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Monday, December 31, 2012

Tiny Baby Spaces

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas filled with family, and friends, and blessings too many to count. I know I did.
We spent the weekend at home, catching up on rest and a little TV after a wonderful Christmas. We took down all the Christmas decorations yesterday, and I even got the Hubs to haul the crispy old tree away. I know, I know, it is bad luck to take your tree down before New Years, but if you know me, you know I like to live on the edge! Ha! Or if you really know me, you know I cannot stand clutter, and that the minute the gifts are opened, I am eyeballing that tree plotting it's demise. It feels cleansing and refreshing to have the livingroom back in order.  I have a few decorating projects planned, and I can't wait to get started on them now that the Christmas is packed away. 
I had a little spell of nesting disease yesterday afternoon, and thought I would share the fruits of my hormonal labors with you. Everyone in our lives is just as excited about our little Alien as we are, and thus it received Christmas gifts! Yes, it is only the size of a fig this week. (I know, obscure fruit that no one can picture.  The only other comparison I found was a large kumquat...again...I don't know that I have ever even looked at a kumquat.) But, even though it is obscure fruit sized, family and friends showered it with gifts over Christmas. So, we needed to figure out what we planned to do with this little kid's stuff! Remember, we will not be moving to a bigger house, and our baby will not have a nursery. It is rooming with us. Sadly, I fear our roommate situation will not lead to the hillarity of "Friends- Chandler and Joey" type situations, but one can hope.
There is a large cabinet area under our dresser, that we were able to clear out.  This will be the baby's closet. I used items I already had on hand to organize the space.  The labels will help me keep all the different sizes straight.  I made those myself out of cardstock and some pretty scrapbook paper. The baskets on the top shelf serve double duty as dividers and to hold small items. They are quart till produce baskets. They sell for about .29 cents at feed stores and Tractor Supply. They hold socks, and hats and accessories.
We will keep adding to it as more clothes come. Our bed will be used as the changing table, and I have already cleared out a drawer under our bed to store diapers and changing supplies.  We have underbed drawers..amazing. As long as we don't go nuts buying baby stuff, and remember that everything this baby owns has to fit in OUR room, I think we should be good. Once upon a time, the thought of having a new baby without a fancy nursery to decorate, and fill with baby stuff would have made me insane. How could I possibly have a baby without it having it's own room filled with stuff!? But now, I realize, that making do with our small house, and small space, is perfectly fine, and will work well for our family.
On a funny note, I had my first experience with maternity clothes this past weekend. Wow, stretchy and scary. I have already started to outgrow my regular pants, and forcing them on makes me look like the before picture on a Slim-Fast commercial. My evil pregnancy book says I should only have a slight "thickening" in the waste- not neccessarily showing yet. Whatever-  screw you 'know it all' book, all I know is, my belly is not fitting in my pants anymore, and whether it is too many Christmas cookies, or a baby with the Hubs 6'3" genes, I look pregnant. So I decided to go maternity clothes shopping. Wow. $60 for stretchy scary jeans I will wear for 6 months? $30 for a tee shirt? And this was at an outlet store! This drove me to the trusty Craigslist. Which then led me and the Hubs to drive to some strange woman's house on Friday night and begin rifling through 3 garbage bags of maternity clothes. However, I did luck out. A. She was my size. B. She had some pretty cute and name brand maternity clothes. C. She sold them to me for $2 each. Fantastic! Thanks Hubs, for driving in the dark, to some strangers house, so I can raid her maternity garbage bags. While you uncomfortably watch the news with her husband on their couch. You, are continually awesome.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bitter Sweet

I had all kinds of posts planned for December, yet none of them have really come to be, and none of them really seem to matter anymore.  This December has been filled with some moments of incredible joy, and some moments of incredible sadness.
Since my last post, I turned 30, rather quietly.  My wonderful husband and children took me to dinner, and gave me a present, and cleaned the house for me. I could not ask for a better husband or family, I mean that. My parents joined us for dinner, I could not ask for better parents (I mean that too.)
I had my first ultrasound for the baby, and got to see the heart beat. Today's post was supposed to be about that, but I will save that for another time. All looks good with baby, and I am told everything looks healthy and perfect.
Then there was Sandy Hook Elementary. And the tragedy that ensued there.  I do not have words to put on paper to describe the evil and horror of that incident. As a parent to a kindergartener my heart absolutely broke. I wept for those parents who left the fire house empty handed, after searching for their child.  I pictured the Hubs and I going to search the crowds for our Monkey. I couldn't help it, it is just where my mind went. I just imagined what it would be like to be one of those mothers, and my heart broke. I got to tuck my little boy in last night, and watch him sleep peacefully.  He got to sign my birthday card in his scribbly handwriting, and buy a gum ball with me after dinner. Those other mothers are not so lucky.
And then there is my Grandaddy. My sweet Grandaddy made his way to heaven last night.  He was my Daddy's Daddy. He was such an amazing man, with such a rich life filled with talent, passion, and interest. He was a devout Christian, a Lutheran.  Yet, he never passed judgement on another, never seemed self- righteous, never pushed his beliefs on anyone, but loved, and revered God in every aspect of his life. He was a soldier, who served his country, and went to far away lands torn by war for the sake of our Freedom; leaving behind his wife and small children. He was a brilliant business man, and a devout teacher. He loved music and art.  His hands were those of a craftsman.  He built beautiful instruments by hand: violins, banjos, dulcimers.  He taught himself to play them, and mastered the art.  He painted beautiful landscapes with oils and brush. His home was filled with paintings signed with his name at the bottom. He could build nearly anything with wood; planes, furniture, anything. He could craft stained glass.  He could craft anything he put his mind to, with skill and precision. This is something he passed along to my Daddy.
He was married to my Gran for over 60 years.  He loved her dearly, and still treated her tenderly, and needed her more than anyone. That was clear to us all. My Grandaddy would tell  "backwards" stories, and all the grandchildren would gather around his knees. My children had the oppurtunity to meet him, and hear his tales once. I am glad they did.
I am trying to find my way through this process of grieving for my Gandaddy, and for whatever reason, I thought writing about him would help. He always impressed me. Always.
I will remember him as I always have. To me, he was always an old man, always wearing his plaid shirts and loafers, with his glasses pouch and a pen in the front shirt pocket, napping in his arm chair. He always made me popcorn in wooden bowls. He was eager to patiently teach me music, or painting, science. He always told me how pretty I was. Always. Every time he saw me.
My own Daddy is so much like his Daddy in so many ways. In all the wonderful ways.
Life is filled with bitter and sweet. That is what these past few weeks have been filled with. A mixture of both. Beauty and horrendous ugliness. Happiness and sadness. That is life.
I planned on posting regularly this month with Cookie recipes, Christmas Candied Popcorn, and ultrasound photos. But, as with life, things change, and now, I am just going to take a few days to thank God for the amazing blessings I have in my life. 
I am blessed to have been Gerry Garvey's grandaughter.   
I am blessed to tuck in my Little Monkey at night.
I am blessed to have my Momma and Daddy, and their amazing friendship and love.
I am blessed to have been smart enough to marry the Hubs. That is the best decision I have ever made.
God Bless everyone as this year draws to a close. Please, this Christmas, take a moment away from the gifts, and gadgets, and flashy Ipads, and Rudolph. And count your blessings.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Christmas Home Tour

Welcome to my Christmas Home Tour! 
I will be linking up at the 2012 Holiday Home Tour over at The Inspired Room on December 15, but you get a sneak peek!
Our home is modest, and for the size of our family, mind boggeling to some.  Especially with another baby on the way, most people have asked us when we plan on looking for a  bigger house. The answer: not any time soon!  We are happy and content in our little 1,000 square foot "farm house," and plan to stay here well after this new baby is toddling around. (Except, of course, if it turns out to be twins....then...that may change things ;) )  We have taken a simplified, semi- minimilast approach to our home, and that has helped us immensely in  being able to fit into our tiny place. The less stuff we have, the more room we have to play, and create, and have fun. So we keep our stuff to a minimum, and thus, don't need a bigger house. (Don't get me wrong....big beautiful houses are gorgeous, and appeal to both the Hubs and me, but in our phase of life, we will make do with our little place until the time comes when we can upgrade to bigger :) )  We took a simplified approach to our decorating this year aswell.  I love how it turned out. Just enough to make us cheerful and feel Chirstmasy, but not so much that I spent a fortune, or have to worry about the Monkey breaking anything.
So grab something warm to drink, and enjoy our little Christmas home tour.

Come on in!  (Our wreath is made of real pine, spruce, and juniper)
Our buffett, as you enter,was a gift from some wonderful family :) 
Oh...and the stockings....yeah....remember my post about making the burlap stockings.....
Lesson: Always check your Christmas boxes FIRST, then add new items....because you probably bought some really cute ones on sale after Christmas last year....and can't decide which to use. Ultimately, I chose the burgundy "sweater" onces....because I just really love them. Anybody want some burlap stockings? :)
Close up of the buffett display.

I just added some glittery ornaments to a basket I already had. The red berry garland was also an oldee from the Christmas box.  The star is a vintage tree topper that I just love sitting on it's own.  The candle is Winter Night from Bath and Body works, and smells heavenly.
Our Tree
We cut it down ourselves. Well..the Hubs did, I stood and watched :) I also have an ever growing collection of Christmas books I keep in the galvanized pale next to the tree.
These little guys are sprinkled through out the living room. They are silly little snowmen who add some humor.  The Monkey likes to make them bounce around and eat his food.
My kitchen table display is one of my favorites.  The little church and tree are nestled inside plain old sugar.  The apothacary jar is a staple of our kitchen and usually holds snacks. The tray of nuts is just fun.
The Monkey is very focused on his Christmas cookie while I try to take photos!
Merry Christmas from us to you.  I hope you enjoyed our little home tour, and our simplified version of Christmas.  God Bless everyone as we venture in this Holiday Season and a new year FULL of new adventures.