02 December 2011

you never know..

i was reading something the other day (and of course, right now i can't remember what), and it started me thinking about how much we are unaware of, and how unaware we are of that fact. is that the most confusing sentence you've ever read? thought so.

really though, think about how many things in your life you never saw coming.. maybe even some that you are in the midst of and thinking, "how did this start?" you might think i'm talking about negative things, and in some instances maybe that's true, but overall i mean the good. the good and unexpected things in life that you never saw coming. that were possibly unfolding without you really even knowing it. that stranger you met who ended up being a friend forever, those words you said or little tradition you started with your child that will turn into one of their greatest memories, that baby growing inside you/your wife that neither of you realize is there yet, that unusual route you took to work this morning that kept you from getting in an accident, that scripture you stopped just before because you'll need it at the exact moment you start their next time, that person who the Lord is leading to bless you in a way they couldn't have known about without His leading.. there's just so much.

so, what do we do with that? operating under the assumption that we'll remain unaware, how do we live life differently? how do we appreciate those things that we don't even know are happening? i guess it has to come down to cultivating an awareness of being unaware. working to realize that we are constantly walking through and living in situations that we'll only either be able to look back on with awe and realization or never know about at all. what a holiness there is to life when we strive to remember and appreciate something so abstract and beyond our control. 

01 November 2011

who's it for?

lately, i've been questioning a lot of the things that i want for ruby at this stage in her life, and asking myself whether they are for her good or mine. i understand that there is a balance here.. i don't want to do things solely for her and ignore myself, or vise versa. we spend nearly all of our time just the two of us, and i want our days, routines, and practices to be for both of our best.
one thing that this new question is causing me to reevaluate is the potty learning process. ruby had that down pat before we moved from raleigh.. she was not wearing a diaper at all while we were home, except for at nap and nighttime, and it started out this way when we first moved up to indiana. recently, she has completely backtracked in this area... as in, going anywhere but in the potty almost constantly, and really starting to seem frustrated with the process. i was starting to get frustrated as well, and felt myself wanting to force her into something it was looking more and more like she wasn't really ready for. these are the times in mommy-hood where i feel a lot of inner conflict.. am i going to mess her up by putting her back in diapers after all this time of working towards being potty trained? she seems so much older than she is because of how well she can talk and how smart she is.. are people going to judge me when they see me out in public with this seemingly very old (in fact, only 2 1/2 year old) child and wonder why she's still in diapers? how am i even going to know when she is ready.. it's not like i've ever done this whole parenting thing before. so, in the end, it came down to, who am i trying to do this for? solely for her benefit because it seems like something she's ready for and capable of, or for mine because i care about what other people think and feel like she should be ready? and when i realized that the latter was the true driving force now that she is showing less interest and ability and more frustration, i knew it needed to be put on hold for awhile. 
another area is napping.. oh naps. so much of me feels like i need for her to nap everyday. it's my "me" time, and when three or four days went by a few weeks ago and she wouldn't nap, i kind of had a panic attack. i tried to start forcing her to nap and disciplining her when she wouldn't, and then that question started popping in my mind, "who's it for?" if i can see it written all over her that she's just not tired and doesn't need a nap for a week straight, or ever again, then i need to realize that we can and should shape our days (and my sanity) around that.. because me getting overwhelmed trying to make napping happen when i'm clearly fighting a losing battle, instead of  spending my energy thinking of alternatives to the usual "sleeping time", only breaks us both down. i saw that her nap time was becoming more about me than about her.. about time that i wasn't willing to give up even when it was better for my little girl.
so, that's the new mental mantra for this mama.. "who's it for?" and i'm seeing that extend in my heart towards other areas of my life as well. i so long for my often completely "me centered" mentality to be shifted and reformed, and although it can be so hard at times, i know that it is also so good.

create in me a clean heart, o God, and renew a right spirit within me.
psalm 51:10


14 October 2011

this girl..

..makes me so proud and surprised every day.
..stretches and adds perspective to areas in my life that would otherwise most likely remain untouched.
..brings an ease to days that would normally seem hard, long, and lonely.
..made daniel and i parents, and teaches us more about what that means everyday.
..makes time seem to go by so fast, and so slow, simultaneously.
..helps me not to take myself so seriously
..consistently helps change for the better how i see other people, myself, my purpose, my attitude, my marriage, her daddy, my worries, my joy, and my God.
..can, somehow, make me feel every extreme emotion on a daily (and even hourly) basis.
..on a day like today, when i found myself questioning and doubting myself as a wife and stay-at-home mama, spoke truth in an honest and intentional way just by putting her little hand on my back and saying, "you're a good mommy".
..is the best surprise and biggest blessing i've ever been given.


ruby girl,
i'll love you forever
i'll like you for always
as long as i'm living
my baby you'll be.

13 October 2011

ready, set, sew..

i know, my corniest post title yet. but seriously, i'm ready to get this sewing show on the road after this uh-mazing goodwill find yesterday. i finally have a little enough space in this apartment to have a small sewing table, but it's been hard finding one. i didn't want to just get something quick and new that was most likely going to be more expensive and less quality than i wanted, so i kept holding out. i've been scanning local craigslist and thrift stores as i've had time, but nothing's really shown up. 
but, during a few errands with rubes yesterday, something compelled me to stop into goodwill to look for some more cold weather clothes for all of us.. needless to say, i feel completely unprepared for the winter weather that's right around the corner in our new state. anyway, right before we left i thought to walk down the "furniture aisle" (that was mainly composed of a few broken/dirty chairs and a light-up snowman), and then i saw this..


a twenty dollar sewing table. for realio?! i literally couldn't believe it. a couple kind ladies stopped to give a little assistance when they saw me trying to both figure this thing out and corral rubes, and they kept going on and on about what a great find it was. it's nice wood that will someday get a good sanding and fresh coat of some cute-colored paint, but for now, it's just what i need.. small, plenty of storage, and doesn't break the bank. the top opens to form a long, flat tabletop extension, and it's made for the machine to fold down inside.. at some point i'd love to have it adjusted so mine will fit in there, but for now it'll stay on top (on the bright side, i get to use the sewing machine cover again that i made while we were in cali).

when the right side is opened, it exposes this nifty and awesome thread holder that raises and lowers out of the desk.


and the top drawer has a fun little bobbin/thread holder.


in case you can't tell, i am so so thankful for this find.. and i have the bruises on my upper arms and thighs from carrying it up two flights of stairs on my own to prove it. i know, i'm out of my mind.
now to find a sweet little chair, and we're in business.

apart from sharing the details of the desk, i do want to encourage you that it almost always pays off to hold out and do a little leg work to find something you'd really like to have, rather than taking the "easy route" and buying something new and more expensive. it's harder, because there's not that rush of instant gratification, but i'd wager that the rush of an awesome and well earned deal is a much better feeling. 

ok, thanks for listening to my ramblings. enjoy your thursday, and three cheers to buying second-hand! :)

12 October 2011

cover up..

i finally broke out my sewing machine from its hiding place to do a little recovering of our couch pillows. i felt like there was wayyy to much brown/tan/formal-ish-ness (can you tell i made that word up??) going on for my taste.



you can't totally tell because of the lighting, but the front pillows are a coral, slightly ribbed fabric and the back pillows are navy and a very (i just accidentally typed "vally" instead of "very" there.. sister on the brain :)) light cream. i had all of the fabric on hand, and i'm constantly amazed by how much goodness there is in my fabric stash. a lot of that is thanks to my mama, so, "thanks mama!". :)

 i like the change a lot. i think it fits our homey and eclectic style.. the floral was just not cuttin' it.


and, yes, i am aware that our couch is crazy tiny. it's very comfy and structured though (not to mention, it was an awesomely priced craigslist find!), so we're hoping that at some point, when we have a bigger place, it will act as a "love seat" of sorts and we'll have a full-sized couch. work in progress, baby!

so, there you have it. here's hoping that this crafting streak continues... i'm thinking it will since there was a fun and total blessing of an addition to our home today that should help more sewing take place. i'll share the details of that soon!

05 October 2011

photo challenge part two..

day two: what you wore today.


luckily this was a combo d-is-off-work and church day."real" clothes like this are not my norm, but sometimes there's nothing that lifts your spirit quite like fall colors and looking cute for your man.

day three: clouds.


it's hard to photograph clouds when there are literally none in the sky for three days straight.. and i am not complaining.

day four: something green.


one of my favorite things.. a clock from my mama.

day five: from a high angle.


a print hanging in our kitchen that rubes and i are working on memorizing during mealtime.. i can't even tell you how cute it is to hear her try and say "admirable" and "praiseworthy".

ok, still at it, as you can see. here's to the next twenty-five.
also, i just read up a little online and learned how to get bigger pictures on the blog. feel free to give feedback if you think they look a little too "comin' atcha", but until i hear otherwise, i think i like it!

04 October 2011

spilled milk..

i'm sure you all know the saying, "don't cry over spilled milk". well, it sounds like kind of a silly and perhaps unrelateable figure of speech unless you're like me and actually do cry over spilled milk.

i went to something called mom2mom today at a church here in indiana that we've visited a couple of times. it was great, and i'm super thankful for the way that even things falling into place for me to find that ministry shows provision from the Lord.. during the group time, the "mentor mom" talked some about this verse:

But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18

we talked about whether or not we really believe that we're made in God's image and reflect His glory. i shared that i definitely think that i believe it in my head, but that my hearts needs to catch up with that. that a lot of times "knowing" that i'm made in His image just tends to make me more hard on myself when i really botch things. that on a day when daniel is gone for more than fourteen hours working, the kitchen is literally a disaster area from dinner the night before, ruby only takes a thirty minute nap and breaks my favorite necklace, and at the end of it all, when i literally cry over the entire cup of milk she spills onto the kitchen floor, walls, rug (you get the picture), i start thinking, "i definitely don't feel so 'made in His image' right now and maybe that saying isn't so hard to relate to after all." 

but then i hope that just recognizing my fallen-ness, taking a deep breath, apologizing to rubes for getting so worked up over a mess, and asking Him for help with reacting better the next time means that maybe i'm becoming more like Him than i give myself credit for.. and i start to think that spilled milk must be a bigger deal than we give it credit for if somebody sometime thought it was worth mentioning.

01 October 2011

taking the challenge..

i got an idea from my fun friend, becky, who got an idea from the addictive site, pinterest. so, i'm taking the challenge.. the photo challenge, that is. i'll post the daily pictures on here at least once a week, if not a little more often. fun fun.

here's a little listy-poo to keep track of what's coming up.

day one: self-portrait.

a little late night important paper filing. this is how everyone spends their saturday nights, right??

30 September 2011

new obession..

yarnwreathing.. that's what i'm calling it. i've liked them for awhile, and now that i've finally gotten around to making one, i don't know that i'll be able to stop. just leave your orders in the comment section. :) 
really though, it's fun and pretty mindless.. a perfect late night, kidlet-is-in-bed, activity while watching my other new obsession, late night with jimmy fallon. 

here's my finished product. 

i went for a simple approach just to get my feet wet, and i was only using supplies i had on hand. once i start sifting through some more thrift stores, i'm sure i'll find endless possibilities.

if you're interested in yarnwreathing yourself, or anything else in the world ever for that matter, pinterest is a great place to go for inspiration.. and hours upon hours of addictive "repin"ing.

also, how cute is this little baker? she was very excited when i asked if she wanted to make a PUMPKIN pie for daddy. she kept putting emphasis on the pumpkin part. what a fun (albeit often exhausting) companion on d's long workdays. God knew what He was doing when He gave us that surprise baby (almost) two and a half years ago.

29 September 2011


saw this one man band on ellen. uh-mazing. dear bernhoft, please make a cd.

27 September 2011

crafty minute..

i felt the crafting bug bite last night, but never got around to doing anything. so, since we didn't have anything planned this morning, i let ruby have some playtime so that i could plug into an outlet that i don't take time for often. i think it was a nice break for both of us.. we're together a lot during these busy workdays for d, so i'm sure she needs a break from me just as much as i do from her after awhile.

thankfully, she did a little of this.. 

while i did a little of this.. you know it's a good gift when you want to keep it for yourself! hoping this makes my friend's day when it shows up in her mailbox. 

 ok, break's over.. time to tackle the day with this fun girl.

p.s. pattern from here.

24 September 2011

workin' it..

well, more like workin' on it. i'm realizing that i feel, not unlike most people i'm sure, that a move to a totally new place brings a lot of chances to make change. i've noticed myself both purposefully, and even not so purposefully, shifting some things, so i figured i'd take a minute to share and document for a little accountability.

one. i've started working out. wha-wha-what?! yes, you read that right. it's happened for three days in a row; which is a conquest in itself for me. we now have a "family membership" to the YMCA just .6 miles from our apartment, and ruby and i have been there twice in the past three days. she gets to socialize (a.k.a. do her best not to tackle) kids in the kidzone (catchy name, right?), and i get up to three hours (holy moly, i doubt i'll ever use that much time) to work out. the first day, i had a thirty minute run/walk session on the treadmill before taking a core pilates class (which i liked a lot, by the way). new development, my knees cannot handle running. i kept trying to ignore/be in denial about the irritation i was feeling during the running portions of my time on the treadmill, but the uncomfortable achiness (blogger tells me this is not a word) i felt that night and the next day confirmed it.. i don't have strong knees (are strong knees even a thing?). so today, i cycled for 30 minutes and then stretched for awhile. i had a bit of momentary insanity during my stretching when i thought, "i can see why people get addicted to working out". i literally "LOL"ed at myself after i thought it.. this coming from the person who had to will herself out the door to get there. but hey, at least i know that attitude is in there somewhere, right? oh, and the third workout day comes from doing some netflix yoga last night before bed.

two. portion control. i made a conscious decision the other day to limit myself when it comes to snacking. don't get me wrong, i'm still snacking, i'm just not bringing the entire bag of chips or bowl of puppy chow to the couch with me.. i've started filling up a little ramekin with a reasonable amount of my snack of choice to help both satisfy my craving and keep overloading at bay. i know this is sort of a random one to share, but it's a somewhat big change for me so, there it is.

three. coooooooooooking more. we, as a family, fell into a somewhat large eating out rut before we left raleigh. daniel's hours are so nontraditional, our kitchen was tiny and hard to function in, but overall, we were just lazy and unwise when it came to cooking and spending that money. d and i have a huge desire for this time (however long it ends up being) in indiana to be a productive and profitable one for our family and future.. we will literally be kicking ourselves if we come away from it having paid off no debt and without a bit (hopefully a big bit) of savings. i know that one of the biggest shifts that will translate into those other changes is more home-cooked meals and resisting those extremely tempting nights out for dinner. i do have to say that smoking being allowed in restaurants in this state is a huge help in that area.. ick.

four. working to cultivate a more gentle tongue and patient spirit towards d and r. i will admit it wholeheartedly.. sometimes i can be a real "b". yep, that's right. i can have such a short fuse and be a great big cranky pants sometimes. i know that these times are very unbecoming of me and are teaching unhealthy and sinful ways to my daughter. on top of that, as much as daniel works and as many poor attitudes as he deals with on a daily basis, the last thing i want to do it be another one that he walks in the door to at night. and it's hard. it's often easier to want to make my "position known" in an unproductive and hurtful way, instead of taking a deep breath and asking for help. it's hard to clean up the same mess for the twenty-first time that day, and to speak calmly to a two year old who is loosing her ever-loving mind. but i know i can do it, and i know that He will help if i keep asking and trying. so, here's to that.

and five. thrifting. i've been a lover of thrift and yard sale shopping for quite a long time, but i've been a lover of target for that long too. but get this, people have yard sales from thursday through sunday here in indiana. what the what? so, i'm trying to buy less stuff new and spend more time combing through things people don't want to get what we need (and want). it saves money, and oh the thrill it brings.

well, there they are.. the works in progress. feel free to ask how they're going! i need all the help i can get.

so, no picture with this post, but maybe all 
of the (parenthesis) i used will make up for it?

22 September 2011

kitchen tour..

here's a little picture tour of the kitchen in our crown point home. although it's not really any bigger than the kitchens at our three other apartments, something about the layout makes it a lot more functional for me. i'm so thankful for this (as are d & r, i'm sure) because i'm in there (and enjoying it) a lot more often than i was in the other kitchens. that keeps us well fed and out of restaurants. win, win.

 view from the hallway.. it's organized, somewhat cluttered, chaos.. just how i like it. :)

 pot rack and bread shelf both from my mama's house.. thankful she's willing to pass on things to me that help with organization in our small living spaces. even though it takes up a lot of room, we keep a highchair for rubes in the kitchen as well as in the (carpeted) dining room. she has her (often messy) breakfast in here with me while i tidy up the kitchen in the morning.

 this is my first experience cooking on a gas stove, and just like my mom said, i love it. quick, even heat.. expect for the broiler. i've burnt the bagels every time!

 a little spot for some favorite (and somewhat useful) things. a kitchen cat from daniel's gammmie, as well as the birdie s&p shakers. secret smartie stash when i'm in need of bribery or a treat reward for rubes, and an old butter urn and potato chips tin from my mom, as well. these are the kinds of things that keep me feeling close to people i love even when we're this far away, and always work as good reminders to say a prayer for them when they come to mind.

 the window cutout works great for us too.. i can see ruby if i need to start cleaning up the kitchen while she talks to me or looks at a book after dinner, and it's great for passing dishes right out to the table. my mom's hard work of hanging hooks above our coffee pot cleared a lot of space in our (very few) cabinets.

you would think that since we finally have a dishwasher again, this wouldn't always be full, but it always is.. along with the token just-rinsed clothes from ruby's last meal.

so, there it is.. the kitchen.. our new, and beautiful, mess.

20 September 2011


i'm sure you're not.. i feel like i'm constantly changing the look of the blog, and i'm at it again with a little "fall" feel for ya. i've felt inspired to find out more about "blog design" lately.. i'd love to get my space here looking at legit as some of my favorites. here are a few of those to give you an idea of what i'm talking about..

i love jessi's blog a lot. so fresh and dynamic looking, i think. don't you love that silhouette of her beside her blog title? and here's a little secret, she's going to be doing a guest post right here within the next couple weeks! i asked her to share some about what she and her family have learned and grown from because of some transition that the Lord has brought, and is continuing to bring, them through recently. i'm sure whatever she has to say will encourage and challenge a lot in me, and i'm hoping it will do the same for you too. can't wait!

two things i love about danielle's blog.. one. coral! i love this color so much, so of course i loved when she brought it into her blog design recently. two, she and her family are in the process of adopting AND she's pregnant. she shares a lot about what God is doing through all that happening for them right now, and it's a joy to read.

rachel's blog is another frequent spot for me. i like the vintage feel she has in her design, and since she's running a "blogspot" as well, it gives me hope that i can have something that cute going on here too. she's the a young mama of five little ones, and i'm always learning a ton from her posts about being constantly transparent, healthful living, and giving glory to Him for just making it through each day. hm, come to think of it, maybe i'll put in a little "guest post" request to her too. :) 

i know i've given "shout outs" to these ladies before, but i knew i had to do so again when it came to talking about prettying up the blog.. it's just an added bonus that they're great enough for me to have more to brag on them about than their style!

enjoy your tuesday!

oh, and since i'm not keen on a picture-less post, here's a little shot of my loves and me on a recent trip we took into the city. feeling thankful everyday that we're reunited and already learning and seeing so many evidences of God's goodness to us here in indiana.

17 September 2011


well, we're here.. we have now been indiana residents for one week and one day! kind of crazy. i can't say that it's been the easiest transition, but when is transition really all that easy? please tell me i'm not the only one who has a hard time with it?! i was so thankful to have my mom here for the first few days after we got here. it was great to get a lot of unpacking done while she had time with ruby, and having a little time in the city (chicago) on monday was a good break from setting up the apartment. it was hard to say goodbye to her at the airport on tuesday, and i felt like we jumped right into the nitty gritty of life as d and i drove home talking about expectations and how we'd like our life to look in this new state. as hard as it can sometimes be in marriage to iron out things like that, i'm continually thankful for a husband who desires good things for our family and works hard for us.. and who will sit in the car comforting and listening to me cry and vent for over an hour. :) 

i'm having an especially hard time being away from raleigh considering what all is going on with my mom-in-love after a serious car accident she had just a few days after us moving here. more than anything, it's been a time for me to truly exercise the faith that i have in the Lord to control a situation without my help. i know, what kind of crazy person thinks they can do more than God? um, me. :) really though, i feel so powerless up here, but i'm doing my best to trust the support she has from the rest of our family and to believe that there is power in the prayers that i'm constantly speaking for her. 

as hard as they are, i'm doing my best to thank the Lord daily for times like these when i'm thrown into the fire.. being refined to rely on Him fully even when i'm not completely sure how. i literally cannot look at these situations and fully see what He will do with them. i realize that daniel being able to give us a better financial footing and being shown favor in his job are blessings in themselves, but i need for there to be something greater for us here than that. something eternal. so, i'm trusting God that he has that in the works, and i'm seeking him for whatever it might be. and although i don't think that he caused this pain to come upon sharon, i am remaining confident that He can and will use it for good, and i'm asking Him to reveal what that good is in His own time. i keep feeling comforted and affirmed by this part of scripture that sharon shared with me right before we moved to indy..

 "Immediately after this, Jesus insisted that his disciples get back into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. After telling everyone good-bye, he went up into the hills by himself to pray.
Late that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land. He saw that they were in serious trouble, rowing hard and struggling against the wind and waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water..."

Jesus sent them out knowing it would be hard.. He knew the waves would be against them, but He was watching.. and as soon as he saw that it was more than they could handle on their own, He came to them. i don't even know what more there is to be said about it.. what a comfort.

04 September 2011

brand new..

so, obviously i'm in a super nostalgic, mushy mood tonight.. three days from the start of "roadtrip to daddy 2011". missing my hubby, knowing i'll soon be missing my family here, and being thankful for my little girl in all of her wild, stubborn, sweet glory. i came across a bunch of videos from when ruby girl came earthside, so i thought i'd share. i hope they don't make you cry as much as i just did watching them [let's face it, they won't]. 

nothing like some throwback videos to remind you of what 
a treasure you have in your baby girl, how loving and true your 
husband is, and what a sweet, supportive sister you have.

21 August 2011

reach out..

 seeing this postsecret post today made me just a little more thankful than i already am for good people. people who care for others they don't know, and reach out to them in whatever ways they do know. let's be some of those people.

15 August 2011


i think, overall, it wouldn't be a stretch to classify myself as an "over-sharer". i'm a complete verbal processor, and it helps me in nearly ever circumstance to share and talk through things. i started therapy recently, and i've felt compelled on and off to start a separate blog-type space to write candidly about what that experience has been like and process through what i'm learning and realizing. i planned to make it a private site and to only give the password to a few people whose opinions and insight i would want on what therapy is bringing out and helping to shift in me. i've gone back and forth about it, and after journaling some last night, started thinking about the possibility again. after i had drawn my token line to put an end to my entry for the night, i tangibly felt a pull inside to remember that some things aren't meant for the masses [or even a select few].. i sat for awhile reflecting on just how often i experience, write, think, pray, see, or do something and automatically think, "who can i share this with?". maybe i don't always think those exact words, but at some point, i very likely end up uploading, status updating, or blog writing about whatever it was. i do believe there is great joy and benefit from having communal experiences, sharpening and challenging others based on our own realizations or bringing others a little joy by posting a super cute picture of our kid-- but, i also think that there are times when feeling a need to let others in on what is happening within myself, or between me and a select few, keeps me from just enjoying whatever that thing is for what it is. why does it sometimes seem like it's more, or only, enriched if others get to see, share in, learn from, or give feedback about it? in a age when facebook shows everyone just how many "friends" we have, foursquare lets everyone know just where we are, twitter lets everyone know just what we're doing, and blogs let everyone know just what we're thinking, i'm going to start doing a better job of reminding myself that..

09 August 2011

long-distance loving..

lemme preface this post by saying that what i'm feeling in this area is a small drop in a very large bucket compared to a lot of people.. so, please don't forward this post to any of your military spouse friends proclaiming, "she knows just how you feel!".. because i definitely do not.

ruby and i are coming up on a month of living apart from our daddy/hubby, and i've had some t.w.s. (thoughts worth sharing :)) about what this time has been like/done for our family. i have to say that i am a firm believer in the whole "distance makes the heart grown fonder" figure of speech. i had a hard time at first knowing that daniel and i would be apart for anywhere from a month and a half to two months. not only because, well, we'd be apart, but also because i was afraid of how people would view us doing that. i felt like other wives would judge me for not "standing by my man" and being there to support him in the move from day one. i was afraid that people would think i was weird for wanting to live with daniel's parents for that long, and wonder what could possibly be so pressing here (or scary about being there) that would make us stay behind for such a considerable time after he left. i was afraid that i was gonna funk things up for ruby by transitioning her not only once, but twice, after moving out of our apartment in raleigh. i was afraid that i was clinging too much to being here and just delaying the inevitable on some unconscious level. i wondered if on some level we were unknowingly, but intentionally, separating ourselves during such a tumultuous and difficult time of transition so that we could avoid some of the initial confrontation that inevitably (at least in our experience) comes with a big move like this. maybe we, without even really realizing it, wanted to be separate from each other for awhile during all of this. i'm sure you're thinking.. "over-analyze much, alinna?" :) but really, it was a big and hard decision for us, and we didn't truly know how we'd feel about it until we were actually doing it and living day to day apart from each other. 

so, i say all of that to say where i'm at with things now, and also why i'm thankful that this is what we went with in the end. being apart from daniel has, indeed, made my heart grown fonder for him. i miss my husband. i am more ready than i ever thought i'd be to be settled in chicago because i want to be with him, despite all that's going to come with the transition. i've shared with a few friends how daniel and i have noticed in our 3ish years of married life that an easy rut for us to fall into is sometimes living at roommates instead of life-mates and lovers. in our experience, it's sometimes difficult to keep the hard, real, and day to day of life from making us live around instead of with each other. but. this time apart has gotten me far and away from that rut. i miss him. i want him. and i can't wait to live life with each other in just a few short weeks. i'm so looking forward to settling into a new apartment, town, routine, church, relationships, and all the rest of it again. i feel so filled up from these past couple years in raleigh submerged in and surrounded by family and great friends, and i feel ready to take on this next phase with daniel and ruby. don't get me wrong, i'm sad. i'm scared. i'm already feeling a little bit of the exhaustion that i know will come with getting to know (and like) new people. i'm already planning out how i want our new apartment to be set up, and wondering where i'll get my hair cut, oil changed, groceries from, and how i'll survive in all of that SNOW. but those blows all feel a little more lessened with each day that passes and each little tingle of tears i feel in my eyes when i think of my sweet love up there without us. 

this long-distance loving is just what we needed, 
and i'm thankful that He knew that and laid out the path 
for us before we even knew what was happening.

30 June 2011


july holds a good bit of change for us, and in the midst of all the madness, i'm sure opening up our laptop to see this bit of extreme cuteness will add an extra smile to my days. hope it does the same for you.

16 June 2011

at it again..

so, since the newest change with us is becoming very official this weekend, i think it's due time to share what's going on. like the title of this post tells you, we're at it again... and by "it" i mean moving. the wednesday before we were set to go to tom and rachel's really fun wedding outside of chicago, daniel got a call from his current regional manager at hhgregg offering him a manager position for a job that had recently and suddenly opened up in the chicago area. an electronic sales manager positon had become available in a new region being started, and russ (daniel's current regional manager (RM) in raleigh who is moving to become one of the RM's in the new chicago region) thought of daniel to fill the job. he told us there was "no pressure" to take it because there were other people that he could ask to go, but that he knew he could trust daniel to do a great job helping to jump-start the region and wanted to give us a chance to think it over. the catch- we needed to decide within the next few days (so, like he said, no pressure). needless to say, our very fun and "relaxing" trip to chicago turned into one that was also a big time of decision, prayer, advice-asking, and adult/married people discussion (and sometimes disagreement/tears, if i'm honest). we coincidentally providentially were routed to drive right through the town we would potentially be moving to, merrillville, indiana. so, with all of my "this cannot be what He has planned for us" thinking, it was hard for me to deny it when something like that was starting the list of "why it could very likely be what we should do" evidence. anyway, we took time that weekend to talk to some friends/family, seek wise counsel (even from a few older/wiser "strangers" at the wedding), and take a look around the town on our way back home. 

after quite a few conversations with various people that went something like this, "i had the opportunity to do something like that earlier in life and am so glad i did" or "i had the opportunity to do something like that earlier in life and think back wondering what would have come out of it if i'd gone", we started thinking that it might be a good opportunity for daniel and a wise move for our family. daniel talked some more options over with russ in the following week, and found out that he was more than willing to help us move back to the raleigh area in a year and a half or two once the region was established and d had the time to hire and train a replacement for himself. once we got that news, we felt a lot more strongly that this could be a good (and also tough) season for us. we decide the thursday after daniel got the initial job offer that he would accept, and the snowball really started rolling after that. daniel has exchanged a lot of emails and phone calls with a relocation company that hhgregg works with, made arrangements with our landlord and family to plan out what the transition time between our current apartment and the next (in indiana!) will look like, and given some exciting and also hard news to a lot of people who we love. 

so, the logistics of our plan (as they stand right now) look something like this:
..we are spending today through sunday in and around merrillville looking for an apartment or house to rent.
..we will go home and pack everything we own and transfer it into a POD that will be taken and stored up here.
..we will move out of our apartment on june 30th and live in d's parents' house (yay for being roomies with them again!).
..daniel, his brother luke, and oldest sister christine, will drive our two cars up here around the 8th of july, and daniel will start working at building from scratch the new store, along with two other managers, around the 15th of july.
..ruby and i will continue to bunk at the mehaffie house until around the end of august (maybe into september). sidebar: i know that sounds like a long time for our family to be apart, but the more we've talked about it, the more we realize that this way of transitioning for us will work much better than us moving up with him only for him to work pretty much non-stop for the first couple months that we are there leaving us, more or less, to fend for ourselves to settle in. we're planning to feel out when things slow down a bit for him, and then ruby and i will fly up and begin our life with d as indianians (is that what they're called?!). thankfully, hhgregg funds at least one trip for him down to nc (or us up to indy) to visit. i know there will be difficulties that come with being apart for that long, but i think it will also be good for ruby and me to transition out of our raleigh life a bit throughout the summer.. we're loving our family, friends, home group, church, journey group, etc. there, and i think rushing out too quickly could be really hard on us. ok, enough about that part of it.. i feel like i'm talking you guys in to thinking it's a good idea or something. :)

so, as far as i know, that's the plan for now. since this transition came pretty much hand-in-hand with our loss (we accepted the final offer for his job the same day we found out about my miscarriage), i feel like i'm just now starting to even wrap my mind around what's going on in this area of our life. i will not deny that i am sad and i know that it'll hit me hard once we're actually up there, but i also for sure see the favor in this happening.  i think there's a ton to be said of how blessed we are that daniel has found a job that he's both good at and loves, and also that his hard work has paid off and been noticed in the short (almost) two years that he's worked there. i also think that after a period of being completely submerged (in a good way) in family and great friends in raleigh for the past couple years, it will be good for us to go back to our california-esque existence of completely having and relying on each other.

ho. ly. mo. ly. this is long. i'm sure there will be many many posts to come that concern this biiig transition. i can't imagine how exited you must be about that. ;)

12 June 2011

early father's day..

enjoyed these hopeful, happy, and loving father's day postsecrets tonight.

goodnight. <3

11 June 2011


i mentioned a few posts back that we've got some heavy-ish things going on right now. i suppose that today is as good a day as ever to start more outwardly processing through what's happening. first, i'll share this post that i wrote about a month ago to be pulished a few weeks later:  

"i'm writing this post the day it happened, but you won't be seeing it for another three weeks.. i just don't want to forget what a hard week this started out as and what a good one it has become. by the time y'all are reading this you'll already know that d and i are expecting baby dos, and as excited (and, honestly, shocked) as we were when we found out about baby on april 27th, i've felt much much different this time around than i did with ruby. when i think back to that positive pregnancy test day, i feel like the worries that crept up stand out more to me than anything else. i just couldn't shake the feeling, and the monday after we confirmed the news was the first time i noticed a little blood when i went to the bathroom. my heart sunk, but at the same time i thought, "of course" and sadly, at that moment, assumed that all of my aforementioned worries were coming true. so. sad. how easily defeated, right? and, when the same thing happened that tuesday through friday, i had myself completely convinced walking in to see the midwife with daniel on friday afternoon that they were going to tell us that our seven week-ish old baby had died. i explained what had been going on to lucie (the midwife), and nodded while she assured me that what was happening was normal and that we would take a look inside and see how things were going.. all the while bracing myself for what i knew was going to come. but then i saw it.. the little (i mean, teeny tiny) blip on the screen. the heartbeat. the heartbeat that she said she was surprised we could even see because our baby was only five weeks old. five weeks. which explained everything. the bit of bleeding, the lack of strong pregnancy symptoms. all of it. and in the midst of a time in my life when i've been feeling like i have to fight to feel the presence of God, i knew He cared about me and that He was there. that He knew that i need to see that heartbeat to calm my worried heart, and i wept." 

obviously, you all haven't read that post before now. the reason for that is that we found out about three weeks later that our baby's teeny tiny heartbeat had stopped sometime between our two appointments, and that i would need to have a d&c to remove the "fetal tissue" (as they so lovingly called it). even though we lost our baby, i still wanted to share this post because the joy that we felt that day isn't any less important. i still believe that the Lord sustained us during that time, and that He is doing the same thing while we are on the opposite side of joy. 
on some level, it feels a little strange for me to even be sharing about the miscarriage since it's technically "over", but a lot of the time it doesn't feel like it is. i was telling my friend kalle not long ago that the hardest thing about dealing with this kind of loss (or any loss at all, i'm sure) is that even though you feel "okay" at times, you never know when the sadness from it will come washing over you again. you never know when some completely unrelated situation will bring emotions that overtake and consume you, making you feel, in some ways, completely irrational and confused by your own thoughts and feelings. i had one such instance last night, and told daniel that there are times when i just wish i didn't feel because it would be easier that way.. i wouldn't feel like such a "basket case". of course, this isn't really what i want, i love having feelings, but there are definitely times when they get the best of me. 
a loss like this is also hard because your logical self knows how common it is and that it is in no way the worst kind of tragedy you can go through in the realm of parenthood.. but that doesn't take away from how attached you feel as a mother to someone you literally never knew. i had a really hard time dealing with the very strange things that my hormonal mind thought of in terms of our baby.. the thoughts of it being inside me not alive, wondering how many people i joyfully told that i was pregnant with our baby while, in fact, it had died, being curious and sad about how they "disposed" of it after the d&c procedure. i hated where my mind would go, but i couldn't stop it. it was also difficult knowing that there really wasn't any way that daniel could completely relate to or understand my sadness-- it's just reality that things like this do not affect fathers in the same way that they do mothers. i would sometimes feel bad breaking down again and again, having him hold and console me, all the while knowing that he couldn't even touch emotions that were completely overtaking me. of course, he was supportive and hurting because i was, but my mind went there anyway. 
on the much brighter side, we were and still are extremely grateful for the compassion, sympathy, empathy, generosity, and love that we've gotten from so many around us. there's definite comfort in the midst of trial knowing that someone else can specifically relate to and be sad with you because they have be there. we felt completely surrounded and cared for by our loved ones, and despite any lack of complete understanding, there is a great deal of strength and solidification that comes in a marriage from something so hard (if you allow it). i think, when you hurt together, you love harder. and i'm thankful for those things in the midst of this.

there's another pretty big transition coming up for us as well, but i need to talk to d and make sure when we're going to share it on a larger scale. apart from wanting to share about the miscarriage as a way of remembrance over time for us on our blog, i also wanted to give some insight for others into something "common" but also very difficult for the women and families who go through it. i am so thankful that the reactions and words from our friends and family were never the stereotypical "unhelpful" things that you hear about, but i know that's not always the case for people who go through what we have (and much harder things). after experiencing this hard time, i would say that the most helpful and comforting thing to hear was often, "i really don't know what to say, but we are sad with and praying for you." it's amazing how something so simple can be just what you need to hear.

 thanking Him (and many of you) for a mending heart.

10 June 2011


you will never hear me claim to truly know what i'm doing when it comes to parenting.. i'm trying the best i know how. i ask advice, i try to remain teachable, i pray, i ponder, i challenge myself and bounce things off my husband when i'm confused or frustrated, i try to offer love and correction hand-in-hand, i do my best to hold my tongue at times when all i want to do is scream in frustration, i choose my battles and realize that some things are just better left alone.. but it's hard.
parenting is hard.

i'm sitting here right now so frustrated at my daughter even after she's asleep. and so discouraged because, try as i might, sometimes i just don't know what i'm doing or if our teaching is getting us anywhere. i fully believe that it's nature and nurture. there are tendencies in her personality that i am certain she was born with.. wrong things that i want to help her learn to control, and also good things that i was to cherish and foster so she can be uniquely and beautifully her. but the road is long, the challenges are often, and the rewards come few and far between. 

our biggest challenge with her right now is aggression towards other kids.. she pushes, she hits, she sometimes kicks.. and i have no idea why. sometimes, it's provoked, but a lot of the time it's almost like she doesn't know what else to do when she walks up to another kid, so she pushes them. sometimes i wonder if it's an interest in cause and effect.. let's see what reaction i can get out of this kid.. but usually i am simply dumbfounded while i watch her approach and accost a kid. don't get me wrong, it's not like she's pummeling kids or really causing any kind of physical harm at all, but still. what the heck? most parents are very understanding, and even empathetic, offering words of encouragement about how their kids either do or have done the same, but i can't help but continually wonder, "what is going on??" and "how long will this last?".

my current frustration comes out of our evening tonight.. we went to a park with my friend janelle, and had to leave because ruby pushed after i told her we would leave if she did it again (it didn't phase her because she got to "go to naynay's house"). we left her house and went to chick-fil-a and to play with the kids outside in the square at north hills. after one slight pushing incident, i told her if she pushed or hit again we would leave. surpriiise, she did it again. so we left, crying all the way.. and by the time we got to the car for me to explain again why we left, followed by a follow through of the spank i told her she would get for pushing, it's like she's over and forgotten about the entire thing. i wanted to come home and have her understand that i was still mad at and disappointed in her, but there's no way. she's two. she has the memory of a goldfish and i'm only hurting myself when i harbor feelings like this towards her and this situation long after it's over. 

like i said, it's hard. and i think what's even harder is the knowledge in the back of my head that tells me this won't be anywhere near the hardest thing we'll face with her. she's two. please. i don't even wanna think about what we'll be facing when she's ten. sixteen. eighteen. twenty-one. 

doing my best to, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."

but you know what? that's hard too. 

09 June 2011


i saw this video posted by rachael, who writes one of the blogs that i told you about the other day, on facebook today and i knew i wanted to share it. i'd say that if you're married, unmarried, hopeful to be married, think that marriage is a cool institution but not for you, or in pretty much any other situation, you should see this. i think it's one of the most beautiful and touching testaments to what marriage could and should look like that i've ever heard.. humble, kind, unselfish, simple, and unwavering. just watching it challenged the heck out of me.. i want so badly to be to daniel what annie was to danny.
i want to light up his life.

07 June 2011

liking lately..

in the midst of some heavy-ish things going on in our life right now (more on that in a future post, i'm sure), i've been trying to let myself think on lighter things this evening. it seemed like a wishlist/things that i've been liking lately was a good place to go.. so, here they are for you to see.

tina fey. i just think she seems so down to earth and hilarious, and i'm really interested in reading her book. maybe it will be at the library? here's hoping.

the color coral. it's so pretty and summery, and i find myself gravitating lately towards clothing, nail polish, and pretty much anything else coral-colored.

rachael ray's everyday magazine. i've thought about subscribing, but wanted to do a trial run before i did. i bought the latest issue and loved it immediately. tons of good, affordable, and seemingly simple recipes. three good ways to win me over. looking forward to making a fun french toast recipe from it for my hub and rubes in the morning.

these blogs. i've somewhat newly discovered them, and i've found a lot of genuine and encouraging stuff there.  i will admit that sometimes blog following can turn into a big down-on-myself comparison party if i let it, but i feel like these two ladies do a good job of letting the real and dirty in their lives show while also being honest and challenging out of what they're learning and growing in. i'm thankful for the ways that this abstract and often uninspiring interweb can sometimes bring just the amount of goodness that i need.

unsweet tea and dunkin' donuts iced coffee. ugh, they've become addictions. i'm going to have to buy some decaf coffee and more tea bags because these drive-thru stops are going to start breaking the bank.

this scarf and these earrings. i've pretty sure i'm going to try to fit them into what i'm wearing everyday for the next two months, knowing me. i'm kind of an "i like it and i'm addicted" kind of person when i get something new. probably because it doesn't happen that often. :)

and lastly, this little girl. she probably tests me and drives me crazy as much as she delights me, and that's honestly what i love so much about her. being her mama stretches me in ways that i never thought possible, and i know i need it. i also love that she's suddenly started giving me unrequested hugs, kisses, and "i love you, mommy"s.. seriously, it does not get much better than that.

18 May 2011

[un]natural progression..

i feel like calling life a "natural progression" is something you hear people say a lot. i either don't think that's really true, or what i picture as a natural progression isn't what it actually is. maybe before (like during high school and college when i looked ahead to what i thought it might all look like for me) i thought of a natural progression as predictability. for example, i will finish school, get a job, meet a mate, marry him, have kids (after a reasonable amount of time), settle down and raise them, work some more, retire at some point, enjoy life, and then die. although i'm not very far along in this list, i'm at the same time very far along in this list. 

my natural progression got unnatural real quick. 

i just wish we didn't do that to ourselves. if i didn't spend time thinking so much about how my (and our) life should look, then i in turn wouldn't end up spending so much time worrying about how that varies from how it does look. if i hadn't talked in college about how i wasn't going to be one of those girls who had the walk across the stage at graduation turn into a walk down the isle, i wouldn't spend the time i sometimes do thinking about how i did just that. if i didn't talk about how we didn't want to be one of those christian "honeymoon baby" couples, i wouldn't be so thrown off course by the fact that we are. too bad we don't realize earlier in life what i feel like i'm trying to get through my head now.. that my natural progression is natural for me, not in comparison to anyone else. boy, does that take the pressure off.

proverbs 19:21
You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

potty post..

this is a totally geeked-out mom post. i thought about making this topic/question a facebook status, but figured i wouldn't expose all of my unsuspecting facebook friends to my potty learning/training questions. blogland seems like a much more chosen means of reading, so if you clicked and came here, hopefully you're ready to hear about it. :)

so, ruby's pottying ability came to be kind of by accident. ever since she seemed at all interested in her little toilet in the bathroom, i've let her sit on it, try to go to the bathroom on it, talked to her about what i was doing when i would use "my potty", and things like that. over time she'd randomly have a successful pee on the potty, but there was no method to the madness. when my mom was here over mother's day weekend, we let ruby be bottomless pretty much all of the time at home and became pretty intentional about having her try and go every now and then and, for lack of better words, freaked out whenever she'd actually pee or poop on there. so, over the course of those few days she seemed to get it. it was kind of miraculous to me.. i loved how excited to she (and we) got for this accomplishment, and although she's learned a ton of things in her little two year lifetime, i felt like it was one of the most major things that i actually helped teach her. 

i say all of this to ask, now that she's got in-home pottying about 98% down, how do i take this outside of the home? i'm perfectly happy with her using the toilet at home only for awhile, saving us diapers and learning more and more about how to get things done along the way, but i don't want to confuse her by putting her in diapers anytime we're not at our apartment. any suggestions are welcome.. hoping that some post potty training moms frequent this recently neglected blog. sorry i've been MIA! more posts to come soon.

my smart girl.

17 March 2011


so, i have this friend who's used the word soulmate since i can remember, but i know for a fact that she didn't truly know what that word meant until she met matt.. and this weekend i get to be a part of the day when she commits her life to him. janelle, thank you for asking me to be one of the women who stands in support of your marriage before so many people you trust and love. i'm proud of you, and i can't wait to keep walking through life with you and to see the ways that marriage, and all that you will learn from it, shapes you into an even better version of the person i already love so much. you're a sweet friend, nay, and i am so looking forward to celebrating your and matt's love and God's goodness in bringing you to one another on your wedding day! <3

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