Full House

"Whatever happened to predictability? The milkman, the paper boy, the evening tv..."

No, not that Full House!

I'm talking about the full house that we've been experiencing for the past year and a half. We've been so blessed to have tons of kids in our neighborhood. Of the 20 plus buildings in our complex I cannot think of one home that doesn't have at least one child living in it; and some nights it feels like we have the whole neighborhood in our tiny apartment. Laughter, screams, drawing sharks and sting rays from the "You Can Draw" book, coloring and cutting hearts to be placed amongst all the others on our fridge, La La Loopsy (Thank you Uncle Brad, Aunt Monica, and Cousin Sydney for your wonderful hand-me-down! It's sure getting a ton of use!), Anna's baby toys. Everyday I can count on a visitor to come knocking asking to play with Anna. Melts this Mama's heart! But then I realize all he really wants to do is play with Anna's toys and draw sharks. It's okay though, Anna doesn't mind and I don't either. Anna loves having other kids over. I've been wondering if I would need to place Anna in preschool in a few years so she can get the social interaction but I'm realizing as she gets older and is interacting with our neighbors that she's getting "preschool" in her own living room! She hears the kids running and screaming outside and she immediately goes to the window to see who's out there. She tries talking to them and bangs on the window to get their attention. And most of the time the kids will run up to the window talking back to Anna, trying to find and look at me with eyes that say "can we please come in and play with Anna?" Who can say "no" to that? I definitely have my moments where I long for peace and quiet, and thankfully now that the kids are back in school I get that time during the day but the best part of all of our day is when our door is open and the kids are flowing in and out.

Our next door neighbor has a daughter who is one week younger than Anna. Anna LOVES Sheila! Every time they see each other they both scream and start talking to each other. They have their own language, I swear. A few weeks ago Anna leaned toward Sheila and gave her a big kiss and three hugs. Oh, my heart fell out of my chest right there.
Daykulay, who comes over to play with Anna's toys and draw sharks is behind the girls. See, playing with Anna's toys. 

Hey there, friend, follow me, I know a lot about these parts.
Baby kisses!!!
Daykulay's little sister, Mary, is just precious and loves to play with Anna's toys too!
Seriously, I can't think of another neighborhood I'd rather live in during this time in our lives...or really any time, for that matter! 

Sorry for putting that song in your head. It's now in mine too! ;)


Peach Kissed: A Nursery Story

Finally! It's about freaking time, right? You wouldn't expect a mother to take 11 months to finish a nursery and then find time to take pictures but...who am I kidding? It obviously took this mother that long! So forgive me. Here it is: Anna's precious nursery, her safe haven, where she lays her tiny head at night.

As most of you know I was absolutely thrilled when we found out we were having a girl. I couldn't wait to dress her up in ribbons and bows and pretty little outfits. But when it came to the nursery I knew I didn't want to go the traditional route of pinks. Let me tell you though, it's difficult trying to decorate a room for a little person you do not know yet. You don't know their personality, what they're going to like, who they're going to be. I tried to find colors and styles that I knew I liked and hoped that it would match with our baby's personality. And it's been perfect for Anna! I wanted a room that felt soft and delicate and sweet. I wanted lines that were fun to look at for a little person. I wanted colors that were feminine and clean. And I wanted a room that anyone, especially Anna, would enjoy spending their time.

Half of Anna's furniture is from Ikea. The other half is the furniture I used as a baby and little girl. Like this dresser below:

 I knew I wanted a special place to hold all of Anna's bows. I found the perfect idea on pinterest (gosh, I love that site!) for this adorable frame with ribbons. I also collected Anna's first hat and hospital bracelets and placed them in a mason jar next to one of my all time favorite pictures.

I love these three shelves. They hold so many precious ornaments and mementos. The doll on the top shelf was handmade especially for Anna and given to her by her Great-Grammy. The book next to the doll was a gift from her Great-Grampa and was written in the early 1900s with the main character named Anna. The picture on the top shelf was illustrated by a family member on Travis' side. The clear mason jar on the bottom shelf holds shells collected on our babymoon last year with Anna in mind. And the blue mason jars were a gift from Anna's Grandma.

The little rocking chair and cradle were mine from when I was a little girl. I still remember sitting in that chair reading to my stuffed animals and putting my dolls to bed in that cradle. I look forward to see Anna do the same. 

I knew I wanted to make Anna's mobile and this little guy was completed only days before she arrived. I never expected Anna to love it as much as she does. Whenever I pick her up out of her bed in the morning or after naps she looks towards her birds with an outstretched hand and when I ask "Anna, where are your birdies?" she immediately looks to them.

So now that you've seen all the tidy pictures, here's what Anna's room usually looks like:

My hope is that Anna will continue to love her room (because God knows how long it took us to finish!) and enjoy spending time learning new things here. I hope it's a place she feels safe to explore, to play pretend, and a place comfy and cozy enough to sleep and be blessed with many great dreams. 

Nursery on a budget
Crib and mattress, chair, shelves, lamps, frames, curtain rods, vases, waste baskets, mirror: Ikea 
Dresser, little table, little chair, cradle: hand-me-downs
Bookcase: Craigslist, $30
Pillows, curtains, changing pad cover, mobile, Little Blue Bird, "Take Heart" picture: handmade by me
"Adventure is Out There" picture: Urban Outfitters, $10
Rug: rugsusa.com, $25
Letter A: cardboard "A" from Hobby Lobby, $1 and fabric 


Just a Sip

Let's be honest, how many of you Mommas are able to get an hour to yourself everyday? To pray, to read, just to breath?

Cue crickets...

Not many, huh?

Well how about just five minutes?

Sometimes I don't even get that, how about you?

Let me stop and say right now that the past ten months have been Uh-mazing! I've loved every moment with my precious baby girl. She has definitely brought out the best in me and I'm living out my dream and calling in life.

A few weeks ago I was talking with a friend who asked me what God has been teaching in my life. I gulped. Most times I'd make something up, you know, the usual: rely more on Him, trust Him more, yada, yada... But this time I told the truth, *gasp*, I said "I actually have been in kind of a rut, really since Anna was born. I haven't found much time to just sit and be with God, enjoy His presence, and learn from Him." Instead of giving me the look I expected (total disgust, how could you!?), she was very gracious and said "that's alright". She continued by quoting one of my favorite people and Travis' boss, mentor, and good friend with one of his, oh, so famous analogies. She said before you have children you're most likely to receive God like a waterfall. Sometimes He's pouring so much into you that you almost can't take it all in. Then after you have children the time you spend with God is more like taking a sip from a flask. And that sip is usually all you need to just keep going. Whether it's a chapter in the Bible, a song, or just a simple prayer, God I need you more than ever today!, sometimes that's all we can give for the day. There are days when I feel so guilty for not giving Him the time He deserves. But then He reminds me that He made me a mother (a mother who is busy taking care of another human being, a mother whose job it is to love, nurture, and guide, a mother who is trying to keep a household together by doing laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc.) and He is delighted when I sing "Jesus loves me" with Anna or when I read from her little story Bible or when I tell her stories of what God has done for us, for her. I know there will be moments when I feel the waterfall affect but I also realize those are few and far between and some days all I need is just a sip from the flask.

How about you? What is your "sip from the flask"?

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