Friday, November 30, 2012

Announcing Betsy Grace!

Betsy Grace was born Tuesday, November 27th at 5:49! We are so excited she's here!
I woke up Tuesday morning around 6 and realized my water had broken so we got things in good shape at home with Anna and headed to the hospital.  They started me on pitocin and an epidural and we waited and waited.  My mom came to visit with me, as well as Janice and Anna Ruth.  And of course Brett! 
Later that afternoon they said I was ready to push..
I pushed for about forty-five minutes, but Betsy Grace was having a hard time.  She was stuck and her heart rate was dropping each time I was pushing.  I have the best doctor and she really let me try this birth on my own before rushing me to a C-section.  After so long it turned into an emergency situation (makes my heart so sad to even type that).  They rushed me to an emergency C-section.  I'll spare you the details.  Just picture a scene from Grey's Anatomy or something.  People swarming me all at once! The worst part was that Brett had to stand out in the hallway at first :( and I didn't get to tell him I love you.  I remember thinking he must be so worried. And from what I hear-he was. 
I must say-I wasn't scared of the C-section.  I had a God-given calm the entire labor/delivery.  The doctor and nurses even commented on how calm I was.  The fight in me was "Just give me my girl.  Just plop her on my chest! That's all I want".  I prayed and said the name "Jesus" over and over in my head.  And played Christy Nockels song "Waiting here for you" over in my head too.  And God gave me a peace beyond understanding!  A peace to know everything would be fine, even when I didn't have a clue what was going on. 
The epidural was strong enough that I didn't have to be put to sleep for the C-section.  That was great news because Brett got to come back in the room with me once I was all hooked up and everything.  That also meant I got to hold Betsy Grace for a minute or two, before being whisked away to recovery for 2 hours.  I admit-the recovery was miserable.  I was nauseous and have never been so tired/thirsty in my life!  However, I just kept picturing Betsy's face :).  Plus my mom, dad, and Brett got to come see me. 

Betsy Grace is perfectly healthy.  I am doing ok too-dealing with some things because of the surgery I hadn't anticipated.  But God is helping me take it one moment at a time.  And can I brag on Brett?  He is such a wonderful husband.  This was so hard on him, having to watch his girls like this.  He is strong, confident, and caring.  He loves me (and our girls) in such a big, humble way.  I couldn't have made it without his constant attentiveness to me.  Since being home he has continued to help me, even when I don't ask.  
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We've also had a tremendous amount of help from Brett's mom "Nana", and my parents, "Granna and Poppa".  We couldn't have done it without them either! 
Anna Ruth is in love with her sister. I'll post on that in a day or two. :)
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Thank-you for all of the prayers!  Please continue to pray for us as I recover from the surgery, and we transition to a family of 4. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Christmas Tradition weekend

 This weekend we got to spend some great time together as a family.  We love having fun as our little family of three! We finally broke down and purchased an artificial tree and Anna Ruth was VERY excited to see what was in the big box!
 As you can see, she wasn't far from her Dada's sight the entire weekend.  She is his little shadow.
 Thanks to my mom we have the most perfect, silver glittery star to go on the top of the tree!  This tree is 9 ft. tall so Brett could hardly even reach it. 
 You all know I love a good thrift store and this picture shows why! Last year Jana and I saw the Little People nativity set at Samaritan's Shop for $9.  Jana convinced me it was a great buy and that I should get it.  As always-she was right :).  We have it set up on the coffee table and Anna Ruth has just played and played with it for hours already. 
 We also took Anna Ruth to see the pretty lights on the Fayetteville Square this weekend.  She was very bright/wide-eyed!
 My official due date (for what it's worth) is this Thursday.  We look forward to Betsy Grace's arrival with great anticipation and expectation!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

When the going gets tough...

Last week we had a day (or two) where the going just got tough.  A combination of things really.....Anna and I both coming off a horrible stomach bug, Little One being out of her routine, 2-year old behavior happening early, little patience and energy from me. Just things. None of which would have been too bad (ok-besides the sickness) on their own, but add them all together and things were just tough. 
So-why even both to revisit all those unpleasant thoughts in one paragraph?
Sugar-coating is not my thing. Neither is pessimism or negativity.  But-let's be honest.  Sometimes a dose of reality can help another breathe a sigh of relief.  Hearing "that's normal", as I shared some of Anna's behavior with my twin sis let a deep, deep sigh of relief out of my heart.
In the midst of the toughness, I asked God for help. Really-how do people do it without Him? I can't.  I asked God to bring a spirit of obedience and joy into our home.  I asked for my attitude to be changed, for the eyes of my heart to see light, peace, and patience. 
Internally and externally-He did just that.
God changed my attitude (which has such an effect on Anna's), brought a sweet spirit and calm to my heart and my girl's, and showed me the presence of happy cheer evident in our home. From the way the sunlight was shining in our home, to happy fabrics and prints, I saw a positive place of joy...
Anna and I quickly found our laugh and shared smile. Peace was restored..giggles shared.

The going may have been tough (and let's be honest-will be again), but I am so thankful for a God who hears my prayer for help and answers in a way that I get.....He speaks to me in the beauty that surrounds our everyday life.  He knows that a colorful fabric or the sunlight in the early morning does my heart good. I love that. 
How does God speak uniquely to you?

Friday, November 23, 2012

{DIY}Fabric and Yarn-Wrapped Christmas Trees!

 As part of my Christmas mantle this year, I knew I wanted to include some colorful Christmas trees.  (You can see the full mantle here:)  I had the typical styrofoam Christmas trees left-over from last year that you can buy at just about any craft supply store.  Seeing as I usually change my mind from year to year on decor and like to re-use things I really wanted to decorate the trees in a way that could be changed next year if possible.  Yet-I wanted to love them this year too!
 This is what I came up with and I definitely love them! In general with the projects I do around the house I  usually decide if I'm going to dedicate a lot or a little amount of time to something.  These trees were something I didn't want to devote a lot of time too, but wanted a big impact.  I simply gathered some fabrics that looked happy together and cut each into strips.  I then wrapped the strips around the styrofoam trees and pinned them in place, using regular straight pins.  So quick, so easy! The best part was no messing with the hot glue gun and I can easily remove the fabric when the holiday season is over!
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For the yarn-wrapped trees I glued my starting piece of yarn down on the very bottom of the tree and then started wrapping the yarn around and around.  When I switched colors, I simply glued the new piece of string down where I'd left off and continued wrapping.  The pom-poms on the top can be made with yarn too.  You can google or search on pinterest for "yarn pom-poms" and find many, many tutorials!
 The paper stars on top were cut from an old Baptist hymnal and then glued to skewers, found in the cooking aisle at Wal-Mart.  Skewers are a regular staple in my craft supplies.  You just never know when they'll come in handy!
 To complete the trees, I simply poked the skewer down into the top of the styrofoam tree so that the star showed at the top.  Since my trees were going to be up high I didn't worry about covering the rest of the styrofoam up.  If you were going to place your trees down low where the top would be exposed, you could always glue a cute paper circle down on top of the styrofoam first, and then gently poke the skewer through.
To add some varied heights to my trees I stacked some old books and tied them together with fabric scraps.  I then placed the trees on top! 
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So there you have it-with a few bits and pieces and a little creativity-colorful trees!
What are you creating this Christmas season?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving: Party times two

 Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
I found myself with the task of explaining what this holiday is all about to Anna Ruth this year.  She seems to grasp that the word "party" entails food, fun, and laughter....so I told her Thanksgiving was like a big party, where we told Jesus thank-you for lots of things!  This put a sparkle in her eye and a cheer in her voice-so I'm sticking with that explanation for now.
We had our Thanksgiving "parties" in two parts.  On Thanksgiving Eve Brett and I had our traditional dinner date.  I wanted the table to look special and we had decided to take the party outside on the back deck this year.  This is a look at the table "before" (on loan from my mom-in-law).  I gathered a drop-cloth I had lying around, some thrifted odds and ends, candlesticks from Italy, weeds from the holler, a piece of old fence, and soon had an arrangement that was pleasing to my eyes.
 
We ate a relaxing dinner after Anna Ruth went to bed and each made separate lists of our blessings.  It was eye-opening and sweet to see how each of us wrote down similar things at times-in our own unique style.  And not just the typical "family and friends" things either (although those certainly made the list!) 
The very, very top of my list? That God's love never runs out on me. That puts everything else into perspective.
We also enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner at Nana's house (Brett's mom).  Anna Ruth had a new plate and silverware to use and looked so grown-up getting her bites.  Such a sweet, fiercely independent, funny girl. She has my heart.
Betsy and I are still enjoying hanging out.....she's yet to make her arrival! Everyone is waiting. No one knows when! I am probably more ready than any of them....only time will tell. I am 39 weeks pregnant today.
 
My appetite has returned 10 fold. :) I am feeling physically and mentally ready to meet our newest girl....Oh, I just can't wait! 
How was your Thanksgiving, and what was your favorite part? 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thankful: Sara Version #1

Found here:
 With Thanksgiving approaching I am certainly thankful for things like my sweet husband and daughter(s), a happy house, plenty of__________________ (food, clothes, etc.), a loving family......
But for today-here's a little "out of the box" thinking on what I'm thankful for.
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Being a mama is hard, hard work. Being a stay-at-home mama means you are all things at once all day long-teacher, disciplinarian, spiritual leader, caregiver, nurse, cook, playmate, confidant, friend, etc, etc.
So-as I've said on the blog before, my relaxing place is in the creative-the crafty, dreamy, diy goodness that fills my thoughts.  The place where I can recharge, and be ready to be all things (with God's help!) for my daughter (and any day now-daughters!)
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Something I'm thankful for is the happy collection of images saved via Pinterest that are true to my style. Pinterest can get waaay out of hand in my opinion, but for me, it's a place to store sparks of inspiration and creativity. Here is where I can quickly turn a bright light in my mind on...
Thankful for this. 
Enjoy a few of my favorites below!
 Found here:
 Found here:
 Found here;
 Found here:
Found here:
Found here: 

Enjoy! I hope you're inspired. 








Monday, November 19, 2012

Post-Stomach Bug

Well friends, over the weekend I caught Anna Ruth's stomach bug. 
I'll spare you the details. However, I am on the mend, and looking forward to Betsy Grace's arrival more than ever.  I am almost 39 weeks pregnant, so hopefully one of my posts soon will be of a sweet baby girl. 
I am so thankful for several things this week-beautiful flowers Brett surprised me with for me to look at while I rested in bed, help from Janice, a.k.a. "Nana" (several times), constant help from Brett, sweet messages from my playgroup friends, sisters, and parents, and this yummy bread seen above.
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Sunday Anna Ruth woke up at 5:15 a.m....after a few hours of being awake I suggested we go for a drive to make her go to sleep. I was needing to eat something and remembered someone posting about The Little Bread Company on facebook. We swung by on a whim and got the MOST delicious baked goods there.  My favorite was the blueberry orange muffin. It's not pictured because we ate all of it.  
You should go check it out!
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We are doing well here and on the mend.
I am a bit tired mentally and needing to get rested before Betsy arrives, so if my blogging lags this week that's why! Looking forward to posting new things soon! :)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chalkboard Scripture and On-the-mend Anna

 We have this huge chalkboard hanging in our kitchen.  It is one of the very (very) few things that is in the exact same spot as when Anna Ruth was born. I'll have to do a post on the "evolved" style of our home over the last year and a half.  Let's just say that when I painted this chalkboard I thought it was the brightest yellow I'd EVER seen, and didn't know if it was "too much" for the wall. 
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If you've been to my house-you'll know how funny that is.  We now have color everywhere. As in, I sometimes have to stop myself from painting everything that's remotely neutral. 

All that to say-I love this chalkboard.  It's actually an old, non-attractive (in my opinion!) painting that I turned into a chalkboard.  You can find the "before" and "during" pictures of the process of painting over the art with chalkboard paint on my old blog, here. (The art was thrifted by the way!)
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This week I cleaned off the chalkboard and decided to take a minute to write a scripture on it.  One that was currently speaking loud and clear to me, specifically on labor/delivery, 2 girls instead of 1, and some dreams I have for the future. The scripture also came in handy this week as Anna Ruth has been pretty sick with a stomach bug.  She is on the mend, and as I was up with her in the wee hours of the night this scripture was loud and clear-that I was to pray for her, not fear for her health, or wonder how I would have the energy to take care of her the next day. 
God heals and he has provided such a great, wonderful strength to this 9-month pregnant mama this week. I've been able to get some naps and stay mentally encouraged! 
Thankful for power, love, and a sound mind. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Colorful Christmas Mantle and Homemade Stockings

 Remember the tutorial I did on the painted map? You can find it here.  Well, this is where I ended up using the map for now! Our house is very colorful so I wanted my Christmas decorations to be as equally full of color!  I just love decorating our mantle each season, or whenever the mood strikes.  Our fireplace rock goes all the way up to the ceiling so it really needs something large to make an impact.  
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The mantle is made up of the following: painted map, fabric/yarn-covered trees (tutorial coming soon), stacked vintage books tied with fabric, and candles.  
I also hung our homemade stockings and a garland I quickly sewed together from an old hymnal, in front. 
 I have the neatest homemade stocking from when I was a girl.  So this year I decided I'd make our own family (of four!) stockings.  Making these was quite simple and didn't require special instructions.  I first drew a simple stocking shape on a piece of paper and cut out two matching pieces from felt.  I then brain-stormed how I wanted the front of each stocking to look.  Once I'd decided on my design I cut out the necessary fabric/felt pieces to create the arrangement on the front of each stocking.
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 Next I stitched the designed arrangement on the top piece of each felt stocking.  Last, I laid the top and bottom stocking pieces together and stitched around the edge.  Easy!
 These were so much fun to make!  The rectangular piece of paper on each stocking is to write each person's name in our family. 
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I can't wait to fill these stockings with fun little treats.  I already found several great Hello Kitty items in the Target Dollar Spot for Anna Ruth. 
Do you fill stockings at your house? What is your most favorite stocking stuffer?