lil girl twirls

Now that I know we are having a little girl, I am pretty sure she is going to be the girliest-girl ever. I just die over just about every dress I come across. I am ITCHING to set up a place to bust out my sewing machine to do some sewing projects. I cant wait to try my hand at making some cute lil dresses like this one...

and this one....

AND this one...

Im thinking we need to start a sewing club, no?

My lil, Peek-a-Boo

This post probably wont do too much for anyone's reading- it is mainly for mama's treasure of her memories with Preson Peek. I am just treasuring every moment I have with my little one- savoring each little stage of his life. It is a blessing to watch him come into his own. Each day it is something new and I anticipate what the discovery of the day will be. He is so wonderful-just a total joy that I do not take for granted for a second.

About a week ago, it was like a switch just flipped and my teething, fusser-bug was replaced with my happy, content little boy again. Lately it has been him discovering his little imagination. He loves to see what your reaction will be to his performances of silliness.
He is always popping out from behind things saying, "BOO!" with a huge grin on his face and then he will just wait as he anticipates your reaction.
It is a joy to watch him roll around on the ground as though he is rolling down a hill.
He LOVES to sit on everything- from his little rocking chair (on it's side) to his oversized building blocks to the large basket filled with blankets in the living room.
He is INTO everything. I am constantly having to redirect him from things he isn't supposed be touching. When will it sink in what "don't touch!" means??
He always wants to crawl up into anyone's lap that will have him, for reading time (not usually making it to the end of the book). Every night before we pray with him and lay him in his crib, he runs over to his "Goodnight Moon" book crying "mooon!, moooon!" What is it with that book anyways that makes all kids LOVE it? Subliminal messages, maybe?
He is so precious with his own little language that has evolved from that sweet baby babbling that I will miss- He will try to repeat so many words and he totally butchers em- adorable.
He keeps me on my toes constantly and I am just having so much fun with this kid!

(photo taken by my good friend, Joy Engdahl- Thanks for the cute pic, Joy!)


trashy treasures

Lately I have been so inspired with recycling old wooden items for new uses. My mother bought me a book last Christmas called, Recycled Home. It is chock-full of ideas on how to reuse what many would refer to as, well- trash. Old crates, wooden pallets, lath from inside the walls of a historic home- basically anything old and distressed. I highly recommend it!

In particular, I have been loving the ways I have seen wooden pallets reused. I love how industrial and rustic they look. Paired with either folksy-vintage or crisp-modern pieces, they can really make a statement in any home.

Now granted, I will admit it takes some patience with obtaining such commodities these days. They are becoming more rare, and few and far between. The key is to just be patient and be willing to get your hands dirty when scouring your local antique store or flea market. Also, you can find wooden pallets at furniture stores, marinas or industrial areas.

Here are a few more ideas I found through some of my favorite websites and blogs. Get inspired!

For you cat-lovers- a kitty litter box made of old crates. I could also see this done on a larger scale for a dog house.

Defintely not a DIY, but very cool non-the-less. A staircase made of old wood boxes.

More wooden crates hung on the wall to create some unique shelving- Love how they lined it with a pretty fabric!

Take a piece of driftwood (saw some at pottery barn the other day for $4!) or some thick branches from your yard (free!), screw some hooks into it to create a place to hang keys and coats in your entry

Hope you feel inspired to turn someone else's trash to your little treasures!


We'll grow up together, side by side

I am 19 weeks along in my second pregnancy. One week short of half way! I can't believe it. Besides my rapidly growing tummy and some fatigue, I have not felt pregnant at all. I have almost felt guilty in a sense. When you are expecting your first baby, it consumes you in every way. You are researching the development, pregnancy, labor, birth, post natal phase and so much more. The second time around, you feel so overwhelmed with raising the first and your so tired that you barely have time to take it all in.
One would think the thought of juggling two little ones at once is daunting- and don't get me wrong, I am nervous about going totally out of my mind- but I am also really excited! I know my house will be a total disaster and I will be living in my PJ's for at least the first 3 months, but I look forward to bringing my little future newborn home and nurturing him while watching Preson's curiosity as he explores getting to know his new baby sibling. I am so excited to watch how Pre will bond with him, how he will touch him, how he'll show affection to him, whether or not he'll feel jealous, how he will display his independence and so on. I know it wont all be butterflies and rainbows, but I am looking forward to this new chapter of life that will be opening in just a little more than 4 months (whoa.)
Next week we will be finding out the sex of the baby and though I speak in "his and him's" I really don't have a hunch one way or the other as to what it will be. When people ask me what I hope it will be- I truly could be totally happy either way. If it is a boy, Im all set with clothes; Preson will have a terrific best little buddy to grow up with; boys are SO sweet and cuddly; and super easy for the most part. If it's a little girl- well, what mama doesn't want a little girl? Shopping op! Lots of little baby girls to grow up and have play dates with; someone to grow close with in a different way than a little boy.
This sonogram was taken at 10 weeks. Next week I will have a photo to document the baby at 20 weeks. I cant wait to see the changes in this beautiful masterpiece as God knits him together in my womb.

This second pregnancy is becoming more and more a reality as each day passes. While I have taken this first half to take it in and get adjusted to the idea of having two kiddos that are less than 2 years apart, I can see that the second half will be filled with excitement, dreams and planning, planning, planning....

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. ~John Wilmot


wife of a preacher man

I'm the preacher's wife. There I said it. I have always refused to introduce myself to people with this label for fear of the expectations that comes attached to it. The idea that I am THE woman in the church to look up to and go to for spiritual mentoring; the idea of having to act a certain way and talk a certain way and look a certain way has always turned me sooo off! I subconsciously have done things to offset people's mindset of this and have been determined to stand true to who I am. My husband and I are just like anyone else struggling along in their journey to know God. There is of course the temptation to "act" in a way that perceives us as "PASTOR"- we of course want people to know they can come to us for anything. After all, what pastors dont want the respect of the people (older and younger) of their flock? But we refuse to act and we are determined to be ourselves. We pretty much blend right in with everyone else to the point that people are suprised when they find out my husband is the actual pastor and they were hitting it off with the pastor's wife (God FORBID!). It is our hope and prayer that we don't ever set ourselves on a pedestal of any kind.
A few years back, I went through a time where God deconstructed my faith and I asked the question, why do I do what I do or don't do? What is the true biblical reasoning for my actions? It broke down everything. I decide to stop doing things because I had trained my mind to do them robotically and to really learn to do things God's way to the best I knew how.
I stopped having my daily quiet time, because I felt I was doing it legalistically. I stopped tithing the exact 10% on the exact date every month. I began praying more and felt God leading me toward more solitude and spending time in his creation.
I say all that to say that, while God has opened my eyes to so much in some areas- over time, my walk with the Lord became somewhat unbalanced-heavy in the prayer department and very light in the reading and studying of the Word of God. I have studied through The Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and God has taught me through it that it is not necessarily a bad thing to discipline yourself in the reading and studying of the Word of God. I have found that sometimes Satan can use the fear of legalism to trick us toward laziness in our faith and get us away from spiritual disciplines. Once you get away from a spiritual discipline, it is very difficult to regain that discipline. Such is life in every way, I suppose.
Recently I went to a Beth Moore conference with a friend and was tremendously burdened to take my walk with God to the next level. I actually felt a strong burden for the women of our church as well. Over the last year and a half, I have had some tremendous life changes that have made it very difficult to invest as much as I should be investing in the lives around me. I had my first baby. We went through a shortsale. We bought a condemned house and renovated it. My grandmother passed away. Our church has really gone through a growth spurt. The list goes on and on. I knew it was time to step it up and get serious about community with these women- I have not gotten to have that with them as I would like to over this last year. So there is a group of women in our church that got as excited as I did about the idea of doing a study. It is Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore and Kay Arthur's, Anointed, Transformed, Redeemed. We had our first study this last Sat and it was like a breath of fresh air in my life! It was wonderful to connect with these women and to get back in the Word on a daily basis. I was humbled by the bravery and honesty that these women showed in sharing their hearts. Some that are totally lost in their personal journey to knowing God, some that are struggling with their families, others that are hurting in other ways. I know we are going to all be very close by the end of the summer.
I am just so thankful to know that you can have a great relationship with God through prayer and solitude and community, BUT why stop there when God has given us the tools to go so much deeper? Our little lives are but a vapor on this earth and we use so little of it for the actual purpose of our existence. I hope to be more balanced as I look forward to having my second baby in November. I hope to not stop living. Having a baby is the toughest adjustment I have ever had in my life, but it is a part of life and now it is time I get back on track with having a bit more balance. God. Family. Community. Friends. Me. Home. Health. Nature. Technology. the list goes on...