Friday, May 26, 2017

7 Quick Takes

*linking up with Camp Patton for 7 Quick Takes today…

1. My “currently reading” list is getting seriously insane. Even for me.
It’s Not Fair // The Homegrown Preschooler // Under the Harrow // Small Great Things // the illustrated classic version of Beauty andthe Beast with A // a few pregnancy books // my current devotionals: Your Pregnancy Devotional and Tranquility. I know. I KNOW. But I’m almost done with a few of them.

2. I really don’t enjoy doing crafts with my kids. I get really stressed out and overwhelmed by it, which makes me on-edge and grouchy, which makes me feel guilty, so vicious circle. But my kids of course LOVE crafts so I’ve been trying to do more here. This week I finally tried putting finger paints into ziplock bags and then taping them to the sliding glass door. IT WAS A HIT! I have known about this for FOREVER and I sure wish I’d started it sooner!

3. You can still enter the giveaway for one of three free copies of Blessed by Birth! Click here to enter, here to like our Facebook page, and here to watch the book trailer.

4. Found some great homeschool thrift store goodies for the future this week… Books to Build On // Lead us to Freedom, Harriet Tubman! // Take a Stand, Rosa Parks! // and my favorite: American Girl: The Story ofAmerica. I loved the American Girl books as a kid and I loved pouring over the catalogs, so I imagine baby-doll-loving B will go nuts over this book in a few years. And if not, well, I will just keep enjoying it myself ;]  
I also found a seriously perfect entertainment center for holding all our books & supplies for $20. Ryan said no to it because he for some reason thinks he has time to build one himself but a bed frame for our mattress is further up on his list so I’m planning to revisit this discussion if it’s still there this weekend.

5. Has anybody watched Anne With an E on Netflix yet?! We just have the disc plan because no Internet at home so I am patiently(ish) waiting for it to come out on DVD. I’ll have a few solo nights coming up because of Ryan’s weird work schedule and I was planning to spend them watching that but now I’ll have to go with Gilmore Girls instead. Or maybe I’ll just read one of the 75 books listed up above…

6. Ryan and I are both super introverted. Like, it’s a miracle that we ever even dated but there is also no way we would ever have made it with someone else, ya know? B is also crazy introverted at this point and seriously almost shuts down around other people, even my friends who she sees frequently. C seems kinda neutral, hard to say at this age, but A is super extroverted. I’m trying to get over myself a little and host a playdate for him each week. Since that’s still really out of my comfort zone I figure we’ll have some of them just be park dates with friends. I think we’re having a couple friends over to play at the water table with them next week and he is seriously losing his mind over it. “How many more days until my friends come now?” 

7. B’s two-year-old prayer last night… “Fank you for Daddy a be safe an for Daddy a be off work soon… an for Daddy a be safe… an fank you for Daddy play wif me… an Daddy readin’ books to me. Amen. An fank you for Mommy. An Daddy. Amen.” =D

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Baby Journal Prompt

I write in a special journal for my babies at least once a month, starting on the day I find out I’m pregnant. I thought it’d be fun to start sharing some of my favorite writing prompts here, just in case you are interested in putting together a baby journal of your own, or are interested in new material for one you already write.

If you’re interested in doing a little writing for your own children, grab a journal or notebook (I have a nice $10-ish journal for each of my own children, but I always wish I had just opted for simple composition books so I could easily start in on another when these are full and feel like they look silly and unmatching), make yourself a mug of tea or hot chocolate, and curl up at the arm of your couch to sip and reflect.

I think a lot about the way our one-on-one dates will evolve as my children get older. Maybe one of them will count down the days until we can enjoy a live play or dance performance together. Maybe one of them will deeply relish cozy chats in a favorite coffee shop. Maybe one of them will like trying new things each time—an art class, lunch in a new-to-us restaurant, skiing. Maybe one of them will want to do the same thing every time. Maybe one of them will like physical activity—rock climbing, hiking, ice skating, bike rides—and maybe one of them will forever be begging to go to the movies.

I am a word girl and a book lover so I also think quite often about the books I can’t wait to share with them someday, books that I loved deeply as a kid and wonder if they will too: The Chronicles of Narnia, Nancy Drew, My Side of the Mountain, Holes, Mandy, Where the Red Fern Grows, Hatchet, the Dear America series.

What do you daydream about someday sharing with your child?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Tot Travels: Portland, Oregon

I had a crazy food poisoning experience on our first night in Portland and wound up bleeding by the end of it. We thought I was having a miscarriage and didn’t know what else to do so I ended up in the ER. They found a heartbeat and the bleeding stopped the next day so all was well, but I still spent the rest of the trip worried sick and feeling really crummy so this trip was nothing like we’d expected or planned. We hope to go back someday and experience more of it, but for now…

Portland favorites
-We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express downtown since we’d planned to walk downtown a lot. It was a really great hotel, and the breakfast bar even had GF bagels and muffins! Also Jimmy Dean cheese omelets which are GF =]
-We don’t usually go out to eat because of cross contamination for my Celiacs, but Portland had some 100% gluten free options! We ate at Ground Breakers. (Ryan had a burger and tried (and really liked) their Olallie beer, the girls had veggie mac & cheese, and A had a grilled cheese sandwich. I was still feeling really sick so I just ordered apple chips and ate a few bites of A’s grilled cheese.

-The Oregon Zoo! The kids really loved it, and therefore Ryan and I loved it. They also loved playing in the big train across the street. 

-Cultured Caveman, a paleo restaurant that was also 100% gluten free. I got the zoodles + meatballs and tomato soup, Ryan got the chicken tenders, and the kids each got a build-your-own almond butter and “jelly” wrap plate. 

-Downtown Portland… again, we would have liked to have actually walked it. Just didn’t work out! I got a souvenir (Goodnight, Oregon) in Powell’s City of Books before walking over to Whole Foods, then I felt horribly sick and fell sleep in the comfy hotel bed in the middle of the day.

Roadschool books we enjoyed before/during this trip: The United States of America: a state-by-state guide // Are We There Yet? // Are We There Yet, Daddy? // Bon Voyage, Lucy // Olivia Takes a Trip // Goodnight, Oregon

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Pregnancy 4, week 12

I’ve been enjoying That Mama Gretchen’s pregnancy updates for a long time now. I copied over her questions, plus added a few of my own, which I’ll probably update every few weeks. Maybe.

How far along: 12 weeks

Gender predictions: Ryan and I both say girl, though I have thought twice that maybe this baby could be a boy. A says boy and B says girl. Actually she says durl, which is obviously adorable.

Fitness: Daily walks, occasional bursts of energy leading to recumbent bike book devouring, and one exercise DVD session this week!

Sleep: Ugh. I tend to wake up for two hours every morning at 3:30. My body is restless but my eyes are tired so I just lie there feeling sorry for myself and willing myself to sleep, then eventually wake up and it’s 6:30!

Best moment this week: Getting a little time to myself so lying down with my feet up, playing Lullaby by Sparrows Rising, closing my eyes, putting my hands on my belly, and picturing myself holding this sweet baby <3

Worst moment this week: We’ve been sick all week so that was hard, but nothing rough and pregnancy-related this week.

Miss anything: Just feeling normal/energetic. The house is a wreck and I look at it in dismay but still have to sit down before tackling anything. I’m starting to feel a lot better though, praise Jesus!

Movement: Yes! I have enjoyed two very light quickening episodes this week <3

Cravings: Nothing really.

Aversions: Most things. Mostly, I can’t find something I like consistently. Something that tasted good one day sounds/tastes disgusting the next. Pizza is one that sounds pretty consistently disgusting, which was also the case with Baby C so… girl?!

Queasy or sick: Still queasy, but it’s let up quite a bit this week!

Looking forward to: Feeling more movement, hearing the heartbeat at my next appointment

What A thinks: “I fink it’s a boy. And I fink a girl too. I really want a boy. I just want a boy.”

What B thinks: “Mmm-hmmm.”

What C thinks: n/a

Books, movies, etc I’ve enjoyed this week: Your Pregnancy Devotional (borrowing this one for free from the Kindle library!) // Your Pregnancy Week by Week // Praying through Your Pregnancy // The Birth Hour Podcast // The Very Hungry Pregnant Lady 

Miscellaneous: A is a really serious prayer warrior, one of my favorite of his many beautiful qualities. He has been praying these beautiful prayers since he wasn't even three yet, but now they're more articulate. Two of my favorite bits from this week- "Please help our new baby grow. It's just kinda really hard to wait, God." "Please, please help this baby become a boy." =D  // This shirt, oh man. It's not exactly tunic-length on me but I still love it, and definitely will post-pregnancy too. I'm tempted to get the dress version too. If they come out with the shirt in navy I'll be all over that. // 

Also... Would you help us spread the word about our book by Pinning this to a Pinterest board? Board ideas are Books, Pregnancy, Childbirth, Motherhood, Parenting…

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Tranquility is a golden word for me. I crave tranquility at all times.

I can’t really find true tranquility most days, but I can come close when I sneak away for a few minutes with a hot cup of tea and a page of my Tranquility journal.

I have been enjoying coloring devotionals but find that on top of not always having the time for them, coloring doesn’t speak to me the way writing does. I love that this journal combines both so it appeals to both my creative writing side and my enjoyment of relaxing coloring.

I definitely recommend it and I think it would make an excellent gift too!

I received a free copy of this book through Tyndale House in exchange for my honest review. To comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission, please mention as part of every Web or Amazon review that Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book.