12 Months of Arlo

Last night, on the eve of Arlo’s birthday, Caleb and I reminisced about Arlo’s birth and the past year with him. I know it’s the most cliché mom thing to say, but our baby has grown up to be a toddler so quickly.

It’s been decidedly the very sweetest year of my entire life so far. It’s hard to imagine the possibility of any future year ever beating this one! Carrying + giving birth to + learning to know my first baby has been sacred, surreal, and precious beyond words. Motherhood has been the culmination of my dearest lifelong dreams and aspirations, moreso than I ever thought it could be. We thank the Lord every day for the Gift of the life of our little son.

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(We love our wooden number & letter blocks from Bannor Toys!)

Honoring Headship in an Age of Feminism

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Two years ago I wrote a blog post entitled “Why I Cover,” which was largely an attempt to explain to the curious souls I imagined to exist within my sphere of influence, my reason for always wearing some sort of bandana or scarf or hat on my head in public. I remember how vulnerable it felt to share my very personal thoughts on a subject I believed to be quite controversial, but I was pleasantly surprised at how well-received it was. I hope that those who read this next installment will hear my heart with the same level of grace.

Let me begin by reiterating again that I do not claim to have superior understanding of the passage of scripture cited for the principle of Headship. I am aware that there are different interpretations of the original text and that what is meant by “covering” has been beaten to death in debate with various sides believing their view to be Spirit-revealed. I have no desire whatsoever to reenter that debate.

I suppose that the deeper rooting and grounding of one’s beliefs and values and yes, even soapboxes, is an inevitable aspect of the passing of time and age. I also feel that a belief like the one I’m sharing today tends to be driven deeper by its increasing contrast to the popular or commonly-held views it’s surrounded by. And so, my commitment to covering my head as a visible reminder that I am not my own has only been strengthened since the time of my original post.

I’ve watched in amazement as feminist thought and glorified empowerment of women have infiltrated the hearts and minds of even the most “conservative” circles I’m a part of. I see even women who are still wearing the Anabaptist church-mandated head covering rallying with those marching for “women’s rights” and subtly buying into the idea that motherhood and wifehood and homemaking and the nurture and support of our families that we were created for are inferior to the entrepreneurship and social media influence and market presence that seem to define success and value among my generation of millenials. They might not admit it, but they’re living it. I hesitate to say any more here at risk of stepping on toes, but it bothers me enough and has bothered me for long enough that I can’t keep quiet about it any longer.

It feels more important than ever to me to continue to live out the Biblical symbol of headship, recognizing as I cover my head that Man is the head of Woman and that Christ is the head of man. (See also Ephesians 5:22-24.) As a woman, I was created to help, support, and commune with man, to be his companion. There is no shame in being “weaker” (reference to 1 Peter 3:7). Since it is what God intended, it is my honor!

Our world today is SO confused about gender. Gender defining, gender roles, gender equality…it’s all been so tarnished and twisted. I used to wonder why the writer of Genesis repeatedly emphasized “male and female they were created.” I don’t wonder that anymore. Misogyny, feminism, homosexuality, gender confusion…it seems clear to me that these are all tools of the enemy to work against the Lord’s design for humankind and the way they interact with and relate to each other. And I want no part in any of them! So I physically guard myself against his schemes by daily reaching for the symbol I’ve chosen to remind myself of the truth and beauty of the order of Headship. I am not my own, nor do I want to be.

 

Arlo’s Birth Story

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Arlo is over 5 months old already, and a friend recently reminded me of my intention to blog about our birthing experience. I absolutely love hearing others’ birth stories, so today I’m sharing ours for those of you who share my obsession.

At our final prenatal appointment on July 11 (at 40 weeks + 5 days), our homebirth midwives recommended that we schedule a non-stress test as a routine check for that late stage of gestation. So bright and early Monday morning, July 18, Caleb and I headed to a perinatal testing center for that appointment. We sat through the 20 minutes of monitoring for the non stress test laughing and talking because we were sure that our baby was totally fine and though it was starting to feel like he might never actually come, we knew he’d be born eventually and still felt quite content to trust that my birthing time would begin when it was meant to. The nurse told us that everything looked great and also asked if I was feeling any contractions, since they were showing up on the monitor every four minutes and lasting for 90 seconds each. Though I’d been having strong Braxton Hicks for the past three weeks or so, I wasn’t feeling a thing that morning, so hearing that made us excited!

We then headed in for an ultrasound to check fluid levels. We didn’t get a great vibe from the tech while she was with us, so we weren’t all that surprised when the doctor came in to tell us that there was “little to no measurable fluid” left in my womb around our baby, and that he needed to come out “today, not tomorrow.” The doctor said he’d call Kate, our head midwife, but that I should get in contact with her right away as well, so we called her as soon as we got back to our car. She said we could come over to her office right way and she’d fit us in between appointments since we were in her area and a bit far from home.

We tried our best to stay calm and positive, though I felt distressed that our baby might be in danger and there was now this pressure to get him out quickly and I was afraid my birthing time would be much less relaxed and peaceful as a result. I also had so badly wanted to “go into labor naturally” without the help of things like castor oil or herbal methods, and I was really dreading having to ingest anything gross. Caleb (who’s a self-employed farrier, for anyone who doesn’t know) canceled his shoeing appointments for the day right away. It was a huge relief to me that he was with me, since one of my fears had been that he would be far away and take a long time to get home once my birthing time began.

We arrived at the midwives’ office around 10 a.m. and waited in our car until they became available. They whipped up a castor oil milkshake for me right away that honestly didn’t taste terrible at all, like I had been dreading. My blood pressure was slightly elevated but “understandably so,” they told me. They gave me a dose of something homeopathic, and she “bothered my cervix a bit” (stripped my membranes, I believe). She told me I was 1 centimeter dilated; that was the first time I’d been checked. They sent us home with instructions to eat and stay hydrated, walk walk walk, and keep them updated.

We stopped for some lunch but I was unable to eat much of it at all. Once we got home I bustled around getting the house ready for the birth and working on my checklist of “early birthing time preparations.” By 12 we headed out to walk laps around the block. I started to feel like I was definitely having pressure waves, but they didn’t really feel timeable; I wasn’t always sure when they stopped and started. Around 1 we got a text from one of the midwives saying that she was on her way to check on me. She arrived around 2, gave me another dose of homeopathy, checked the baby’s heartbeat, and left again.

We walked around the block one more time and then took showers and crawled into bed to try to get some rest. Caleb got a couple hours of sleep and I listened to my HypnoBabies audio tracks. The pressure waves continued to intensify and by 4 or so we texted the midwives to let them know that I was “definitely in labor.” The hypnosis tracks were helping me to stay super relaxed and at ease. By 6:30 my pressure waves were coming two minutes apart and I was having frequent diarrhea from the castor oil (sorry for the TMI) so by 7 the midwife decided to head our way. Around the same time we decided to ask our doula and our sister-in-law/doula-in-training to make their way over when convenient. At some point we told my sister Krista she could come over now, too. By around 8 our entire birth team had gathered and we settled in for what we expected to be a fairly sleepless night.

I can’t remember what time it was when my midwife decided to do another vaginal exam, but I was only 3 centimeters. She didn’t want me in the birthing pool until I was at 6, so I got into the shower instead, which felt amazing. After that, my doulas applied warm compresses and essential oils as I lay in bed. Our sister-in-law Mary kept a cold washcloth on my forehead and Mary Ann, our doula, massaged my hand—both wonderful distractions. I remember being extremely HOT the entire time and needed a fan blowing at me almost constantly. Caleb told me later that he was freezing the entire time because of all the cool air I needed. I wasn’t actively using hypnosis techniques at this point but I know without a shadow of a doubt that subconsciously my mind and body were remembering the relaxation techniques I’d practiced. My water broke at some point but it was a little hard to tell when since there was so little fluid left in there to begin with.

When the midwife checked me next, sometime in the wee hours of the morning, I was dilated enough to get into the pool. I distinctly recall exclaiming “Thank you Jesus!” as I sank down into the water and there being this collective sigh of relief from everyone in the room. It seriously felt heavenly and gave me the encouragement I needed to keep going. It only took a couple hours then before I was fully dilated. I didn’t know when I went through transition. I kept thinking, surely it will still get worse than this…but I was determined to focus on one pressure wave at a time. At some point they had me get out of the pool and onto my bed to check me again, and when they realized I was complete, they started coaching me to push.

I was very tired by this point (having been awake for over 24 hours) and weak since I’d had very little to eat (and wasn’t able to eat, largely I believe due to the upset stomach from the castor oil). I also was not feeling an “urge” to push, so the midwives had me lying on the bed to start pushing so they could help guide me with their fingers. At some point we switched to the birthing stool out in the living room, and then at some point I ended up just lying on the floor in the living room. I was super disappointed that they were having me do it out of the pool, since I had been anticipating and planning on a water birth.

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After maybe 1-2 hours with what seemed to me very little progress, if any, my pressure waves started to slow. The midwives started timing them and checking Arlo’s heartbeat often and eventually told us that I was probably going to need Pitocin in order to get the contractions to pick back up enough to finish pushing him out. They recommended that we transfer to the hospital. I felt so heartbroken that I wasn’t going to have the beautiful peaceful homebirth I had envisioned, but I was almost too exhausted to care. Fortunately I had a bag packed just in case and we were able to quickly and smoothly make preparations for the drive to Reading Hospital. Once in the car, I was able to return to my center of peace, and it was Caleb that was having a much harder time with staying calm at that point. He called a friend to ask for prayer and drew comfort in knowing that we were being prayed for.

The midwives facilitated the transfer and contacted the obstetrician they work with as well as the hospital, so once we arrived, Kate wheeled me straight up to the room they had waiting for us in Labor & Delivery. I was SO tired that I could hardly keep my eyes open while the nurses asked questions. They put me on IV fluids immediately which helped me perk up a bit. I also received antibiotics since I’d tested positive for Group B Strep, which I had wanted to avoid but didn’t have that option since we ended up in the hospital. Then they started me on a low dose of Pitocin as well. When Dr. Heller, the wonderful OB that Kate works with, arrived, I started to push again. She coached me through the entire thing, and I tended to do better with her fingers inside for guidance. I used a pull-up bar over the foot of the bed coupled with a squatting pose for a while, but eventually ended up just lying on my back. I think I was just too weak and tired for any other position. That felt like a bummer to me as well, since it felt counterintuitive to be on my back and I had intended to give birth in pretty much any other position besides that one.

It took about 4-5 more hours of pushing to get him out, and it was the most intense physical experience of my life, but I was able to remain calm, focused, and mostly positive the entire time. A lot of my memory of that time is fuzzy…I don’t remember people coming in and out of the room or much of what was said. I would have never known it was actually that long if they hadn’t told me…you totally lose track of time in “labor land!” When Arlo’s head FINALLY emerged, his 9-pound body did too, all at once, at 2:42 pm. Such a relief! The doctor guided him into Caleb’s hands, and Caleb held him against my chest right away. It was a beautiful, wonderful moment…a feeling I can’t describe but will never forget.

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We thank the Lord that Arlo’s heart rate remained healthy through all of that, and that we were able to avoid a C-section. We were blessed to have a very patient obstetrician attending the delivery who did not give up on me through all that time. There was some meconium showing in the fluid before he was born, so we were told that an ICU cart and team would be brought into the room “just in case” which ended up not being needed. The hospital staff at Reading were all wonderful and we really had an excellent experience there despite our stay being unplanned. Arlo never left my side, which was the most important thing to me, and all three of us were well cared for!

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I’m also beyond thankful for the tireless support of our heroic birth team…our doula, Mary Ann Stoltzfus, doula-in-training & sister-in-law Mary Fisher, and my sister Krista Beiler, in addition to CPMs Kate Aseron & Tyler Wilson-Gorfti of Rising Moon Midwifery. Arlo’s safe arrival was such a group effort and Caleb and I were so grateful for the way they “held up our arms” (or in this case, my legs, haha) for such a long time. Family and friends were praying for us, too…and I felt acutely the extra strength that brought me! Caleb and I also feel that our HypnoBabies training played a huge role in the way I was able to stay so focused and calm throughout the entire 26-hour ordeal. Caleb especially is convinced that the relaxation techniques I learned and practiced helped me with breastfeeding and recovery, as well.

We had hoped to be able to head home that evening yet, and Arlo was discharged, but when I passed out trying to walk two feet from the chair to the bed, they changed their minds about letting me go. So we were in overnight, but ended up being really grateful for that. We came home around 1 on Wednesday afternoon then, and some of Arlo’s aunts, uncles, and grandparents came to meet him.

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Arlo had a hematoma on the back corner of his head from being stuck in the birth canal, and my poor tailbone is STILL giving me grief, nearly half a year later, but otherwise the postpartum period was uneventful, at least once my milk came in and he figured out the sucking thing. He cried very little and slept 3-4-hour stretches at night right off the bat. I was blessed with strength and energy and not a single touch of the baby blues…which I credit to a combination of consuming my encapsulated placenta, taking some excellent natural supplements, and having wonderful help and support from my sister and sister-in-law.

All told, we have SO much to be thankful for…how could I possibly entertain feelings of disappointment or regret that my childbirth experience didn’t play out as I’d imagined? The past five months with our sweet son have been the best months of my entire life. I just have so much joy!

Help buy books for Wisdom Tree Home!

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I’m running a book drive for Wisdom Tree Home in Chiang Mai, Thailand and would like to invite you to share in the blessing of donating!

You may have seen or heard something lately of my excitement about award-winning children’s publisher Usborne Books & More. One of the biggest things I’m passionate about and now have the opportunity to do as an Independent Consultant for the company is promoting literacy (worldwide!) by getting FREE books into the hands of children everywhere who are eager to listen, read, and learn.

I’ve teamed up with an old and dear friend of mine, Barbara Lapp (pictured above with her Kindergarten students), to run a book drive for this early learning center in Chiang Mai. As she says, “knowledge of the English language is an important skill to have in Southeast Asia, and [the school is] in need of good quality children’s literature to help advance students’ language and comprehension skills.” If you’re familiar with Usborne, you know that their books are the epitome of high-quality educational reading material!

Since Usborne generously matches 50% of donations through their “Literacy for a Lifetime” program, every dollar you donate will give us not just $1.00, but $1.50 to use for the purchase of some much-needed books to send to Thailand next month. The Wisdom Tree staff is so grateful for your donation of any amount. Can’t you just picture the smiles on these little faces when they see the beautiful brand-new books that have been handpicked just for them?

Make your donation by TONIGHT to be a part of this special gift!

The Start of Something New

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Last week I decided to do something productive during these sweet days with my newborn son in my arms, and I signed up as an Independent Consultant with Usborne Books & More. I’m so excited to share my passion for children’s literature with all of my friends, and want to extend a personal invitation to my blog readership to join my Launch Party on Facebook this evening at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. If you’d like to check it out, please private message me on Facebook and I’ll be happy to “add” you to the event!

This event will be interesting and exciting for anyone with children in their life who enjoy books or who simply enjoy children’s books themselves. And there will be some great giveaways and special offers to celebrate my launch! It’s a great chance to get some shopping done for any birthdays coming up or to get an early start on your Christmas shopping. It’s also the perfect time to look for curriculum supplements and homework helpers as a new school year is just around the corner, as well! Hope to “see” you there!

Pregnancy Favorites

(Obviously, blogging hasn’t been one of them!)

But our little guy could be making his big debut any day now, and I’ve been wanting to share a few of the things I’ve been loving throughout this golden time of baby-growing.

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In the wardrobe department:

  • BLANQI Maternity Belly Support Tank Top. Best maternity investment I made! Pricey for “just an undershirt” but seriously a back- and shape-saver. Smoothed out all my weird bulges beneath fitted clothing and I kid you not, my back hurt less on the days I wore this. (Click this link for a 20% off code!)
  • Short-Sleeve Scoop-Neck Maternity Tunics from Motherhood. Just nice long tees, really. (I didn’t even realize they were considered tunics until I went to find the link.) This has been my most-worn top in third trimester, thanks to its comfort level, ample coverage, and holding up well to frequent washing. I grabbed a couple on sale at my local outlet for around $9 apiece — can’t beat that price!
  • {Not specifically maternity} 24/7™ Classic T-shirt Bra from Thirdlove. All the size changes during pregnancy have made this wardrobe category so complicated, but let me tell you, it’s unlikely I’ll waste money on a bra from any other store ever again. These are phenomenal (not exaggerating). (Use this link for $15 off!)
  • {Not specifically maternity} I have literally lived in these Birkenstock knock-offs by Madden Girl since the day I bought them. Good sole support makes all the difference in the world when you’re carrying around an extra twenty pounds that sticks straight out the front. Most comfortable sandals I own, and for a whopping $60 cheaper than real Birkeys (yay!)

Other mama essentials:

  • Everyone says this, but I’ll add my personal testament that sleeping with a body pillow during pregnancy really is essential to one’s health and well-being. Those who love me are well-acquainted with my love for ALL-THE-PILLOWS and I’ve no desire whatsoever to live minimalistically when it comes to pillows, #sorrynotsorry. I haven’t tried any of the fancy pregnancy pillows (I do still believe in ultimate versatility, after all) so I can’t say how those compare but a simple, inexpensive body-length more than cut it for me.
  • I’m not the best at journaling consistently, but a journal with writing prompts makes it easier and more fun, and I loved the Expecting You keepsake pregnancy journal from Compendium. I know it’ll be so interesting to look back at!
  • BioFreeze (I get it from my chiropractor) and Plexus Ease Cream–both fabulous for chilling relief from all the aches and pains.
  • I’ve been loving and learning so much from The Birth Hour podcast. All types of birth stories from all types of women from all over the world! So good. And tear-inducing. (Or maybe that’s just my hormonal state.)
  • We took HypnoBabies birth classes from Teresa Alva of White Rose Birth Services at Be Well Lancaster, and they deserve a post of their own, but we thoroughly enjoyed them and I’m already reaping the benefits of the education I got in deep relaxation techniques and in retraining the mind to process childbirth in positive words and beliefs.
  • I also took prenatal yoga classes from Michele Zerbey at Bridge Yoga Studio and loved the stretches and breathing techniques I learned there for both pregnancy discomfort and childbirth preparation.
  • I signed up for all kinds of pregnancy e-mail updates and newsletters and apps, but my favorite by far was Lucie’s List. I’ve learned so much from Meg’s candid approach to everything from baby products to choices in care to pregnancy wellness. If you’re pregnant for the first time right now, I highly recommend subscribing immediately!

And I must say, by far my most cherished aide in this incredible time of carrying a tiny human has been my dear angel of a husband. He’s made me dozens of protein smoothies and gallons of meadow tea, peeled hundreds of clementines and washed and stemmed thousands of strawberries, bribed and commanded and poured enough water down my throat to nearly float an ark, and spent countless hours rubbing or stroking (with the ever-ambiguous precise amount of pressure that the moment required) sore muscles and dry skin and all-over-aches. All that while enduring long grueling days of work with no prepared meal to come home to, restless nights where I seemed to be coming and going and changing position more than actually sleeping, and lots of unexplainable tears and rants and silences in between. More importantly, he invested more fully than ever before in our marriage and in his blossoming relationship with his tiny son inside my womb, and prayed health and strength over us both, and read Psalms aloud in the wee hours of the night when the hormones took me to dark places, and defended and protected and provided for his little family in the most valiant of ways, ways he’d not before needed or known to. Without a doubt, though the rest of the list is helpful and nice, the godly and heroic husband is really the ultimate key to surviving and thriving in pregnancy.

Whether it’s days or weeks we have left until the big day of delivery, we’re relishing and delighting in every last moment of this precious, precious time!

Stitch Fix #5 | My Review

Desktop.jpgIt’s been a while since I posted about a Stitch Fix, but you can read more about it and see my previous “fixes” here, here, and here. I never posted about my fourth Fix because it was horribly disappointing and I sent everything back. After that, I thought I might be done using the service, but somehow a month or so ago I unintentionally ordered another one without realizing it. (We’ll chalk that one up to pregnancy brain, heh heh.) Fortunately, when it arrived, it was so good that I wasn’t even upset about the mess-up. Fifth time’s the charm here, guys! I’d heard good things about Stitch Fix’s maternity lines, and I’d updated my Style Profile with my due date as soon as I learned I was pregnant, so my Stylist was keeping track even though I hadn’t included any notes or preferences this time around. Here’s what I received in my best Fix yet:

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1 | Urban Expressions Elisha Zipper Accent Structured Satchel, $64
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2 | Loveapella Hartley Maternity Dress, $68
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3 | Stitch Fix 3-Pack Maternity Cami, $44
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4 | Papermoon Naz Crochet Kimono, $48
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5 | Madigan Ailene Lace Sleeve Maternity Knit Top, $54

The verdict:

1 |  I adored EVERYTHING about this bag except for the color. I wish so badly it would have been black, or even white or some shade or brown. If it had been any neutral color at all, I’d have kept it in a heartbeat. It felt like great quality, and I loved the pockets, interior fabric, and size. I tend to carry a clutch rather than a big bag most of the time (minimalism, hello) but I could’ve seen myself using this one — it’s so unlike anything else I own.

2 |  I really liked the dress as well, and it was super comfortable, but I ended up returning it partly because it was a little shorter than I like and mostly because Caleb wasn’t a fan and I’m not one to spend $70 on something we don’t both love. Also, I felt it was overpriced for being a simple thin knit fabric.

3 |  These camis, though…are the BOMB. I’ve already gotten my $44’s worth out of them. Super long, super comfy, just all around ideal undershirts for my current wardrobe. I’d bought some nursing camis from Motherhood a while back, but for right now, when I don’t need the straps to open, I like these better! And this is maybe the first time I felt like something I bought from Stitch Fix was a steal…$14 apiece for a good maternity cami is better than I’ve been able to find anywhere else!

4 |  Kimonos are my FAVORITE article of clothing these days. So they hit the nail on the head with this choice for me! Black + white is my favorite color combo and this one’s super feminine and elegant. Keeping this piece was an easy decision.

5 |  The navy top was my least favorite piece in this box. It fit well and looked flattering on me, but lace sleeves are so not my style and this was the kind of lace that would have looked awful after one washing. So this was the one thing I knew would be going back before I even tried it on.

So overall, I was really happy with this Fix…the service as a whole has been redeemed in my mind so I’m sure I’ll be ordering again after all. I’m going to need some serious help making my postpartum wardrobe a little more nursing-friendly, so maybe they can help me out a bit in that department.

Have you tried Stitch Fix yet? Not every box is a winner, but I’ve found it worthwhile to keep trying. As always, as long as there’s at least one piece worth buying, the styling fee is free, and if you decide to keep all five pieces, you get a 25% discount on everything. I recently discovered there’s a Buy/Sell/Trade Facebook group just for Stitch Fix stuff, and people will sell the one or two pieces they’re not crazy about to someone else in order to get the discount. Brilliant! If you first heard about Stitch Fix from me, sign up through this link so that I can get credited for your referral, and go ahead and make an account and fill out the style profile — it’ll help you get a feel for whether or not you actually want to order a box. 🙂 So much fun!

Settling In

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We’ve been in our new apartment for three weeks now and couldn’t feel more charmed and content in this very cozy home-sweet-home. And guys, setting up and outfitting a new space during the totally legit phase in pregnancy they call Nesting?! I have been having WAY too much fun! I’ve posted a few sneak peeks on Instagram so far, but with the more limited natural lighting we’ve got here, my iPhone camera just isn’t cutting it. So, it may be time to invest in a DSLR (recommendations, anyone?) but in the meantime, I intend to borrow one soon so that I can share a few more pictures.

For now I want to just rave a bit about a few of my favorite purchases & finds for this new layout. (After all, this blog is all about sharing Good Things!) I had a nice little fund set up thanks to the extra furniture and other things we were able to sell due to downsizing, and I’ve been intent on spending it well on things that are practical and beautiful, and that truly “spark joy!” 😉

One of our favorite things about this apartment is the utter lack of carpeting (as opposed to the wall-to-wall carpeting in every single room of the old place). Here we’ve got durable laminate wood flooring throughout, which is wonderful for the sake of cleanliness. However, I knew I wanted a rug in our sitting area, mostly for the sake of having a soft place for the little one to hang out on, and also partly to add a bit of visual interest and separation from our kitchen/dining space. I spent more time shopping for this purchase than any other, but ended up scoring an awesome deal from RugsUSA.com. It arrived less than two days after I placed my order, too.

I was in the market for a bookshelf for my mini library since we no longer have built-in shelves, and I came across this one on Pinterest and decided it was perfect. (I should have read the reviews before I bought it, but it’s cute enough that I don’t mind the lack of quality so much.)

I’ve discovered that nothing makes a house a home or perfects any little vignette like flowers and plants. A trip to a local greenhouse was just as high on my priority list as Target was on our first day of settling in here.

Since we no longer live in a two-story house, we have no need for the second changing table we had found for ten bucks on a Facebook yard sale site. So thanks to a fresh coat of paint from a friend of ours who refinishes furniture as a side job and new knobs from Anthropologie, we found ourselves with a brand-new dresser. So fun! (Now to get the rustic plank bed that Caleb and his brother have been dreaming up made…then our master bedroom will be complete!)

Of course I’m also having a blast working on my nursery now that we’re finally in the home Frankie will be born in. That will merit a post all its own someday in the future, but you can sneak a peek at our registry awhile if you’d like an idea of where it’s headed.

What projects or purchases have brought you delight in your house and home lately? I’d love to hear from you!

Frankie’s 24-Week Update

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The most exciting thing I’m experiencing these days is feeling this little one’s movements! It’s just like everyone says, there truly is nothing like it. We are just starting to get to the point where Caleb and I think we can sort of tell where he is/what position he’s in by looking at and feeling my belly. So fun!

It took a long time for me to feel him and to feel confident that what I was feeling was actually Baby. I think it was around 21 weeks when I finally felt pretty sure about it. At our 22-week ultrasound, we learned that my placenta is anterior (in front), so it’s been cushioning the kicks. (No wonder I wasn’t feeling much!) It was hard for me to not worry about why I wasn’t feeling him, especially since people kept asking me if I could, as if they were sure I would be by then. Pregnancy is just a continuous lesson in trust, and I need to constantly remind myself that our lives are in the Lord’s hands and that He is in control of our futures.