My New Blog

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My words and my pictures have a new URL 'home'. You can find that site at:

See ya there!

Because My Last Post Was Not So Beautiful...

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Just wanted to replace the first post that pops up on my blog from sad to something that will certainly bring a smile.

(And for the record, I am doing good. Thanks for listening while I vented a little for a day.)

This morning at Cayman's PlayGroup she got dressed up in her Halloween costume (duck) and went around to various of staff's offices and trick-or-treated.

She loved it! And so did I! This weekend we will do it again but in more traditional style - outside, door-to-door, and Daddy will be there! Good times!

(Mike titles this video "That's quacktastic!")

Desiring Some Simplicity

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's been really busy. A near constant on the go, trying to keep up with the list of calling responsibilities on our plate right now.

I am tired. I feel a bit stressed and perhaps weary could be thrown in there too.

I have struggled to keep up physically. Pregnancy slows me down several notches.

I feel frustrated.

I have disappointed people. Emotions run high through me because of that. I know nobody is perfect but still, I hate disappointing.

I have been in a lot of pain. My back is not happy with the load of a growing baby pushing on it from the inside and an ambilatory dependent toddler carried on my hip.

I feel my eyes well up with tears when I look at the growing pile of medical bills and do not know how this situation is going to turn out for us financially.

Stress has a way of bringing out character flaws in us. My husband has been so forgiving. I do not know what I would do without him. He has had to deal with a woman that has very unpredictable and very strong emotions. And he's done it with such grace. It is a gift the way he balances me. In turn it encourages me to grow.

I have had very little time for anything pertaining to just some ME. I miss my hobbies.

I feel Jesus take my face gently into his hands and direct my worrisome eyes back to Him, remembering to "Be still and know that He is God." {Psalm 46:10}

So today, as best as I can, I am going to be still. I am not going to chatter thoughtlessly. I will remember I do not have to defend myself and make sure people think of me the way I want them to (I'll start that today by actually pushing the 'publish' button to this post). I will remember that there was only One person that ever walked this Earth that was declared perfect. I will be more forgiving of myself. The Perfect One is. Today before I make decisions I will listen carefully for God's 'voice'. Today I am not going to be tossed around by anxiety or fear. I will live in stillness.

This is Me.

Right now.

Kind of scattered.

Very real.

Eye Patching

Friday, October 22, 2010

A little over two months ago Cayman saw her eye doctor. Her prescription glasses were not helping to restore the vision loss in her right eye. Orders were written for us to start patching her left eye for three hours a day. By blocking out her vision in her strong eye (the left one) forces her right eye to work and hopefully enabling it to get stronger, reversing the vision loss. If patching is not successful in reaching this goal surgery-talk will come up. Bleh!

Eye patching has been an adjustment in this household.

Cayman hated it strongly in the beginning, who's to blame her. I hated it. Who can blame me.

Once the patch was on, next comes the glasses, which she also hated. Then a few weeks later hearing aids were introduced to her. Oh my goodness! Can I just be honest and tell you that I found myself overwhelmed with emotion from all of this. I slapped a speech onto myself one morning trying to bring reassurance to my soul, "It's not like it's a shunt failure. You can handle this. It's not so bad. Cayman will adjust to it."

It was a fighting routine that I could not let slip between the cracks of everyday life, even though I felt the temptation to. Both Cayman's sight and hearing depended on it. It was not an option not to carry out this routine.

I am convinced that Cayman was convinced I was torturing her everyday though by making her wear this stuff. Again, it's that fine balance as a mother that I feel between stern and gentle.

I would sing her favorite songs {Itsy Bitsy Spider, The Wheels on the Bus, etc.} while I put all this 'stuff' on her each morning. For the most part the songs kept her mind distracted from what I was doing as well as kept those adorable, independent hands too busy to pull all the 'stuff' off.

Now, 5 months later of glasses wearing, 2 months later of eye patch wearing, and a little over a month later of hearing aid wearing, I can say it's all going so much smoother.

Cayman has survived the adjustment to all this 'stuff'. {And so did I}

23 Weeks

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Yesterday was another OB appointment for me. I am now 5 month, or counting by weeks, I am 23 weeks along.

Our baby boy continues to be very active making the doctor chase him around with the doppler ultrasound to check on his beating heart, which was in the 140's. It still sends my mind swirling over this type of 'normal' and how very unusual it is to me. I call my appointments "boring" although hearing that little heart living away inside of me is anything but boring. The rest is boring - waiting for my name to be called, getting a weight, blood pressure, peeing in a cup - you know just the regular stuff.

But only the regular stuff this time.

It's such a different experience. To be expecting a child without planning all the extra medical care and concerns is...well you can say it's heart calming. It really can and is happening for us. I still soak in that fact each day over the blessing that it is. And I continue to ask God to protect that blessing.

It also emerges me even deeper into the gift I was given on my first trip - my Cayman. She is this precious miracle in our lives. I will never forget the distress, grief, and confusion that became so familiar to me when I was pregnant with her. I had learned that my unborn child had a serious and very likely fatal birth defect and if she did survive we would be burdened by the work of raising an extremely handicapped child. Descending through the long hallways of the hospital after my OB appointments with Cayman felt more like a bad dream than real life itself. But I could not wake up from it. I could not escape it. I could not change it. It was our reality.

Now I walk those same hallways again, my faithful Mike still at my side, this time pushing Cayman in her stroller, with another little one on the way. Different thoughts roll through my mind than the time before. I can still remember the numbness, the pain, the agony that consumed my thoughts. So many prayers I breathed in those hallways begging God to change it. "Fix her Lord". "Take the diagnosis away".

Walking away from the OB clinic yesterday I hooked my arm into Mike's as I reflected on that time before. I fell deeper in love with him. The hardship we faced over Cayman's diagnosis never made him bitter. He allowed it to cultivate a tender growth of love and sensitivity toward life. Watching him become a daddy in a NICU setting taught me something about security and the amazing person that he is.

As we continued to walk toward the parking lot yesterday, together - our little family of four, I glanced down and my eyes stopped on Cayman, my little living-away-loving-life Cayman, and I smiled. She has changed our world. I have come to fully realize that I do not regret for one moment that I experienced all that heartache when I was pregnant with her. For it's made the joy of the miracle that she is all the more sweeter. It has grown the capacity for which I can feel the gift of a healthy baby.

Cayman's diagnosis did not crumble my world like I thought it would [once upon a time]. On the contrary, it has built it up and unveiled my eyes so that I can see more clearly how to treasure the gift that each day is. I don't think that comes naturally in life. Sometimes pain is the best teacher to help us learn that. It gives us the opportunity for self-discovery and growth to take us into a deeper knowledge of appreciation for the simple things.

I never doubted that God was always with us in every grim OB appointment. I did question where He was in it all. Like a foggy fall morning I couldn't see then but I do now. He was working a blessing into our lives far more dreamlike than we could imagine. We call her Our Beautiful Cayman Cindy. She is our sweet little blessing that came to us just as He wanted her to be. I didn't understand that in the beginning. There was much I did not understand back then. But I know now and not just intellectually but by heartfelt experience every day how beautiful this life is that God has written for me. What did I ever do to be so blessed like this? Surely I am not deserving. God's love astounds me in the many ways He lavishes Himself on me. I see it every day in my husband. I see it in my little Cayman. I see it in the miracle of the life that is growing inside of me.

There is a sweet privilege and finesse I feel over my two children. Experiencing these two miracles of life in such very different ways.

The Remodeling Continues

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The remodeling changes are getting to the point of intense fun. It was definitely fun right from the start, but now it's even more. The real changes are beginning to take shape. Where before the vision of the rooms were seen only by our mind's eye, now we are standing in the very tangible sight of our new morphed space.

If you remember it started out as...oh wait, you probably do not remember because I never captured a 'before' shot of the rooms. Oops.

(below photo) This is looking into the 3rd bedroom of our house, which will become our little boy's nursery. (this is the best 'before' shot I have)

That doorway leading into the extension room off the third bedroom was remodeled to completely divide the two rooms from each other.

There is Lindsay and Mike closing in the open doorway. Mike is the one in red (like I really had to tell you that) and Lindsay I promise next time to capture your better side. :)

Abracadabra and *poof* the doorway disappeared!
An extra layer of insulation was installed between the newly divided rooms to help sound proof them. And the reward of the day goes to the person who came up with this awesome idea which would be Mike, the one patting himself on the back right now. :)

I am such a lucky girl to have the best drywaller in town in my home for this part of the job. (spp, that's my dad). So it sounds a little biased I know and it may be but it is also the absolute truth. And before he lectures me on writing such stuff I better just add that he's retired from the drywalling business so don't call on him. He claims he's getting too old for this stuff. ;)

All those above pictures were from the nursery's side. Now I will take you completely around to the other side of the newly enclosed wall to show you the progress in my massage office.

It went from this...

To this...

And now to that...

It is all ready to be painted!!

Then all that's left is:
  • putting on the doors
  • and the rest of the trim
  • a little bit more painting to those areas
  • install new flooring (for those wondering minds, "No we are not keeping that plaid carpeting!)
  • and the final decorating touches (details, I'm all about the details. Now if only I can convince Mike that our budget is too *wink wink*).

Like I said, very exciting changes!!

"Look at Me!"

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last week I wrote an entry about Cayman's therapy and all that she is learning. As well as what she has regressed in - walking.

The subject of her resistance to walking with her walker swirls in my mind. There is a balance between firm and gentle with my Cayman that feels fluid most days to me. Can she understand? Will she learn our support is unconditional while we push her to do the things she does not want to do, such as learning to walk? Or is this the time to be more gentle because pushing will create a total turn off in her desire to learn? Does her resistance mean she's not ready for it yet? Or is her reluctancy a sign that she needs the push that will ultimately lead to her confidence?

There will be steps forward and there will be steps taken back (no pun intended). It's a natural occurrence of life. It's important to know that the ebb and flow can’t happen when you’re standing still though. Like riding a bicycle, you can’t learn how to balance by reading a book about it or waiting until you are sure you can do it perfectly before you try.

And so I push Cayman to try the things that she is strong enough for and during it I continue to learn balance between firm and gentle. Balance between pushing and pulling back. To one day "hear" those beautiful words "Mom, look at what I can do!". I have heard it before on my Cayman's face. The glow of her smile, the sparkle in her eyes and my heart feels every beat of her unspoken voice, "Mom, look at me. Look at what I can do!"

I "heard" it when she reached out and grabbed a toy all by herself when she was 4 1/2 months old.

I "heard" it when she held her head up for the first time at 5 1/2 months of age.

I "heard it when she learned to sit all by herself at 18 months.

I "heard" it in her clapping the other day when she fit the puzzle pieces together correctly.

And I "heard" it again yesterday when I pushed through her resistance (a hard thing for me) and watched her regain her confidence to walk with her walker. :) *insert a proud smile*

"Mom, look at what I can do!", I "heard" her say through the laughter in her voice and the sparkle in her eyes.

And for that I push.

This post is getting a bit wordy this morning for all that I am basically trying to say is:

Look at her! Look at what she did yesterday!!

(background noise provider by Mike, Dan, and Lindsay - my team of men building my new massage office for me) :)

The Good, The Bad

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Good and the Bad of things...

The Bad: Learning that anything pertaining to hearing is not covered by our insurance policy. All hearing tests and devices that were ordered and performed for Cayman - not covered. Thousands of dollars are expected of us. It's been a horrendous week as we sort this out, reminding ourselves that God has been faithful before and He will be again.

The Good: Learning impertinent information that should resolve most of the emergency room visit claims that were denied coverage. Thousands of dollars will be paid in full.


The Good: Applying for a financial aid program that is available in Ohio. If we are accepted they will help cover some of the cost in Cayman's medical care pertaining to her hearing needs.

The Bad: In order for this program to pay for her otolaryngology and audiology care, the providers have to be in Ohio. So we will be leaving her old ear doctors in Michigan that have been over her care since she was in the NICU to find trust in new doctors. A lot of apprehension I feel over this.


The Bad: Hearing aid batteries dieing quickly. I change them out about once a week.

The Good: Sending Mike out on an errand to retrieve more batteries one evening this week and him returning with several packages that were on sale!


The Bad: Cayman needing a certain type of eye patch and that has not been easy to find in our tiny town. Nearest big city is 45 minutes away. Not a convenient drive for an item that we need so frequently. Or we have the option to special order them locally for more money.

The Good: A different local drug store started stocking them and for $2 cheaper than the special order ones. Oh this simplifies in so many ways.


The Good: The Antique Road Show is in town. Well not my town but one that is close by. I have some antique Cat Andirons I would love to find out more about for selling purposes. It's the perfect opportunity to do just that.

The Bad: I am trying to find the time to squeeze this into my already incredibly busy week.


The Good: Baby is getting bigger with movements and kicks a lot stronger. The bond between us is growing to be something so tender and tight.

The Bad: My back is not adjusting well to the changes my body is going through as I grow in size.


The Bad: Remodeling projects are expensive.

The Good: This current project will allow for a second income for us as the room is being remodeled for my new massage office.


The Bad: A stubborn second year molar breaking through slowly for Cayman resulting in lots of crying, neediness, and clinging.

The Good: My busy toddler settling down long enough for some cuddles. The good feeling in my heart when those arms reach out wanting to be picked up. The good feeling around my shoulders when she snuggles in tightly.


The Bad: Worrying over Cayman's medical needs that are not covered by our insurance.

The Good: Remembering God has been faithful before and He will be again.


The Bad: Facing some fears and insecurities of mine head on. Never fun.

The Good: Growing deeper in my understanding of God's love for me.

22 weeks pregnant

The Sippy Cup

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

It's still not her favorite. A foe more than a friend most days. A bottle is what she likes best. She lucks out in getting pushed to make the full transition between the two. I choose not to force it because of her size. She's a peanut. Not even reaching the 1% mark on the weight charts. I sneak extra calories in her day through her bottle. She'll drink them right down with no complaints. I have learned a bottle is discouraged in the eyes of some if the child is past the age of one. Wow that seems young. Her pediatrician objects that I still have her on a bottle. I say: She's only two. And if a bottle means the difference in keeping her maintaining, gaining, and healthy then I'm just happy that such a simple solution works, regardless of her chronological age. If only all things pertaining medical to her could be fixed this easily. Let's just enjoy this feeling of simple.

Day 1: Bedroom 3 & 4 Remodeling

Monday, October 11, 2010

An entire closet has been removed. A once solid wall has been cut and a new door way exists now - all in order to turn this 3 bedroom house into a 4 bedroom one. What a slick improvement that is!

Things evolved so quickly today I did not get in there and capture before pictures. This very low quality picture (below) from our realtor is all I could find of a before photo of the rooms.

The first portion of this room is what I call the 3rd bedroom and the doorway through there, the extension room off the 3rd bedroom, is what we are turning into a 4th bedroom.

The 3rd room will become the nursery. And the 4th bedroom will be for now my massage room allowing me to be able to work from home. So ideal!

First step was to remove the closet in the 4th room.

Again, I do not have a better before photo than this (above). This was taken on our walk through of our house before we bought it. But there on the right side you can see the closet doors. They stretched all the way across that wall. We tore those out and a new doorway was cut into the wall of that now non-existing closet.

{After today's renovation work}

A new closet will be built to the left of the new door way. And the opening on the right will be, in the words of Mike, "deleted." Can you tell he's more of a computer geek than a constructionist?

*insert a big grin here*

All this makes us so happy.

What's behind Drawer Number 1?

"You don't possibly believe that I opened up this drawer all by myself and took out all these clothes, do you Mom?"

Cayman has discovered drawers and doors and cupboards...oh my!!

Thinking, Smiling, Planning, Dreaming

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's one of those nights when I cannot get my mind to shut off.

I should be sleeping. I need to be sleeping. I know this. For morning comes faster these days with all the extra sleep my body craves while growing a baby. But tomorrow is an exciting day for us. We will finally take our months of talking plans and put them into real action on the nursery makeover.

I have mentioned before that in our house there are three bedrooms. In the third one there was an addition added on once upon a time that is sort of like a fourth bedroom but really it's just an extension of the 3rd bedroom since you have to pass through it to get to the 4th part.

Our plans are to finish off the wall between these two rooms completely separating them from one another. Then in the alcove of our foyer we will create a new door which will be the fourth bedroom's entrance. Obviously construction will not be done respectively. The new door will be cut first and then the wall will get filled in.

I'll share pictures later and then my description will make clearer sense.

We will have the absolute best help at achieving all this master mind construction that goes far above our knowledge (I know how to hammer a nail, that counts for something). The same contractor that moved my sister's garage will be here helping us. I could not be any happier about having him in our home even if he was Ty Pennington himself. His sidekick helper (a.k.a. my brother-in-law) is going to be helping too. "Thanks Dan!"

So what the heck, I am just going to lay here relaxing over a sudoku game played on my Ninetendo DS and allow myself to feel giddy and dream, soaking in the excitement I feel about being one day closer to finishing my little baby's room. Sleep will come eventually. And this feeling I have in my heart, I never want to forget.

You know, it's pretty much amazing being able to plan a nursery and to have one available to provide. For so many different reasons.

Feeling so thankful for my blessings.


Friday, October 8, 2010

I was thinking, when was the last time I wrote a post about Cayman and her therapy sessions? It's been awhile.

Could it possibly be as far back as May when I posted to show off her improved abilities in walking with her walker.

The continual improvements in that area came in small leaps. She slowly built up her endurance and could walk farther with each month but still too weak to actually push the walker by her own strength.

A little over a month ago she surprised us one day when we let go of the walker and Cayman pushed it all by herself with champion steps taking her a whole two feet all by her own strength!

That's my girl!

By that next week she was up to five feet!

And I did not take a single video of it!! (I know, *gasp*, *gasp*!) I was too busy cheering to hold a camera steady.

Almost a month ago Cayman stopped, completely wants nothing to do with the walker now. The very site of it upsets her. She kicks her feet struggling to get out of our embrace if we carry her toward it. And if we push through her struggles (I know, what meanies huh) she ends up in tears. Poor little sweetheart. This reaction makes me think she is afraid of it. I have only seen this kind of behavior in her when we have approached animals too close for her comfort level. But I have no idea why she would feel afraid. She has not ever fallen while using the walker. Far as I know from my objective point of view there was no negative encounter with it. If anything it was quite the opposite of an experience. The more she progressed in walking independently with the walker the more excited Mike and I got, with cheers and so many hugs and kisses. She loved the attention - giggling the whole five feet she could push the walker before she tuckered out. Oh how I wish I had it on video. The very memory of it makes me smile, the way she was so happy and silly while walking all by herself (with the walker of course. It felt like she was walking all by herself because we were not pushing the walker along while she took her steps). Happy things.

And now the walker makes her so sad. I wish I could understand why.

She kind of followed this same pattern of regression with independent sitting as well before she fully conquered it.

Someday she will get there, in walking. In her own time. And in her own way.

The walker is still around, visible if she wants to see it. But we don't push the issue. Once in awhile I get it out and put it in the center of the room and leave it be. Most of the time Cayman crawls around it, ignoring it. A few times she has approached it to push it forward and backwards while sitting down or standing on her knees. But if I dare sneak in and try to help her stand up to it the struggles begin.

This is the part of parenting when I wish my child came with a manual. Is it a stubbornness that we should push through and keep forcing the issue of the walker? I know she is strong enough to do it. Yet that doesn't feel right to me. I know my little Cayman and I am going to stick with my gut feeling and not push it. I feel confident that she will get there someday, in walking. In her own time. And in her own way. Pushing it will only make her more resistant and create a negative experience out of something as beautiful as the gift of walking.

But there is one more Mommy-trick I have been doing, this subject is not completely a closed matter. An approach to this from a different angle so's to speak. Since Cayman loves watching videos on my laptop, we sit together and watch the videos I took of her at therapy back when she did walk with her walker. We point together. I narrate the happenings out loud to her, "Look Cayman, there is you and Miss Jodi. And you're walking. Look at Cayman walking! You go, go, go!! So big!" I'll say with an enthusiastic smile. Cayman usually smiles back and watches intently.

Like I said, in her own time. In her own way. She'll let us know when she's ready. And I'll be sure to get a video of it this time. :)

The update doesn't stop there.

There is progress in other areas and one big one happens to do with walking. Yes I did type that correctly and no you did not misread it. Sounds contradictory I know. While Cayman has regressed in walking with a walker she has progressed in walking along (side stepping) a bench at therapy and at home it's the couch. I have a video of that posted below. Also in the video you'll see Cayman giggling and babbling into a toy microphone. That's another huge improvement for her. She's been mimicking [some] sounds and taking turns to produce purposeful noises into the microphone is new as of just this week. And the last segment in the video you'll see Cayman swinging. That's her favorite part of therapy. In fact, it's so much fun to her that the swing is taken down and hidden out of site before the therapy session begins. We have learned this little trick keeps her more cooperative and focused if all that swinging fun is not hanging there distracting her. Then it's brought out at the end as her perfect reward system for working so hard.

Happy viewing...

Mysterious Tree Thief

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I rarely walk on the other side of our backyard's fence. There's nothing much there. Just some more yard, trees and more landscaping stuff that needs tore out and redone. I love our house. Really I do even though I feel overwhelmed by all the improvements it needs and I dream of what it would feel like to move into what realtors call a 'move-in' ready house, with everything already done. But there is a sweet side to having a house that needs personal touches and some TLC. It's fun dreaming up the changes. When one project is finished it feels extra good to Mike and I.

On one side of our fence, it's a rather beautiful journey. First step over our bumpy tree roots and some more ground vines and you reach the far back side which is lovely. There is more open yard there belonging to us and if only click, drag, and drop worked outside of photoshop I would stretch the fence to enclose this part of the yard too. Having it blocked off feels like a waste of a yard as it is right now.

And do I dare admit that I am a peeping neighbor? I love to sneak a look around the back side of our fence and gaze into my neighbor's backyard. They have beautifully pruned evergreens surrounded by some of the greenest grass you have ever seen and mulch that is a deep clay red. So pretty!

I have told Mike, "Let's just tear out this fence." It would be the perfect view from the stretch of windows across our family room's wall that opens to the backyard. Plus without the fence we would have even a wider area out there for playing.

Wall of windows overlooking our backyard.

Someday we might just get ambitious and tear that fence out. But there is bonuses to have a backyard fenced in too. So maybe not. We're still teetering on the idea.

It had been awhile since I went on my little walking, peeping journey to the other side of our fence. So a few weeks ago Cayman and I lifted the latch and opened the gate.

"Where you going?" Mike called out to us.

"Just walking to go see the pretties." I told him.

Mike joined us.

As were walking, I said, "It looks different over here, doesn't it?"

Perplexed Mike responded, "Yes it does." Pausing for a moment then he blurted out, "WHERE'S OUR TREE?!"

I looked a little to the left and there was a stump.

A whole entire tree of ours is gone. Weird huh.

We didn't cut it down. We didn't order to have it cut down either. We had thought about it once when Mike learned that that tree kept him from being able to get The Dish.

We have tried to solve this mystery, thus far turning up no answers.

Dear Mysterious Tree Thief,

We don't mind at all that you took our tree. We were not too attached to it anyways. We would have appreciated a little heads up about it. And if you would like to come back and take the stump as well that would be really peachy. Oh and there are two more trees you can have. Just don't send the bill to us and we'll call it even.

Together Moments Captured- a Gift to be Cherished

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I've said it before, but it still remains true, there are just some pictures even when blurry that will never be worthy of the recycle bin. When they capture the happiness, when they capture the moments that feel beautiful to me, they will always be keepers. Always. In my heart and in my hard drive.

{photos taken September 2010}

The Back Yard

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

We have a lovely backyard. So much potential lies back there. I see it as a place to relax in someday - eating supper outside on the patio (when we build one), watching the children play on their swing set (when we get one), roasting marshmallows in the fire pit (when we buy one).

So many, many glamorous ideas we have for our backyard.

But first things first. We have to claim it as our own.

You see, something else has taken over our back yard and has been "owning" it long before we moved in.

Ground vines

They grew everywhere!

Along the fencing.

Along the house.

Up the house.

Even making their way under the siding.

Not good. Not at all.

In my opinion there was nothing pretty about their appearance. They looked messy, icky, and were a huge habitat for bugs. Even the professional exterminator could not fully manage our bug issues. My dear sweet Mike has been back on laundry duty while I recover from the trauma of my one-on-one encounters with spiders in our dungeon of a basement (hey, it can't all be as pretty as our refinished hardwood floors).

It was time for the bug kingdom to be removed and finally claim the backyard as ours.

And hopefully those nasty bugs will not find our house to be so attractive to snuggle up with anymore.

That's my dad in the photo. He brought with him all his big, fancy tools to help us conqueror this massive job. Dad did most of the work, bless his heart. Mike had himself some fun with a chain saw (in case you were wondering, nobody got hurt).

I was busy trailing after a really cute toddler that I did not get back out to the roadside to capture the final photo of the pile. It had grown to more than double this size.

And here's some before's and after's...

I don't want those beautiful window panes to be covered up ever again. Imagine what an improvement this change has made from inside the house as well, peering out those windows. It feels so spacious and bright now. It's also made me realize how dirty my windows are. Eek.

Bare and plain is what our landscaping will likely be for awhile (you, know the whole financial thing?). But you know what else, bare and plain has me smiling rather contently right now. I love having all that overgrown stuff gone! My once jungle of a back yard is now a fresh, clean slate. "So much scope for the imagination", as Anne would say. What will it become next?

This feels good to me.

"Thanks, Dad for your help!"


Monday, October 4, 2010

Does it ever get old watching your babe sleep?

30 months later and I am still there.

A work day at our house...

Saturday, October 2, 2010

that has left me smiling.

more to come...

Date Night

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Friday evening.

Mike and I are going out. Just us.

The community theater is putting on a play. Anne of Green Gables. You might have picked up on the little detail before about how much I love Anne of Green Gables. It's not really Mike's sort of thing. And I even gave him the option of not going. His mother and I would go together instead. But no, he said he wanted to be with me.


I know, be still my heart.

But then I thought.

And then I bursted the sweetness by putting a stipulation on it, "Now if you go you have to promise not to crack any sarcastic remarks about any of it no matter how chicky it seems to you."

:) :) :)

He smiled at me tenderly and said, "No hun, we're going to be kindergarten spirits tonight."


A smirk came to my face as I realized what he was trying to say. "Um, I think you mean kindrid spirits, sweetheart."

Nesting is in Effect

Thursday, September 30, 2010

If you're going by most of the photos I share you might think my house is beautiful and always organized.

And with a laugh I would say, "Yep, you're right." :)

But then I would have to reveal the truth, and the truth is my pictures are a little deceptive. I choose to share the pretty parts of our house. The parts that have the hardwood floors finished and sparkly new in appearance. The parts where the wood trim is freshly painted and the walls breath modern color back into this 1947 house.

But there is so much more to it though. So many areas that are not glamorous but actually right down ugly. The exterior condition is probably the worse part. And on the inside there is so many more areas that need attention and updating too. This sort of thing requires a whole separate budget of its own which we have not had. We have been reeling a bit financially from an unexpected summer of many expenses. Thank God for Mike's stable job and even feeling thankful for the head-ache pain of insurance because without it, it would be worse. So much worse. And thanking God also that we booked our vacation this past summer before all these hospital episodes took place. I would have promptly put my foot down and resisted the idea when Mike said, "Let's go on vacation." And you know, vacationing is one of those things that's easy for me to put off for reasons like the busy-ness of life, or not enough money, or feeling too stressed to wander further away from the most trusted hospital we know. But it's also easy to regret later on. There is value in getting away as a family and experiencing more of the world than just our own little corner of it where we live.

Many of the things Mike and I dream of changing in our house has had to wait though. And that's okay because it teaches a certain level of patience and contentment which I need to learn. It opens my eyes to see what's really important. There are days when I have failed miserably at it, feeling as though I am a five year old kid in a candy store stomping their foot because they cannot have all that they want.

Now we are expecting another little one. I am still soaking in that exciting news. It's miraculous to me and many of times I have wondered if we would ever have the privilege of being in the very spot that we are right now. I am in awe.

Preparing for a baby does not come cheaply. My mind was swirling when I sat down and tried to figure out how to "make it all work" (ever been there??). Then God made my head spin pertaining to all His {always} faithfulness. It's unexpected, need meeting, humbling, securing, and over the top faithful.

Looking over my To-Do list of things to get done before the baby arrives I knew our budget would not allow for them all to be completed. Typically that's the part where my 5 year old foot comes out and stomps in frustration. But I did not. Not this time. I want change. I want a better attitude. Christ has been helping that to happen in my life. So I paused, reflecting on all that is really important beyond beautiful rooms, organized closets, and a welcoming curb appeal.

I looked at my list again, circling two tasks that felt of highest priority to me and that which we could afford right now.

  • Baby's closet
  • Cayman's closet
Our house has three bedrooms. When we moved in, bedroom number three became use for storing office supplies and other misc. items. That is all getting moved out now to make room for our new little bundle of joy that will be arriving in less than four months...yikes! Gotta get busy. And busy is exactly what I have been.

I took written inventory of what is currently being stored in what will become the baby's room. Decided on what can be stored in the basement and what needs to find a new place in our home. Had a fun afternoon of coming up with budget-friendly creative ideas. Two books shelves placed on each side of my desk with attractive, affordable office bins from Walmart to hold all the supplies. Feeling comfortably blessed when I went online to Target and found the collection I purchased my desk from is currently being discontinued so the matching shelves were on sale with a promotion of free shipping. {Faithful. He is always faithful.}

Later that afternoon when I ordered the shelves Mike emailed me telling of a mistake that had occurred in his paycheck and we would be getting re-inburst in the amount that was nearly to the exact dollar of what those shelves cost. {Faithful. He is always faithful.}

To utilize a closet's space at its best potential a person needs to make use of the space all the way up to the ceiling. {That's fancy HGTV talk right there for ya}. In order to do that shelves are needed. Well most of the closets in our house lack shelving. Do you remember my broom closet post? It's just like that. The disorder of the 'before' broom closet is exactly what Cayman's closet has been. And oh it's frustrating. It was a terrible task taking out toys to play with and putting them away. Everything would just get stashed in on top of each other.

So I pulled everything out of Cayman's closet. Sketched the blue print layout including its dimensions. Sketched another drawing of a closet system that would accommodate for both clothes racks and shelves {a tricky thing to figure out when the closet is "T" shaped}. Took the drawings to Lowe's to figure out how to get this "custom" idea accomplished. Found a pre-made system similar to my own drawing that fit {nearly} perfectly in her closet for less than half the price than the custom made one. {Faithful. He is always faithful.}

The condition of Cayman's closet before.

Before: Only one tiny little shelf on the right side.

Before: Resulted in a pile up of toys on the floor of the closet.

Ready for the reveal of the after??

Hold your breath.








Ah, sigh with me as your eyes feast on that organized beauty!!

Shelving all the way up on the left side.

Shelving all the way up on the right side.

What an improvement!!

I have had such a great feeling satisfying my nesting urges. And the fact that these two projects turned out to be more comfortable on our pocketbook than we expected...well, I just have to say...

Faithful. He is {always} faithful.