Love and Life Right Now

Everything is getting neglected right now. Everything but one thing… the relationships with three of my favorite people on the planet: Ellie Belly, Joanie pony, and darling hubby. 

I’m loving the bonnets I made for Joan and to test out the pattern now that I see her in them! I’ve tried them with and without the lace and I’m all for that cute vintage lace. This was today when we sat around in Eliot’s room and played toys for 2 hours. I love that kid! Joan is a big fan too!

She gets really content when I take her pjs off in the morning, even if she’s squawking. 

We have been baking A LOT to spend time together. I love baking with him! Most people think I’m insane to bake with an infant and a toddler but I love the joy it brings Eliot and how much he learns! And he loves eating the chocolate chips. 

Pjs forever right now. Mine are basically the baggiest clothes I can find, and Eliot rocks some fire truck pjs like they are going out of style. 

Lots of cozy naps. Today he asked if he could sleep in my bed. I told him no only because we’ve made such good progress with him on his own. He now sleeps all night alone!


Daniel and I spend the evening chatting, drinking cocktails, playing video games, or watching a show and it’s awesome. Life is so great right now. I’m still exhausted but that’s having a newborn around for you. Even so, I couldn’t ask for anything more–I’m so happy. 

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It’s never perfect

But within the chaos, there’s such beauty. We held a private baptism for our little Joan this past Sunday the thirteenth of August surrounded by many of our nearest and dearest. It was such a beautiful, real moment in the messiness of life. It was small. The toddler had one little meltdown. We didn’t really know the logistics until last minute. But the grace of the sacrament was present, the toddler stopped freaking out the moment that the deacon began praying a blessing and the baby was brought into the church. It was such a special moment. 

We are blessed beyond measure. 

Tales of an Amateur Thrifter

As I grew up, I watched my mother expertly find wonderful bargains on second hand clothing for five children. We never lacked the clothing needed to get us through the hundreds of growth spurts, ripped knee holes, fancy events, and hot summers. It was through watching my mother that I learned to look for a bargain. We continued to thrift throughout my teen years. Some of us children became thrifters and some refused as we came into adulthood. I was a child who loved the thrill of the hunt and as an adult, I grew to love thrifting for other purposes besides clothing. 

Since I got married when I was only nineteen and went straight from my father’s house to the home I made with my husband, I learned a lot of thrifty tricks, and they do come in handy with my own children too! It’s how I managed to furnish our home and clothe all of my little family! I’ve always loved seeing the things that other people score at the thrift store, so I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite non-clothing items that I’ve thrifted over the years. 


First, I know I blogged about it at the time, but I bought this fabulous little rocking horse for Eliot when he was only a year old. It moves its head and neighs and Eliot dubbed him “Rocky.” He’s been a friendly and fun addition to our days. 


We needed a bassinet when Joan was born so I found this adorable one online for only twenty bucks! It’s been really useful. 


Just recently, I discovered a thrift store that had a lot of handmade blankets! We bought 3 for around five dollars each! Life has never been so cozy or cute! Once we get to wintertime, I know we will be so glad of these when the three of us that use big blankets start fighting over them. 


Sweet basket to hold diapers? Just a buck and handy to keep the massive amount of new diapers contained. 

Glider and ottoman? I’ve got two! I bought one and my mom bought the other. We use and love both of them. This nice cushy one was only thirty-five!

Today’s find includes some extra train tracks for Eliot’s trains for only a few dollars. He’s already in love because I found a train tunnel!


Cute curtain pullbacks which look amazing against our blue accent wall. A dollar for the set. 

What kinds of things do you look for if you thrift?

Sixteen Summers

I only have sixteen summers left with my firstborn. 

Sure that’s a stereotype and overgeneralization of the time it takes to parent. It could be less. It could be more. We don’t know anything about the time each of us has for anything, much less life in general. It’s a speculation. 


I guess I’m realizing how “up close” the perspective and lens to view the world seems to be in parenting. We don’t linger long on the big picture. It’s too easy to get caught up in the part of the frame where the toddler whines a lot and has an excessive amount of needs. Or the part where there’s no time for adult conversation and connection with the spouse. Or maybe the part where the daily grind consists of coffee, diapers, nap, peanut butter scraping, bedtime, repeat. All of that sounds so bleak. There are so many bright moments too! But it’s hard to see those moments unless you widen your perspective and try to see more of the picture. 


For instance, the toddler whining has a much less powerful influence on my mood when I take into account that it comes with complex concepts that he is learning and a huge amount of information he is taking into his overtired brain and emotional being. He can count to ten, knows our Christian names, understands the days of the week, prays his own prayers, and recognizes the subtle difference of emotion in someone else. The whining seems small in comparison to the amazing stuff I get to witness in addition. The witnessing of formation of a little soul and citizen brings a lot of joy to balance out the frustration of our close lens. 


And as things form and fuse together, a sense of permanency arises with it. My firstborn has a wonderful sense of empathy. It is one of the factors that contributes to how sensitive he is and why he feels such strong emotions. That is probably not going to change, so rather than wishing away the moments and hours of frustration, I need to help him cultivate this gift and navigate the negative emotion that comes with it. After all, sixteen years is not a long time in that big picture. I don’t want to miss out on the wonder of this boy before he becomes a man. 


He needs me now. He won’t always need me. He needs an extra sippy of milk, an extra story at bedtime, and an extra set of minutes to snuggle alone. He needs patience when he can’t understand and guidance when he faces a problem for the hundredth time that day. If he does not get these things, he will find a cruel world awaiting him that he will form and fuse himself to and that little flame of empathy will be put out. It will be replaced by cold, unfeeling, cynicism and desensitization. He will have much work to undo in his behavior if he even makes the realization that there is work to undo as he becomes a man and a citizen. 

He will struggle to find joy unless I can find it first. This up close view is so important and I can only react properly if I take a step back and fit it all into the frame. 

That is how we laugh at the ridiculous, cry at the sorrowful, and love when it’s hard. That is how we see the joy when it’s difficult to find. 


What am I going to try to do with these sixteen summers? 


Give a little more, fight less battles, spend more time taking a step back to look and listen, and ultimately, be a joyful mom. Life is too precious to waste it without true joy in each day with whatever we have been given.