Five things on my mind. . .

1. Swim Suits. I took this picture a couple months ago and am in love with this style suit. But I need to find a way to make it more supportive (heyo nursing boobs!) and was thinking of cutting the straps to make it a halter (currently crosses in the back) but am scared of ruining it :/ But then I found this post (heyo beach body!) and now I just want to make myself a swim suit. I’m in love! Seems like a good birthday present to yourself, yeh?

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And, yep, I just posted that. Because it’s my beach body, and I like it. I’m done ‘coming to terms’ with  my  body and into just liking it now.

2. SPRING TIME FOR THE MOTHER LOVE SHOW UP NOW. Okay, I’m not one to wish away the rainy months but after a snowy move, a week of sickness, and weeks of packing before that. . . we are ready to get out! explore! run! play! exercise! instead I feel like a cozy tired sloth. Looking at the photos on this blog, while I could never be a constant heat dweller, make me ache for gardens and sun soaked days. Ohhhhh come on PNW, turn up the heat!

3. Why didn’t I make an art corner sooner?! I’ll be posting more about this, because it has been amazing. Like, non stop creating and crafting and exploring and learning and WONDERFUL!

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4. Dates. I want to get some writing down about marriage, marriage maintenance (doesn’t that sound romantic?) and how we do our best connecting even with the hubbub of life right now. But I always question if that is of interest to anyone or if it’s just such a personal thing that hearing about others’ experiences is pointless. Would you want to read about marriage? Or is that kinda…. drab?

5. All the hope projects. Like, they just swirl and swirl and swirl.. a bench there! a black wall there! a pink bookshelf mounted up there?! alluvit. Homeowners? Do those thoughts ever stop? I think I could think up insane DIY projects for the next fifty years, at least.

okay, one more, 6. I’m obsessed with rugs. This house has no carpeting so we want to cozy up lots of spaces. And, here are a couple I am aching for.

Sweetest Welcome Mat EVER19135359_060_f (can you even see that? I can’t stand links without a picture. But this is all I could snag!)

Swoony love for this one and this one too. Wish they came in bigger than 4×6!

OH OR THIS ONE !

Little Dream Home- Girls Room

So, we’re still in the midst of “maybe we got it?” and “maybe it will all fall through. . . ” with this little dream home of ours. So instead of being radio silent, not letting it out, and keeping all the dreams in my composition notebook. I’m just going to let my dreams go wild and post it all on here. I’ll be heartbroken if we lose this house, but trust that it’s this or something better. I truly do. But I also feel so heartpullovestrong that this little home will be ours one day.

So, in typical me fashion, I’m designing each room and making endless lists with itemized budgets and where to buy each and every light fixture of my dreams. OMG. I love light fixtures.

So I am going to go through and post some of my inspiration for each room, I think it will be so exciting to look back (in, like, ten years when we actually finish this stuff!) and see where the vision ended up.

The girls room is currently a big open space, no closet yet, and two huge windows with gorgeous moulding. The whole house has amazing tall ceilings and their room is especially bright and welcoming. Right now it’s a deep red wine color that is pretty but a little dark for a shared space that needs to feel bright and airy for play.

Here’s some of what I”m scheming. . .

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I’m loving this rug and colors from Cost Plus World Market!hensvik-wardrobe__65574_PE177068_S4A couple of these would be 1. DARLING and 2. So convenient. Nolie and Ever would both love (love love) to have their own little wardrobes and these are a steal at Ikea.

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I mean. Right? Romantic, so darling, cottage’y, and doesn’t every little kid want an instafort for their bed?


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One wall is PERFECT as an accent wall. I haven’t decided yet between bold stripes or a chair rail with a color (or chalk?) under and polka dots up top. In fact, I’m kinda toying with polka dots as a theme across the board. and if so. . .

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That rug and those curtains would both be cute ‘wink and a nod’ to polkadots without going all the way.

I’m in love. Send me all your kid room pins. Cause I’m in deep.

Glad List

a whole slew of matching smiles

bright, bright, bright

hiking with the little ladies

sore muscles and sun covered cheeks

Ever learning to twirl

Nolie recognizing and sounding out a new word; Papa

He is kinda the hero of all of the ladies of the house.

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This fresh Summer sun is perfectly timed. Charlie’s new job is in full swing and we are adjusting in fits and spurts. He loves it and is delirious with meeting new people, new skill sets to acquire, and so much more socializing than he is used to. I am growing into a full time mom, no real breaks during the day- not of the ‘pop by’ variety or the phone/text style that I had become accustomed to. This, on the surface, seems like it would be all lame. But so far I am feeling pretty epically proud of myself. I am rising above my “I can’t take another minute!” feelings, calling out in faith for a moments more patience. And He is giving it. Well, really, He is pouring it on me in a huge bath of love.

This past week had some significantly hard moments. But overall, what I take from it, what I remember, what is etched forefront? Just a whole lot of Happiness and glad that is seeping out of every little moment.

 

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Also, my most unexpected Glad List addition.

Co-sleeping. It is really blessing my heart, my life, and my baby.

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Advent (or, the biggest exercise in delayed gratification a toddler could be asked to endure)

 I decided to invest a little money and time (really, though, it was only about an hour) into making an Advent Calendar that we can use again and again. We will hang these glittery boards each Christmas Season and count down the days with glee.

First I lay out each of the clothes pins on my two boards. Charlie would have measure then, I didn’t, they still turned out darling. I hot glued each one in place.

Then I added elmers to the tops of the clothes pins and Nolie added the glitter.

 

Then I worked on making my list and plans for our advent days. And then using glitter and a bunch of cute cards and bags we had laying around, we made our advent calendar!

Nolie helped to brainstorm ideas, and I am really happy with how it turned out. We had to hang it up HIGH so that the little gifts and cards aren’t reachable for little hands, but I think that this will be a really exciting way for us to celebrate the season.

Some of the days on our advent include;

big family breakfast to talk about what grace and advent mean

a winter walk to collect pine cones, leaves, rocks, and other exciting winter treasures

walking to the donut shop and picking out a sprinkle donut

making Christmas cookies to deliver to a friend

jingle bells and puff balls that are ready to thread onto a festive necklace

a date with Papa

a family trip to Menchies

some little wooden letters to decorate

picking up coffee and cocoa to deliver to a friend who could use a boost

gingerbread house making

and, of course, reading The Christmas Story

 

thankful interruption {nineteen}

Those days when it just overwhelms. The out serving. The glances over the tops of tiny blonde heads that crawl and bob between us. The huge fill up of love, closeness, covenant, chosen, just the right love. Today I am thankful for my everyday husband. That these feelings aren’t rare. That his loving actions don’t surprise, they supply the scaffolding for our hearts to keep climbing. Charlie, you are it. Thank you so much.

{week one}

{one} Thankful today for easy access to advice nurses. A husband who is willing to take a moment from his work day to help/feed/love his girls and a netflix account that may very well save the day.

{two} breastmilk, trusting my body, and a little lady who is crawling around getting into mischief already. Also, a finished order for our shop, and lots of super exciting Christmas shop ideas!

{three} My darling six month old who uttered her very first word sound this morning. And yes, it was Mama(mama). I am in love and couldn’t feel closer to bursting with this little lady.

{four} forgiveness, coffee, and soft-chewy-coconutty-perfect chocolate chip cookies.

{five} an independent little lady who wants to do it all herself. I love how confident, secure, loving, and friendly Nolie is. She makes friends everywhere, plays hard and then tells me all about it in the cutest voice I have ever heard. I love my almost three year old in all her glory.

{six} a husband who will cuddle/rock/play with and love on the baby when she is teething and sick, even if the chance for that comes at the inopportune hours of 2-4:30am. I am thankful for a husband who knows, understands, and believes that parenting is a 24 hour job for the Mom and the Dad. ♥

{six.five} baby wearing. Because without it we would all be crying 99% of the time. On this (sick baby) day, I couldn’t hold it together without a carrier to ease the burden. It might not always be pretty, but it is always cozy up in here.

{seven} watching Obamas acceptance speech with my sweet daughter and her incredible commentary. “He said America! He is a president?? The Papa of where we live!!!!” Also thankful for his powerful words and to be standing, grinning, and crying with my husband as we listened.

 

Thankful for: The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today was a rough one. Charlie and I are learning how to work together, instead of divide and conquer. Typically- I run the home (and he helps out wherever I ask/he see’s needs some help) and he works outside of the home. Having this little shop is stretching us- We have to work together and communicate in new ways. We also have some budget wiggle room for the first time in ages and figuring out how to spend/not spend that money is a new place for us to be.

Anyhow, we spend the morning discussing/turmoiling/Target shopping (the begining and end of most arguments). When we came home (and continued disparing at each other) we needed something to redeem. I had seen a tip on pintrest that I wanted to try out (using cornstarch instead of basking powder in Chocolate Chip cookies) and Nolie was in need of some good one on one attention. So to the kitchen we went.

And thus, The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies, were born.

After eating a couple of these. Hugging and kissing as much as we can between one crawling around our toes and one trying to climb us- everything looked and felt a little brighter.

Preheat oven to 350 (make sure it is fully preheated before adding cookies)

8tbs melted coconut oil

5tbs softened  butter

1 cup sugar (I used a combo of white and brown but you can do either it still works out)

2 eggs

2 teaspoon vanilla

2.5 cups flour

1/2 cup whole rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking soda (disolved in two tsp. hot water)

1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 cups chocolate chips (or, you know, more)

1. Cream butter, coconut oil, and sugar till smooth. Add eggs one at a time. Stir in flour and oats ( I used my kitchenaid on the lowest setting) and cornstarch.  Add vanilla and dissolved baking soda. Stir in chocolate chips.

2. Spoon onto baking sheet and sprinkle with coarse (or table if that is all you have) salt and bake for 8-10 min (don’t over bake!).

3. Eat them all up. Seriously.

 

 

<3

I have been phoneless for a couple of days ( lost it in the Target parking lot but got a CALL last night from it, miraculously found!) and it has been a thowback to high school. I sat in front of my computer while Nolie read and Ever slept (on me) and just.kept.refreshing. And then his email popped up, he was on chat!, swoon! We chatted, “I miss your voice”, “I love you more”, ok… not really. But really. So much love for that man.

that smile. that face.

love.

Charlie.

Light glows around the bathroom door and I can hear little feet jumping and (splashing) bounding around the room.

“Papa you know about stories?”

yes little one, tell me a story?

“Once upon a time there was carrots and radish, TINY bunnies!” (and the story goes on)

Bedtime is late tonight, she is very tired but not near as tired as he is. His night before was spent working late hours, taking a quick shower and then waking to her cries at 2am “Papa, papa come in here. Papa come cuddle me.” and he answers. And works again the next day. Because it is a short window of time that your eldest daughter will ask to be held all night. Because answering her needs is his job and he takes it very seriously. Because her need is bigger than his. Because he just loves her so much.

The door pops open and a stark naked tiny girl is giggling hard, gap tooth and wet bangs. “Papa, you know I like cat pajamas? You know its cold enough for FLEECE!”

“Yes sweet girl, lets get your jammies on and you can pick some books.”

The ritual isn’t rushed. Even though the afternoon was full of meltdowns; The baby screams and the wife cries. Even though the biggest little girl didn’t eat any dinner and poured water all over the bathroom floor. Despite it all, his love and willingness to show it is unfaltering. No “time outs” were had. No “because I said so” ‘s were uttered,  his somehow unending patience fills all of us with evening smiles and twinkling eyes.

The baby settles  to nurse into sleep. The light around the bathroom door gone and the rosy nightlight lamp fills Nolies room. They read. And read. Then lay down to sleep, only she wants to sleep with her head on the opposite end of the bed than typical. “That’s a pretty silly way to sleep, but lets do it!” Papa says yes. Papa defaults to yes. He hears her, knows there is a little extra work for him and yet, “yes.”

Minutes later I hear them both. Matching sleep sounds. Groans and snores. I go to extract Charlie and Nolie is cuddled up on his collar bone in the very spot he has our tattoo- “One”- it carries much more weight now. Isn’t just Charlie and I as one. It is the word for our family, we are one. Held up by God, our only One. Inspired to parent with grace, empathy and love.

Our little family is One. 

 

Also, if you are interested in some of the parenting changes we are making, here is an article that give some information. Also, the book that we recently read and are gaining a lot of inspiration from is Unconditional Parenting, I highly recommend reading it.

Thankful.

This has been a really rough season and a particularly hard week. Each day it looks a little darker. But once I retreat into that hole-of-dark I stop looking for the light. And there is a lot of light.

Today Nolie (wholly unprompted) apologized to her friend, he apologized to her and they hugged and played so well and with so much love. And it felt like All The Work that seems too unending and unrewarding… it was worth that moment. All the talking it thorough, letting her direct herself, explaining how I feel and giving her the responsibility and the time to come to her own feelings without prompting, it felt so worth that moment. That was light.

Ever holding hands with her baby friend. That was light.

Food on my front porch more times than I can count from friends who know, get it, and have been there. That was light.

Charlie holding me, answering his phone always, taking time off for sick kids, hearing me- really hearing me. That is light.

A God who lets stuff get hard but never forgets, never turns away and is here and in this moment and all the dark ones too. He is light.