gracie’s first two weeks

At 5:50am on January 21, 2014, we became a family of four.

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Our sweet Grace Katherine entered the world.

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Her birth was perfect. I had a few issues after she was safely in our arms, so we ended up spending a night in the hospital. It was cozy and peaceful, and soon enough we were headed home.

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The next days included lots of cuddles and rest and gazing at our Gracie Kate.

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Luke spent a few days with Opa and Oma, then came home to join us. I was amazed at his instant adoration and love for his baby sister. It feels like magic to watch them cuddle, and to constantly hear his little voice say, “hi little Gracie!”

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Grace is quite adorable,  I do believe.

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She spends most of her time sleeping, as a new baby should.

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I wasn’t sure what it would be like to have a baby in the winter, since Luke was a summer baby.
Turns out it is super adorable when they are all bundled up.

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Grace is pretty easy-going thus far. She puts up with her older brother’s loud and invasive affection, as long as she gets lots of cuddles from mom and dad.

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She unknowingly joined the 12th man mania.

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We are adjusting to being a family of four. It feels like stretching – sometimes it feels just perfect, like when Luke wants to drink his bedtime milk next to Gracie. Other times it feels like a huge change that takes some getting used to. We are working it out, this little family of ours. Ian took some time off, and we are treasuring this time together. And we are thankful – we never expected to grow our family this way, and Gracie fits in just perfectly.

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our little chatterbox

IMG_7425Luke talks. A lot.

This morning, he woke up a little earlier than he should, so I sat on the bed and tried to get him settled back to sleep. In about two minutes, he rattled off the following conversation:

“Luke, do you want me to tuck you in?”

“I want daddy to tuck me in.”

“Daddy’s already at work.”

“Daddy’s at work? He’ll be back soon. Who’s coming over? Is opa coming? Opa will come back soon.”

“Opa’s coming next Tuesday.”

“Tuesday. Someday. Opa’s coming on Tuesday, and he’s going to play with me. He’s going to play with me. He’s going to play… barn! He’s going to play barn with me. With the horse and the sheep and the pig and the cows and the bull. The cows and the bull! The cows and the bull! What’s the bull doing? What’s the bull doing there? Oh, man. Opa’s going to come and play with me and the cows and the bull.

What’s that? Did someone toot? Mama, did you toot?”

“No, that was my stomach rumbling.”

“Rumbling? Rumble bumble jumble. Rumble bumble rumble bumble rumble bumble. Rumble bumble dumble. Dumble. Dumble. Dumbo. Dumbo! Dumbo! Dumbo is a BIG elephant! Dumbo!

I’m a baby! I’m a little baby, aaaww. Or am I a big boy? I’m a big boy baby. I’m going to play horses! Horses and elephant. Big elephant! You seen my big elephant? Please I get my elephant? I’m going to ask daddy, and daddy’s going to find it with me. Someday. My elephant book! Please I read my elephant book from the library?”

Around that point, I realized that this kid was not going back to sleep. Not only that, but he’d probably already spoken more words than I would in the next few hours. It’s so fun to hear what is going on in his world, but so crazy how much comes out of his little mouth!

the last of luke’s nursery

Sigh. The day finally came when we decided to move Luke to his “big boy bed” (aka teeny toddler bed).

We had talked about doing it on a week when Ian was working an earlier shift, so we’d have a good amount of time for an extended bedtime routine if we encountered any difficulties. But when we looked at our calendar, we realized that most nights we had commitments that were going to push bedtime back anyways. So we made the switch kind of spur-of-the-moment on a Sunday morning. Which was for the best, since it didn’t leave me time to be overly sentimental about “his last night in his crib” and whatnot. Which I tend to do.

Anyways. We did it – Ian put together his toddler bed and we re-arranged all the furniture so that it fit. Luke and baby sister will be sharing a room, so we had to be creative about fitting everything in a small room. But it will be cozy and cute and Luke is really excited about sharing his room. Once we’ve settled everything in and decorated, I’ll share some photos. But don’t expect it before December!

I loved how Luke’s room was for the first couple years of his life. When he was born, we had a bare skeleton of a room – a crib with no mattress, and a couple dressers. Hey, when you have an adoption come through after the baby is already born, you don’t exactly have time to nest before bringing him home! So it took a couple months to come together, but it was a sweet room that worked well for us. And honestly, the style of the new shared room won’t be that much different. If there’s a theme to the room, it’s probably a woodland theme, which I still love. But I wanted to remember what Luke’s first room looked like.

I loved his little crib area. I designed his birth announcement, and my mom made it with her mad crewel embroidery skills (I’ve already given her baby girl’s design to work on!). My mother-in-law got those super cute animal prints from a local artist – Luke still loves to point out the animals and make up stories about them. The little collage area over his dresser is a modge podge of fun little crafted or thrifted goodies. Both the dresser and the lamp is from my childhood. The lamp also plays a lullaby and the crib figurine rocks when you wind it up (it totally freaks Ian out, but I love it).

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This room gets some nice light, and it was nice to have his changing table under the window. The stork always looked great there – I’m excited to be adding a new heart to it soon! To the left of the window is a photo of Luke’s first father’s day (only a couple weeks old) and a bib that my oma made for one of my mom’s best friends when she had a baby boy. When I had Luke, she was so sweet to pass it on to me. I absolutely love it. I don’t have a full photo of it, but my mom made the Noah’s ark hanging above the closet. She made it for me before I was born, and it always hung in my room growing up. That’s probably Luke’s favorite art in the room since he’s obsessed with Noah’s ark. :)

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This side of the room is fun – I made the trio of woodland animals before Luke was born. My BFFs made the little raccoons and twig tree for my baby shower. The good ol’ IKEA expedit has served us well, and will continue to do so!

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So that’s the grand tour – I did say his room was small. :)

And here’s a photo of the big boy in his new bed. I made the quilt for him – my first since the lap quilt I made in high school home ec! It was actually a remarkably smooth process, and Luke loves it. Overall, he’s adjusted well to his new bed – bedtimes are great, naptimes are usually fine, though he definitely uses his freedom to get up and play for a few more minutes before settling down. We are thankful for a kiddo who generally likes to sleep, so we try not to get too worked up when we have a shorter or skipped nap day.

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I’m excited to put together their new room… once that nesting instinct kicks in, I guess!

5 minute diy fall wreath and a shop giveaway

5 minute DIY fall wreathI have been all over the place with fall decorating this year. I wanted to bring fall into our house early, since I think we may decorate for Christmas earlier than usual (so we can take it down earlier than usual, before baby #2 makes her appearance). But the weather has been so bright and sunny and warm that I just didn’t feel ready to bust out all my fall decorations. So I’ve been adding autumn touches here and there over the last couple weeks, and on Sunday I decided to bust out a little autumn wreath. Sorry for the super lame lighting, but the urge to craft struck before there was any good natural light.

Step 1: grab your supplies – a wreath of whatever style/size you choose, some natural colored coffee filters, and some floral wire.

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Step 2: scrunch a coffee filter to form a flower-like shape, and secure the bottom/base of it by winding some floral wire around it and the wreath.

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Step 3: continue adding coffee filter flowers until you have desired amount (my wreath was small – about 5 inches, so I went with three).

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Step 4: depending on the size of your wreath, the flowers may seem kind of mammoth, like mine. So trim them down so they look right.

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Step 5: embellish! Use some colored twine or yarn to wrap around the top for hanging, and then add whatever little fall tidbits you have. I went with some sweet wooden beads my mother-in-law gave to me when she was cleaning out her closet (70s craft stash = my heaven), but you could do anything – more colored twine wrapped around the wreath, a little fabric bunting, a string of pine cones, some burlap bunting – it’s up to you!

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There you go – a quick little touch of autumn for your home!

Other fun news: Ashley over at Crazy.Simple.Love is hosting a giveaway for one of my mini buntings!

It warms my little heart to see my products used to create a cozy home for people, and Ashley came up with some super fun ways to decorate with my mini buntings. And not only does she do an awesome job at creating a great space for her family (she has 4 super cute kiddos!), but she loves Jesus and is all about sharing encouraging words with others. So check out her blog and be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a mini bunting garland of your choice!

happy october and mini buntings galore

Mmm, the arrival of fall! Pumpkin muffins, cozy blankets, comfy boots and dark, quiet mornings. Really, I love each change of season – it seems like a breath of fresh air.

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Not a lot is new around our home, we’ve just been adjusting to more of a fall routine. Luke is kind of obsessed with Noah’s ark, so we spend a lot of time playing Noah’s ark, reading various versions of the story, singing songs about the ark, and speculating about what animals might have gotten on the ark first. I don’t know why I don’t have a picture of any of this, I feel like I spend at least half my day talking about this subject.

We are gearing up to rearrange Luke’s room and get him settled into a toddler bed before little sister moves into his room in a few months. I’m excited for him to have a slightly different space, and I’m hoping it will kick-start some nesting instincts so that I can start preparing for baby’s arrival. I’ve been feeling great, growing bigger and I spend at least a few minutes every day in complete awe and thankfulness that our family is going to be growing soon!

In other news, I just added a bunch of fun new mini buntings to my etsy shop!

I just love these little mini buntings, and fall mornings are the perfect time to work on them. My party mini buntings have been pretty popular, so I’m hoping some of these fun fall garlands will find their way into some good homes.

Happy fall everyone!

summertime fun

Well, it’s been awhile since I’ve gotten around to updating this blog, so I’m going to cram the last couple months into this post.

First up: Luke’s debut at the local all-comers track meet.

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You can see he was quite serious about it.

I don’t know if I can really ever stress it enough to people, but Luke loves running. Like, really loves running. I know all two year olds like to run around, but Luke loves running for the sake of running. He would run circles around our swingset all day long if someone ran with him.

So I thought the all-comers meet would be great. And he did like it – unless he hated it. He just didn’t quite grasp the concept of only running during your race. He got pretty worked up waiting for his races, and then again after his races when he had to stop running. So yeah. He’s two.

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The “mini-jav” event. (Not pictured: his turn at the long jump pit, where he ran full speed and then veered into the other long jump pit (with the older kids) at the last second. Luckily it was clear at the time).

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Running his 50m race with mama.

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This guy keeps us on our toes, that’s for sure. We had our family vacation at the end of July, and it was great. We kicked it off with a day at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

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He’s started saying “cheese” for the camera, and I kinda love the smile it produces.

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After a spending the night at Ian’s grandma’s house, we continued south to Seaside, OR. Ian’s mom met us down there the next day, and his brother Jamie’s family joined us a few days later. We had a great time – Luke loved playing on the beach.

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IMG_6922He also rode the carousel numerous times.

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We also made a trip out to the Tillamook Cheese Factory – Luke and I may have gone through the sample line a couple times.

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Luke adores his older cousins, and whenever we walked anywhere, he’d quickly turn to find them so he could hold their hands.

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Adorable Miss Reese loved playing in the kiddie pool. All the kids enjoyed lots of pool time – so nice that our resort had a shallow kids’ pool that they could happily play in.

Back home the next week, we attended a Bellingham Bells game with our small group. Things were going fine – Luke was running around with the other kids down in front of the fence along left field, where we were sitting.

Between innings midway through the game, they let all the kids run across the field, from left field to right field. Ian went with Luke, who of course loved it. And it was no surprise that he kept asking to do it again afterwards.

What was a surprise was when he and our friends’ kids managed to open the gate in the fence during the seventh inning stretch. Luke bolted and ran off onto the field, with Ian in fast pursuit. Luckily the ball wasn’t in play yet, and Ian managed to nab him to the sounds of the cheering crowd. One of our friends caught their exit on his phone.

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Our next baseball outing was to the Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame night at Safeco.

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It was so great to see the pre-game ceremony. Luke even enjoyed the first 10 minutes (having dinner didn’t hurt either).

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After those 10 minutes, the kid got squirrelly and spent the first half of the game running up and down the ramps and escalators with Oma. Eventually he was able to watch part of the game from our seats. He really just wanted to run on the field himself, no surprise there.

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A couple weeks ago we took Luke to his first fair! He loved seeing all the animals.

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He got to ride one ride, the carousel. He was pretty pumped about it.

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We went with our good friends, “Papa Frank and Nana,” who rank very high in Luke’s world, since they often babysit him. (And yes, it was raining pretty hard, so we all got pretty soaked – Luke’s hair got super curly!)

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And of course the other big news around our house is that we are expecting baby #2! We were super surprised and excited to find out that I was pregnant – I’ll have to write more about it later, but here are some photos for now. This was me at 12 weeks along, just a little bump and a face that portrays the first trimester exhaustion/nausea that I was feeling.

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And this is Luke when I was 12 weeks, he stepped right up to have his photo taken, with deep seriousness…

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And both of us a couple weeks ago, when I was 18 weeks…

IMG_7094I think that’s about all I can muster for an update right now! We are all happy and healthy and usually incredibly tired at the end of each day (I think that has to do with all the running and chasing that happens around here!). Hope your summer is going as great as ours!