A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 24) The edition that makes you want to shoot yourself from the length

Happy New Year! I cannot believe it’s 2017. 2016 was a year of growth, for sure! I was asked for a lot in 2016, and I don’t feel in my heart that I did my best in my spiritual life, for sure. There are a few things I want to watch out for this year and remind myself of so that I can better follow God’s will for my life. Rather than resolutions, I want to take some time to reflect and see things I want to work on. Resolutions seem to convey that things will change through sheer force of will, and I think our wills definitely have a place in change and growth, but I believe that God changes us and the true resolution is to just resolve to love God no matter what. I like the first of the year, it really allows for lots of inner reflection over a specific period of time!

Reflections, Lessons, and lots of Rambling on God’s goodness!

One reflection I’m having over the year is that I have done and seem to be willing to do anything to NOT have to trust God. I try so hard to be enough, be perfect, do it on my own, fix it, and not ask for help. What a strange realization to make too, because having known myself for twenty-four years, I’ve never ever been independent (quite the opposite), but I think I must be independent where God is concerned….Not a good kind of independence, let me tell you!

I wish I had recognized God’s guidance through the sufferings of the year and His requests for me to stop it all and just let Him handle it… If I had only trusted Him sooner with my health, I would have seen that He wanted to heal me through the hands of the doctor I was being pulled toward. Maybe I would have been healed sooner, maybe not, but I know I definitely would not have gotten so ill in my spirit and been so angry at God. With repentance, I was brought healing in my spirit and it’s really amazing to see the fruits of that in life too. Repentance sure does bring feeling to my stone, cold heart and I find myself overwhelmed with the love of Christ.

In addition to the distrust about my health, I also seem to distrust Him about my relationships, too. Again, and again, I seem to have to learn about people pleasing, yet in new aspects. I work so hard to hold my relationships together and just think if I hold onto each one really tightly, they can’t fail. I’m so unwilling to surrender them to God. I learned that with my marriage and relationship to my spouse, my family, countless friends, and I’m sure one day I’ll be learning that lesson about my kids too, but hopefully I can learn it in theory and not in practice… I imagine myself on the edge of a cliff holding the hands of my relationships while they dangle over the edge, and I think through the sheer force of strength (which often takes the form of excessive care and loyalty) I can keep everyone from falling. I can keep my relationships, no matter what God wants, I can save people from experiencing pain, and I can have my ducks in a row.

Also an interesting realization to make of myself, because I have NOT OFTEN been into control. In fact, I’ve been the person that gets incredibly anxious about control and leadership. Perhaps God is leading me into a leadership role through my role as mother, and maybe with those new skills, I need to learn to temper them with trust in God… Servant leadership (being the servant of God and doing his will to take more responsibility)  But that’s a whole different post. Apparently, I like to have control in my life, though. I’m realizing that I’ve been trying so hard to hold onto some things and be everything to some people, and I haven’t been allowing God to take it from me. Who knows what His plan is, but I think my time for being a part of some specific plans has come to an end, and I just didn’t want to let God fix problems. But I’m really okay, better than okay, when God takes these things. Almost every time I have surrendered (finally) to Him, he has blessed me immensely. I don’t know why I struggle to trust Him so much, His Goodness is vast!

One thing we are focusing on in my Mom’s group is when we become too eager to offer a yes that we don’t offer the right ones. Another lesson in discernment! The book we are reading shares an example of a mom who gives a yes outside of her family that causes her family to struggle a bit, because it really wasn’t the right yes. As moms and wives, we have to think of our families too, and I don’t think I’ve been doing a good job of that! I’ve been giving too many yes’s outside our home and not being able to keep up my home commitments and cares for those inside my home! Yikes. We can’t do it all. That’s something I would like to work on this year–Giving some of my yes’s to my family, and growing the peace and love inside our home. It seems simple now that I type it out. But I think the home is where God is calling me right now, and I want to help grow the love in our family so that the love we grow will bloom outside of the family and spread to all others! Who would have thought Hannah would have to learn that lesson… Introvert that I am, homebody, homemaker, home lover, family oriented–but I guess that goes to show that we should understand we are all capable of changing and we shouldn’t label ourselves. Clearly that seems to be the theme, so far!

That’s another little thing I want to remember this year—when we label ourselves as anything other than lovers of Our Lord, we get into trouble. Simply put, labels are kind of stupid. We aren’t a package of meat to buy at the store. We are dynamic, changing, growing, individuals. When we label ourselves as something, we stop growing and challenging ourselves, and we begin to value comforts and ease over virtue and becoming Christ-like. We sell ourselves to the nearest commodity or relationship instead of freely giving ourselves over to the love of Christ. Our hearts become cold and stone-like when we stop changing and growing. This year, I want to love God better and more fully. I want to spend more time with Him in prayer because at the beginning of 2016, I found myself craving prayer, being more than okay with silence in my heart, and waiting often to hear God’s voice there. I think that is my biggest goal for 2017. I’m really excited about this year!


 

On a less serious note, Eliot is throwing fries at me in between putting them in his little baby potty (don’t worry, it hasn’t been used). There, now that the tone is lighter, I want to throw out a few things that have been bringing smiles, joy, and happiness in the Salisbury household.

Santa Claus coming on Christmas morning and saying, “Ho, ho, ho, have you been a good boy, Eliot? I brought you two presents! …budget cuts…” We totally had my father in law dress up as Santa this year and I was impressed by his acting! 😉 Santa brought Eliot some blueberries too, because currently, berries are Eliot’s absolute favorite treat!

This song has been slaying us with laughter these days. I really love  A Bad Lip Reading channel. Don’t watch if you hate Star Wars. Or stupid humor. Because this is both. And Catchy! Eliot and I listen daily and have dance parties to it.

I particularly love telling Daniel at random opportunities “Don’t fall asleep” in my most whispering, intense voice.

We went to see Rogue One on Christmas day too sans the toddler and it was a magical date. I drank two dr. Peppers. The movie was good too!

We also got to go on another date for our anniversary when some generous and special friends came to babysit for us. Totally spoiled!

But our joys haven’t been completely sans little people!

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Baby Salisbury #2 is expected to arrive right around the fourth of July. Baby is going to be a little firecracker, apparently! We will find out the gender for this baby too, but so far, we are unified in thinking baby is a girl. My pregnancy has been a bit different this time around. For instance, I’m not nearly as emotional, I’m not eating everything in sight, and I definitely had a war with morning sickness for a while. It’s eased off, in addition to the aversions, which I only had a few of with Eliot. So what do you think? Girl? Boy? In any case, we welcome little baby Salisbury in excitement and anticipation! Some early nesting is just starting to set in! #allthecleanthings #organization #pinterestpinterestpinterest

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This guy is cracking me up pretty constantly, and is the sweetest, most sensitive little man ever. I love his heart and I’m so grateful to be his Mama! He now says “okay” for everything instead of “yes.” His “thank you” no longer sounds like “tiki” but has progressed to “danka!” He still signs “please” instead of saying it verbally, but it’s so cute! Right now, we are working on curing him of biting via time-outs which seem to be pretty effective three-quarters of the time. We are also working on getting through the toddler phase of mass, but that’s more our own attitudes rather than his behavior. Toddlers are toddlers! We do stand in the back a lot and are working on not distracting other littles and forging a toddler army.

My favorite things these days are all the extra snuggles he’s been offering (my little sensitive teddy bear) and how each morning, I ask him if he wants to say good-morning to the baby, and he nods. I lift my shirt up while we are still in bed waking up, and he leans his cheek up against my tummy and strokes it. Sometimes he kisses my belly-button too, and we have definitely delved into the Daniel Tiger episode about “the new baby” to help him understand! He’s come to almost all of the doctor appointments too and we explain how we are taking care of the baby. He has his own stethoscope and we play doctor for baby with his baby dolls and my tummy too!

I watched the new Gilmore Girls “A Year in the Life” and loved it. I loved the ending, I loved the beginning, I loved the middle, and I cried about Richard Gilmore. How much more can I say when something is just so perfect?

I’m reading “The 7 Secrets of the Eucharist” which is helpful for some of the conversations we are having in RCIA (I’m sponsoring right now) and shedding some light on some things and what my pre-Catholic hangups used to be. I’m still finishing up “True Devotion to Mary” because it’s jam packed with goodness and honestly I didn’t do much reading toward the end of the year because I put my energy in other places. But I’m totally ready to get back into reading (as I do every year in January).

Eliot’s grandparents definitely got the right idea for Christmas this year and there were a few fox themed gifts for our little Ellie Belly. Why? Because this kid adores “What Does the Fox Say” STILL! At this point, it’s funny, and I just keep thinking I’m going to have to outdo myself for most obnoxious song to get the new baby hooked on this year. Daniel and I may have to have a contest.

Daniel has turned our patio into a wonderland of Christmas lights and he definitely put them up before Christmas. I think it’s pretty magical though and with the little fire-pit we have out there, we have been enjoying some special evenings lately.

I have been crocheting like a crazy maniac and getting the itch to do some granny squares, but we will see if I allow myself the pleasure. I’m still trying to work out the kinks in a hat pattern and have some testers waiting on round two of the hats for their special bundles of joy. I’m grateful for their cooperation in testing out this pattern for me! Working out specific sizing is harder than you think!

All right, now that most of you are dead from the length of this long overdue update, I will leave you in your computer/mobile phone graves. Thanks for reading today! I’m going to go enjoy some read-aloud time with the cutest toddler around while he takes a bath and then enjoy re-watching Sherlock after he goes to bed. Peace be with you!

Hannah

 

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 23)

Family News

Let’s see if I can sum up recent life quickly in just a few words so that I can get to the good stuff (i.e. Eliot’s hilarity)–it’s a laughable feat as all who know me know that I write novels worth of texts, emails, and posts…regardless, I’ll try!

I’ve learned two new recipes which have been feeding us, splendidly, while grocery budgets have been tight! Lentil soup, which Daniel hates because it is a soup and Eliot loves because it is messy, and soda biscuits which are a favorite to all and I cannot manage to have any leftover from the meal I made them for as both boys in this house scarf them with butter, jam, and cheese. I’m actually discovering that if I plan on recipes yielding several meals worth, I have to double and sometimes triple the recipe! (#lifewithboys) I’m also discovering that I’m going to need to find a more efficient way to buy flour because at this rate, I’m buying it every week! On the one hand, it makes me feel all “lark rise” like Emma Timmins baking constantly, but on the other hand, good gracious can boys eat or WHAT?

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I made a photo book from shutterfly as I received a free coupon for an 8 by 8 from them to use until the end of September and let’s be honest, heirloom scrapbooks may as well be what the road to hell is paved with so let’s all just do the digital ones… Scrapbooks are the good intentions which almost never come about! Except in the case of my amazing mom. She scrapbooked at least two books per kids AND family albums as we grew up. It was quite amazing. I could never live up to that! Anyhow, I forgot to change my address in shutterfly and so my book got sent to our old place. Fortunately, the office of our old place had the package so we were able to get it and the hours I spent arranging photos didn’t go to waste! I once babysat for two little girls whose mother made those photo books quarterly for EACH OF THEM as they grew up. She had dozens of them that all matched. I always feel like a failure when I think of that… Oh well. 😛

So Eliot is getting old enough that he’s beginning to show off how his little mind works, and there are things about this stage that I just don’t want to forget. I’m going to try to record them in a little bit more organized of a way in my chapter in a life posts.

Eliot Hayden – 15 months

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Words: “All done.” – “aw duh!” “Bye bye.” “buh byeee.” “Dog.” “daw.” “Duck.” “Duuuuh.” “Thank you.” “tiiiiikiiii!” (<—-huh?)

Things that make us laugh: “Eliot, don’t you smile.” *huge cheesy smiles right away*

“Eliot, we have to vacuum, want to help?” *shakes head, but runs off and gets a plastic baseball bat and then imitates vacuuming* Note: We count to three before we turn on the vacuum because if we don’t, he usually cries. With a little preparation, he can handle it and takes the job of vacuum helper very seriously with no smiles.

*Theme song to any of the familiar shows we watch in the house* *Eliot runs out from the other room, stands in front of the tv, and dances until it’s over, and then returns to whatever he’s doing*

“I’m going to get you!” *Eliot, stomps his feet and runs like a penguin with a very pronounced excited squeak*

“Can I have a kiss?” *Eliot shakes his head* “Okay, well then I’m going to get a kiss from daddy (or mommy) instead.” *we kiss* *Eliot scrambles into one of our laps, reaches up with both hands and directs (*cough* forces *cough*) whomever’s head towards his face to give a sloppy, open-mouthed kiss.*

Milestones: Too many teeth to count, including molars! He also climbs up the stairs at the playground, but doesn’t know how to get down, so he does a “trust fall.” 😉 He also claps his hands together after we do the sign of the cross and says, “A!” for amen.

Lovely Reads on the Internet: 

Should we Really Marry our Best Friend – Verily Magazine – I really adored this article and how real the women were about being married to their best friend and why it’s lovely. Although I have to admit that Daniel and I do share the love of the same sport and we have more similar interests than not! (Psst, I even smoked a cigar with the man the other night and he watched Gilmore Girls with me!) I think most people aren’t weirdly similar the way that Daniel and I are, and while sometimes, I think it can be difficult being so similar, I enjoy sharing my likes and dislikes with my hubby! We’re just weird though.

I suppose that’s all for today. Thanks for reading and peace be with you!

Hannah

 

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 20)

Family News

Wedding and Traveling: The most eventful piece of news on my end is that I finally finished the flowers for my friend’s wedding, and the wedding is over! I left my phone in the bedroom so I can’t post a picture of the finished bouquet as my sweet little one is asleep in there. They turned out nice though, the bride liked them, and my fingers are no longer raw. After an unfortunate mishap in the ordering of wedding attire that resulted in one bridesmaid’s dress being a different color (that’s me, not having it together as a mom), and an endless amount of driving with a seven month old in the car, I’m ready to sleep for about a month! But that’s not really how life works, and all is over now, so I can kick myself back into gear. Aside from the wedding/travel stuff, we’re just chugging away on the day-to-day train over here, and I’m happy to say that moods are improved and spirits seem content. So often, life can seem tedious and stressful in the daily living, and we can fall into despair, discontent, and unhappiness. I think we’re learning how to be conscious of our spirits and identifying when we need to take a step back and work on our perspective before we allow ourselves to fall into those pits.

Sleep: My generous parents bought us a nifty baby video monitor which makes nap time a cinch! And speaking of naps, and what’s going on lately, I’m sure you got to see my newest project. I’m working on getting Eliot’s sleep schedule more of a schedule and attempting to reclaim my own sleep in the process. We’re on day nine of sleep training (although we did have to take a break due to travel this past weekend) and so far, nap time is beginning to exist again, even though night time is still a battle. I have noticed that night time is getting easier since Eliot is starting to get the amount of rest that that he needs during the day, though. Tomorrow night is another log night, and I’m excited and a little bummed to see the log. I know there will be progress, but I also know that there will be little of it due to the traveling. I’m just going to keep on it, because I know it’s really helping things.

Day to Day: The house is slowly getting in order after holidays and excessive travel, and I have decided to use Lent to de-clutter and donate. Really, to simplify. Books will be sold, clothes and shoes will be donated, items that don’t serve a purpose in this household will be given away, and ultimately, I’m hoping for three things. A clean home, an easy packing process for the summer, and a more grateful heart. It’s so hard for me to be grateful when I’m overrun by stuff, as I really get caught up in the material, so a good purging is really good for my perspective. As far as life staying at home, I’ve finally gotten back into a habit of some exercise, and it’s making me feel loads better! I downloaded the Ease into 5k app and have been following it while pushing Eliot in the jogging stroller. My mood is improving during the afternoon lull. I’m hoping to train up and run a 5k for a charity sometime before the hot weather hits this summer. I’ve never been a huge runner, but I am finding myself enjoying it because it seems like my exercise is organized when I’m running with a race in mind. When I run for the sake of exercise, I never run for more than a few days… I like the idea of killing two birds with one stone. Getting my exercise, and building up to a race where I can help support a charity! There are so many out there.

Lent 2016: Daniel and I also spent time today figuring out what we want our Lent to be this year, and there really is nothing like having your spouse help you figure out what to take away or add for it. Granted, I practically forced him to tell me what he thought I should do, but still. 🙂 I’ve decided on a few different things in addition to the practical simplifying of the stuff.

  1. I’m giving up Dr. Pepper, because I find myself picking one up after a stressful time with Eliot, instead of confronting my feelings and keeping the peace. It seems like a crutch.
  2. I’m giving up TV for two reasons: I don’t want Eliot growing up with the TV on all the time, and I know I have a serious addiction to Netflix for comfort. Life needs to be a bit more uncomfortable. I also think it would be a great time to really introduce healthier habits and make more time for things like reading and praying.
  3. I’ve also decided to continue working on my daily rosary. So often, I can forget to pray one, or I can shove it off until later when it just doesn’t get prayed. So those are my Lenten observances.

Becoming a Better Reader

Reading: I finished the Rosary book I was reading (check mark on my list!) and I’m more than halfway through Walking with Purpose (my mother’s group book). I started a Mother’s Rule of Life and I’m enjoying it. A lot of my regular reading is getting halted a bit due to reading The No Cry Sleep Solution book, but I’m more than halfway through it as well. I’m actually getting a hang of this reading thing again! Thanks, Jen, for pushing me!

I think that sums up our life right now… I’ve spent a lot of time chatting with friends during my daily life and it’s such an encouragement to have friends who stay at home too and are in the same place in life. It’s not like we have the weight of the world on our shoulders, or that we have the pressures of working, but I think having community even while staying at home is an important support to living the Christian life and to living a mentally healthy life!

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As we are already entering into Eliot’s first Lent, I can’t wait to see what happens next in our family’s little life somewhere in the huge state of Texas.

Thanks for reading our little life update today, and I wish you all the peace of our Lord and Savior.

Hannah

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 19)

It’s been two months since a Chapter in the Life! I don’t think I’m as diligent to update since Eliot has been born… Mainly because Eliot is quite a little nuisance when it comes to blogging and I would rather spend time playing with him and enjoying his antics than trying to hack out an update for the sake of updating and not enjoying what I’m actually trying to write about in these posts. Blogging is supposed to be a fun outlet for me, and not a job that makes me resent anything that interrupts the work. But also because life with a baby is not as interesting to read about (except to the mommy of said baby) in a newsy kind of post. Now that I’ve been long-winded about the lack of updates, I’m ready to update, with an extra ten little fingers to help.

Family News

Last time I updated, I spoke about the lack of schedule around here… And then I found a schedule! And then the holidays came around and blasted my schedule to space and then a galaxy far, far away (whilst watching Star Wars). We haven’t managed to get the schedule back yet, but as Eliot changes and grows, I think that’s normal. I’m determined to get a good nighttime routine in hand for him though.

Here are some Eliot updates!

Movement: This little guy has decided to skip sitting and go straight to crawling and standing and by six months, was able to crawl all the way across the room.

Teeth and Talk: He has also presented us with one tiny little razor tooth that budded after screams and biting galore. He’s much happier now that he has it and has been figuring out how to make noises with his new mouth all over again. He’s learned to say “Dada” and “Mama” although I’m sure it’s mostly just babbling. He also tries really hard to say “ggggggg” when we ecstatically say “GOOD MORNING” to him any time he wakes up. It’s really amazing to see how he’s learning to mimic what we do, and it’s a sobering thought for us as parents. We’ve officially become role models and I’m not sure how I feel about that…

Sleep: Daniel got to babysit him for the second time alone while I went to the big mother’s group that meets once a month, and Eliot decided that he was upset at being left home. But Daniel did a fantastic job, and endured the screaming like a champ and even managed to get him to go to sleep! Actually, where sleep is concerned, Daniel is a pro at getting him to go to sleep. Eliot fights me and fights me and after half an hour of no success, I pass him off to Daniel and within five minutes, Eliot has calmed down and conked out. I’ve gotten to slow down and have a nice glass of wine during those few minutes and Daniel has been able to use that time to have some father/son bonding time, which works well for all!

 

Food: Eliot now knows what food is and gets extremely upset if he sees me or Daniel eating or drinking without him. We usually just give him a little bit off of our plate to taste. Lots of fruits, brown rice, potatoes, yogurt, and even some of my smoothie! I never intended to do baby led weaning, but I suppose that is what I’m doing. I have intentions of making some purees for him soon, though. Even through all that, he is still extremely breastfed and doesn’t show signs of quitting any time soon!

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The look he gives us when we eat without him.

 

Mood: He’s really a happy little boy, except if he is tired or in pain from teething. However, he is hitting the separation anxiety stage and looks for me if I’m not a few feet away from him. If I leave the room, he cries until somebody is able to distract him. As far as personality goes, this little guy has this game he plays with us that he’s been doing since about four and a half months. He bends down while we hold him standing on our laps, and then we say, “Wheeeeeere’s Eliot?” to which he pops back up with a huge smile and we say, “There he is!” and then we usually get a laugh from him. He does it over and over and it’s so adorable that we cannot help but be entranced.

And it wouldn’t be a life update if I didn’t include…

The parent updates:

Movement: Well, mostly we exercise by chasing Eliot away from the fireplace, cords, and the dog’s sharp nails, of which he is enthralled. But I also started running with the “Ease into 5k” app and enjoyed a night of sore muscles for my effort. The app is cool though!

Teeth and Talk: Um… Well, mainly our teeth hurt from the truckloads of holiday treats we’ve accumulated and eaten and then we talk about how fat we feel from the binging. I really have to stop eating so much sugar… It’s so bad for me and it’s making my health decline. See, there’s that talk…

Sleep: We have a baby in grad school, so this topic of conversation is pointless. 😉

Food: Coffee. Endless amounts of coffee. But I just learned how to make beans, so win for adulthood, I guess?

Mood: Happy and content after a nice vacation to Arkansas for our anniversary! I got to see mountains.

We also visited some hot springs. It was cold and I really wanted to jump in.

Before we went on our lovely anniversary trip, we got to spend lots of time with my family over the holidays and Eliot got to meet all of his cousins! The babies attempted to eat each other and Eliot was overwhelmed by attention. He also got a jumparoo from Grandma but had to leave it there because we didn’t have the car space to bring it home. Hopefully we’ll be able to get it here before he outgrows it!

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Eliot and cousin Eloise having a baby standoff. They’re two weeks apart!

He also got to spend some quality time with his Aunt Heather, who tried on multiple occasions to steal him away. He really takes to his Auntie.

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Becoming a Better Reader

I posted my book list for the year, which seems manageable to me, and I’ve been keeping up with it! This book caught my eye at the book store toward the beginning of the holidays, and fortunately, being used and a little dated, I got it for a great price.

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So when Daniel gives me some recharge time, I enjoy a cup of something hot, a bath, and some luxury reading. The book is giving me a lot of insight and reflection on the mysteries of the rosary, and I’m immensely enjoying it.

DIY

I’ve been working hard on one of the projects I agreed to do and it’s going well so far! I have half left to finish this week and then I have to construct the bouquets, but at least the flower making is going well. I made coffee filter roses for my wedding and now one my dear friends is asking for book page roses for her wedding, and I’m really excited to see them in action! Book pages are stiffer than coffee filters, though, so it’s a bit tough to keep the petals from ripping. Daniel has been dutifully herding our baby while I work and keeping him from harm. I really think he needs a shepherds staff… That would make his job easier.

Thanks for reading today! Hope you all are having a great day, and peace be with you all.

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 17)

Great Reads

Natural Family Planning: A Miscellany on Marriage, Fertility, and SpiritualityMy Serenity Prayer – My friend, Mia, wrote this wonderful post on her dealings with NFP and how she was able to use essential oils to regulate her fertility! I think it’s so fantastic that she has just challenged herself to learn NFP and went above and beyond to really help her body. I really think posts like these are necessary and helpful to see real women practice our Faith and encourage others to do so too. NFP is NOT easy and being isolated without someone to walk that journey with you is really lonely and discouraging. Obviously, don’t read if you’re weirded out by NFP.

7 Tips to Make the Most of RCIA – Home to Catholicism – Haley writes the best stuff. Go have a conversation with her, she’s great and I know she would be so open to answering any questions on RCIA if you just ask her! I love visiting her blog.

Family Prayer – How We Currently Make it Happen – Better Than Eden – If you’ve been around here long, you know I adore Mary’s blog and she’s such a huge inspiration to me. She’s actually one of the big reasons I started a daily rosary and started praying the Angelus at noon. 

Family News

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I got my haircut finally and LOVE having a pixie! It’s so easy and fun. And less for grabby fingers (but let’s be real, there’s still going to be some grabby fingers).

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Eliot is a pretty happy baby! He’s been gracing us with many heartwarming smiles.But sometimes, we have mornings like this…

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Poor little sweetie. But he usually turns right around, especially when Daddy comes home.

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Sometimes we have times where we both just want a nap…

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But then this happens after a nap.

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He’s my favorite! And also a wiggle worm… Speaking of which, I think that’s going to be the end of this post, because the little guy is demanding my attention with his manipulative little smiles. #momproblems Oh well, he’s too cute to mind!

I’ll leave you with the thought raging through my head the most these days… Who is ready for fall?!

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 16)

Great Reads

Seven Things I Don’t Do With a Newborn (Anymore) – Catholic All Year – Very insightful and helpful and it actually echoes a lot of what my own mom and aunt have been sharing with me about their newborn experiences. Kendra just had her eighth baby and has a lot of wisdom to share!

A Few Lessons from Eight Years of Breastfeeding – Better Than Eden – Everything Mary writes is wonderful and she was one of the minds I wanted to jump into right away after I found out I was expecting Eliot. Her advice has been a tremendous help in my journey into motherhood! This one was really encouraging for me in my first few months of breastfeeding.

NFP Should Be a Part of Parish Life – Carrots for Michaelmas – Haley’s thoughts mirror my own on this and I actually just had this same conversation with the priest that I went through RCIA with when I converted. NFP is very much on my mind these days as I transition into postpartum NFP for the first time.

Family News

Whales — It’s been such a long time since I’ve posted a Chapter in the Life post! The last one was at the end of May and it feels like a year’s worth of events have been crammed into the months since then. Pretty much from early June until the middle of June, I sat on my couch and enjoyed whaling. (Not wailing, mind you, that didn’t happen until the two weeks prior to my labor.) I went whaling as in the virtual ocean on the Xbox thanks to many games that kept me occupied. I nerded out for three weeks or so and didn’t do much but bake cookies and play my pirate game so that I could go whaling. Daniel participated in whaling of a different kind… He spent the hours that I wasted my brain away on the Xbox reading Moby Dick, and becoming a smarty! Following all of the whaling of different kinds, we both went to Target and bough a whale mobile for Eliot who finally made his appearance on June 23rd. Then after the whales came and went and Eliot arrived, life got C R A Z Y.

Sleep — I wrote about the things I wanted to remember pertaining to Eliot’s arrival but not about the four day stay in the hospital at the NICU because of certain events (who wants to remember the scary parts? Not me… It’s all about perspective!) But the four day stay did happen, and it was part of the craziness. We finally got to go home and after enough visitors in the first couple weeks to make my head spin (I actually don’t remember who visited because of newborn sleep schedule) we rested and got to know our little one. He decided to have a flip flop sleep schedule too, and got his nights and days confused (oh, how he is my son). After four weeks, he was finally sleeping the majority of his bigger chunks of time at night and we celebrated!

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Baptism and Car — And then, at five weeks postpartum, we had Eliot baptized and then decided to visit my family at home and let everyone meet the little guy. The baptism was wonderful and such an experience for two converts and first time parents! We drove and stopped and nursed and repeated that throughout the four hour drive home and after a night’s rest at my parents, we took my husband’s grandfather out to lunch. It was on the drive back to my parents (five minutes away) that we had a wreck and our car was totaled. Thankfully, the gentleman that hit us is a wonderful man that my parents actually know and so dealing with the event has been easier than it could have been! Everyone was all right, except for some frayed nerves exploding into tears in the McDonald’s from a hormonal mother with a five week old while strangers approached to pat her back and tell her it was all okay. Everybody has a meltdown in a fast food restaurant at some point in their life, right?

School, Friends, and Paperwork — We stayed in town a little longer than we planned and we got home in time for Daniel to deal with craziness at his job and then for all of the school preparations to begin for this semester. Always insane. We then had some close friends come and visit us right after they got engaged and it was the good kind of crazy! All the while, we were digging through mounds of paperwork to try to find our car’s title which had been misfiled. We were just about to give up and deal with having to file for a new one to give to the insurance company when I locked myself in the closet praying that I would find it and pulling everything out of every nook and cranny. My prayers were answered and I presented the troublesome paper to Daniel who then dealt with getting it sent in! We still don’t have our new car yet, but hope to have it within the next few days.

Whew! I think that ends the stressful (and probably boring) saga of the last few weeks. This last week, I’ve been enjoying snuggles and smiles from Eliot, watching the ending of The Office, and listening to Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (which I never finished reading) while surfing Pinterest for hairstyles that I will show my stylist come Saturday. Yay for the haircut that I had hoped to already have two weeks postpartum!

DIY

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I finished Eliot’s little sack hat that I was working on (pictured above) right before he was born and just in time since it almost doesn’t fit him anymore. I did braids on this one instead of pompoms and really love how it turned out! The braids were difficult to attach so if I make another one, I’ll have to figure out a more efficient way to attach them. It’s such an easy pattern though! I bet little bear ears would look cute too.

Thanks for reading another Chapter in a Life post! Don’t forget that you can find me on Pinterest if you fancy and you can always shoot me an email at hannahsalisbury@outlook.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Peace be with you,

Hannah

A Chapter in the Life (Ch. 15)

Good Catholic Literature

5 Saints Every Nursing Mom Should Know Carrots for Michaelmas (guest post by Mandi Richards)

We’re Not All The SameMy Serenity Prayer – My wonderful friend, Mia, wrote this great post and it has really been making me think! 

Treating Maternal Anxiety – Call Her Happy 

And check out Mary’s blog over at Better Than Eden if you find yourself in need of newborn baby pictures, the experiences of living with FIVE BOYS, and great baby advice from one of the most inspirational bloggers to me! (P.S. There’s more baby adorableness and all things boy on her Instagram feed, so go give her some love!)

Family News

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I’m almost thirty-seven weeks pregnant now and boy, can I tell you that for this pregnancy, it’s like there’s a switch in there labeled “NOW YOU’RE REALLY PREGNANT” that somehow got flipped on. It’s okay though, we’re almost there. I’m so ready to meet this little guy.IMG_2388

My labor bag is all packed, Eliot’s bag is packed, and I even managed to finish my birth plan/notes this week! We really don’t have much left to do for the little guy. I also wrote out my prayer intention list for the labor and I’ve already begun praying for some of them during the contractions I’ve already had that have NOT been so fun… I have another appointment on Thursday in which we will have another sonogram and I’m SO excited to see him! As he grows in there, it gets even more exciting to see what he is looking like as you can see more and more features every time.

IMG_2383Speaking of those uncomfortable pains, this massage ball has become a definite must for future pregnancies. It took us a few stores to track down a decent massage aid but eventually, Academy won out! Our goal was to find something that would help Daniel not to tire out and to save his hands since he’ll probably be massaging me for hours. This thing just rolls over your back, or you can hold it in place on your lower back which has worked wonders during contractions. It helps me fall back asleep when I wake up in the middle of night and I’m uncomfortable. Almost like how a back scratch just makes you feel so relaxed and you’re slowly able to drift back off to sleep!IMG_2389

We set up Eliot’s little play corner which houses his toys, books, and awesome dragon! We know it’s early for all of that, but what can I say… I really look forward to playing with this little guy! We put his play quilts there too for easy access and I’m thinking of adding a little storage box for diapers and wipes so that we have them accessible in the living room.

IMG_2385Lastly, we set up his Co-Sleeper in our bedroom and it gives me good dreams when I fall asleep staring at the little place where he will lay. Are you sick of baby talk yet? I’m sorry to add to the cliche…

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Fine, I’ll talk about something else. Marriage! (What did you expect?) In addition to Eliot’s godparents from our hometown, and then the lovely Haley from her blog, “Home to Catholicism,” my friends Mia and Joe also tied the knot within the last two weeks! We gave the latter a print from Dave Pollot’s shop on Etsy for their wedding gift and yes, you need to look closer in the picture to see WHY we did so. Awesome, RIGHT? The Star Wars print on the right is actually one the seller sent to us for shopping with him and so it now hangs on our wall too. So many beautiful couples got married this week, it really had me nostalgic for my own wedding! I’m so happy for each and every one of these women! Congratulations to them all!

IMG_2298I made some delicious pasta inspired by a place some friends recommended we go to eat Italian food. The food was outrageously good and it made me want to try making some summer pasta. This is a ricotta tomato basil pasta and really it was just simply those ingredients mixed with penne pasta, crushed garlic, and olive oil. Mmmm!IMG_2366

Daniel also put his hands together in the kitchen and made this Chocolate Italian Love cake we found on Pinterest! Don’t you want your death to look this luxurious?

DIY

IMG_2354 I finished making my Jack Johnson pillow and I’m excited to be able to move on to other embroidery projects! It looks good on Daniel’s new arm chair.IMG_2372

After finishing the little lap blanket I was crocheting, I made this little hat for a friend who is also expecting a little boy. I was hoping to use up some of the left over yarn from the lap blanket since it was baby soft yarn anyway. I discovered that I hate making pom poms.

Thanks for reading another Chapter in a Life post! Don’t forget that you can find me on Pinterest if you fancy and you can always shoot me an email at hannahsalisbury@outlook.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Peace be with you,

Hannah