Friday, December 12, 2014


Joshua is two!

It's unbelievable, really. My tiny baby is now a 35.5" tall, 25lb, talking and toilet trained toddler. What?!

The morning of his birthday, he had birthday pancakes. We sang the "Happy Birthday" song to him, and he got to blow out candles for the first time! He has been saying "Happy birthday Joshua, I blow fire," ever since. Too cute! 

Later in the morning on his birthday, some of our neighborhood friends stopped by with a gift for Joshua: a new dump truck! They also stayed and played for a little while, and enjoyed reading a book together with "Grandma Sue."
On Saturday, Nana and Grandpa were here all day! There was much playing, reading, jumping, and even a trip to Trader Joe's and Five Guys for lunch. 
He loves tractors and construction vehicles lately, so his party had to be full of tractors. I made cupcakes and a pan of brownies to stand in for a cake. Yes, I did buy the wrong boxed mix at the store. Hazard of shopping with said toddler.

"Digger" tractors like backhoes are his favorite, so I mixed up some yellow frosting and piped that onto the brownies. I crumbled some Wegman's brand "oreo" cookies into the front loader to stand in for rocks and dirt. Dirt was one of Joshie's clearest first words. A sign, perhaps?

Joshua again enjoyed having people sing to him, and the opportunity to "blow fire" with Daddy.

Joshie was excited about the paint he got from Brad and me, and asked to paint right away. That was a no-go, but he did get to play with the set of construction vehicles that Aunt Elizabeth sent! He didn't let go of the "digger" tractor for about four days straight, even taking it to bed and naps with him.

We had Joshua's good friend, Jo (and his parents and sister, of course), over for the party, and all of Joshua's grandparents were all able to be there this year. Much fun was had by all!
please note that Joshua and the tractors are inseparable
Still can't believe we've been parents for two years, and that our second sweet blessing is coming so soon!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

mini Captain America

This is probably the last Halloween that I can officially choose Joshie's costume without any input from him, so I made it a good one: Captain America!

The forecast for October looked chilly this year, and the trick-or-treating night proved cool and damp, indeed. I planned his costume to be cozy, using his snow boots and warm fleece pants. I put him in a thermal shirt and cozy socks, and used his navy blue fleece zip-up hoodie to complete the cozy. He absolutely loved holding "Daddy's" hand and running up to each door with his best buddy, JoJo. He quickly learned how to say "Trick-or-treat" and "Happy Halloween" and did a great job.

I ransacked our drawers for the right t-shirt material colors to make the stripey portions and the essential Captain America shield. Luckily, one of Brad's old undershirts, one of my red tank tops, and a royal blue onesie from the too-small, too-old-to-wear pile were just the right colors to use for the project. 

I made a "pinny" of sorts out of the undershirt, first, so that I could pull it on over Joshie's coat. I then used strips of red to make the stripes, sewing right onto the pinny.

The star was made of more undershirt material, but I first attached interfacing to make it stiffer. I then sewed around the shape of the star, cut it out, and cut it in half. I attached it to either side of the zipper on the fleece hoodie, using large stitches to make it easy to remove later. The letter "A" on the hood was made using the same process.

For the shield, I used a frisbee and traced a circle onto the red tank top fabric that was about 3" larger all around. I then made a channel to thread elastic through, and set that circle aside. I added two white circles and a blue one, with a final star in the center to complete the look. I threaded the elastic through the red fabric and stretched it over the frisbee. Hooray, a shield! I added two pieces of elastic to the back of the shield so that Joshie could wear it on his arm or his back.

Here's the whole look:

The red snow plow is an essential part of getting out the door. We always bring a tractor, truck, or ball when we go out!

"app-eee ah-ween!" "tick uh teet!!" says Joshua. :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

baby girl frills

I've been dreaming of putting flowers and bows and sparkly accessories on my baby girl since the first moment I found out about her!

A few weeks ago, I picked up some fold-over elastic at Jo-Ann Fabrics and tucked it into my sewing box. It really has taken this long for me to make it to the actual crafting stage. Life with a toddler, friends! It's beautiful, messy, full, crazy, hard, wonderful, and too busy most days for crafting.

But, today, I did a little bit.

Behold, the polka dot and floral cuteness:

Also, ignore the poor quality phone photo. This is life, currently - can't always pick up my nice camera!

What do you think? I can't wait to put it on my sweet baby girl!

Friday, October 10, 2014


6:54pm is one of my very favorite times of day. I'm usually snuggling my sweet little boy, smelling his clean, wet hair, and giving him gentle kisses as I repeat these words to him: God is always with you. I quote Joshua 1:9 and Hebrews 13:5b-6 to him, and hope he internalizes it. We rock. I pat his back. Sometimes he lifts his head from my shoulder and gives me little baby boy kisses. He is precious.

By that time, we have already prayed and thanked God for all the important things in his day. At the forefront these days are friends, dirt, and tractors. And ROCKS! and Daddy. And Daddy's guitar, mandolin, and bass. And any other relatives he can remember to list. I have sung him a bedtime hymn, and he has had a wonderfully fun bathtime.

Most of the stress has begun to melt by 6:54. I remember how much I love my son, how thankful I am to be his mommy, and how blessed we are. I feel tired, and sometimes I still have yet to cry the tears I held back all day. There's still dinner to make for when my husband gets home, and I have just a few minutes to tidy the house and do something for me. Like blogging. Or reading a magazine. Or eating a chocolate chip cookie without sharing.

But 6:54? That's a moment of peace. A moment of all-is-well. An embodiment of my love for my family and for the God who allowed it to be like this, today. And yesterday. And so many bed times before.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

little things

Cultivating a spirit of gratefulness:

1. Zestar apples. So delicious. I love the tastes of fall in this area of the country.
2. A sunny, highs in the 70's day to play outside with my little boy
3. The delight on said little boy's face when he realized the tractors were outside our house (they're fixing the city gas lines)
4. Having a few neighborhood boys my son's age that enjoy playing and sharing with him, and their sweet grandmother who is so generous and kind to me
5. The rhythmic, soothing normal-ness of knitting
6. Snuggling with my husband
7. A cozy meal in the oven
8. Feeling my active baby girl kick me and make my belly bounce
9. Friends who love the "me" I already am
10. The promise of a visit from family this weekend.

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

little boy wall art

I have been meaning to do this for a very long time. Thank you to an artistic and musical acquaintance at church whose word art and writing have been so inspirational! This woman does some amazing chalkboard art, not to mention crafting some incredibly moving and transparent blog posts. Her book is going to be a must-read. My attempt at word art is far from as polished and professional as hers, but, alas, here it is.

When Joshua was born, I wanted to be sure that I chose some meaningful scriptures for him to internalize as he grew. Some that stood out were Joshua 1:9 and Hebrews 13:5-6. I have been repeating parts of the Hebrews verse to him each night as I put him down to sleep; it seems soothing to him to hear again and again that God is always with him, that we can trust Him, that we don't need to be afraid.

Ever since I knew I was pregnant with Joshua, I had been praying that my baby might be a leader, a difference-maker in this world, someone who would bring glory to God and do it with humility. The name "Joshua" is perfect for my little guy - someone that God will certainly use to lead others. And boy, is that leadership potential apparent in toddlerhood. AmIright, parents? I have a little Director on my hands who is learning and being disciplined each day to become a self-sufficient, example-setting, people-loving leader. This is a messy process, friends.

His room is loosely decorated in a nautical theme, with a pretty Monet poster, navy grommet top curtains, a vintage U. S. navy towel in light blue and white, a blue and silver banner that I made, and some Nautica kids bedding - all with white walls and a wood floor - so that I can change his room theme easily, later.  This word art completes the theme, I think, adding just the right amount of red. Someday soon, I hope to make him an oversized letter "J" pillow to toss on his soon-to-be-a-toddler-bed.

Without further ado:

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

our life right now

Our life is changing, along with the seasons. Joshua can say more words clearly, my belly grows larger, and my husband continues to excel at his job, too. We found, or rather, a car fell into our laps, and we were able to purchase it. We somehow, suddenly, have a second vehicle, a second car seat, and I can take Joshua out for the day. The little guy started showing an interest in toilet training, so he's doing that, too. And to top it all off? Our little tiny baby is not a second son, but a daughter. A girl!

Talk about a change! Bring on the glitter, flowers, frills, tea parties, and dollies. This momma is so excited.

And I am embracing every solo moment with my sweet, kind little boy. Exploring outside, learning about dirt, rocks, and tractors, playing with his little friends. Even when he has an accident on the floor or an untimely tantrum. No, those are not fun moments, but they pass so quickly. And he needs me to be invested in him, not in what he does. I am trying. I wake each day and pray for strength and wisdom to meet the challenges of the day. This song comes to mind, and sometimes I sing it to Joshie at bedtime for his lullaby:

Day by day, and with each passing moment, 
Strength I find to meet my trials here.
Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment,
I've no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best.
Lovingly, it's part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord himself is near me,
With a special mercy for each hour.
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He whose name is Counselor and Power.

The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on himself He laid.
As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure -
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me, then, in every tribulation,
So to trust thy promises, O Lord.
That I lose not faith's sweet consolation
Offered me within thy holy word.

Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E'er to take, as from a Father's hand.
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
'Till I reach the promised land.