Sunday, April 29, 2012

Love Is in the Air

About six years ago, at this time of year I was just a few weeks from my June wedding...and I was in England with my mother for a last-hurrah-trip together.  It was of course very lovely to get to go together, but unfortunately I was about as loony lovesick as a silly bride-to-be could be, which made England a little hard to appreciate at the time...ah, young spring love. ; )

Six years later, we're getting ready to enjoy our last day of family vacation in Indiana while I also try to get some bridal shower invitations out for a dear friend who is presently at the height of her spring love.  I may have had fleeting grand aspiration of making the invites myself, but that soon passed and I ended up ordering some from Etsy. 

Was instantly taken with these, but the shop owner was very inconveniently on vacation as well and unable to assist last-minute-me.

So I ended up with these vintage lovelies instead, which was just as well as they were a bit more economical.  Going to make every effort to get them printed today!

So, I'm all set-up for a sweet, vintage-y themed two weeks.  {yikes} 

Any ideas for me???

Also wanted to share this little gift idea I've used a few times. 
Engagement is such a sweet, wonderful time, and though it seems people so rarely have engagement parties anymore it's fun to do a little something small to let the gal know that I am rejoicing with her in this lovely season of anticipation.

Was happy a couple years ago to find this little gift.

It's just a little something, and I always make sure to tell the bride that I have absolutely no expectation that she actually use them.   Firmly believe the bride should definitely have whatever "blue" she wants.  Unless of course, you're me, and you forget the something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue thing altogether.  I had a hard time engaging in any wedding plans, period. 

I found this at my local florist, but you can also get them {HERE}.
I love that it is just the sort of gift that is easy to tuck in an envelope and mail.

Aaaannd bringing lovering line of thought round full-circle back to my own little sweetheart...thinking I really need to get on board with Ms. Rebekah and start her Dinner at Eight, at-home date nights.  She has put together some of the loveliest dates for her and her hubby.  So inspiring.
You can read about her date-night project {HERE}.

Ever since I wrote about our date-night revival last summer, we have been enjoying a night out about every other week.  I think once you finally start date-nights, you wonder how you ever managed without them.   However, when we move to Iowa we'll be back to square one as far as babysitters go, so perhaps that will be a good time to try my hand at a little wifely thoughtfulness and do some home-dates.  Keep me accountable about that one, will you?  : )

Hope you're enjoying some of your own love in the air this spring.

with love,


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

We Are Going Places

So we took our very first family road trip.  We were three years overdue for a trip to Indiana to see my husband's family, but finally gathered up our utmost courage and did it.

Introducing my traveling companions:
{These first pictures were taken on my iphone last Sunday when we were neat and tidy.}

Here we are on the actual trip, crumbled and fuzzy. 

But surprisingly happy

We had a good bit of apprehension about this 18-hour trip - would our children fall apart? would they cry and fuss the whole way?  Our precious children are not the most easy-going bunch, so these were very reasonable concerns.  And though we invested in a DVD player, I dreaded having to use it much.  I wanted my kiddos to look out the windows, to talk, sing, and laugh, to enjoy the journey. 
Yes, I'm a bit of an idealist.

However, the kiddos completely floored us with cheerful, happy-camper little attitudes (almost) entire way.  
Floored, I tell you.

The first hour of the trip was my favorite.  The novelty of the experience was carrying us at an all-time high, and there was no noise in the car except the children's happy chatter and singing. 
We looked at cows and clouds. 

Then we turned on some of our favorite cowboy music, Riders in the Sky.  This is the same group that recorded "Woody's Round-up" from Toy Story 2.  It is happy music, and we love it. : )

We also took the audio cds that were included with our Big Picture Story Bible by David Helm.  We've been enjoying this bible for the last few months.  It's pretty simplistic, esp. for my five-year-old, but provides a nice overview.  We'd never tried the cds and I thought my kiddos might be bored with them - but the cd is well done, and they really enjoyed them for about a half hour each day and even protested when I turned it off.  Wonders, I tell you.

I tried to start reading this, and did thoroughly enjoy the first chapter (gives me such vision and hope for the whole homeschooling venture) ....unfortunately, I'm a complete wimp when it comes to car sickness, so that's as far as I got.

Fortunately, the Iowan scenery was pleasant, and yes, it about drove me nuts to be in Iowa but not go see my Iowa house.  So close and yet so far away - about a ten hour round trip detour :(

We stopped halfway and stayed at a hotel - another first, which added considerable to the "adventure" experience the kiddos were eating up. 

And we went swimming.  And I confess this was another first - swimming as a family.  I know, I know!  I am ashamed to admit it, but my sweetheart is not much of a water-guy and I have been content with our backyard wading pool.  So driving all day, staying at hotel, and going swimming - for us, it felt like we were being the Ultimate fun family.

Then we lined our kids up sideways on the queen bed.  They loved it, and excepting one mid-night panic, they did really well with the arrangement.

And today we made it the rest of the way with some additional fussing but really nary a hitch.  We listened to music and audio books, colored and had some snacks, talked and looked out the window, and watched one Blue's Clues.  We enjoyed the journey.

And now, while I'm not so naive as to expect this happy experience will be our "norm" for family travel, I do feel awfully encouraged knowing that We CAN travel.  Road trips are possible for our little family, and it's even possible that we can have happy travels.   This is pretty empowering knowledge, and my brain wheels are turning about all the opportunities and doors this opens for us....let's drive to the beach! to Chicago! to Canada! ... Paris. ; )

Anyway, it's certainly a significant milestone for our stay-at-home, we-have-little-kids-so-we-can't-family.

We are going places.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lovely Snack Bowls for Little Hands

Firstly, thank you for all your kind and encouraging comments about the new house - so sweet of you to rejoice with me!   I am excited to share the process of making the house our own little home - Before and After pictures are always so fun ; )

Now, today I want to share with you a most perfect, lovely little bowl for little people snacks.

Aren't they darling? 

They are the mini latte bowls from Anthropologie.  

I admit that I'm always a bit excited to find something at Anthropologie that I like (not hard), and can also afford (here's the challenge), but at $2.50 each I was just out $15 for a nice little stack of six.  Nice price for a gift for a friend, too.

They sell them online as a group of eight for $20.  I love this color combination.
But if you didn't like their combinations or didn't want eight, the stores are pretty awesome about shipping products straight to you for free.

They're just the perfect size for little people snacks - for a little fruit cup.

Or a little bowl of almonds and raisins (we do this a lot) or cut up apples.

The best part is that my kiddos adore them.

It's the little things, I tell you.

Wishing you a happy Monday. : )


Friday, April 20, 2012

Tour of the New House

First, very grateful thanks for the great advice and comments on the whole shared bedroom topic.  I was surprised by how many of you have your boys and girls sharing rooms and very encouraged by your reports of it working really well and helping to foster good sibling friendships.  So, I think I really will put all three together for now and see what good times we have : )

Now to give you a little tour of our new home.  Keep in mind I only got to tour the house in person one time! and for less than an hour! and just quickly snapped these pictures! and yes, it's kind-of driving me crazy not to be able to stop in and poke around one. more. time.  Patience.   

Anyway, at least what pictures I did manage to get will give you an idea of the fun we're getting into ; )

 Always dreamed of a porch swing and quite charmed by that little brass mailbox.

Alright, this is what you see when you step inside.  
Sort-of a formal Entry area with the stairs to the right and the Living Room to the left.

Shot of the Entry from the Living Room.  
Oh, that Oak!  My heart was all aflutter.

Living Room.

Shot of Living Room from the Dining Room.

Shot of Dining Room from the Entry.

{Insert lots of heart flutterings here}

And the Kitchen.

Probably the Den/Office/Schoolroom?  The Mystery Room. : )

Main Floor Bathroom.
Yes, that's a little clawfoot tub.

Now, downstairs to the Basement...

...where we find the Laundry Room.  
Doing laundry in the basement will take some getting use to, but I am glad it feels so clean and bright for a basement and thrilled about that big sink.   There's also a long room to the right, where my sweetheart will have his study.

Now back through the house to the front Entry and upstairs.  Peek out happy, little window.


Upstairs Bathroom.  

Bedroom #1.  This would be the room all three kiddos would share.
Imagining three little beds, all in a row.

The Master Bedroom. 
It feels tremendously large.

Third Bedroom.  
Hoping to make Guests feel very, very, very welcome here.

Back downstairs.

And that's the tour!  
Minus a picture of the real-live Barn in back, which I neglected to take.  
The Barn also doubles as the Garage...

Oh. My.  Putting this post together and looking through the house again has my insides all in a whirl, and visions of paint, plaster, and pinterest swirl in my head.

So much potential.  So much work. 
So much fun.  So much work.  
So much potential for fun work.  ; )

I am very thankful for this home.  I don't think I ever told you, but this house was never actually on the market.  I emailed the owners to see if they were going to sell because I heard they might be moving because the man of the house was retiring...and my husband's new job is to fill his shoes. 

God is amazing like that. 
Thanks for poking about with me.