Rearrange-eosis and a Gallery Wall

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Most people that know me even a little know that I like to change things up pretty often in my home. One of the comments I hear the most when people come to our house is “Oh, you rearranged again.” I’m pretty sure that I have a disease called rearrange-eosis. It’s a condition where I very regularly feel the need to rearrange decorations or furniture or perhaps the entire house. I’ve had it for just about as long as I can remember—I distinctly remember moving things around in my childhood home—and it definitely got worse in college.

Two roommates encouraged the habit and probably suffer from the same disease. In fact, I’m pretty sure my first roomie and I rearranged our room together almost once a month. You never knew when you were going to walk into the room and be faced with a maze of dorm room beds and dressers as we figured out how things would fit and if we had tried this thing in that place before. I also had one roommate who I drove a little crazy. Don’t worry, we worked through it without too much heartbreak. My current roommate (my wonderful husband) is very gracious as I often move things around, ask him to move things around, put more holes in the wall than you can count, patch up holes in the wall, etc.

Case in point, I’m about to show you my “new” gallery wall that I put up a little while ago which has now been completely replaced by something else. In my defense, my hubby made me a beautiful faux mantle/shelf for my birthday and I had to make room for it somewhere.

Almost everything I used in this gallery wall was either something that was handmade or that I’ve had for a while and just needed a new home. Here it is above the t.v. in our living room.

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You can kind of see the “shelf” Mike built for the DVD player and remotes that rested on top of our old, BEAST of a t.v. We found a really good deal on a flat screen so that is another big change our living room went through recently.

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The indoor barn quilt is something I made a little while ago and I am still extremely proud of it. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. The “choose to see the good stuff” picture is actually black construction paper and a chalk pen that I free-handed. It was a really good reminder in the midst of busy days at home and I am hoping to find another place for it or create something similar.

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The cross I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby a long time ago, the mirror is something that I believe I was given by my rearranging-partner-in-crime-roomie, and the “love” sign is from a craft store that I painted.

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Next up was the wall art I made based on Hillsong’s inspiration song “Oceans”. If you haven’t heard the song, you should really listen to it. It is one of my favorite new songs and whenever I hear it (or see the wall art) I am reminded that my growth as a follower of Christ comes in the PRESENCE of my Savior. Not in the best intentioned books or small groups with amazing friends or any other “good” thing. (Those are really good though). It comes when I am still before my God and get to know Him better in an intimate, personal way.

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I used two old canvases that I repurposed, two vintage handkerchiefs (one was my grandmother’s), and cardstock that I cut out with my Silhouette. I love the floral fabric peeking out from the letters.

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The “O His Love Divine” canvas was a gift from one of my besties and was made with wooden letters glued to canvas and then painted over.

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I really enjoyed the gallery wall while it lasted, but I can’t wait to show you what the wall looks like now!

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I can’t see myself being cured from rearrange-eosis anytime soon.
Any one else suffer from this disorder?

 

 

Sunday’s Thought 7.13.14

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This is something I have wanted to do for a while and I don’t know why it’s taken me so long. I rarely post on Sundays because if I did, I wanted it to be a different tone. I love the idea of having a thought for the week or a verse that has been on my mind that I can share.

It says, “Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you. ” That is Matthew 5:48 in The Message. The ESV translation is, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”.

This is what I want for my week and my life.

Benjamin 2 weeks and 1 month old

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You know how they say that you take TONS of pictures of your firstborn and then forget about any siblings after them? Yeah…about that…

The good news is that I have been taking pictures, just probably not as many and I have been severely lacking with the blog posts. But I’m going to try to make up for that a little now. I knew that I wasn’t going to try to take a weekly picture like I did with Ellery, but do monthly pictures instead. I also wanted to try to keep track of his growth using a laundry basket and his stuffed dog from Go Dogs, Go.

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Ben 2 weeks old

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We LOVE our little man SO MUCH.
The transition from being a family of 3 to a family of 4 has been much smoother than I anticipated. I think that SO MUCH of the smoothness is due to the fact that Mike is a teacher and is HOME for the summer, so he has been a HUGE help. Big sister Ellery has done so well from the very beginning. There were still some sleep issues we had to work through with her during the transition, but she has LOVES “baby”. She is very gentle and affectionate and has been very understanding with the sharing of mommy and daddy’s attention.

Breastfeeding has not been without its ups and downs, but has been much easier than last time. Ben has been such a good eater and that has been a huge blessing. When Ellery and I were trying to nurse, she was constantly upset and I couldn’t please her—until I have her a bottle. Ben puts up with whatever and is very flexible and LOVES nursing. Seriously, huge answer to prayer. Thank. You. God.
(And thank you to those that were praying specifically for that—God used you as a special blessing in my life.)

This does mean that ONLY I can feed him (unless I pump and try a bottle), whereas with Ellery I could let Mike or others feed her. But this also means that I don’t have to worry about bringing bottles and ice packs and my pump everywhere I go and having to put baby down to get their food ready and so many other complicated things. I think it also means that Ben is a little more attached to me and it might mean it takes him longer to establish some long stretches for sleep, but it is a trade that I am so, so willing to make. I love nursing my little boy and the bond that we have created.

His healthy eating habits have also meant that he is steadily gaining weight and becoming such a healthy boy. He was just under his 7 lb. 8 oz birth weight when we left the hospital and was already up to 8 lb. 2 oz at his two appointment! This has means a vast difference in his first few weeks of life compared to Ellery’s because we were so concerned with her losing/gaining weight and we don’t need to have that concern with this guy.
Another HUGE answer to prayer. God is so good. (God would be good even if we did have to worry about his weight, but I am so for His abundant blessings.)

 

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Ben 1 month old

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Case in point, do you see the additional leg rolls already?? Such a healthy stud.

Ben’s disposition is pretty similar to how Ellery was as a baby. He is a very happy baby and likes to see everyone and what is going on. He loves looking at faces and studies them as if he is memorizing every inch. Like most newborns, he loves sleeping on people and not so much sleeping on his own—but we are working on it. He gets up often at night to eat, but usually goes right back to sleep so I’ll take it. For a while he was eating every 2-3 hours at night (and even more frequently during the day) but he has started to stretch it out a little more.

We waited a little while to introduce a pacifier because I was nervous about it messing up breastfeeding, but once we were pretty well established we tried it out and he is a fan. Like his sister, he likes to sleep with his hands up by his face, but he also flails them around sometimes and freaks himself out so we go back and forth with swaddling.

He has started giving us the cutest smiles and really works at holding his head up. So far, he seems to like tummy time and I think he would sleep on his tummy if we let him (don’t worry, we don’t). He also really loves bathtime and going for walks outside. He likes the car and his car seat—especially since he gets to sit in the back with his sister.

He will actually turn 2 months old pretty soon and I will post more updates then.
Thanks for taking the time to read about our little family—I love being able to keep people updated near and far and we appreciate you!

Why Being Needed Is Beautiful

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being needed is beautiful

I was recently at a get-together with several families that also have young children. Some of the moms were getting food—balancing multiple plates for multiple children, trying to find things that they will eat and then cut them up into tiny pieces before worrying about getting food for themselves. One mom asked another a question, but then caught herself when she realized she had been distracted and not really heard the answer. We then had a conversation about how often this happens and we wondered when the day would come when we could actually have full conversations with one another and hear the answers to the questions we ask.

I started thinking about this in light of this excellent blog post Are You Lonely, Mama? that I read the other day. (If you haven’t read it, click on the link, read it, and come back..it’s that good.) Motherhood can be lonely. I’ve felt it. I am a very extroverted, people-loving person who, almost two years ago, went from a full time job of being around lots of people all the time to being at home taking care of one little person full time. I have never regretted the decision to be a stay at home mom, but it was a very hard adjustment for me, especially at first. Just ask my husband, who got a full run-down of the day the moment he walked in the door and heaven help him if he was “late”. I’ve gotten better..I think.

Thankfully, I have been blessed with an amazing community of moms that support each other, give advice, pray together, help one another, and don’t judge. However, even our time together is often distracted or disjointed. I might ask how you’re doing, but then walk away before I hear the answer as I chase after my exploration-loving toddler. Or I might now even say “hi” to you at all, despite having every desire and intention to. But, I think this is just another bond that we share. I get it when in the middle of a conversation my friend starts running toward the bathroom because her toddler has to pee or when half of a phone conversation is spent listening to a parent talk to their child or abruptly ended because someone just fell off of a chair.

This is the stage we are in and (as we are so often told) one day we’re going to miss it. Sure, it will be really nice to sit down with a friend and have uninterrupted conversation about topics that don’t necessarily revolve around children. Or to be able to call that friend I haven’t talked to in a while because by the time the day is done and I have a few “free” moments, I am exhausted. Or to not be stuck at home because someone is sick or has passed the sickness on to the rest of the family. But, at the same time, I remind myself how incredibly blessed I am to have two beautiful children who need me and love me so much. I am so thankful to be their mama who they go to for comfort and love and laughter and security. I get to hold my daughter and rock her little body when she wakes up grumpy from a nap. I have the joy to nurse my baby boy who wants to eat all the time so that he grows and thrives. I have the privilege of watching these tiny little babies become kids who become people that will impact the world. They make me better and I am so thankful for them and how they enrich my life. I don’t deserve any of it and I thank God for giving it to me anyway.


In the words of the author of the post I mentioned earlier:
”Just remember that this is a season and it is the most sacred season you will ever have the honor of experiencing. This is the time when your babies need you and want you and enjoy having you around. This is the time when they will cling to your legs as you try to leave the house without them and run into your arms when you come home as if you’d been gone a lifetime. You will never be more loved and wanted and needed as you are right now…in this moment.”

Introducing Benjamin David

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So, I had a baby.

And then completely neglected posting anything about him on this. I have been taking (some) pictures and trying to document some things from the beginning of his little life, but I have also been taking care of a newborn and a toddler so you can understand why I’ve been a little quiet.

Also, we forgot to bring the camera to the hospital, so all the pictures we took were on our phones and the quality may be a little lacking.

He was originally due on April 28th, but the due date was moved to May 8th because he was measuring small. Both of those dates came and went and it seemed like baby boy was going to have to be induced just like his sister. This was very frustrating for me since I had hoped he might come early or at least on time since we had moved the due date, he was my second baby, and they were only 21 months apart. I was really hoping to go into labor on my own and avoid using pitocin. However, I knew that what was most important was that baby was healthy. How could I complain when I had a healthy, full term baby that was just really comfortable in my tummy? (Okay, so I complained a little, but I tried to keep things in perspective as much as I could.)

So we scheduled an inducement on May 12th (6 days overdue) and planned to go in to the hospital on Monday morning with our eviction notice in hand. However, I was pleasantly surprised when contractions started on their own the day before—on Mother’s Day!

I was putting Ellery down for her nap around 1:00 when I felt contractions start. Every one else was resting, but even though I knew I might be going into labor I didn’t feel tired. So I finished up some projects that I knew I wouldn’t have time for after baby came like painting a side table. When contractions started getting close together I started keeping track and then showed Mike the long list of times. We went in to the hospital around 5:00 when contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. I was trying not to get my hopes up too much in case it was false labor or something. I was trying to prepare myself for the possibility of being sent home. Thankfully, I was 3-4 cm dilated and they got us a room!

We got settled in and even had a few visitors while we waited for things to progress. My doctor had been at the hospital for a few days straight already and was grumpy a little anxious for my labor to get going. She didn’t seem to think I was uncomfortable enough to be in active labor. I certainly wasn’t enjoying the contractions, but they were still manageable and I was fine in the minutes between each one. I think it was around 11:00 when the doctor decided she would break my water (DURING a contraction) to help things along. Let me tell you, that did not feel good. She was much more satisfied with my level of “uncomfortableness” after that as contractions came much more strongly and closer together. After about an hour I decided to get the epidural.

By this time I think I was around 8-9 cm dilated and the doctor went to get a little more sleep before baby decided to come. I had a super sweet nurse (mad props to nurses) who really wanted baby to come before her shift ended at 3:00 since she had been with me the whole time. She had me do a “practice push” at 2:00, but then had me stop pretty quickly because baby was ready! She called the doctor, but was prepping Mike for pushing the “emergency everybody come help me button” if she had to deliver the baby herself. The doctor did make it time and I only had to push a few more times for baby Benjamin David to make his appearance at 2:36.

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ben in hospital

He weighed 7 lb 7.9 oz and was 20 1/4 long. We did skin to skin right away and he wanted to nurse and has been a good eater ever since! This was a huge answer to prayer since Ellery had so much trouble eating/gaining weight right away.

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Ellery has really embraced her role as big sister from the very beginning and we were so glad that my mom was able to be here for his birth and a few days after.

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siblings and grandma

Our family of four

family of 4

And here’s a little comparison for you…

elle and ben thumbs Collage

There were so many answers to prayer over the past month and we have been blessed beyond what we could ever express. We all adore our little man and are so grateful that he is a part of our family.

More updates to come. Thanks for reading!

Baby Boy’s Striped Nursery Reveal

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I am so excited to finally show you the finished nursery for baby boy! I just added the finishing touches a little while ago and now I just love to go in there and try to picture how our little man will use the space.

Here are my previous posts about the painted stripes, cloud mobile, elephant lamp, chevron dresser, and chevron lamp.

And now, a whole lotta pictures…

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Ellery generously gave up her crib a month or so ago so we could get it ready for
baby B. She is already such a sweet big sister.

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I spray painted this frame and had Mike help me staple some jute to the back to hang pictures on. In the future I think I’ll print out some instagram pics to hang there, but for now we will use the only pictures of little man that we have.

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Here is the other side of the nursery.

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The amazing growth chart that our sweet friends made us.

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The “gallery wall.” I used some leftover fabric (including the bags that held the crib sheets) in embroidery hoops to bring some of the patterns together. Then it still seemed a little empty so I added the clouds left over from the mobile.

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This embroidery was given to Mike from his great grandparents. I simply covered the glass and spray painted the frame and I love having it as an heirloom in our house.

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And here is the other wall. Mike made the glider rocker and I repurposed the shelf from an old headboard.

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I already love having this extra shelf for storage and easy access to things needed at the changing table.

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I think all is ready for baby Benjamin.

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The rug and curtains are from IKEA.
Let me know if you have any questions about anything else in the room.

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Okay, baby boy, we’re ready for you. You can come ANY time now.

DIY Chevron Lamp Shade

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Since we spent so much time making our elephant base for our lamp, I knew that this old lamp shade was just not going to cut it.

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I found some tutorials that were helpful online, but it seemed to largely depend on what you had to start with. This lampshade was larger on the bottom and smaller on the top with several paneled sections. I also discovered that the outer fabric was attached to the inner lining at the two seems. All of those details meant that I had to make most of it up as I went.

First, I took off the trim pieces from the top and bottom of the shade. These seemed to be attached with hot glue and came off easily in a long strip.

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Then, as carefully as I could, I cut the outer fabric apart at the seams and the top and bottom of the shade.

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There was a little of the canvas material left along the top and bottom, but I knew this would ultimately be covered and wouldn’t show through.

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This gave me two pieces of fabric that I could use to make a template. I knew that it was slightly smaller than my shade since I was unable to separate all of the fabric from the lining, so I made sure I made it a little bigger than necessary. First I traced on a piece of newspaper to make a template.

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Then I used that template on my chevron fabric. Thankfully I had just enough fabric left over from the dresser to make the shade. The chevron pattern was not ideal since I knew it was going to wrap upward, but I just made sure it would look straight on the front of the shade and the inconsistencies would be in the back.

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I hot glued the fabric to the top of the shade first working around the metal frame.

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Then I hot glued the fabric to the bottom of the shade, pulling it taught as I went and trimming the excess fabric.

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Here it is so far.

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I then cut strips of fabric to cover the trim pieces and hot glued them around.

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I then used the trim pieces to cover my seam in the back and to go around the top and bottom. See how wonky the pattern is in the back? That’s why it’s the back.

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Final step. Put the shade on the lamp!

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I love how the it turned out and how the fabric ties the dresser and the lamp together!
I will show pictures of the full room very soon.

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Thanks for reading!