Dear Mama-to-be (and me)

Dear Mama-to-be (and me!),
My, how things are about to change!  You can read books galore, and find plenty of 101 lists via Pinterest that will suggest, plead, beg, and shout advice that is surely to be the best.  Right? A baby is coming-and after all, those of us who have "been there, done that" have all the answers.  (I'm laughing even as I type that)
The truth is this:
As I'm about to be a mama to my second daughter, probably the biggest thing I have this time around that's close to an "answer" is confidence.  I am confident that at times I will feel like I know nothing, even though I know more than I think I do. I'm confident that other times Betsy Grace AND Anna Ruth will both be happy and well-rested at the same time and I will feel like super-mom. I'm confident that it's okay to have a hard day, to ask those you trust for advice (but be picky about who you ask!).  I'm just sure that I'll get less sleep than I do now, but that a supernatural, prayed-for strength will be a good dose of medicine (along with quick showers and good, strong coffee).  I'm positive that the happy moments, the ones spent snuggling a newborn and continuing to watch an almost 2-year old grow, will take power over the hard moments.  

I'm confident that a bit of extra Curious George watching won't ruin my children's brains.  I'm confident that there is truly NO joy like having a baby.  And if the joy doesn't come at first-hang in there.  I know it's so hard to adjust to being a first-time mama.  But I know that I will adjust to two, as you first-timers will to one. 

One thing I'm absolutely confident of is "Comparison is the thief of joy." Some moms will fit into their skinny jeans right away.  You might still be in  yours for months. Doesn't matter.  I'm positive that some babies will sleep way, way more than yours, others less.  That doesn't matter either.  I know that some people will co-sleep, some will have baby in a crib, others will hold them "too much " in your opinion.  Let it go-we are all so different and trust me-everyone is generally doing the best they can, with the best information they have.  

Most of all-I'm confident that doing what's best for you and your family is what matters most.  Don't let anyone rain on your parade if you do things differently than them.  
What a miracle you're about to experience!  Having a baby changes EVERYTHING.  You'll learn to get quick about some things (like getting ready), but slow down about the things that really matter (snuggles, book and toy time, kisses and giggles).
Go in confidence, mama-to-be!
Sara :)

Fields of gold

Sunday we got to enjoy a golden farm walk.  We first went to check the cows and put out some hay-a favorite activity of Anna and myself. Then we set Anna Ruth loose in the open pasture and explored the great outdoors.  Our girl loves the farm and the outdoors. No toys required! At first she thought it was fun to pick up dried cow patties and throw them. Couldn't make that up if I tried! We taught her those were "shooey". 
Brett knows that capturing sights with the camera is such a relaxing break for me.  It's one of my favorite things to do.  So he and Little One headed off to do some separate exploring and he let me roam about with the camera.  I came across these plants (weeds probably) that were just golden.  One of the prettiest sights I've ever seen.  Literally-a field of gold. 
With some imagination, I thought this tree looked like an alligator.

This family time was just what I needed.  I'm so thankful for the simple blessings God puts right in front of us, when we choose to see.  I hope you find your own "field of gold" moment this week!

Painted Map DIY Tutorial

 Hi friends!  First-a HUGE thank-you to those of you who took the time to complete the survey I posted a day or two ago.  I have really taken your words and thoughts into consideration and have many exciting things planned for The Rosy Life in the upcoming months!  One thing I noticed was a request for more DIY tutorials, which I would love to share more of. 
So-today I want to show you an easy way to customize a map, whether it be local or global!  This is easy to do, and would make such a unique gift as well.  The possibilities are endless!
 First, you will need to find/buy an old map!  I bet if you put the word out you could even score some old maps for free.  This map belonged to my dear father-in-law, and was going to be thrown away.  (hint: If people know you love to take on projects you'd be surprised at the free items that come your way).  My apologies for the darker than normal photos.  My crafting time is either during nap time, or in the evenings, which doesn't always allow for the best lighting!
 1.) Although I didn't mind that the map looked old (and actually preferred it that way) I didn't care for the edges looking torn.  So my first step was to use double-sided tape around the perimeter of the map in the places where it needed to be repaired. 
 2.)  Step 2 was to type the word(s) I wanted on the map in a blank Word document.  As you can see, I typed the same word in various fonts to figure out which one I liked the best.  Since I knew I was going to be using my letters as a stencil I decided to go with a thicker font-making it easier to cut around and then eventually, paint. 
 3.)  Next I printed out the letters needed to spell "Joy to the World" and then cut each letter out individually. 
 4.)  After all the letters were cut I then placed them on the map and arranged them in a way that looked pleasing to me.  You will notice some of the letters are missing and that is because I didn't want to print repeat letters.  So, only one "O" and "T" were needed, leaving a few gaps in the arrangement.
 5.)  Once I was pleased with the spacing and arrangement of the letters I then traced around each one with a pen.
 6.)  Now for the fun part-COLOR!  After each letter had been traced around I started to fill in each one with paint.  I had already picked 4 coordinating paints and decided where to put each color based on the background color of the map underneath.  For example, for the word "JOY" I decided to use a darker color of paint so that the word could easily be read over the pink background color of the United States.  The brushes I used are a cheap pack of 25 or 30 brushes from the checkout stand at Hobby Lobby.  I like to use coffee filters stacked several high for the paint, and then throw the brush and filter away when I'm done.  It makes for cheap, easy clean-up.
 7.)  I found it was easier to fill in the letters with paint if I traced around the outside of each letter first.  Then I could easily fill in the middle with color! 
8.)  Here is the finished product!  The paint I used are the small tubes found on the craft aisle at Joann's.  They cost less than a dollar each and they have a huge variety of colors to choose from!  
I am so pleased with how this map turned out and hope that you'll let your imagination run wild with a Painted Map project of your own!
In a later post-I can't wait to show you what I plan on doing with this map in my home.
Stay tuned!

Blessed by a stranger.

 One day recently Anna Ruth and I were at Chick-fil-a, having lunch.  Anna Ruth caught the eye of an older couple, who were just about to leave.  They stopped to talk to her and she was grinning away at them.  The gentleman said she was so pretty, and her eyes-"captivating". I agreed, and said what a sweet girl she is.
 As they were about to walk away the man stopped right in front of me and said this "I'm nearing my 90's.  I've seen a lot of life, and at my age you know what really matters...
You are a lucky, lucky lady."
 I grinned so big I almost had tears! I agreed with the man and he went on his way.
I can't even count the number of times I've heard negativity spoken my way once people find out how close the girls will be.  But this man -he got it. It blessed my heart in a huge way.
In other "news", I posted a quick survey about my blog yesterday. If you haven't already-do you mind to take a few minutes and let me pick your brain a bit by filling it out? Thank-you kindly :)

Reader's Poll: The Rosy Life

Hi everyone! Please take a moment to answer this short (7 question) survey I created about The Rosy Life! I appreciate it in advance.
Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world's leading questionnaire tool.

I organized (not a joke!) plus a happy mess

 Yesterday I organized. 
Yes, you read that right. I channeled my inner Jana and Brett and went crazy. 
Jana and I (and really the rest of my family too, lol) are quite opposites. I just think and function much more easily in happy colors, patterns, and sometimes-piles! I come from a family of happy organizers, in my opinion.  Whatever Type A dose God molded into them...well, I just missed out! And then I married Brett. Another Type A! It's like having a little Jana around, which to be honest-I need.
So, as I've become a mom I've realized quickly how much time can be spent or wasted on the simple subject of clothes. Babies grow fast, closets are fascinating places where piles and piles can be torn down in mere seconds if the door is left open, and organization is just simply a must! It's important to get in, and get out!
 One of my goals was to move Anna's wardrobe upstairs entirely before Betsy Grace is born. 
This shelf was going to be thrown out from the barn in town where Brett's mom used to live.
Since we didn't have shelves built in the upstairs closets I decided to put it to good use.  I folded everything and sorted by type of clothing. I then made simple labels and taped them onto the shelf with cute Washi Tape. I also made some hanging labels for hanging items, as you can see above.
 Easy-and now Brett (or whomever happens to be helping me with Anna Ruth) can quickly see which clothes can be worn together.  I also made labels like this for Betsy Grace's nursery downstairs!
 Now onto the real fun-a happy, creative mess! 
Some people find the word "mess" offensive or negative. I don't. I find it quite joyful. It usually means a good time was had, at least in our house.
 Anna Ruth received this adorable squirrel from her sweet great-grandparents at my parent's house this weekend.  She hadn't ever tried a craft like this before and I was overly excited about showing her how the markers worked! She loved it and worked on it several times throughout the day. The concrete on the porch got a bit of extra decor too as you can see by baby girl's overzealous coloring.
This was fun for both of us! I colored in some of the circles on the scarf, while Anna climbed around on the porch.  She was quite interested in what was left on her hands, too.
Thank-you Grandma and Papaw!!

The cat's meow

 Momma and Daddy had a fun fall get together at their house this weekend.
It, along with Anna's costume, was the cat's meow.
So much fun!
 Momma and Daddy had such a fun time planned for all of the grandkids! The kids wore their costumes and brought buckets to go trick-or-treating in around the yard.
 Anna Ruth had such a fun time filling her bucket with treats with her Dada!
 There's also a super fun new play area in the works at my parent's house...
 I love this picture of Nathan! He got a fun ride on Uncle Brett's shoulders..
 Hang on tight buddy!
Lol, this picture makes me laugh and laugh. Caleb was "helping" Daddy push, but kept laying down as Daddy was pulling the wagon along. Silly boy!
 A very exciting part of the day was wagon rides! The men pushed the kiddos wildly around the yard in the yellow wagon-much screaming was involved!
 Instead of dressing up the adults wore fun hats. 
Queen Mama, as decided by me. 
(Brett asked if I was the princess-I decided to upgrade myself to queen)
Thanks to my parents for such a well thought out, fun time! 
I truly wasn't ready to leave!

No batteries required

 Here are a few simple joys filling (most) of our days lately:
We visited Jana and the kids. Anna Ruth had a great time exploring their house and toys!
I got to put this sweet boy to sleep.
Let's be honest-my body is like a giant pillow so what more could a little boy want?
I was relieved I could still put a little one to sleep.
 Anna often looks like she is rockin' the mullet.
Business in the front-full on party in the back!
This day I got it in a ponytail.
Guess how long it lasted?
 We love to explore outside and observe the clouds...
we almost always see and hear airplanes while we're outside too!
 Another "no batteries required" activity we've been doing is reading autumn books and exploring things centered around this season.  Some of the books we've bought or received from others.  Most are checked out from the library.  This day I put a mini pumpkin, pinecone, and acorn in Anna's plastic pumpkin for her to reach in and play with.
 The plastic cup has nothing to do with autumn, but is filled with clothespins.  Anna Ruth enjoyed taking all the clothespins out, and then putting them back in.  Having a list of creative/engaging activities taped up on the china cabinet (Remember this makeover of our space?) has really improved our play time!  I've also been thrilled to notice that Anna Ruth has gone and stood in front of the china cabinet 3 or 4 times lately, pointing up and jabbering away-wanting me to get some of her fun things down. I am so happy to oblige!
 This is a lovely print Brett let me get for my birthday. It is from Katie Daisy's Etsy shop, The Wheatfield, one of the happiest, most inspiring places on the web! I own 3 of her prints now...and could really plaster my house with even more!  I used a chicken wire frame for this particular print.  These types of frames are so easy to make and very versatile.  I also attached a cute fat quarter behind the print that I found for $1 at Joann fabrics.  Easy and so cheery!
Isn't this sight wonderful? I must have said it a thousand times-but I love our country life.
Beth Moore wrote an article I read yesterday that sums up my feelings quite well about this kind of living.

The rosy in my real life!

Hello friends! I'm here for another edition of "rosy in my real life!"  I tried to number these and do one for every week o...