Anna Imagines

Just for kicks-here's a picture of our growing girl!  Betsy Grace is four months old now and is looking much like herself.  Meaning-she's taken on a personality of her own and doesn't look so baby-ish anymore.  
Anna Ruth is really into imagining lately.  Be still my heart. :) I used to teach fourth-grade and was often struck with wonder at the kiddos who didn't know how to imagine.  Not that they were too old for it, they simply didn't know how. I think we are born with great imaginations, but if not taught how to use them they fade. It's like being born with muscles-they must be developed and grow or else they become quite useless. 

There, that's my imagination soapbox. Teach your children how to imagine! Imagine with them! It makes my mama heart so, so glad when Anna imagines.  She often likes to go in her kitchen and cook something "delicious".  Often I get handed a delicious drink in these little cups to try.
In this moment she was desperate to get inside "Etsy's" bed so she could pretend to be a little baby. 
A constant around here is Curious George-in book or show either one.  Lately he even pops up in our conversations. One day Anna Ruth was watching the episode where George is chosen to conduct an orchestra.  I suggested she use something as her own baton to help him conduct.  The idea stuck.  So now one of her favorite things to do is conduct the music like George and wave her spoon around. Music playing or not. Rock on Sister.
Brett built Anna  Ruth a special fort one day that's stayed up for days...
These cookie cutters are also a favorite around here, thanks to my best friend Mikayla!  She got these for Anna Ruth and she just loves them.  It's a box full of 100 different shapes and letters.  Anna loves to get them all out and talk about what each shape is. She also likes to count them.  She can fill in the blanks when I count aloud to 10! 
Rocks and a bag....or "ack-pack", what else could a little girl want? Becca sewed this pretty bag for Anna Ruth and she enjoys putting things in it and pretending it's her backpack!

Anna Ruth has a little backpack we got for free at the Salvation Army store she wears to church now. It makes her look so old! She is going to start a Mom's Day Out program in the fall one morning a week, complete with stories, art, and lunch at school.  Can you IMAGINE how my mama heart will handle that? And how much Anna Ruth will love it?!

food, books, coffee=love.

 Do you go on dates with your significant other? 
We do.  Even if it's just a coffee run.  We are blessed to have Brett's mom willingly watch Anna Ruth so for now we take Betsy along on our adventures. 
This day we went for coffee and to the library. 
 I recently got Anna Ruth a Fancy Nancy book, mostly because I wanted it.  :)  She's quite the character (Nancy that is....and Anna too).  She wears all kinds of fancy clothes and uses big fancy words.  My kind of girl.  I was secretly also hoping to get Anna Ruth into another series, besides just Curious George.  No disrespect to good 'ol George....but there's just so much George at our house!  Anna Ruth evidently adores "Ancy Nancy" because this day she wanted to wear a necklace to look like her.  I happily obliged. 
 This is where we went for coffee...sort of.  It's called The Little Bread Company and is FABULOUS.  I ran inside first, then Brett.  Then we sat outside in the car so I could feed Betsy.  We admired the rock stairs, talked landscaping, and dreams.  And, how little moments now prep us for big dreams later.  A good conversation with my sweet husband.
This was some hummus we picked up from a different place on the way home.
Food, coffee, and books. Our date priorities are always in place.
Me to Brett -"I'm not wearing my typical around the house jeans and t-shirt.  I have makeup on! Get a picture!"  You must capture the stylish moments while they last.

Candlelit dinner...just because.

 One night we celebrated. 
Wondering what we were celebrating? 
Well, nothing really.  The arrival of the weekend I suppose...
I really just wanted to put a bunch of candles on the table to make the night feel special. 

 Anna Ruth loved smelling the candles and watching me set them up.
When she came into the dining room for dinner and saw them all lit they got a major "OH, Why!" (oh wow)  Special, indeed.
 We had a tasty dinner too...
Baked Dijon Salmon, baked sweet potatoes, green beans, and salad. 
Nice and filling, and left us still feeling energized afterwards (not sluggishly full).

{When was the last time you added a bit of celebration to your day?}

Contact Paper Collage

 Anna Ruth and I made a contact paper collage!  Considering Anna Ruth's fascination with stickers I figured she'd love using contact paper.  I was right!  She wanted to stick everything to it.  Everything-including herself!  
For this project I cut out a bunch of pictures I knew she would recognize and gave them to her in a stack.  I had a big piece of contact paper taped to the floor (sticky side up) already.  We talked about each of her pictures....and that in itself was a treat.  She thought the baby you see above was her baby boy cousin, and thought the African-American baby was "Betsy Grace."  
She stuck the pictures on, and then we added torn tissue paper in all the blank spots.  
After Anna was done I put another piece of contact paper on top, sandwiching the items in.  We hung this up on our art wall.  I think it would be great fun to play "I Spy" with this work of art, or use it as a place mat too!  

sweet moment....

I captured this sweet moment with our girls....
silly smiles, lots of talking, Betsy Grace's smile and inquiring eyebrows,
sweet little girls.

Hello Monday:

Hello Monday,
and painted pink toenails, holding out hope for warm spring days
(even when they're hidden beneath my even warmer winter socks)
hello tiny stack of inspiration,
with ideas for a lovely party with friends.
hello instant mood lifter.
 hello sweetness,
and bright eyes peeking out from a puppy hug.
 Hello happy messes
that fill our home on a continual basis.  
Signs that my girls are happy, learning, and growing.
Hello unflattering, yet joyful picture,
posted with love.
Anna Ruth has taken a huge interest in the camera,
so I held it out for her and let her push the button to take my picture.
She was so proud and thrilled. :)
Hello Betsy Grace's personality unfolding-
slow and steady,
snuggling galore,
smiles, coos, and starting to talk.

Hello last week of March and including Easter fun in our days,
hello Betsy Grace turning FOUR months old this week! 
Hello friends coming to dinner,
and yummy recipes to look forward to. 

{What are you saying hello to this week?}

Maker's Weekend-YOU should go!

Hi friends!  I am excited to share a unique weekend happening in NWA that is going to be a blast!  A new friend of mine is the owner of a local business, Junque 2 Jewels.  They have tons of fun craft classes held at their workshop in Bentonville.  In fact, I was supposed to teach a craft class there next month.....but life/nursing has delayed that for now.  

Katie is hosting a fabulous craft weekend, called Maker's Weekend, at the end of April.  It starts on a Friday evening, and wraps up on a Sunday afternoon.  It includes overnight stay at a house in Siloam Springs, tons of crafts, and yummy homemade food. 

If you know me realllly well, you know this is my love language.  Seriously-fellowship with women, crafting, and food have to be some of my top favorite things EVER.  I'm not able to make it to this weekend because of my sweet nursing baby.  But, I still wanted to let you know about it!! Please check out the Junque 2 Jewels facebook page for more info!  

October Baby

Have you seen this movie? 
I added it to the "Instant Queue" on Netflix and turned it on last weekend, after the girls had gone to bed.  I watched part of it by myself, but then Brett came in to join me for the rest. 

This is a must watch. It takes a lot for a movie to catch my attention, and this one certainly did.  The story is about a girl who was supposed to be aborted, but the procedure went "wrong" and she was born anyway.  It is a powerful story of healing through hurt, forgiveness, and the heart of mama's and dada's....and love, true sweet love.
If you decide to watch, make sure to watch the ENTIRE thing, including the credits at the end.  There's an additional interview at the end of the movie you won't want to miss. 

This movie made my mama heart ache for babies, just needing someone to want them. 

Cuteness all around.

 Guess who we finally got to meet?! 
My new niece, Kierstin!  She is gorgeous.  It's nice having another little girl around.  Not that we're running short on them around our house. ;) 
 Anna Ruth continues to adore books. And her Dada, or "Daa-ee" as she sometimes says.
Up until this week she has always called me "Daa-ee" as well.  Until one glorious day this week I heard her calling my name-saying mama, mama, over and over.  She did it again 3 or 4 times throughout the day.  Oh friends, it was the best thing. I even teared up the first time!  Anna Ruth is SUCH a talker around us and people she's super comfortable with.  So I knew the language thing wasn't an issue.  I guess she was just waiting for the right time to call me mama. 
I'm so glad she did. 

"Oh nothin'-just hanging around being one of the cutest babies EVER." 
(Betsy Grace is getting her practice in with sitting up!)
 And this is how my lap often looks.  
Where's Anna?
 Oh, there's our serious girl.  
She quickly goes from serious to just a matter of seconds.  
One of Anna Ruth's favorite snacks are raisins.  She also likes grapefruit (even the really sour ones!), raw veggies, hummus, bread, waffles, cheerios, eggs in all forms, cheese, olives (green and kalamata), beans, chicken.......and LOVES french fries.  I'm thankful she's such a great eater! 

little moments lately.

 Just a few little moments captured here and there,
like this super neat world map floor puzzle I thrifted for $.95! 
I worked it and Anna Ruth hardly paid any attention to it. She was sick for several days straight so I think I'll pull it out another time when she's feeling like herself.  I had fun working it at least! 

 We had a Target giftcard for Betsy Grace we hadn't used yet so I got her this super neat ball.  She has slept on her tummy since Day 2 or 3 (whenever we got to bring her home, a no-no I know), but doesn't like playing on her tummy usually.  The neat ball and her sweet sister's attention seemed to help this day. :)  Our pretty, so different girls.  We just love them...
Betsy Grace has bubbles almost constantly now!  She has also started opening her mouth wide and figuring out how to "talk" instead of just coo.  She just started that this week and it is just adorable.  What's really cute is that her little "voice" sounds totally different than Anna's did. 

Sweet little moments lately. 

A look at my Smash Journal pages...

 Here's a look at some of my Smash journal pages so far!  
Remember, these are a work in progress! The whole point of a Smash journal is that you can do a bit here and there......using a minute when you have it.  I like to record things about the girls, special quotes or scriptures, good moments that I want to stick, and more.....

 Some of my favorite items for journaling!  I got the mini pads at Target-they are perfect for jotting a note on, and then sticking on a page.  They were only a couple of dollars each.  I also like to cut out interesting fonts/phrases from magazines to save for my Smash journal pages.
And the pictures aren't my own!  All credit goes to my Pinterest boards!
I hope you leave inspired today. 

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...