Dear Diary

Good morning!  It’s Monday again, huh?  I have a story to tell you because I went with Mommy and Daddy to church yesterday and they put me in the kid room again.  This time there was a new lady there and she had a cup of Cheerios.

I really wanted the Cheerios, but I guess so did a little girl.  I crawled over to the lady and got in her lap and tried to get the Cheerios but then the little girl got mad because I got there first.  And the lady laughed and tried to give us both Cheerios but I just wanted them all because I was so hungry and Mommy wasn’t there yet to feed me.  But this little girl got so mad and then the lady told her it was okay and she still cried.

I got some of the Cheerios but I had to get off the lady’s lap.  So I crawled over to the door and whined because sometimes if I do that enough Mommy comes and then I get hugs and more food.  (I think maybe I should whine more, what do you think?)

It took a little while but then Mommy did come and she saw I had a couple tears but I was mostly fine.  And then the new lady told her something about me and the other little girl trying to get the Cheerios and she said the little girl belongeded to her but I don’t know what that means.  But Mommy knew and smiled and I guess it made sense.

Well anyways, back to me.  Mommy got me and we went to the room where she feeds me except this time there were other kids in there too and I had to watch them and say hi because that’s the nice thing to do.  Mommy talked with the other people and tried to get me to eat but I couldn’t because how am I a-pposed to eat when there are people having fun?  So Mommy let me play with a shiny thing and then we went to find Daddy.  He was happy to see me.

And then I got to see all the other people and they held me and tried to give me hugs but I like to wiggle when people hold me.  Sometimes Daddy lets me crawl on the floor and then I get to go where I want.  And then he gets me and we go home and that’s the end.  :)

I hope you have a good Monday, everyone!

Sincerely,

Me

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“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.”
Billy Graham
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Have a great weekend!

Making a Home

With every move, I try to add meaning and purpose to our home decor and layout.  I’m sentimental for sure, but it’s also a way to keep from attracting and collecting excess things.  We’ve moved three times in the last year and a half; not big moves, but moves nonetheless.  We’re currently renting a little condo that we love, and it’s been a lot of fun to redecorate again.  However, you can only fit so many things in 672 square feet!

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variations in color & texture go a long way with only a few objects!

When I arrange our furniture and “accessories”, as I call them, I try to do so in a way that’s intentional.  Does it help make the home warm and welcoming?  Is it simple and clean?  Does it add to a peaceful atmosphere, or is it distracting and adding visual chaos?

I don’t have a paper checklist with each of these questions that I carry around from room to room and mark each piece against; but it’s the general mentality I keep when I add or subtract anything.

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simple, personal art & reminders of things that matter

I want the material things we have to be in our home because they have value and meaning.  We don’t need extra – we have so much.  Some vases and jars are kept because they make for sweet little decorations; others are tossed or given away because they don’t quite make the cut.  One good thing about moving often is that I have to go through everything and re-evaluate it all, and as I go through that process I force myself into a very pragmatic mindset and try not to think twice.  It’s a struggle, but I usually don’t miss the things I toss or give away.  In fact, I don’t remember now what we purged in our last move.

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one of my favorite things is to add furniture & decor made from friends and family.  the painting was a wedding gift from an aunt, the “P” sign made by my sister-in-law, the figurine a gift from my brother, the hand mirror a gift from a friend, the table made by my cousin, & the “Mr.” heart a decoration my mom made for our wedding.

As life goes on and we acquire more and let go of more, I think it’s important to really think about what’s necessary and what’s not.  Often we feel that we need this, that, and the other — for whatever reason — when we really don’t.  We’ll be fine without, and perhaps more content without.  Extra isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s when our things creep higher and higher in our priorities and obsessions that there are problems.  Our joy and satisfaction don’t come from earthly possessions.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Matthew 6:19-21

It can be tricky to create a home where loving people is the focus.  Are there any habits you have when it comes to making your home?  Little decorating/organizing tricks?  When you purge things, do you take photos to remember and “hold onto” the sentimental pieces that no longer fit in your home?  Do you have any disciplines that have proven effective over time?  I’d love to hear your thoughts, things that worked and things that haven’t.  :)

Have a great day, friend!

Dear Diary

I’ve been sitting in my carseat forever.  I think it’s really been forever.  Mommy had to go somewhere to get her back fixed up (Mommy’s note – the chiropractor) so I had to go too.  Except I always have to stay in the carseat because that’s the rules.

Sometimes the guy takes me out and fixes me up too, and I don’t know if I like it.  Today he didn’t, he just tried to play with me and my camera toy but I only wanted to stare at him.  And that was okay, because when he takes me out he never lets me go anywhere.  He just puts me on his lap and rubs my back and neck a little and then puts me back in my carseat and I have to go all the way home again without stretching.

And today he and Mommy talked about a lot of things so I had to sit even more forever.  Mommy picked up my carseat to leave and then put me back down in another place to talk with some other lady and so I tried to get out but it didn’t work.  I had to sit there and then sit in the car again.

I fell asleep, because I was so tired.  I think I didn’t sleep that great last night.  It got really warm so I moved around to get off the blankets but then I got really cold.  So I kinda talked but I was kinda asleep too.  I don’t know how I do that.

Mommy came and moved me back and put blankets back on me and then I had to move again because it wasn’t good yet.  But then it was good after I moved.  And I heard Mommy say that I was so cute.  I don’t know why she thinks sleeping people are cute; sometimes I look at her when she’s sleeping and Daddy when he’s sleeping and they are not cute.  But maybe I’m special.

Well it’s time for me to get out of the carseat.  I’m going to tell Mommy and I hope she gets me right out and I don’t have to wait.

Sincerely,

Me

Nature in a Bottle

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There’s something about freshly fallen snow and its untouched beauty.  Sometimes the trees hold the snow on their branches for a little while, and when the sun comes up everything sparkles.  The fields are blank canvases, for a while without even the slightest animal footprints.

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Nature’s beauty is something I wish I could bottle up and keep forever.  When I drive down each road after a storm and see new scenes and how delicate everything is — I always want to live those moments over and over.  But I can only drive the roads so many times before the sun comes up and starts to melt all the snow, or the people and animals go about their days and the canvases are disrupted.

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In the last week we’ve had two good-sized snow storms.  After each storm I stuck Levi in the car and took my camera around the back roads in hopes of getting some good shots.  As I drove I realized something I can’t believe I didn’t realize sooner — there is a way I can bottle up nature’s beauty and keep it.  It can be remembered and relived just like it was when it first appeared.  How?  Through photography.

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These photos are my way of bottling up God’s beauty and sending those bottles to you.  Timeless depictions of how amazingly He crafts the nature we get to see and watch, no matter where you live.  Enjoy.  :)

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Dear Diary

Well, it’s the end of the day and I did a lot today that I wanted to tell you about.  First, Mommy took me in the car for a long time and we just drove around and I didn’t get to get out of my seat, because she was taking pictures everywhere.  We got a really big snow storm (I can’t see past the snow when I go outside, because it’s bigger than me) — and she wanted to go take pictures before the snow got yucky.  So I just fell asleep.

Then we came home and she had to take MORE pictures.  But this time, it was better because she had to take pictures of me.  I guess I’m going to be old tomorrow, like ten months, and Mommy needed to get pictures.  I got to play with my rocking chair and a book while she pressed buttons.  Sometimes she let me touch her picture thing but not much.

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We played a lot today too, and went back in the car to get groceries.  We ate a lot at lunch and then played more and then it was nap time.  Except I didn’t want to nap, and I didn’t feel very good.  I didn’t nap, so I’m a lot tired.  Right now I’m crawling in circles to keep myself awake because I don’t want to go to bed; except I do too, because I’m tired, but I’d rather play with the dishwasher and crawl as fast as I can so Mommy and Daddy can watch.  But Daddy is saying it’s time for bed so I think I’ll have to write again another time.

Sincerely,

Me

A Worthwhile Wait

I’m not really one to celebrate big on Valentine’s Day.  One day in the year to celebrate love?  I mean, shouldn’t love be celebrated a little more often than that?  I’m slightly kidding; a day dedicated to expressing love isn’t a bad idea.  :)

This year, I got to thinking about the holiday a bit more.  Over the past year and a half of marriage I’ve learned a lot — patience, trust, how to be romantic (so not natural for me), servanthood…  Originally I was going to share some thoughts about communication and asking each other questions, but there’s something else I’d like to share instead.

Love is worth the wait. 

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Thinking back to my years in high school and afterwards as I so desperately wanted a long-term boyfriend.  I was pretty impatient!  I always kept an eye out wherever I went — maybe I’d meet my husband in class, or at a coffee shop, or even at church.  Maybe he was the one sitting a few seats over; what if he was the one who stopped for gas next to me?  It seemed silly, on one hand, but on the other I knew anything was possible and therefore there were no limits to how it could play out.

As I looked and looked, I reminded myself to pray and seek God’s leading.  Every relationship is so different, and the methods of dating/courting/getting to know each other vary so much — God leads how He does and our job is to be attentive and obedient.  Day after day I prayed that I would see what He wanted me to see, who He wanted me to see.

We got married young, I suppose, but it felt like I’d waited forever.  (And truth be told, I did wait years for Josh specifically.  That’s a story for another time.)  So many times I questioned why I was waiting, why I was holding out to find someone who met certain characteristics.  Was I being too rigid?  Was I missing out when I didn’t need to be?  I prayed and prayed, frustrated yet wanting to be solely led by God.

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When Josh and I started getting to know each other, I realized I had been waiting for him.  He was the one whose character met what I’d prayed for — and he was even more than that.

I could’ve pursued other relationships and made other choices.  I think finding “the one” is a myth that we do no good seeking after.  But I believe that while maintaining standards and consistently praying can mean waiting, that wait is worthwhile.

God knows from the start whether or not we’ll get married.  He also knows who we’ll marry, if we do.  Your story will look different than mine and the next reader’s, and that’s okay.  In fact, it’s beautiful that way.  There’s no secret formula or special path to take; wait on God’s direction and follow where He leads.  He will guide you and bring you right to where is best for you as you humbly and sincerely seek Him.

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Josh and I didn’t meet in a coffee shop or at church; we met in a totally unconventional way, and had a pretty unconventional friendship and dating relationship.  It wasn’t at all what I’d imagined.  But we each trusted God to lead it, and He brought us together in marriage.  Which was (is) awesome.

Maybe you’re already married and have seen God’s hand in your relationship, whether from the start or in the middle or later — so I have a request.  Would you share in the comments how you’ve seen Him work in your relationship?  It could be one example, or two, or three, or more…  I’d love to hear your specific stories, and I’m sure others would enjoy reading through them as well!  If you’re single and waiting, check back for encouragement.  Love is worth the wait.  ;)

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Today has been a snow-filled, peaceful and quiet day and I’m so thankful for it.  Pardon the phone-through-the-window photo, but isn’t it pretty?  God makes such beautiful things.  Hope you’re having a great day and finding little things to be thankful for.  :)

Dear Diary

I made a discovery.  There’s a spinny thing in the kitchen, and if you open it just right there are all kinds of things to play with!  Those loud things I told you about earlier — they’re called pots and pans, Mommy says.  And they’re all in the spinny thing.  I also found all my Puffs and food, and bottles that I used a long time ago.

Mommy was making things up where I can’t see so I opened the spinny and took everything out.  I can almost climb it, too (like I can climb the fwidge – but I’ll tell you about that another time)!  Sometimes Mommy lets me play in the spinny and sometimes she says no.  But today she let me play in it for a long time because she was making things for a long time.

She gave me a REALLY big pot too, and it was extra loud.  I only played with that for a little time because it was too loud and it only rolled over.  So I played with the other things instead.

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I got bored and then I crawled over to Mommy and climbed her leg.  That’s how I get to see what’s on the counter.  She picks me up and lets me help sometimes.  She showed me what she was making and guess what it was?  Food!  For me!  She didn’t let me touch it, because it was hot.  But she gave me some at lunch and it was yummy.

Except there’s this one food she gave me last night and today and I just don’t like it.  It’s really bad.  I don’t know how to tell you what it is, but it made my mouth feel funny and I had to make faces at Mommy because it was so bad.  She tried to help me like it but it didn’t work.  Yuck.

I’m getting a little hungry again so I hope I get to eat soon.  But maybe I’ll play with the spinny again until Mommy says no.  :)

Sincerely,

Me

It’s Monday

It’s been one of those Mondays.

Levi and I didn’t get much sleep last night.  An early eye appointment this morning that I had scheduled months ago in hopes of being home for naptime turned out to be an eye appointment that I was late getting to and ended up sitting and waiting for.  Levi did his best and was a trooper — but he was so bored, so tired, and so hungry.

Mondays are also the days I go grocery shopping, which I had failed to remember when I scheduled the appointment.  So, naptime was way late and consequently so was a meal, which isn’t the end of the world but is a big deal when the baby’s weight needs to keep increasing.

Eventually food and naptime happened and off we were to play.  In the house, that is.  There are piles of papers on the counter — actually, almost every flat surface has misplaced things on it.  Being a wee bit OCD, it’s driving me nuts.  Yet all day I’ve been spinning in circles trying to get things done and figure out what needs to be done next… I don’t usually get very far when I spin.  ;)

Levi fell and bruised himself.  At lunch I accidentally pinched his finger in his highchair.  Tears, tears, and more tears.  It’s the worst feeling when your child’s pain is your fault!

I tried writing this post and catching up on other miscellaneous things and the Internet screen went black.  The only way I know to fix it is to close the window (and all the tabs) and start over.

It’s been a somewhat messy day.

Every time something happened that wasn’t planned or messed with our schedule or caused pain, I wanted to shrink back and give in.  Cancel the eye appointment, figure out a way to get groceries later even though making another trip out is inconvenient and costly in gas.  Yet every time I wanted to shrink back, I felt a nudge to keep going.  Just do it.

Instead of letting myself get frustrated and irritated, and give up mentally — that nudge to keep going did just that.  I kept going.  And for each situation, there was a positive moment (whether I wanted to see it or not).  Like parking close to the grocery store door and the cart stalls; giggles and smiles from Levi when I thought he was still upset; no information lost as the Internet window closed.

As I forced myself to keep going I realized that when days like this happen, the key is to prioritize down to the basics.  Have I spent some time reading the Bible and praying?  Yes.  Did Levi and I have lunch?  Yes.  Do I know what we’re having for dinner?  Yes, and it’s in the crockpot (thank God for freezer meals!).

The dishes can be cleaned at some point, and I can do the floors while Levi plays in his saucer.  The mounds of papers and random objects… well, I’ll get to those at some point too.  The other work I need to attend to can be done tonight when Levi is in bed.

For now, I’m going to quickly clean the bathroom and get Levi up from his nap.  Maybe he’ll write his entry later today.  :)

Hope your week is off to a good start, friends.  (Especially you, fellow Patriots fans!)