Fever Girl, Slang Boy

My daughter came home from school with a 101.3 fever -no other symptoms.
“All right,” I said to her, “Get in your PJs, grab a blanket and pick a couch. It’s time to rest and watch movies.”
“But…” her tired eyes welled up with tears, “It’s not dark time… and I just need to go to school tomorrow… I HATE when I don’t get to go to school!”
I held her close.
“When our body runs a fever, it gets hot,” I said, “When our body is hot, that means there’s a battle going on inside.”
“A battle?” She looked up at me, tears rolling down her cheek.
“There’s tons of good guys in your body and a few bad guys… sometimes the bad guys grow and grow and get too big. When they do, the good guys get out their guns and battle them and try to kill them.”
“They do?” She asked.
“They do. If you wiggle around and walk and jump and go places, the good guys can’t aim their guns very well…” I pretended to be a soldier holding a gun, wobbling all over the place. “But if you lie down and hold still, the good guys can aim no problem and they wipe out the bad guys in no time. What do you think you should do?”
“Rest,” she looked eagerly up at me, the tears drying up.

Within a few minutes, she was resting on the couch with no arguments.
“Mom,” she whispered to me, holding statue still, “I can feel them…”
“Are the good guys winning?” I asked.
“I think so.” Her face beamed.

Later on, I convinced her that water made the good guys stronger.

This morning, she woke up without a hint of fever. I’m keeping her home today, just in case.
Have I ever told you how much I love the age my kids are at? They’re so fun.

My husband has no idea that influence he has on them. They’ve slowly been picking up on his slang -of which he uses A LOT of.
“Mom,” my daughter said a few nights ago at dinner, “Check out my plate. I’m tearin’ it up.”

Last weekend as we were going for a walk, I had to keep herding my son toward the safe side of the road.
“Son, there are fast cars going by. They’re big and you’re small. If one hits you, it could kill you.”
“And you don’t want me to be smoked?” He asked, looking honestly up at me.
“Um, no,” I shook my head.
“You want me to be keeped?” He asked.
“I want you to be keeped,” I said, and I couldn’t help but stoop down and give him the best hug I could.

I want my kids to be keeped forever. I want them to be keeped just the way they are right now forever.
Santa is real.
The tooth fairy is planning visits.
They think I’m funny.
They think I’m right.
And they love unconditionally… I appreciate that more than anything else in the world.


Boys like to play tricks.

I know this because I have three older brothers and a husband. My coin phrase as a child was, “The brothers are teasing me!” They were never “my brothers” or anything like that… they were like a club -a band.

“The Brothers.”
And they teased. My Dad teased. My uncles teased.
It’s like a hereditary thing -something I’m trying to fight but I just. can’t.
“If you don’t raise your hands up when we drive over the cattle guards, the hairless monkey (with fangs!) will reach their claws up and grab onto the bottom of our car… then when we stop, they’ll crawl up the side and try to get at you through the windows…”
“Mom.” My daughter piped up, “Are you telling me some fiction?”

You mean… lying?
No, no. Never that. I’m just… teasing, darling.

At my Grandma’s on Sunday night, we spent a lot of time with our family. As we were leaving, my Dad came through the door. He scooped my daughter up.
“No, no! Not again!” She cried out, squirming in his arms.
“What?” My dad asked.
“I already got teased!”

And so there’s no escape. Despite the fact that I found myself on the receiving end of teasing throughout my childhood, I still find myself dishing it out. like maaaaad.
And my son.
My big-eyes son.

I’ll never forget the day when my crawling -CRAWLING -son picked up his toy hammer and knocked on our barn wood molding. It sounded just like a knock at the door, so I went and opened it.
No one was there.
Minutes later, I heard the knock again.
I went to the door.
No one was there.
And that’s when I heard it… laughter. From the boy. He was LAUGHING at me, holding his hammer up, and *knock knocking* it against the barn wood.
As a small infant, he sought out glee not through light-up toys but through holding up objects -offering them to others -and then snatching them away at the last minute.
He is a tease. And I love it.

I’ve been on the couch a lot lately. The doctor could tell my little one’s head has moved down, and boy.
I feel like there’s a bowling ball between my legs and I’m fighting to keep it steady. The best way to keep it steady, I’ve found, is to lie down and eat comfort food.
My son caught me on the couch one day. He buried himself under the blanket I had over me… covered his head…

A few moments later, his sister came bursting into the room.
“Where is he?” She asked, breathlessly.
“Who?” I focused my attention on my crocheting (because I have to be good for SOMETHING these days.)
“Oh, I dunno,” I shrugged, moving my legs around to mask the fact that my son was wiggling with glee over his awesome hiding spot.
“I guess I can look in the bathroom…” she muttered as she walked out of the room.
“She’s gone,” I whispered.

“You tricked her!” I kept whispering, “She never saw you!”

Ah, trickery.
You’re hereditary.
You’re merciless.
You’re our favorite.

Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving this year was laid back and wonderful. I was in charge of providing a veggie tray and making a butternut squash bake. Last year I made a veggie tray that looked like a turkey, and no one touched it.
It was too fancy to eat. This year, I had the kids wash their hands and then I gave them 2 bags of baby carrots, one jar of midget sweet pickles, and one can of olives and let them go to it while I chopped up celery, broccoli, and bell peppers. This year, the veggie tray looked much more approachable -most of the veggies were gobbled up.
Get it?

The past few years, my parents have hosted a Thanksgiving feast at their house, and oh what fun it is.
Because we get to ride on a one-horse open carriage.

My husband and I were able to take her on her last ride of the day. At that point, Jet (Ye Ol’ Carriage Maiden) was really sweaty and tired… and thank goodness! It bode well for my belly that we took our ride at a snail’s pace.
I drove most of the way.
Because I’m a pilgrim, that’s why.

My Dad had taken everyone else on rides, but he trusted Danny and I to take the reigns. He gave us a few instructions…

…and my husband proceeded to steer us right into the trees.
I didn’t mean to take the reigns out of my husband’s hands… right in front of his father-in-law… and get the horse going down the way without the dominant male help…
But I did.
What? I hate being stuck in the trees!
I wasn’t the best driver, but I did fairly well. When we were almost home, I handed the reigns back over to my city boy.

Mister, I’ll make a cowboy out of you.

The kids were all nestled, all snug in grandpa’s recliner:

And everyone else sat around picking scraps. A piece of pie here, a slab of cheesecake there… a stick of celery for good measure.
Once home, I put a movie in, turned the fire on, got everyone in their PJs and snapped a picture:

The rest of the weekend has been much of the same. A few baby preparations here and there, a gigantic batch of Mom’s granola that’s been eaten for most every meal (and in between times too), some laundry, some crocheting, a lot of laughs.
We only left home once -and it wasn’t to shop.

This morning, Grandpa came to get the kids. OF course they were still in their PJs (I’m 37 weeks pregnant, in case you forgot). When he knocked on the door asking if he could take the kids for a while, they frantically rushed around to get dressed. A few hours later, my front door flew open.
“We’reHOMEsorrywe’resodirty,” my daughter said all in one little breath.
“WE ARE FIWTHY!” Her brother said, trotting in behind her.
A little shop grease and hay never hurt anyone, and it’s all in my plan… my plan to westernize my family.
Thanks to Dad, I think I’ve made some great strides this weekend (mmmwwwhahahaha). Pretty great considering I’m not up to doing much of anything at all.
What do they call that? Retired on duty?

After Thanksgiving feasting, my sister in law did point out that if I actually HAD my baby on my due date, I’d give birth on 12/12/12.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this baby stuck it out the full 40. She’s really comfy inside my stomach.
Maybe she hears all the commotion on the outside and would rather not deal with it all.
Too bad. She’s missing out on some sweet family game nights.

And some sweet FREE piano lessons, compliments of The Girl:

Even Blu gets free lessons:

And then there’s the sleigh rides. Santa at the helm (driving Pluto -the forgotten Reindeer), Rudolph sitting in the boy’s lap, and yes… if you look closely… Blu on the couch.

On Pluto!

Retirement has given me more crochet time, for which I’m grateful for. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish her blanket in time for her arrival. I wanted to take it to the hospital with me, and now I can!!! It’s folded up neatly and in the back of my car, every at the ready:

I hope your Thanksgiving has been just as merry and bright.

While I have been able to place a few online orders, I’m disappointed over the way Black Friday seems to have trumped Thanksgiving.
I didn’t sacrifice any time away from family to place a few orders from my computer (and while in bed, wearing PJs), but what bothers me about it all is the way gratitude seems to be slipping away from our society.
This year it feels like it was skipped over and replaced with greed.
It is disappointing to me, but it does make me just THAT much more grateful for the time I’ve had to spend with my family this weekend. No bargain shopping, no football, nothing but us.
And our PS3.
And our leftovers.
And our baby-to-be.

Life is really good.

Coming Home

There’s nothing more awesome than coming home from Stake Conference to find your suit-clad son fast asleep, legs crossed, ball cap on (sideways):

He is the awesomest.

The Good Stuff

Four mismatched cups of hot chocolate.
One Cars kiddie table.
One decorated tree.
Several homemade snowflakes in the background.

These are a few of my favorite things.

And Then One Day When This Lady Met This Fella

I have a story today… about a man named Henry.
(There’s a HUGE part of me that wants to say, “Henry? Hello. Happy Holidays” in my best Tom Hanks voice. I can’t help but quote “You’ve Got Mail” during the fall and holiday seasons… “Don’t you just love New York in the fall? It makes me want to buy school supplies.”)
Here is Henry:

Henry ASHCROFT -greatgreatgreatgreat grandfather to me.  greatgreat grandfather to husband.

(from ashcroftfamilyhistory.com -most pictures are.  Those that aren’t, I’ll cite otherwise.)

He lived in England a long time ago, it is true. He heard the missionaries there, was converted to the gospel at 16, married a woman named Mary Glover and then made his way through boat and pioneering to the Utah area. Once there, he took another wife: Elizabeth Ann Barton:

Elizabeth Ann Barton -greatgreatgreatgreat grandmother.  greatgreat grandmother to husband.

Elizabeth Ann Barton was also from England. She was one of four children, and her father was an alcoholic and extremely abusive. They were poor and lived in a rougher part of England. She heard missionaries preaching and joined the church. Her father kicked her out of the house, brought her back and beat her so hard she was sick for several days. On one occasion, her father chased her mother up the stairs and meant to beat her, but Elizabeth threw herself on top of her mother and took the beating for her… she carried the scars for the rest of her life.
AND THEN she trekked to America through boat and cart and train, married Henry, bore him two sons and was about to bear a third when her husband, Henry, died.
When Henry died, BOTH of his wives were pregnant. He was only 32. In time, the Ashcroft family’s home teachers each took one of Henry’s wives and married her.
Elizabeth Ann Barton Ashcroft became Elizabeth Ann Barton Ashcroft Bloomfield. She bore 7 children in her second marriage (bringing the total of children to 10) AND she raised her husband’s children from his marriage in which his wife had passed away (bringing the total of children to 13).
Her oldest son (from Henry) was James Barton Ashcroft.

James Ashcroft in the center is my greatgreatgreat grandfather.  Josiah Emer Ashcroft on the right is my husband's great grandfather.  They are brothers.

James is in the center.

He had three wives.  The second of which -Elizabeth Lavina Johnston -I come through:

Elizabeth Lavina JOHNSTON -my greatgreatgreat grandma
The third of which (Nannie Amelia Smith) I once portrayed in a play. True story.

Henry and Elizabeth Ann had three sons together. The oldest was my greatgreatgreat grandfather. The second was my husband’s great grandfather. He is on the right in the picture above (with James) and his name is Josiah Emer Ashcroft.

Josiah Emer Ashcroft -husband's great-grandfather
Josiah Emer Ashcroft has three wives. At first, he only had two: Mary and Agnes. Mary and Josiah had a son named Henry Emer (he went by Emer). Emer became engaged to Arrilla Hamblin, and then he died of consumption the DAY before the wedding.
Josiah Emer had already lost his second wife.
A little while later, he lost his first wife.
So he and Arrilla were married. They originally planned to be married for time only and have Arrilla sealed to young Emer, but Joseph F. Smith discouraged this, insisting that any children they should have ought to be sealed to their real father.
So they were sealed together, and they had 6 children: one of which is named Mary Zelma Ashcroft Deets and is my husband’s grandmother.

Mary Zelma ASHCROFT -my husband's grandmother
My husband’s line from Henry Ashcroft is simple:
Henry——-> Josiah Emer —————> Mary Zelma —————-> Mark Duane Deets —————> Danny Deets!

My line from Henry Ashcroft isn’t so simple:
Henry —> James Barton —-> Charles Ashcroft —–>Lelia Ruth Ashcroft —-> Allan Smith —-> Anna Smith (Hansen) —> Alicia!

Do you know how long it took me to figure all that out? It was the longest story problem I’d ever done.
I even showed my work:

And now I know how my husband and I are related. And now I know that Henry Ashcroft helped to settle the Little Colorado River Valley -namely the settlement Obed.
Obed is also the name of the ward we currently live in. The old Obed settlement is right outside of town. This summer, we went as a ward and cleaned some weeds out of the area and could see the original bricking. I think I blogged about it. I meant to if I didn’t…
I can’t find a single blog post about it (shame, shame, shame) so here’s the pictures:

Little did we know when we were raking up and burning weeds that our ancenstors settled the area. We’re so proud (and a little freaked out to be related, but hey. It’s distant).

Henry had passed away by the time they were called to settle Obed, but Elizabeth settled the area with her second husband, John Bloomfield, and of course her children -which included both James Barton and Josiah Emer Ashcroft.
So now I know.
The rest.
of the story.

A Pebble and Our Family Photos

“A pebble held close to the eye appears to be a gigantic obstacle. Cast on the ground, it is seen in perspective. Likewise, problems or trials in our lives need to be viewed in the perspective of scriptural doctrine. Otherwise they can easily overtake our vision, absorb our energy, and deprive us of the joy and beauty the Lord intends us to receive here on earth. Some people are like rocks thrown into a sea of problems. They are drowned by them. Be a cork. When submerged in a problem, fight to be free to bob up to serve again with happiness.”
~Richard G. Scott

My pregnancy isn’t a problem.
It’s not.

But I’m treating it like one. I have it held so close to my eye that nothing else is getting through… I think it’s natural, what with being RIGHT at the end of the whole thing, and to be honest: I don’t know how to NOT treat it like a pebble held close to my eye right now.
A friend of mine who recently gave birth once said, “You know when you’re about to give birth that you’re about to bring an absolutely pure and perfect angel into your home, and you want everything to be prepared and perfect.”

She’s so right.

I’m driving myself and my family crazy… my only saving grace is a woman in my OB’s waiting room who was about as pregnant as I am and twice as grouchy.
My husband only needed a few minutes with her to realize that maybe his own wife wasn’t the worst thing that ever happened to him.
She was an unlikely tender mercy.

Because I’m at the end, my piano students have slowly dropped off… which is good! I need to be done teaching for a while. I’ll pick it back up in a few months.
I’m also dying for a prenatal massage and a reflexology foot massage from my Granny.
And I need to run to the store for cashews and almonds so I can make my mom’s granola.
Oh! and I also found this great homemade Mother’s Milk tea -I could make it on my own!
… IF I just had a little more cash.

But of course I’m due to have a baby right during the Christmas season, and said baby has needed a few expensive items bought for her because her older two siblings wore through a few necessary things in their first little years.
And of course the truck broke down.
All of that adds up to something like:
Massages aren’t exactly a priority. Mothers HAVE had babies without them, you know.

And I know, I KNOW that this baby will come when she comes. And I also know that everything will be fine and perfect. Babies have a way of transforming the environment around them.

Last year, I was insanely busy about this time. I was planning a benefit dinner and auction and I was working on the annual Primary Program (which I’d never done before). One day, my husband came home from work and I flew out the door.
And I was off -I had a million errands to run and my mind was flying with Things That Needed Doing.
I worked my way around our little town, and as I came to the end of my list I made a drive to my friend Charlsye’s house. She had, just weeks before, given birth to twins.
I knocked on her door, and she let me in.
The SECOND I walked through her door, I was enveloped in peace and calm. I could feel the love that permeated the walls of her home, and even though I had planned to simply run the errand I needed to and jump right back in my car to run the next, I found myself sitting on her couch and just… taking it all in.
I held each of the tiny babies, and listened to their older brothers tell me all about them.
It was sweet -no other word for it.

On days like today and yesterday, I like to remember my friend Charlsye. I like to think of her home and her children and the peace and calm.
I know that no matter WHEN my baby comes, it will be the right time whether there’s a massage or not.
I know that even if my dishes aren’t done and even if the carpets aren’t clean and even if I don’t have granola… the baby will come and she will be wonderful and pure and perfect and for a few blissful weeks, my house will be utterly calm.
Dad will be home.
Everyone will be sleepy.
It will be cold outside and warm inside, and for a few brief weeks, our baby girl will bind our family together in the sanctity of our home.
We will eat frozen dinners, and we will sanitize everything in sight.

For the last four years, I’ve grown accustomed to my family. It’s been US. The FOUR of us. I have a hand for each child. I have a girl. I have a boy.
I have treasured these stay-at-home years where there’s been no school schedule and nothing to keep us from staying up until midnight if we wanted to and nothing to keep us from going to the big city on a whim…
Those days are gone. I wanted to capture Us Before Baby -I want to remember our family and the way we were before our lives changed forever with the addition of Baby Girl. Once she’s born, I’ll be capturing MORE memories, more moments… but for now. For NOW.
I need pictures of my son dressed as Captain America, and I need pictures of my daughter dressed as a princess. I need pictures of what I look like when I’m pregnant and I need pictures of our pet parakeet.
I need pictures of “Little Bitty Mousie” and I need pictures of my husband and I lounging on the couch together.
I need pictures of us playing and pictures of us laughing.

Mostly, I need these pictures so that I can look at them and remember that The One that is Coming is not a Problem to be tackled with to-do lists. She’s simply a growing part of our fun family.
I need to relax.
(A massage would help that, right? Haha.)

How appropriate that today -of all days -my DVD of family pictures should show up on my doorstep (hand delivered. Small towns are the best). As I scrolled through the pictures, I relaxed.  My Aunt Cat has a great eye for photography, and she was nice enough to come snap pictures for us.
I love us. I’m so grateful for the kind of husband I have and the amazing children I’ve been given.
I know that if we can survive the last few weeks of this pregnancy together, we can survive ANYTHING. Seriously.

When our little Lacy was born, we wanted a “Baby’s first Christmas” ornament, but the only one we could afford was a tiny little $2 one from Target. We were thrilled to see they still had the same style the next year when we had our little man jump on the scene. I wonder if they still have them this year?

Our favorite book:

Our favorite bird:

Favorite friends:

I was nervous that taking nice family pictures in our own living room wearing the clothes we normally wear around the house might be… I don’t know, lacking in taste? But I love them so much. They aren’t lacking in taste, no matter how many of us are wearing costumes or sweats or sporting bare feet.
Aunt Cat did save one awkward picture for me, and I’m so glad she did. I laughed so hard when I saw it:

For some reason, my blog won’t let me upload the pictures straight from my disc, so I had to upload them to picmonkey and save them from there… also: I wanted to make them into collages to make it easier to view them. It took me awhile, and I’m sort of waiting for someone to come ’round and pat my back.
“You did it, you did it, you did it, YAY!”
Here’s my boys playing -it’s one thing that won’t change after the baby gets here! They’re my only TWO boys!

The minute I saw this picture of everyone’s hands on my belly, I felt a sense of the peace I talked about earlier… I keep looking at the picture and telling myself to settle down. Stop obsessing. Lie down, watch a movie, crochet…

I do love to crochet. Right now I’m working on a blanket for baby sister. I crocheted a blanket for my first born. I sewed a rag quilt for my second born, and it’s only right that she should have her own too! I’m hoping to get this done to take to the hospital with me… I’m using two strands of yarn at once (extra thick for this cold weather!) and I’m using a basket weave stitch.
Here’s us doing what we do.
I love Danny Deets. Have I ever told you that?

Girls at play: (what in the world are we going to do with all of her Polly Pockets when the baby starts crawling and putting them in her mouth? I guess the question I should be asking is: Who wants to tell the girl that her Pollies are taking a vacation in a few months?)

Cat was nice enough to let us change our clothes into something a little more matchy-matchy and take some outside pictures. It had actually lightly snowed a few times the day we took our pictures. We were all freezing and it was windy, but Aunt Cat braved it AND the pictures look AMAZING!

I know I said I would relax, but I think I might just make our Christmas cards instead… these pictures are too much fun to not play with!

I wish I could make perfect collages so I didn’t have to crop some of the pictures to fit, but I’m not tech-savvy enough.

I’m just grateful for these priceless gems… they serve to remind me of a time in my life I’ll never get back -one that I love and treasure -one in which my children think I’m amazing and they laugh at my jokes and stories and crazy faces -one in which my husband and I lived out our twenties -one in which we came together in love, in laughter, and in costume.

This little girl is going to be so loved it’s ridiculous -even if I don’t manage to get the fridge completely cleaned out, or all of the pumpkins baked, mashed and frozen, or the hall closet cleaned out, or or or



Check and Check

Two things I absolutely wanted done before the baby makes her grand entrance were Gingerbread House Making and Family Pictures.
My two oldest each had their own special gingerbread house for their first Christmas. It wouldn’t sit right to have this one go without.
I would hate explaining my way out of that one.
“Well, you ARE the third child… what did you expect? Equal treatment? Ahhh hahahaha.”
Last year, we invited some friends over to make houses with us. I messed up on the dough making and our house crumbled to bits, but their house worked out okay. This year, we invited the same friends over and I was more careful about my dough. It turned out great, and the houses came together with only a few minor mishaps (and blistered burns).

The girl’s first gingerbread house was adorable. It was pink-themed, and I loved it. The boy’s was blue and green themed.
This baby? Well, I didn’t have as much say in the decorating of the house as I have had in previous years…
It’s supposed to be rainbow-themed. I think?

For the first time ever, I succeeded in using my Mom’s gingerbread house pattern! I tried it last year and ended up throwing the entire broken thing out. I’m so happy it worked out this year!

There’s nothing that makes me happier than seeing kids with their little noses and eyes just as CLOSE as they can get them to the gingerbread house… it’s the way Christmas should be:

My house isn’t nearly as pretty as my mother’s are, but I still love it. I loved baking the gingerbread and melting crushed up Jolly Ranchers in the windows… it smelled just like home.
Don’t you love traditions?
I love them so much I’ve made a point of forcing them on not just my kids but my friends as well:

You guys are so awesome and patient! It takes real friends to be patient with a fat, pregnant lady who is covered in flour.
No picture proof of THAT -sorry.
BUT my Aunt Cat took some pictures of us this weekend -I wanted to get a few of my pregnant belly. I’m not looking my best, but I know in the years to come that I’ll be glad I took pictures anyway. And I know my kids -especially the one on the inside -will be glad I did it too.
Even with my extra poundage and puffy face, Aunt Cat did an amazing job! She sent me a preview of the shoot last night, and I gotta say:
I love my family so much!!!!!

I can’t wait to see what this new little one will look like. And I definitely won’t complain if she comes out with eyes like her brother’s.
So big and sweet!
What should I cross off the list next? Mashing and freezing pumpkins? Cleaning the hall closet?
I can’t wait (*sarcasm sign*).

I’ve got out your car seat, your swing, your bouncer, your bed and ALL of your blankets and clothes. Everything is organized and ready to go. Please don’t think that it would be a good joke on Mom to come late. Please?


I’ve been on the receiving end of so many thing lately. It makes me feel like such a leech -such a taker.
But I’m grateful, so very very grateful.

I can’t begin to repay everything I’ve been given. I can’t begin to express my true feelings of gratitude. It would be impossible.
There’s been my homemade nursing cover, multiple meals brought in (who is lucky enough to have meals brought in before the baby even gets here? I’m so blessed), snacks, phone calls, texts, offers to take my children and feed them (they’re kind of skinny…)

And I’m just so grateful. I want to give back somehow, but I can’t even get off my couch (true story).
Last night, my husband insisted that I hire housekeeping help again -she’s coming this afternoon. It isn’t that he can’t stand a dirty house -it’s just that he’s seen how hard it is for me to try and keep up… how frustrated I get with myself when I can SEE what needs done but I can’t physically DO it. He helps when and where he can, but this house, friends, is a full-time job.

There have been moments of personal pain and despair that have nothing to do with pregnancy, and during those moments when I feel a sense of hopelessness, there’s been a knock at my door and a, “Thought you might want this dessert and pack of diapers.”

You are all angels.
You are ALL doing the Lord’s work.
You are all doing unto the least of these… and in so doing, are serving the Lord.

I hope you know that. I hope you know I want to give back. I long to get up off the couch and babysit your children, mop your floors, visit with you, hold you, feed you (I love feeding people, this is true)… and I want to be there for you.

But right now, I need to be there for my baby.
She’s coming very soon… as I wake at night with contractions and as I cramp, cramp, cramp during the day I know that my body is getting ready for her to come.
It might not be for a few weeks.
Even so, a few weeks feels so near…

I’m nervous and in many ways I feel like a first-time mother. My emotions are getting the better of me, and I’ve spent a great deal of time on my knees, pleading for comfort, knowledge, comfort, peace, and comfort.
It has all come.

I feel keenly undeserving of you all -of His grace and love and mercy toward me.

And I realize… it isn’t ME that’s being served. It’s her:

For though I may be (among other things) A Taker -shamefully behind in getting thank you notes out -she is perfect. She is pure.
She is an angel, 100% deserving of a Father’s Love.

How blessed I’ve been to carry her with me and be on the receiving end of her blessings.

And thank you all -thank you all -thank you ALL.
I love you.


I have Christmas designed in my head.
I don’t have the money, energy, or time to actually produce my Christmas… but I realized last night that I can TOTALLY pull off my Christmas online. So I’m going to post it here, and then you can read my post and pretend that you’ve just paid me a visit and this is what my house looks like! It will be so fun and fake! Want to play?

Here’s what my tree looks like:

Christmas tree skirt

A ruffled linen skirt… gifts wrapped in sheet music… brown paper packages… white and silver ornaments…
It all looks great next to my stockings:

Burlap Christmas Stocking, cotton ruffles, custom, personalized


And I whipped up a few handmade garlands.  They look great on the tree, but I’ve found ways to use them around the house as well.  It’s just a bunch of tulle and burlap.  Doesn’t the burlap garland compliment my stockings so well?

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Speaking of garlands… this one was extremely cheap:

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Oh, this old sign?  I just whipped that baby up.  In fake land, my artistic skills are unmatched.

love this Christmas sign!


And no Christmas is complete without a Christmas Kissing Ball:

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And there, reader, you have it.  My design-a-Christmas.

I think my a few of my homemade ornaments will match my theme perfectly: