Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Baby Is ONE


Today is a big day in my world: it's my baby girl's first birthday.  She couldn't care less - to her it's just another day that also happens to involve chewing on bright gift bows and smearing around cupcake frosting.

But, for me, it's a big deal.

This year has been the most overwhelming year of my life.  There have been sleepless nights followed by extreme fatigue.  There have been moments when I've wanted to just come unraveled...and I almost have.  There have been countless prayers that sounded like this, "Please.  Just.  Help.  Me."  There have been so many days where I just did my best to make it through the morning to nap time...and then through the afternoon to bed time.  Headaches.  Viruses.  Colds and flues.  Baby has even had pneumonia and a couple of ER visits.


There's just nothing easy about parenting.  To say it's exhausting is putting it mildly.  Having one child was manageble for me.  Having two children has been one big blur.

A foggy mess of memories...with lots of pictures since I was only half awake. Instead of focusing on the laying on the couch while Annelise naps and Evalie watches a movie kind of moments, I want to hold on to THESE moments:


- the way that Annelise lights up EVERY time I come into the room; she waves her arms and grins
- that special strong sister bond that Evalie and Annelise share
- how Annelise is so grossed out by our dog Jolie and really doesn't want anything to do with her
- what a good breastfeeder and then eater Annelise has been
- hearing her first coos, then mumbles, and now word-ish sounds
- her love of music and the way she rocks left and right and dances when it's on
- the countless smiles she has put on strangers faces by smiling at them in public
- her head resting on my shoulder and pressing into my chest for cuddles
- sneaking in to watch her breathe in the middle of the night, but always waking her up on accident
- the sounds she makes when sucking a bottle or a bag of baby food
- the softness of her perfect skin; unburdened by diaper rashes and sensitivities
- tiny feet that seem too small to hold her up as she learns to walk

My love for Annelise Virginia has grown steadily since the day I first held touched her wet head and pulled her shoulders from my own body and placed her on my chest...That moment changed my life forever.  THANK YOU SWEET BABY FOR THE BEST YEAR OF MY LIFE!

(See it all on the Cradled Creations link here:)


Monday, January 12, 2015

House Pictures!

Sorry it's taken me so long - here's a little tour of a few of the rooms in our new house!  Rarely are things very tidy around here these it's taken me quite a while to have a moment to grab my camera and snap!  Also, excuse the Valentine's Day decorations lol ;)


A few pretty touches - a shadow box of her take home outfit, a little statue my mama bought her (they're the same ones she got me as a child!), a personalized jewelry box from our friend Katrina.

Main paint colour is BM Grey Mist...really more like an off white with a dab of greyish.  It was the perfect colour to tone down the very yellow "vintage white" furniture yet not turn yellow itself with the purple accent stripe. 

I painted the accent stripe using the new scallop frog tape - so cool!  Made the name with decoupaging wooden letters.  Lighting is from home depot.  Furniture is by Munire (Savanah line - HIGHLY recommend this company for their customer service and excellent product!)

Lastly, the blessing we say to her every night.  Got the idea from the book "The Blessing" by John Trent.


Main paint colour is BM Revere Pewter with accent wall of BM Bridal Pink (requires a LOT LOT LOT of coats - and USE A PRIMER even if your paint is the best there is.)

Lace banner by my dear friend Alyssa.  Photography by the amazing Jaydene Freud of Cradle Creations, Abbotsford.  Lighting is again from Home Depot.

Curtains from Restoration Hardware.  Vintage doilies were my crafty touch ;)

Furniture by Bratt Decor.  Art work by Lindsay Letters (LOVE HER STUFF!)  Used ikea metal bars on the wall to hang special handmade blankets (thanks Auntie Jenn!)


Stuck with a simple black and white damask scheme (from years ago!) and brought in a touch of green.  Walls are "Folly" by Behr.  Curtains are...WALMART of all places!  Lighting is from Tiffany Lighting through Joss and Main online.

If you come to visit, you get your own bathroom!  I'm thinking about painting the end tables in a crisp fresh white instead of the creamy colour that they are.


We wanted this room to be a bit more formal and elegant, but also not too heavy on furniture so that our formal dining room can expand here when needed.  We still wanted it warm and inviting, so we added the blanket ladder in the corner.

The wallpaper is a stock line at our local Benjamin Moore store, so it didn't take nine months to custom order (like our last house!)  Google "Atlantic Damask Silver Modern Damask" and you'll find it in other neutral colours too. We love how it's a modern take on a traditional pattern.

We moved the big bathroom mirror from our upstairs en suite remodel to the entry way.  We also painted the inside of our front door black to dress it up.

Painting, lamps, couches, ottoman, end tables: homesense.  Coffee table, black rug: ikea.  Decided to use aqua as the accent colour through pillows, curtains, and lampshades, but can easily change this up as desired :)


This mudroom off the garage was once just a couple machines on the floor and an industrial sink.  NOW IT'S DREAMY!  I always get laundry done quickly and easily (the folding the putting away is another story lol!)  The drawers are sturdy enough that they act as a stand for my baskets; and the lower ones are deep enough to actually store laundry baskets full!

Haven't decided what to do here yet - it's a low shelf of hooks for Evalie to hang up her coats on her own for now.  I am thinking eventually I would like to find a really cool bulletin board for school stuff to gather when the time comes.


Some people call this the Family Room, but to me it's where all the living takes place so I call it the living's a bit confusing for some (like my husband, for example lol)!  We went with a darker, warmer paint colour since we have tons and tons of natural south facing light along this great room.  It's BM Rockport Grey.  I think it really keeps everything warm, but modern :)

Two sitting chairs and two couches (sofas from Urban Barn) makes for lots of room for friends to chat!  Yet, there is still room for the kiddos to play (that ottoman is full of toys!) and there is a baby swing, play mat, and exersaucer usually here too ;)  Curtains are from Target - love the ombre!

Big fireplaces are hard to decorate without televisions!  But, I think this painting from Bouclair Home did the trick ;)

Love this office nook where we can one day keep an eye on what our girls are looking at on the computer.  Notice the messy papers everywhere...tis wha tis.

A couple fun Heart Day decorations ;)  The heart banner is on its last leg and might have to retire after this year...the paper just keeps getting more and more warped.  OH, and if you ever decide to do one of these paper flower styrofoam ball things, two pieces of advice: only use the Martha Stewart four-petal flower punch and stick with monochromatic!

Love our awesome rug because it pulls in all the neutrals and adds some pattern to the room. It was an investment from our carpet store (Atlanta Flooring in Mission BC) and won't stain (so they say!)

Some art I made from cutting old hymns into heart shapes and modge podging - the gold isn't the best with this paint colour, but oh well!  It's special anyway.

Another spot where I have toys available - under the couch console table...see how pretty it all looks when I cut that bottom part off?  Haha!  Oh what pictures can hide and show! 

Thanks for looking - hope you can come for a visit IRL soon!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Courage to Change...

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can,
and the Wisdom to know the difference.

A simple prayer.  A profound reminder.

Sometimes, it's easy for me to focus on the things I can't change, even though it's frustrating that I can't change them.  Primarily these things include...well, ALL OTHER PEOPLE.  It's easy to let my mind wander onto all the things that I would change about others.  The thoughts go something like this, "If only ____ were more ____ then (insert good outcome here)."  Like, "If only my toddler were more obedient, then I wouldn't pull out my hair."  

But, the truth is, I can't change other people.  Even my own children.  (A good parenting book that recognizes this premise is Scream-Free encourages parents to change themselves, thereby impacting their children instead of the vast majority of behavior modification publications out there.)  Okay...that was a side note...

I also can't always change my circumstances.  Sometimes money is plentiful, sometimes it's not.  Sometimes the weather makes my day bright and cheery; usually dreary and rainy.  I can't always change my health.  Sometimes I'm plagued with an extremely painful migraine; sometimes I feel great.  Sometimes I get a good night's sleep; sometimes I'm exhausted.  


I can change:

my thoughts & perspective
my emotions (eventually)
my words
my actions

what I read
what I wear
what I eat

who I spend time with
who I invest in
who I let go

how much I sleep
how much I spend money
how much I exercise
how much I clean house or play with my kids

This year I'm going to have courage to change something when it's not working for me.  To think optimistically, instead of worrying.  To speak encouragement with boldness.  To read more scripture & more parenting books (I love those!).  To eat in a way that gives me energy and strength.  To invest in relationships that serve, fill, and mutually build up.  To let go of people, things, thoughts that drag me down.  To prioritize healthy sleeping and spending habits.  To choose happy children over a clean kitchen. 

This year I'm having the courage to be who I want to be...who God wants me to be!

 just a note that I wouldn't change how cute these kiddos are EVER ;)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2015 Word of the Year: COURAGE

I used to be a courageous gal.  A little TOO courageous in fact.  I was that girl who would say whatever I thought  - often without tact - whether you wanted to hear me or not.  Let's just say I lost some friends along the way.

Lesson learned: LET YOUR GENTLENESS BE EVIDENT TO ALL.  -Phillipians 4:5.

Oh, and it helped that I moved to Canada, one of the most polite countries in the world.  People here don't speak up much (in general) for fear of hurting or offending others.  It was a good culture for my personality to become immersed in.  But, tending toward all-or-nothing, I became quiet, and as PC as I could.  My pendulum swung clear to the other side, and my goal was to be liked by everyone.


Turns out, no matter what I did, I still wasn't liked by some people.  Some people still got mad at me, didn't want to be my friend, or asked me to be quiet.  Turns out, you can't please everyone.

So, this is the year that I say: I'm going to have real courage.


I'm finding my balance between the extremes.  2015 is the year of true courage.

More to come.

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