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.

Frankie’s Gender Reveal

It’s my 100th post here at The Realization of Good!  I couldn’t have planned better content for this milestone if I’d tried. 🙂

This past Thursday evening we invited our families + a handful of friends to join us for one last bash in the Old Castle + a celebration of the good news we received at our 22-week ultrasound last Wednesday morning. Special thanks to the sweet Rebekah of Rebekah Viola Photography for these pictures, and also to each one of our loved ones who decided to spend their evening sharing our excitement!

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^ Our little miracle rainbow baby…a bit camera-shy, but alive + well!

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^ Gifted by Auntie Krista a few months ago 🙂

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^ Sweet Little Cupcake or Handsome Little Stud Muffin?

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^ Thank you, Pinterest, for your witty ideas. 😉

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^ A present for Frankie from his creative Aunt Rosina + Cousin Arie

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^ So is “Frankie” short for Franklin, or Francesca?
(Don’t worry, the real name won’t be revealed until after the birth.)

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^ The big reveal: via explosives + colored chalk

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^ It’s a boy! And we couldn’t be more thrilled. (You should have seen his Pa party-dance out of the doctor’s office.) 😉

We’re so thankful for the beautiful gift the Father is working out for us in this little miracle of new life that He’s entrusted to our care. And hurry up, July — we can hardly wait to meet our little man!

We’ve Downsized!

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Over the weekend Caleb and I and our little womb resident moved into a new [rental] home about 12 miles (a 20-minute drive or so) away. This is the sixth time we’ve moved since we got married, so we are starting to feel like old pros!

The new place is a cozy little 2BR 1BA first-floor apartment that underwent a major remodel in the past two months, and has a completely different feel than the falling-apart, uninsulated 3BR 2BA two-story fixer-upper we came from. Our new landlords have been incredibly accommodating and welcoming and we couldn’t feel more certain that this is where we belong for now and that the Lord has blessed us with a sweet and special gift in leading us here.

Moving into a much smaller home feels in many ways like the culmination of this little journey of paring down + embracing minimalism (or as I like to think of it, essentialism). Since the completion of my KonMari project, I’ve continued to rid our home and lives of things that we can do without and that don’t “spark joy.” 🙂 And I’m having the time of my life furnishing, organizing, and styling our new space using only the very most practical and beautiful of material objects.

We’ve been here two nights and already find ourselves in awe of the impact being in a smaller, cozier space has on the way we eat, sleep, and interact. We had the most relaxing Sunday morning of our marriage thus far yesterday, eating together at the table which is mere feet from our bedroom, enjoying the hassle-free heat of a propane fireplace instead of needing to build a wood fire, and even sitting down and reading to Frankie before we left for church.

It’s so true what someone has said:

“Love grows best in little houses,
with fewer walls to separate.
Where you eat and sleep so close together,
you can’t help but communicate.
And if we had more room between us,
just think of all we’d miss.
Love grows best in houses just like this.”

We’re so excited for the adventures we’ll have here!