Monday, November 6, 2017

a bigger step

Where's the baby?

There it is!

Oh my friends.  In the last little-over-a-month since my last post, so much has happened!  Andrew and I met with a doctor (as I shared we would).  This was what we thought was our big "next step" towards growing our family.  Little did we know that as we set up tests and researched fertility drugs that a new life was already growing inside of me.  *tears!*  God has graciously given us the gift of our third child after ten months of trying to conceive (our only baby to be conceived within what is considered a "normal" range).

It has been an exciting, yet very stressful, time since we found out about this new baby almost three weeks ago.  Only four days after discovering I was pregnant, I started having (sometimes excruciating) abdominal pain.  After bloodwork to confirm the baby was growing the biggest concern became an eptopic pregnancy.  A week went by and the pain didn't leave, so we had a very early (5 1/2 week) ultrasound and not only were we able to see the baby forming so perfectly in my womb but also the heartbeat flickering on the screen.  <3  We have no clue what was causing the pain but it is mostly gone now.

We are now 6 1/2 weeks along and nausea hits pretty hard most days.  Today is a better day physically (which is the hard part of early pregnancy: you're miserable when morning sickness is there and worried when it isn't).  We are further along than we made it with Promise, so that keeps my hopes high that everything is fine.  We are already so in love and praying so hard that this child (nick-named Squirt for now) will be one we get to raise along with Rennie!  <3
Speaking of Rennie:  she's doing really great with the news.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't comprehend what "baby in mommy's tummy" means for her eight-ish months from now, but she loves patting the baby and is enamored with the ultrasound picture.

The white inside the black circle is baby at only 5 1/2 weeks!

Would you please join us in praying, dear friends?!  Baby is due in late June, so we have a long haul ahead of us (and TONS of coming before the throne of God with our petitions for health and safety for this life).  He hears our hearts and I know it makes a difference.  So excited to keep you all updated as things progress!  Being pregnant is a hard time for my physically, but very much worthwhile!  Thank you for sharing in our joy!

Much love to you all!!!!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

the next step

"Today is a good day for a good day."
Spent the night in vivid dreams of being pregnant again. The best dreams are the hardest to wake from. My doctors appointment to start the journey of hopefully discovering why it is hard for us to have babies is one week away. Last time we scheduled this kind of appointment I got pregnant before I had to go. That didn't happen this time. It's frustrating. It's scary. It hurts to keep hoping that doctors and tests won't be our reality. It's hard when you have a list of beautiful baby names you might not get to use. But today (as I sniffle through the hard that is allergies) the birds are chirping and Rennie is here and tonight is date night and I am beloved. Even with all the ick surrounding it, this is a day made by God. It is worth enjoying.

~ my instagram six days ago

Tomorrow I see a doctor.  Honestly, I am okay with that.  I'm ready to start understanding more definitely what's up.  I'm nervous and, honestly, frustrated that it is needed for something that should be so "natural".  But I'm okay.  Not knowing has been really hard.  And I have the added distraction of Andrew's parents arriving on Friday, so there's something happy to anticipate.  

We probably won't learn anything new tomorrow.  It's just the next step to discovering more.  If I come to mind, please pray for the doctor and I to get along (I've never met her!) and for answers to come quickly.

Today I'm trying to hold onto the present: this rainy day with Andrew unexpectedly home from work.  Trying to focus on little things like dusting, cooking dinner, preparing the guest room, and Wednesday night Bible Study.  This day... and tomorrow... and all of the hard and beautiful days... they are all ordained by God and covered with sufficient grace.

"I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them." (Psalm 139:14-16)

Have a beautiful one, my friends!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

at the lake... outfit post

blue collared dress: gift from my mom, gray cardigan: walmart, 
dangly earrings: can't remember (they are an old favorite!), black sandals: walmart

Another makeup-less outfit post from me (this is becoming the norm, my friends!).  I so love the comfort of this outfit.  It was simple (very few pieces), yet I felt put-together for an evening outing during our vacation in August.  Yes, I am very late sharing this.  It feels appropriate though since the weather has yet to cool here and I am wearing a very similar outfit today.

I have fallen in love with dresses all over again since Rennie is nursing less often.  Back when she nursed every couple hours this would have been a difficult outfit (though the buttons would have kept it from the "impossible" category).  She nurses mostly just for naps and at night now, so dresses (with or without buttons!) are back in my wardrobe rotation again!!!  HAPPY DANCE!  This particular dress is very roomy on me, so I tied my cardigan around my waist in lieu of a belt; more comfy AND came in handy as the temps dropped. 

A question some modesty-minded ladies might ask is how do I keep my dress (especially one that hits right above the knee, which is the shortest I wear) from making things awkward while chasing around a toddler?  I have found a very simple solution for when my activities include more than sitting and walking:  capri (or even mid-thigh) leggings!  I have two solid pairs (gray and black) that go beautifully under any and all of my tunics/dresses.  They give extra coverage without being too warm.

Do you like wearing dresses?  Casual or formal or both?


Friday, September 22, 2017

autumn favorites

AUTUMN IS HERE!!!!!  It may not feel like it (we've had some unseasonably hot weather in Indiana this week), but it is calendar official!  This season is by faaaaaaaaar my favorite and I can't help but honor it with a post about the reasons why.

~  The colors!  I'm usually a fan of light grays, blues, and greens... but there is something so comforting about the colors of fall.

~  The decorations.  Again, though my home decor doesn't normally include items of orange, yellow, and red, this time of year is the exception.

~ Pumpkins!  Fake ones, real ones, drink ones, food ones...  ;-)  From sitting prettily on a front porch to blended in my coffee, pumpkins are a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

mamabird life {seventeen} and blog survey!

Mamabird life has been...

~ Little to no brain capacity for writing.  Hence my terrible lack of sharing here.  These pictures are from a family vacation we took a month ago.  Life hasn't slowed down since getting home.

~ Enjoying *some* cooler weather.  It was beautiful at our vacation spot in Wisconsin and the last couple weeks here in Indiana have been beautiful as well.  It's warming up a bit though... Go away, summer!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

family pictures... and musings from a wife and mommy

"The things you are passionate about are not random, they are your calling."  ~ Fabienne Fredrickson

I have always wanted to be a wife and mommy.  I went through my stint of wanting to be a famous singer or author.  I mulled around different career ideas occasionally.  But nothing stuck.  Nothing matched the desire in my heart to love a godly man and raise a passel of children.

The first half of my dream came very easily.  I met Andrew when I was seventeen.  He was the first and only man with whom I had a romantic relationship.  We were married less than a month after my nineteenth birthday.  At twenty-four I am very well-adjusted to sharing my heart, home, and life with him.  We've definitely got that "old married couple" thing going.  Honestly, it hasn't always been easy getting married so young, but God has been faithful to grow us.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

renniebird... two years!

This morning my body woke me up at 6:30. Normally I would have sank back into our mess of blankets and pillows for some more shut-eye, but instead I stayed awake for exactly seventeen minutes to watch my baby turn two. In that time she rolled over in her sleep to wrap her arm around me, smushed her face against my arm, smiled and giggled in her sleep, and was by far the sweetest and dearest child in the world. 
So many times in the years before her existence I laid awake at night wondering if I would ever be a mom. I shed so many tears during that time. I prayed so hard and doubted so much. Yet later this morning I was greeted by deep blue eyes and a smile that reaches every inch of her face as she woke to her second birthday. I am so thankful for the sweet child who calls me mommy. These two years have been a time of enormous growth for me as a person and I would never trade them for anything! Happy birthday, sweet Renniebird. And thank you God for this gift.

--- yesterday on Facebook

Monday, August 7, 2017

little house on the alley... loft

I can't possibly choose a favorite room in my house.  But if there is one in particular that makes a grin spread across my face, its our loft-style bedroom.  I love the original gabled ceilings, the big window, the cozy feel.  I chose the same airy cream paint from the living room for the walls, but included warmer colors for the decor to compliment the small, but so-very-sweet space.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

mamabird life {sixteen}

Well, hello August.  We haven't seen each other in a while.  I wasn't expecting you so soon.  You bring much-awaited fun, including a week-long family vacation and my daughter's second birthday.  Hopefully you won't be too overly warm.

Goodbye June/July (because you two completely ran together and I can't keep up!).  We had a good run this year.  You had some hot days but made beautifully breezy and cool apologies on others.  You held beautiful moments.  You were full of good mamabird life.


Much time spent outside.  On swings, at parks, down slides, with strollers.  It's been wonderful.

Many stained toddler clothes.  Rennie's growing might have slowed down quite a bit, but she's still going through clothes like crazy!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

little house on the alley... master bedroom

Yes... that is Rennie putting on her shoes behind the dresser.  Such is taking pictures with a toddler in the house.  <3

I love this little bedroom.  It is a somewhat small space, so I've kept the decor simple and really love how relaxed I feel spending time here!  We have a big, lovely window above our king size bed (yep, our king fit with some room to spare!), peaceful light gray walls, and our closet doors are mirrors so as to add extra light (hopefully pictures of them don't confuse anyone on where pieces of furniture are since, you know, mirrors make things backwards)! 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

little house on the alley... laundry and bath

The house tour continues!  These two tiniest spaces in our home are every bit as cheery to me as our open living room.  I opted for a pale blue paint color in both and I looooooooove how it turned out!  All fixtures and large furnishings are white to keep the rooms bright and airy.  Decor is *very* simple to keep from crowding surfaces.  And, of course, the window in the laundry room is bedecked with live plants to complete the space.
For flooring we decided to contrast the light-and-bright of decor and walls with a dark gray "tile" floor.  It transitions beautifully from the rich brown of the flooring in the kitchen/living room.

Andrew built shelves over the doors to store our paper towels and toilet paper.  It works perfectly since we buy most of our paper products in bulk.

Monday, July 10, 2017

mamabird life {fifteen}

It is almost mid-way through the last full month that I am the mommy of a one-year-old.  This second year with my sweet girl has gone faster than the first... maybe because I'm getting a bit more sleep now (still not full nights, but we'll get there).  I'm trying to lock away those memories that aren't being captured on camera... there are so many and I just want to hold onto them.  This motherhood thing ain't easy.  I've been pushed to my limits (and even beyond them to new limits some days).  My daughter is a strong-willed little person who doesn't respond to instruction so well... Reminds me of her parents a bit.  But this journey is also one I would never surrender for an easier me-centered existence.  Sure it would be nice to take a looooooong hot shower every day, but who needs clean hair?

So, here's some snippets of my mamabird life along with some of my favorite recent pictures... I will spare you the ones featuring my unwashed hair.  ;-)

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

little house on the alley... living space

from the loft doorway looking down

I think it is high time I introduce you all to our amazing new home.  <3 We have been living here a few months now and I continue to fall more and more in love with our little abode.

These pictures are of the combined living/kitchen/dining/office space that makes up the bulk of our home!  I will share more pictures of the bedrooms/laundry/bathroom spaces in a future post.

Friday, June 23, 2017

easy overnight fruit yogurt recipe

Sunday morning meals are a challenge for both Andrew and me.  We get up early enough that we aren't rushed getting to church, but we just tend to forget to eat.  :-P  Now that we have an always-hungry toddler, we've been reminded what a big deal breakfast is.  One simple solution I've found (that doesn't require dirtying a pan like eggs do and is also a better source of protein than cereal) is Greek yogurt!  I like to avoid a bunch of sugar, so here is the super easy, make-ahead version of berry yogurt I make on Saturday nights for us to enjoy in the morning!  Andrew and Rennie both love it!  I also made it for some family members and now they make it as well.  :-D

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

crazy old days... lake michigan adventure

My mother is an adventurer.  And she reeeeeeaaaally loves spur-of-the-moment excursions.  Hence a random trip on a Monday evening to the Indiana Dunes to watch the sun set over Lake Michigan.  <3  While my introverted, planned-out nature doesn't always keep up with her so well, I'm very thankful for these sweet times.  She definitely brings out the adventure in me.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Sometimes I can feel like a dandelion whose seeds have been blown to smithereens and left a plain, strange stem.  Not much to offer.  Nothing special.  But today my daughter picked several of them, dubbing them flowers like the rest, to present to loved ones.  How marvelous that it just takes eyes of love for something small and ugly to become valuable and beautiful.  Jesus loves me (and all of us) just that much.  He sees our hearts of sin and extends His grace.  He presents us before God, a treasure.  But He also takes it a step further by pulsing new life into us so we can grow and thrive and LIVE.  He makes an army from dry bones and beauty from dying weeds.

--- my instagram

Thursday, June 15, 2017

family pictures... and i'm going to be an aunt!!!

A couple months ago (I know... I'm really late sharing!) my family had some *amazing* pictures taken by a friend!  I'm so excited to be sharing them along with the news that my sister, Jessie, and her husband have a little one on the way!!!  She is almost halfway through her pregnancy now (due in November!) and I am over-the-moon excited to meet my FIRST niece or nephew this autumn!  Pretty thrilled for Rennie to have a cousin too.  <3

So, here are my very favorite shots (there are quite a few):


Monday, May 22, 2017

on my instagram

I recently joined the world of Instagram and it has been such a nice, simple way to share snippets of my crazy life without consuming minutes (and hours, ahem) of my time like Facebook sometimes does.  These are some of the pictures I've recently shared along with some little updates.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

mamabird life {fourteen}

life has become this crazy-lull.  explanation: there are days when overall very little happens and then these spikes of insane-busy occur.  we are also getting very close to moving into our little house.  anticipating crazy times can be almost as nuts as living them!

Monday, April 10, 2017

early aprilness

“So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.  His going forth is as certain as the dawn; and He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth.”  Hosea 6:3

here i sit, cold coffee beside me and baby girl slumbering on the bed behind me, wondering how time keeps disappearing.  this poor blog of mine continues to be neglected as my life fills, but here is a brief glimpse into my life and thoughts.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

mamabird life {thirteen}

whew!  when life is full, blog posts are few.

andrew, rennie, and i are slowly but surely adjusting.  we are currently living in my parents' home while our own home is being prepared (more on that in a minute!).  andrew will be starting his new job in about two weeks; in the meantime we are getting everything officially switched over to our indiana address and shopping for new-to-us (which means used, but still holding years of life!) furnishings.  we've had many sleepless nights between fighting local sickness and rennie getting used to a new house and bed.  we are pretty tired, but are surrounded by caring people (namely my family!) who have helped us so much.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

mamabird life {twelve}

last week a chapter of our lives ended.

it was bittersweet.

last wednesday, rennie and i flew out to indiana.  with no return tickets.

it was a crazy three and a half months living with andrew's parents with quite a bit of adjusting for all.  it was so good though.  getting extra family time and watching rennie bond with her amazing grandparents was such a blessing!  i also got the chance to know my in-laws in a deeper way and will always cherish the time we spent together watching movies, playing games, and talking!!!  (and the wonderful-albeit-slightly-stressful driving lessons my dad-in-law gave me!)

Monday, February 27, 2017

10 things NOT to say to a (young/new) stay-at-home mom

hehe, i've been wanting to share this list for a while.  it's so real and true to what i have experienced as a mom (and, from the many stories I hear, what others experience as well).  some of these things are true for all moms, working and stay-at-home, while others are specific to women like me who "don't work" (more on that later!).  important note: this is meant to be a lighthearted post.  no anger or attacking of anyone here!  tone gets lost through written word at times and i want this to be clear.  while these things can truly bother me when said, i know that most of them come from good people with good hearts.  hopefully this can be informative for those who have said them (pre-mom me included!) so they can be a blessing to the moms around them and give other moms with similar struggles the knowledge they aren't alone (and maybe a chuckle here and there).  under each point, i've included some positive thoughts and alternative ideas so you don't feel like you're walking on eggshells with every mom you meet. 

there may be some things on this list that don't bother some moms or some things i've missed.  this is just a simple list from my own experience and what i've learned from the mommies i know and love! 

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

mamabird life {eleven}

mamabird life for me right now is...

- trying to keep up with my sweet, energetic toddler.  she loves to climb, follow me around (even to the bathroom), give hugs and kisses, go outside, and try on my shoes! 

- not seeing much of andrew these days.  he's been working looooooong hours, BUT has been able to use up some of his remaining personal days to have a few three-day weekends.  that has helped so much.  i'm so proud of how hard he continues to work at his job.  he is determined to finish well.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

heatless overnight curls tutorial

With new haircuts come new experiments in styling.  Most days I'm quite happy to have my hair straight (it's natural form), but other days I'm antsy for some curl.  I have used a curling iron several times and that works fine, but it's also nice to have a heatless, non-damaging option (especially since I'm not terribly fast with curling my short hair yet!).  This way I can wash/set my hair the evening before, go to sleep, and have fun hair the next day with very little work/time lost!
I thought I would share what has worked best for me so far!  This could work for longer hair as well and if you're familiar to the headband technique it should be quite easy!

Friday, January 6, 2017

renniebird... sixteen months

about a week ago my girl turned sixteen months!  since her first birthday i haven't been super diligent with doing a monthly photo-shoot on the 28th, just randomly capturing new things and special moments.  this last month though i did take a few pictures on the exact day she turned a month older so i thought i would share them along with an update!

Monday, January 2, 2017

new year, new mindset... my journey in body positivity

i wrote this post several months ago... since it is now 2017 (happy new year!) and everyone is talking about their resolutions, this seemed like a very appropriate time to share what i've been learning in this area... more importantly, how i am letting it go and giving other things that high priority in my life.  this isn't something i plan on writing about in detail over and over, but it is a part of my journey and will, hopefully, give context and clarity to future posts and conversations!  <3