An Unexpected Season

Has life's situations ever been unexpected for you? The older I get, the more I see how life is so unexpected — we cannot make plans and we are so not in control...even though I know we would love to be (or at least I would). Maybe it isn't the unexpected that surprises us, but the disappointments that follow...

Two Mondays ago, I met an angel and Husband and I got to see our sweet babe via ultrasound. A good day to say the least! But life is so unexpected. The following day, Tuesday, toward the end of my work day, my boss came into my office and shut the door...I was swept up into a layoff. How could the timing be any worse? Pregnant, needing my income, needing health insurance, expecting to have a paid maternity leave with my sweet little one — the moments leading up to the news, life seemed to be perfect. Everything was wiped away...How was I supposed to deal with this?

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11

Thankfully the layoff had nothing to do with my performance, as I have received numerous accolades with my work, internally and externally. With each passing review I receive the highest marks — a true high performer. Unfortunately the decision was made from the corporate office, from the top down, my position and job description were eliminated. Being in a large metropolitan market, my work is needed and I was able to be brought back in as a "registry position." Currently I am working as an hourly employee without benefits. Praise the Lord that Husband was able to pick up benefits at one of his jobs, even though it is at a premium due to his part-time status.

So right now, I am trying to take control of what I can, but allowing life to flow on it's own. Thankfully I am married to the world's calmest man, which has helped immensely. When I got home, after being laid-off, Husband looked at me and said, All these crazy things that happen to you always turn out to be better for you in the end — Always. I am continually amazed by this. He is right, God has a way of turning the messes into good. So, I am learning to go with the flow and learn to rid my life of stress because it is out of my hands. Going through this unexpected season, I recall that my Aunt Susie used to say that life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, but learning to dance in the rain.

Your journey has moulded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think that you've lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time. — Asha Tyson

Happy Five Years Together

Five years...

...two homes...

...six jobs...

...four cars... graduate degree... dog adoption... baby on the way... uncountable amount of adventures, projects,
meals, hugs, laughter, and so much more in between.

To my Husband, happy five year anniversary. The future has always been exciting to me, but with you, the excitement is exponentially more! God couldn't have blessed me with a better partner than you. Thank you for your servant's heart, work ethic, and simply just how you are — there isn't anyone out there that even slightly compares to you.

The Day I Met An Angel

Today I met an angel. I was rushing to catch the train, I parallel parked in three different spots, the first two meters were broken. After I finally got parked and payed my meter, I briskly walked to the station. I stepped in and the ticket booth was closed. With only my credit card, I went up to the coffee counter and asked the casual man in a baseball cap and glasses if I could purchase something and receive cash back. He told me that he wasn't able to do that. And this is the very moment I met my angel. The angel was the man behind the coffee counter. He looked at me as he opened his register, pulled out a ten dollar bill, and handed it to me. He smiled and said, "you can just pay me back next time you're in the station." "Are you sure?" I asked the angel. He was confident and kind as he reassured me that he was more than happy to help me out, as the ticket booth was unusually closed.

I'm so thankful for this angel as I was battling morning sickness and was a bit stressed to get downtown for a meeting, just to quickly turn back around to get to my mid pregnancy OB appointment and ultrasound.

Have you ever encountered an angel? I'm so glad God arranges these awesome meetings to remind us of His greatness. To remind us that He is in control and there is no need to stress or worry because He goes before us, behind us and beside us. God is even into the details. There are no surprises to Him and God was definitely reminding me of this, this morning.

Thank you Lord.

Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your Heavenly Father feeds them. Aren't you far more valuable to Him than they are? Matthew 6:26

Happy Mother's Day

If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. —Robery Brault

Today I am celebrating my first Mother's Day! I know many people don't count you as a mother until you're actually holding the babe in your arms, but we don't think like that around here. I am already a mommy as this little one continues to grow and thrive within me. 

This Mother's Day, I need to thank my own mom for who she as been in my life — the perfect roll model as I become a mom myself. I am thankful for her friendship, leadership, and so many of her attributes, but mostly her strength. I am thankful to have watched my mom growing up, as a working mom. One thing that has been interesting as Husband and I start our family is the number one question, "Are you going to stay at home after the baby arrives?" And honestly I have struggled a bit with that because so many of my friends do stay at home, which I admire. And this is why I am thankful I watched my mom work throughout my whole life, owning her own business. I did and still view her as a powerful and wildly successful woman. She has taught me that I can continue in the career path that I love and that I have worked so hard to achieve, yet also be an excellent mom.

I recently read an article, Talented Women, Please DO NOT QUIT, and it really reassured my decision to go back to work after maternity leave. It reminded me that my mom is a talented woman and I am a talented woman, we are strong and can forge forward in our careers AND be fantastic moms! With a heavy professional workload I am going to have to learn to make the most of my time when at home and I know this is possible because my mom always made time for us along with many great adventures. I do not look back on my childhood feeling like she worked all the time, but I remember the times we would go shopping together, visit the zoo, bake cookies together, playing games, the amazing birthday parties she would throw, memorable holidays, and so much more. Nothing was missing from my childhood because she was a career-working mom.

In short, I know God picked my mom to be MY mom because she is the perfect role model for me. She has taught me that I can be a professional without lacking in the mom department. Thank you Mom for showing me how to be a mom someday and I'm so eager that day is so soon!

And for those who haven't seen this video yet, watch it! Moms have the world's toughest job...

Dear Baby

Dear Baby,

This Monday has been a long awaited day for your Daddy and me. We will get to see your sweet picture during our ultrasound and find out if you are a boy or a girl. It almost seems surreal that that this day has come, since I have dreamed of you since I was young. Daddy and I are eager to call you by name and we have it already selected.

We cannot wait to rock you, sing songs and play. As I sit and type this letter to you, the windows are open, the lovely spring breeze is flowing through our home and I hear all the neighbor kids outside playing. I let Braxton, our puppy dog out, he lays in the cool green grass and watches the kids play. I have a feeling you'll like being outdoors just like your puppy, Daddy and me.

Little one, you are so blessed because you are going to have the greatest Daddy around. Your Daddy is my best friend and I know he is going to be your hero. I daydream, often wondering if you'll be more like Daddy or more like me...

Will you be a quiet soul or a big talker?
Will you be a runner or a tennis player?
Will you want to be a scholar or an artist?
Will you be tall or short?
Or maybe you'll just be the perfect mix.

One thing I do know is you're going to love adventure and be a big dreamer because your Daddy and I are the same in that regard!

I think about you constantly and am eagerly waiting for you.


Forever & Always,

The Wide World of Disposable Diapers

When people think of becoming a mom or dad, they think cute chubby babies and lots of cuddles. But let me tell you something no one seems to tell you — there are so many decisions to be made!

Genetic testing?
Would you like to find out the gender?
What prenatal vitamins to take?
What crib has the best features for your family's individual needs?
What car seat is safest?
There only hundreds of stroller options — which one makes the most sense?
Every. Single. Thing. a baby needs has at least a handful of brands — then versions — then colors! Oh. My. Goodness! And all these decisions need to be made before the little bundle of happiness arrives.

This week, I decided to conquer the world of diapers. To start with...cloth or disposable? Personally for our family schedule, disposable are really the only option for us. Originally I thought I had it all figured out...until recently talking to a friend and finding out the diaper brand I had planned on using was much more expensive than many others that also get great reviews. I had planned on spending a bit more on diapers because I wanted the best for my little babe and the environment! So I sat down and decided to do my research. I made a chart to show what is the most cost-effective disposable diaper brand.

So in the end, the above chart really helped us out with our diaper brand decisions. If you too are in the diaper-world dilemma, hopefully this chart can help you too. I've shared this chart with a few friends and they have said it was helpful too!

If you have personal experience or thoughts on disposable diapers you've used, I'd love to hear!

Colorful Gender Neutral Nursery Preview

Last January I traveled to Curaçao. While there, I picked up a beautiful painting of the charming colorful buildings. As you'll see in the below photos, the canvas became the design centerpiece of our bright gender neutral nursery. The painting inspired the nursery, with it's heart wrapped around adventure. Both Husband and I pray that our little one finds life to be one big adventure and never stops exploring!

nursery design inspiration board

(top to bottom, left to right):
The room is painted Behr "Club Soda," which is a very light blue
Canvas from Curaçao
Kallax Bookshelf
Small Kallax unit on casters – will be used for toy and book storage
A selection of my favorite vintage cameras will be on display
DIY hot air balloon mobile
Vintage floor drafting light
Wooden rocking chair that Husband was rocked in as a baby — We will be painting this! The two colors up for debate are either a navy blue or red. Opinions and other suggestions are appreciated. Also, for the rocking char, I need to sew or buy a rocking chair pad.

This past Tuesday, Husband and I finished clearing out the junk room — oh wait, I mean the nursery, and purchased the basic furniture and started the set up. But without further ado, a sneak peak of our (unfinished) colorful gender neutral nursery!



Of course there is more to do in this room, but am excited with the progress so far (getting all the junk and storage out of this room was a big step) and wanted to share! Once the nursery is complete, I'll be sure to share more photos.