Friday, October 7, 2016


On September 17th our baby turned ONE!  

It was a special, heartwarming day with family and friends.
What a full, fun, wonderful year it has been!

My brother and sister-in-law have four kids, and she always makes their birthday cakes, and they are ALWAYS adorable.  So... delegating this was a no-brainer!  Kate did a fantastic job creating this baby girl alligator for Allie's smash cake.

My friend Emi runs a cupcake business to raise funds for their international adoption, so this was a no-brainer as well.  And how absolutely BEAUTIFUL they turned out!  Not to mention some of the most delicious cupcakes I've had in a lonnnng time.

My bestie Carolyn made this Allie banner, which now hangs in her room.  Luke put together a video collage to loop during the party.

Do you know how easy (and cheap) it is to print your Instagram pics at Walgreens?  Very!  Loved this small touch, which was my sister-in-law Kristin's idea.

So let's get real.  Probably the only semi-negative thing about this day was that Allie was teething HARD.  While she was a TOTAL trooper for such a big day, she just really wasn't herself.  Smiles and laughs were few and far between.  The one above cracks me up because it's like she was really trying to force a smile to please us.

Her outfit came from a friend of mine whose baby girl turned one a few months ago.  It pays to have lots of baby girl buddies in your life!

We discovered our daughter is in fact a girly girl.  She took a few dainty two-fingered bites of her cake, then Daddy stuck her hand in it, which resulted in a good cry.  Bless her, she just didn't want to get messy.  I love that delightful expression when she first checks out the icing, though.

"I'm ONE, everybody.  And this joker is kissing me again."

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Last weekend, the three of us headed to Lexington where Luke filmed a wedding.  We decided to seize some family time, too.  Lexington is near and dear to us... We spent our college years there, along with one year before we moved here.  Much of my family is there, too.  It's such a beautiful place, where you can be driving down roads nestled among horse farms one moment and a few minutes later, be in the city surrounded by cool places to eat and fabulous shopping.  Sunday morning we headed to Jacobson park to hang out with all the ducks and geese and of course, make use of the swings, one of Allie's favorite things to do.  Luke had his camera out, which I'm used to, but I had no idea he was capturing all these sweet moments.  (How fortunate am I to have such a talented hubby?)

How bout those scrumptious smiles on the swing?  Nothing is better than seeing your child so entirely happy.  Nothing.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

just some more gushy love stuff

August 17, 2016
11 months old

Yes, they grow fast.  It's true.  Man, have the past eleven months been incredible!  It has been a pure joy watching Allie's personality and independence explode.  This girl is standing nearly by herself now and has no problem walking around the ottoman.  First birthday party planning is in full mode as we get closer and closer.  It's getting real, ya'll!

One thing's for sure - God blessed us with a happy, loving baby girl.  My heart, you guys... it's like it has to keep getting bigger to have room for all the thankfulness I'm feeling...

Last night it was getting close to bed time and Allie was getting clingy, so I started Tinkerbell on Netflix and scooped Allie up in my lap as we sat on the couch.  She had a toy in her hand and she played quietly while occasionally watching the movie.  Every now and then, she'd lean back to look up at me and smile, as though to say, "I love being with you, Mommy."  At least, that's what I got from the look in her eyes.  And I do everything I can to breathe these moments in deeply.  These moments of loving profoundly and simply. 

Friday, July 29, 2016

catchin' up

While I would have loved to have written many more posts over the summer, I feel no regret whatsoever.  Ya'll, I have absolutely SOAKED it all in with my baby girl (and hubby).  Other teachers and parents who are getting ready for school to start keep saying, "It just flew by so quickly.  I was so busy.  I've hardly relaxed..." etc.  I'm truly grateful that's not the case for me.  I can honestly say I was present in most every moment and took plennnnnty of time to rest, relax, PLAY, and just BE.  Thanking God for that.

With that said, I do start back to school next week, so I wanted to sit down and catch up some things on the blog before the busy fall season begins.

I looked back and realized I haven't posted any month pics since month four, so here we go!

By six months Allie was rolling over like a champ and enjoying cereal and veggies!

At seven months she was saying "dada."

By eight months she was sitting up by herself and getting pretty attached to Mommy!

Each month that has gone by, I've thought the same thing - "Ok, THIS is my favorite stage."  The last couple months, though, her personality and quirky traits have really shone through.  Allie is hilarious and makes us laugh all the time.  (I'm sure no one else's baby is like this, right? ;) )  She flaps her arms rapidly like a bird when she gets excited.  She often wrinkles her nose or face (see next pic) when she smiles.  The girl thinks it's hi-larious when we put things on our heads.  Things like that... You just hope to hold on to them forever and never forget their magical-ness.

The ten month mark has been an explosion of milestones!  Allie literally began crawling the day she turned ten months old.  She started pulling up in the same week.  She has two bottom teeth.  She stands while holding onto things.  She really enjoys "big people" food now (her favorites are bananas and sweet potatoes).  She is jabbering like crazy!  She says "uh-oh" but it sounds like "uh-huh," like she's agreeing to something. (So funny!)  She says "na-na" when she wants something, particularly her bottle.  She says "hi."

her first day of crawling :)

This musical learning toy has been awesome.  She loves it and it's perfect for her to stand with.  How cute is this twelve-month sleeper?  You heard me right, TWELVE month!  (insert me blubbering here.)  I WILL say, I think this particular brand and line of sleepers is more fitted.  She is definitely still wearing lots of nine month clothes, however, at her last doctor's appointment, she'd had a little spurt in her length.  

More favorites from spring and summer:

This one captures her essence so well... We are blessed with one happy little girl!

And ohhh her daddy.  She just adores him.  When he comes into the room she can't get to him fast enough.  I love watching their relationship unfold.

We were able to make two trips over the summer to visit my family, which was such a blessing.  I LOVE this picture at my brother's house.  My favorite part is Jacob's face and his pure delight as he watches Allie's first dunk, hehe...

And this... be still, my heart.  Might be my all-time favorite shot so far.  We have spent many a moments outside this summer... Moments in our yard under the trees or strolling at the park.  And this sweet girl can't get enough of the outdoors.  It's her happy place.

That's all for now.  Much love to you and yours.

Friday, June 24, 2016


So this was my view for the last couple days.  Miss Allie has one, maybe two teeth creeping in on the bottom gum, so enter the fussy-and-I-only-want-to-be-in-your-lap phase.  

I honestly don't mind the clingy-ness much.  I mean goodness, I waited a long time for this girl, and man, she is special!  But... I'm also human.  And well, I was in some kind of funk yesterday.  Nothing to do with her.  I think I felt sort of overwhelmed and unproductive before the day even began.  And maybe it was just purely hormonal.  But I know if you're a woman and you're reading this, you know exactly what kind of feeling I'm talking about.  That combined with my fussy baby girl, let's just say that I was a little too happy to jet off to worship team practice last night, and then on to Wal Mart for groceries after.  

Have you ever been to Wal Mart at 9 p.m. in a small town after a long day?  It's actually quite peaceful and rejuvenating.  It's you and eight other people, mostly young lovers trying to extend their date night.  And you can just take your dang time knowing that the hubby is at home with the little one who is already in bed.  So you end up creeping over to the bakery section and carefully picking out two donuts for yourself as a celebration of getting through the day and for your blissful alone time in Wally World, and because you can't remember the last time you ate.  And then when you're in line checking out, the guy behind you sees your donuts and says, "Two won't be enough."

You got that right, dude.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Allie's room

Well, it took long enough, but I've been wanting to show you Allie's room and was just waiting to finish a couple minor details.  You know how it goes; it's always a work in progress!
I had to show you her doorway (above) so you could see her pretty sign that my friend and co-worker, Amber, made for her.  I think it's so cute!

I really tried to design a room that she could grow into and wouldn't look too baby-ish in a few years.  I actually painted her room last summer before we even knew she was coming or what gender we would have.  I decided to do a deep blue-grey color (wolf grey by Benjamin Moore) with white accents/decor, and then add either light pink or light blue accents depending on whether we got a boy or girl.  I first saw the paint color on my friend Jessica's blog in her son's room.  I absolutely love how it turned out!

This beautiful crib came from my brother's family.  It's soooo nice having a brother who has four kids and lots of things to pass down!  Their family has been very generous to us throughout this transition.  A friend from church made the beautiful quilt you see hanging there.  And I had another friend make the vinyl lettering for Allie's wall.  I want Allie to know the meaning of her name and be reminded of it every day.  And of course the scripture is so fitting for our journey, and I wanted to remind myself every day that Allie is God's gift to us and that we have committed her into His hands.

My mom gave us the mobile and it has been really helpful in moments where Allie needs a little stimulation when she lies down.

The ribbon banners above her windows are my favorite pieces in her room!  The pictures do not do them justice.  They are so pretty in person!  I love the mix of pinks, mints, rose golds, and sparkles.  I toyed with making them myself, but by the time I would buy all the various ribbons and supplies, it would probably cost more than just buying them.  I found these on etsy.

My parents got us this awesome chest from Babies 'R Us.  It has been fantastic.  Lots of drawer space and plenty of surface space as a changing area.  I love having it next to the window because Allie will usually look outside and keep herself entertained while I'm changing her.

The painted tree sign came from our baby shower and has everyone's thumbprints and names who attended.  A teacher I work with gave me the beautiful mountain print.

Another favorite... Allie's little feet.  Luke took this picture and then we had it printed on a canvas.

At her changing station we keep a wipe warmer (worth every penny, especially in those first couple months), and a basket full of essential oils, lotion, and powder.  (Diapers are in the top right drawer for easy access.)  Every night before bed I apply a nighttime calming lotion on her and oils if needed.  I like the lavender and serenity oils for calming (they are by my bedside, too), and the breathe oil, which works wonders in clearing her up if she's a little stopped up.  I apply these on her feet in tiny amounts as they are pretty potent.

I saw the adventure quote on Pinterest and my wonderful friend Kara painted it onto a canvas for me.  She did a great job incorporating grey and white!  And my friend Candi made this looovvvely bow board.  I use it every single day.  I love how it keeps all her headbands and bows organized and visible instead of stuffed in heap inside a drawer, plus it's so pretty!  

To the right of the chest and behind the chair we keep the diaper genie and a carriage full of Allie's stuffed animals.  Luke's mom gave us the beautiful carriage.  I keep it in the corner because it can tend to look messy, but also because it does roll and so Allie doesn't need to have easy access, haha.  It's nice for keeping her animals in one place.

These shelves just make me smile.  Our dear friend and Allie's "Papa" Charlie (friend from church who is like another father to us) made these custom bookshelves for Allie.  I saw something similar on Pinterest, sent him a picture and measurements, and now we have an awesome place for her books.  In my opinion, books are the one thing a child can't have too much of.  I really hope Allie loves to read.  Charlie not only made the shelves, but installed them, too.  I had him start close to the bottom so that she will be able to actually reach some of her books once she is able to stand.  And big thanks to my sister-in-law Kristin for distressing them for us!

I've also been very pleased with this rug.  I got it from  I wanted something fairly neutral that would work for future kids or even other rooms.  It's pretty much something that could be used in any room of the house really.  It is very thick and plush and great for playing on.
And the glider... We are thankful for that glider!  My in-laws gifted it to us from Babies 'R Us.  It is comfortable and rocks super smoothly.  One of my favorite times of each day is sitting in the chair with Allie and giving her her bedtime bottle.  Last night after she finished her bottle, I sang a little as I always do.  She started "singing" with me on You are My Sunshine.  It was a precious moment engrained in my heart forever.

I hope you enjoyed seeing Allie's room!  And thank you to the many friends and family who helped make it so special!  Definitely my favorite room in the house now...