Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
1 Corinthians 3:17

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

It's a ...

... sweet baby BOY!

I never in my wildest dreams imagined that I'd be shopping for baby boy things again and I just couldn't be happier! We are beyond thrilled and grateful to be adding this precious baby boy to our family!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Christmas in Our New Home and a 25 Week Update

So I'm late to the party. Again. At least I've got a great reason excuse. =) Just wanted to share some pics of our house at Christmas so I'll always remember our first year (or rather, two weeks) here. I hope you and your loved ones had a lovely Christmas!

 a quiet moment after the {happy} blur and commotion

 a rather blurry shot of early Christmas morning

even though I was exhausted, I'm glad I set the table the night before so it was ready to go

I've never used this color for the settings and I loved it, especially when the sun came has been a dark and dreary month!

our greeting for family and friends in the entryway (I'll share some pics of this space soon- my washer and dryer are out here, plus two-2!!- closets. We've never had that kind of efficiency and storage before and I'm kind of in love with it all.)

our traditional New England Cape aglow in candlelight

oh hey! I look tired...and HUGE! Well, I am tired and huge. How on earth is this bump going to grow for the next three months?!?! Sleeping is still hit or miss, and while I have no major aches or pains, I feel like I'm always ready for a nap, or just to lay down "for a minute." I don't really care about any of that stuff, really, because I'm so happy and so thankful for this sweet little baby! I was 25 weeks this past week and my doctor says everything looks and sounds perfect! God is so good and faithful.

If you're anxious to know whether we're adding a boy or a girl to our family, you can check my instagram feed where I shared the exciting news yesterday. I'll post something on here this week!

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

What an eventful December!

This December, in the midst of celebrating the birthdays of our two youngest, we also packed up our home and moved. Whew. I mean, whew! Moving is stress-free and totally awesome, said NO ONE EVER. Moving while six months pregnant... don't think I need to even go there. It was pretty miserable, but we got through it thanks to some dedicated friends and our parents. (Plus, these boys of ours are strong now, so they were a huge help!)

I know I haven't written very regularly over these past several months, but I'm looking forward to jotting down my thoughts a bit more. I really don't want to forget the details, and this is such a great way of recording all of them. Yet between homeschooling, morning sickness, the stress of keeping the house show-ready and then having to leave for hours at a time at random times, it was impossible for me. And speaking of school, everyone has been enrolled in our new local schools for several weeks now and they are loving it. We all are. It was exactly what we'd been needing and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I miss them all during the day and I have fond memories of the special things we've done, but they are happy, and I am happy. I've definitely had my moments of guilt, but after much prayer and reflection, this is the path God led us to and things couldn't feel better for us right now.

It's been a little crazy trying to decorate for Christmas at the same time as unpacking boxes and organizing things around the new house, but this move has been a smooth one. It hasn't been filled with angst and regret like our other move three years ago. We feel so thankful to be here.

I have to go say goodnight to my little boy who is not so little anymore. I'm so glad he still asks me to come in and tuck him in and say prayers together. Here he is graduating from Basic Training, top in his class! We're so proud of him and so happy for him- he's been talking about serving in the military and flying planes since he was a really little guy! What a joy as a parent to help him achieve his goals and dreams.

Here are some pics of all our happenings...

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Halfway There!

 We made it to the 20 week mark earlier this week and I'm so excited!

I've been in heaven feeling tiny kicks and wriggles. When a few hours go by and I haven't felt anything, I find I get extremely (probably irrationally) nervous and just pray pray pray for the next little movement to come quickly. Lately, I don't usually have to wait for long- this is an active baby!

I'm also pretty thrilled that the morning sickness is mostly a thing of the past. Still extra tired, but I'm doing my absolute best to stay active, strong and healthy. The end of September through the beginning of November was really rough.  I was sidetracked by bronchitis, sinus infections, and asthma flare-ups (which dramatically increased my tossing of the cookies, ugh). An annoying cough has been my last symptom, and that seems to finally be going away.

Now I'm feeling well enough to complete some sewing projects for Isabelle and for customers (thank you!), and maybe even get started on some sweet baby things in the next week or so.  =)

Large and in charge. Oh my. I have come to terms with the fact that my body simply expands everywhere (I feel like my chest is a little out of control, and it's super embarrassing for me! Plus I think my body gets confused and makes room for baby in the back as well!) when it's growing a little human. Well, maybe I haven't exactly come to terms with it, especially seeing photo after photo of tiny, adorable bumps on instagram and what not, but nothing takes away the sheer joy of this amazing surprise gift from God. I am so, so thankful!

A few things I want to always remember:

Ginger Ale has been my very best friend. For real. I still crave a few sips every morning, early early, like by 5 am.

For the longest time, through week 18, I had to have a bowl of store brand Rice Chex with banana each morning. How funny, odd, and so specific, ha! I thought I'd "pamper" myself and splurge on the real stuff, but I didn't like it- I wanted the cheaper store brand kind. HA Save money where you can, I suppose.  ;)

Insomnia has hit- maybe two nights out of the week I'll fall back to sleep if I wake up around 1 or 2, but not most nights. Only one word for that: brutal. This has been going for at least two months now, and I am soooooo tired. I think you can tell in the pics above. Oh dear.

At our 16 week appointment, I brought Isabelle with me and my doctor let her hold the doppler to find baby's heartbeat! It was one of the most thrilling, sweetest things ever, and I will never forget that moment when she first heard it. Her eyes lit up in sheer amazement!

For the record, photos of myself make me super anxious, mainly because I never look like what I think I (or want to) look like. Usually my hair isn't quite right, or my smile looks weird, or I'm sporting some new lump or bump I hadn't known about until forced to see it in a picture. And now that I see the black leggings with this outfit, not sure I'm in love with that look, ha ha. But. I'm so grateful and in awe that I just don't want to miss out on capturing these special milestones. Awkward poses and all.  =)

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Oh Baby!

In "real life," I had to come clean about this surprise pregnancy a few weeks ago because, well, my belly pops early and I just couldn't hide it. I had all these grand visions of waiting until about week sixteen, maybe finding out gender, and then letting friends and family know, but my body just isn't cooperating with secret keeping.  =)

I'm almost 14 weeks now and the struggle is real. I've been fighting migraines and morning sickness since about week nine. I'm hoping the throwing up subsides soon- it isn't every day, but it feels like it's going to happen everyday. My emotions have been just a leeetle unpredictable (laughing about something, which then turns into a full-on sob fest, which then eases back into a laughing fit. All in three minutes flat. Wow.) And I'm so, so tired. All day, everyday. But I'm humbled and grateful and utterly amazed that God would give us this wonderful surprise blessing.

For now, our adoption plan is on hold. We will have to wait and see what happens with that- we aren't ruling it out, but we really need to focus on this little life right now.

So there's our happy news! And right now I've got to cook up some French Toast for my littlest soccer star and then head out for an early, chilly (yay!) game. Have a great Saturday!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Secrets and Surprises

Sooo. I've had this secret board on Pinterest for a while now, and since it is the first day of October, I thought I'd share. (It may also explain some of my MIA status recently, too.) Check it out and see if you can figure out our little surprise...  ;)

 More details coming soon, I promise! Happy October!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Happenings and Favorite Fall Recipes

Hey hey hey! So it's been much harder than I'd have realized to keep up to date on the ole blog amid homeschool and soccer schedules, and whatever else life brings. Sunday evening around 7:30, we kept heading outside to check on the eclipse. That moon was so bright it was actually hard to focus on it. Beautiful! Finally, around 8, the eclipsing had begun and it was spectacular. It was a perfect fall night, crisp and clear- and we were freezing!- so we grabbed blankets to wrap around us. So happy that I got to share this special event with my guys. I didn't even try to take any pictures because I knew I'd find no less than a million of them that would look more stunning than mine...though I do wish I'd thought to snap a quick picture of us out in our blanketed attire...maybe we'll have to recreate that one for the books.  ;)

The other even this was weekend wasn't a happy one. Ethan was injured on the field during his away game on Friday- a swift, hard shoulder to the face, which then caused a whiplash-like movement before he hit the ground-, and while we were thinking and hoping that this wouldn't result in an actual concussion, we were wrong. So here we are again, although this isn't nearly as intense as his head trauma nearly two years ago, and I'm so thankful. Bill and I were at Jonah's match here in town while Ethan's team was playing over an hour away, but one of his teammates' Moms was so kind and drove him back early to us. Coach and several parents emailed and texted us all weekend long to show their support and ask how he was doing, which was so thoughtful and kind; but they also kept telling us new details, and the picture they painted was waaaay more serious than the down-played version Ethan tends to relay.

On a lighter note, this girl has been quite the big helper in the kitchen lately. (She's also proving to be a nice laundry assistant, too, not that my boys don't participate, but she actually enjoys it, ha ha.)  We've also enjoyed some nice weekend road trips since the weather has been so incredibly beautiful most weekends lately. Even errands can be made fun...sometimes!  =)

And since it finally feels like fall around here, we've been enjoying these yummy things:

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Happy First Day Back...

Oh. Oops. Today was supposed to be the first of homeschool, but since it's already thirty-eight degrees beyond insanity and it isn't even seven AM, we're going to the beach instead.

This summer has been a big one. My sweet baby boy now drives a car. How did that even happen? My other little boy is now in high school, and made it through an intense round of cuts for a spot on the soccer team. So proud of him! The undertaking of planning and prepping for all four learning at home this year has been just a tad all-encompassing and consuming.  ;) And, well, we've just had fun. Lots of treks to the mountains, the beach, lakes, obscene amounts of ice cream ingested, not that anyone has complained a bit.

I've also been thinking a lot about the situation with the Duggar family, and any family, really, caught up and forever changed now as a result of this latest sin tragedy. Heartbreaking. I've been upset by lots of friends and acquaintances who make jokes and snide comments about the whole ordeal, and an anger burns deep: this isn't funny! None of it is funny! I'm curious to see how the Duggar family responds and behaves in the coming months, and I believe that their deepest desire is to see God glorified and honored throughout it all, and I'm hopeful for that will look like. Many of us know firsthand just how our great God can transform ashes into things of infinite beauty- I know I do- and He can certainly transform the darkness there. The world is watching and waiting, and what a wonderful testimony they can be. But it takes time, courage, humility, and lots of hard work to save a marriage and rebuild trust.

The request for pancakes was already put in last night, so I'd better get to it before I start sweating in the batter. Ew. Sorry. That was gross, even for me, ha. I'd post a picture, but my head is pounding so I'll have to wait till next time. Hope you have a great day!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Every time I get the idea to sit and jot some thoughts down, there are generally about a hundred other things that are vying for my time and energy...and they're usually the things that win out. Good stuff, like deep conversations with my children, prepping and packing lunches for days spent at the beach with friends or just us, extra long walks, making yummy stuff for breakfast, lingering with a great book...all good stuff!

Last night, a booming light-up-the-sky thunder and lightning storm passed over to bring us some much needed rain. It was pretty cool to watch and listen to. Normally, these storms are accompanied by ferocious gusts of wind. And I don't do wind. Scares me to death and sets a panic in me like nothing else. Anyhoo. It was just bright bursts of lightning with rolling thunder echoing in the night, and very little wind. It just started raining again this morning, which is wonderful because we desperately need it.

I've also been up to my eyeballs in planning out our homeschool year. I have lots of goals and hopes for this year, but mostly I want to be able to let go of all the expectations and simply enjoy being with my children. When I look back on my education, which was a solid one, I remember very little. It all seems to blur together. I'm really hoping that we will make some wonderful, life-lasting memories together this year, so I've been trying to plan our year with lots of fun field trips to coincide with our learning. It's a challenge! At times, I feel so nervous and overwhelmed, so I try to remember that nothing is perfect. Ever. And that that's okay.

We are finally at the stage of summer where nobody else is leaving me for summer camp, ha. Like most Mamas, I know I sleep much sounder when we're all under the same roof. Of course there's bickering and arguing, complaining and selfish attitudes- the very things that make us human- but there is so much more. I've been pondering the fragility of life lately, specifically the heartbreak of women who long to be mothers, and I know I have been blessed. On my hardest days, I know I have what others would give anything for. And I don't want to take that for granted.

Along with pondering life, I'm determined to slow down and enjoy things more. To really savor all the things- and people- around me. I have enjoyed walking around our yard early in the morning when I'm watering the veggies, thinking, praying, planning, and then simply being. Yes, literally. I can stand and gaze at my cucumbers and roses and whatever else is growing for several minutes, just taking it all in and enjoying each thing. Does that sound strange? Oh well, I'm telling you, it's true.

Whew, now that was quite the update. I am too anxious to mention that we'll be celebrating our nearly-sixteen-year-old's birthday soon because it just doesn't seem possible, so I won't just yet. =) Hope you have a nice day today and get to savor something, too. Sharing a few photos of pretty things around our house...enjoy!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


I just love reading about other people's homes, so I thought I'd share ours. I'm joining the party with Momfessionals today. If you'd like to read a little background as to what brought us to this house two years ago, read this post. So if you're new here, our current house was built in the early nineties. And then just left for dead. Okay, okay, not dead. Just unconscious. Or in a coma. (A sad, ugly coma.)

We've poured a whole lotta love -and blood, sweat and tears- into this kitchen, all on a strict budget. There are kitchen posts here and here. We also tackled some kick plate problems, flooring, and updated the kitchen island with a little DIY ingenuity in this post.

Love this view every morning and every evening. This deck used to be the ugliest psycho pumpkin color you can imagine. Painting it was actually easier than I'd thought it would be, and it looks so much better! Our front steps were the same horrid color, and looked like bad cabin stairs to boot, so we did some more DIY on a budget. Still love that project!

The day we moved Ryder's doggie crate downstairs was one of the happiest days of my life...because it used to be in here! Ugh. The piano used to be in here on the left, and then that spot became my sewing nook. And now? Now it just serves its dining roomly duties. The way it should.

Last month I tore down the tired tan drapery panels that I'd gotten on clearance for our old house, and whipped these babies up. They're a calm grey with white quatrefoil and they open up the space beautifully. I change out pillows (fyi, throw pillows are the bane of my existence- I never choose the right size/color/shape/look...) seasonally so now we've got cool aquas, blues and greens going on.

Besides the dining room table, this is where the homeschool magic happens. And I write stuff.  =) Our music corner is to the right. The future plan is to find a large, comfy chair to create a proper reading nook over there in that sad little empty corner. It used to be my sewing office, but I just cannot handle that much chaos out in the open and on a regular basis. We shall see what happens here...

I'm not one of those who ban la tele in the bedroom. In fact, I kind of love it. Don't get me wrong, I don't even watch much TV, but I like that I've got options.

Step into my personal office space for a moment...this is to the left of our room. Truth be told, I'd prefer a master bath to a squat little office space. But. This Mama ain't got no options in that department right now.

Kid rooms- the middle boys chose their own paint colors and helped paint the walls. It was no big deal since the flooring was all being replaced. They did a super duper job! I love their cheerful rooms. Jose the beta fish dwells in this room. We lost Flame during our trip to Washington, DC this spring.

The Red Sox pennant over his bed fell off the wall...looks a tad bare here. Hulk the beat fish lives to the right.

And my girly girl's room. She talks about sharing this space with Baby Sister aaaaaalllll day long.  (Check out the adoption posts from the sidebar labels if you'd like to read about our most recent adoption journey.)

I did a recent update in here...



Our oldest son lives in the pit. I had mixed feelings about this, but it suits him and he really likes it. It works.

Diego the corn snake lives down here. I figure I'm either a really cool Mom or I'm simply neurotic. Jury's still out on that one.

And THIS! We just created this space out of, well, nothing but cold, hard concrete. The kids helped a ton, and I'm really proud of them all! This is, obviously, phase one of the rec room. It's pretty basic, but it's working great. I'm going to do an extra post on the dark beam we created which hides pipes and such, and the cheap, easy "fix" to the two 2x4's that are the post at the end of the stairs to make them not look like 2x4's.

Lastly, the landscaping. We've worked just as hard on the outside as we have on the inside! Landscape transformation posts here and here. I wrote about some helpful landscaping tips in this post.

So there you have it! I hope you enjoyed the tour!

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