & Daddy


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