Mom (and Dad) at 26 weeks.

Monday, July 30, 2012

This weekend.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I have ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing... Through all the haste I thought I was making up time. 
It turns out I was throwing it away."
- Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are

Here's to a weekend of slowing down. 
Hope yours is beautiful.


Friday, July 27, 2012

I got two really great calls today...

One at 5:00am: "I'm sorry, but our patient census is down. We're going to have to put you on call."

For a lot of nurses, "on call" = bad news. You plan to work, but if there's not enough patients to merit it, you get put on call and have to be there within an hour if they do call you to work. But for me? I welcomed it! It felt like an extra day of the week that I was given at the last minute to catch up on sewing, our house, life.

The next call came at 1:00pm: "I'm so sorry, but our census is still down. We won't need you to come in today."

It's not that I don't want to help at the hospital... but having today as a free day to take a walk down to our garden, eat breakfast with Shawn's parents before they left town, sew a few purses, and have lunch with Shawn - I'm thankful. I think it's going to set the tone for a fabulous weekend!

PS - Shawn has set up an Instagram account for Brighter Day (@brighterdaybags) so if you're interested in following along what we're currently working on, follow us!

Oh, Sweet Joy!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I'm honored to be guest posting today at Oh, Sweet Joy! I'm sharing my watermelon sorbet recipe, which is sounding pretty delicious right about now. :) Kim's blog is so inspiring - the DIY tutorials, the fashion posts, the recipes, and a lot more. Make sure to go visit. Thanks so much for having me, Kim!

This morning.

Me and E hard at work, via Instagram.

I'm struck this morning with thankfulness.After a long, tough day at the hospital yesterday, this morning brings fresh perspective that wow... I am so lucky to work from home several days a week doing what I love (sewing, creating, interacting with customers). And I get to do it in pajama pants while listening to a Tim Keller sermon or two, looking out my window at horses in the backyard, drinking decaf hazelnut coffee, and feeling Baby E kick around like crazy.

There are days that this business feels overwhelming because of the sheer time it requires, but not today. Not after yesterday with 6 difficult patients and 13 hours on my feet. Today is a respite. Today is a joy.

Happy Wednesday to you!

PS - Do you have Instagram? Follow me @whitneynewby

Scripture memory.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Growing up, I can recall countless mornings that our family ate breakfast together before school. Because my parents traveled almost every weekend with their ministry to churches around the country, they really prioritized family time during the week. Family breakfasts and family dinners were the centers of that time. Each school morning, we would gobble up some cinnamon toast or pancakes, and before we headed out the door, we would often study a deck of brightly colored cards that each held a Scripture. The verses were short and simple, and we would memorize them one by one as a family. It probably felt a little forced at times, but the fact that I still remember so many of those verses is a testimony that it worked. The Word of God was becoming rooted in my little 8-year-old heart.

Then I was 16, and had to travel to Texas to go to court concerning a serious car accident I'd been involved in. I was petrified, to say the least. My mom and I prayed so fervently surrounding that trip, and the verses that really ministered to us during that time were Psalm 37:5-6, which say, "Commit your way to the Lord. Trust him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun." His Word came alive to me and I needed it like I needed oxygen. I knew He cared for me deeply, and that He was speaking to me through the ancient, living words of the Bible.

Then there were times in high school and college that I was truly committed to memorizing Scripture, even entire chapters at a time. James 1-2 and Philippians 2-3 stick out especially, and though it's been years since I worked on them, large pieces of those chapters come back to me at just the right time.

God speaks through His Word. It's living and active. Do you believe that? Have you seen it come alive in your own life? Memorizing Scripture is not just for the head knowledge or the bragging rights. Far from it. As a believer, I crave God's Word like nothing else. I need it like nothing else. It nourishes my soul and points me to Jesus, whether I'm memorizing a passage in Ezekiel or Matthew.

I was thrilled to recently discover an iPhone app called Fighter Verses that aids in Scripture memory. (And it's not only for iPhones... there are many resources if you go to the site.) There are hundreds of verses in the ESV version to memorize, and the app helps you along with quizzes, memory songs, links to commentaries on that specific verse, and even an easy way to store the verse on the lock screen of your iPhone. I am memorizing Psalm 103 this week, and it has been so smooth with the help of this app because every time I turn on my phone, I see the verses I'm working on (and I turn on my phone a lot... I'm sure I'm not alone). There's even a kids' version that uses pictures to prompt their memory of specific verses.

Anyway, I just couldn't help but share. I'm thrilled to be actively memorizing Scripture again after a much-too-long hiatus as I know it's the most powerful thing to change my heart, to sharpen my mind, and to make me the best wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister, and lover of Jesus I can possibly be.

Our son's (future) room.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First, a disclaimer... 
Our son is going to live in a closet. Ok, maybe not exactly a closet, but a study. A tiny little study (our former craft room). It's going to be perfect, though. It has tons of adjustable shelving on the left, two pretty windows, and is located right next to our room on the very furthest side of the house with doors that close for him to sleep. 

Here's the before (and the current look): 
Do I even have to mention that I didn't touch a thing before I took this photo (ha!)? It's a catch-all room that we have literally done nothing to. But hey, it's already blue! We've got that part done at least. 

And here are some inspiring nursery photos I've found on Pinterest lately (click on the photo to bring you to the source): 
Love this chalkboard wall. Not sure it's feasible in such a tiny room, but definitely want a big chalkboard somewhere.
Like the neutral look here, with subtle boy things.
Love this empty frame with photos strung across it.
I know this is a baby girl's nursery, but I really love the wire baskets for diaper storage. 
These prints.
This eclectic look.

This pretty London map.
In addition to these ideas, I think I want to go for a very subtle travel theme for his room. Not necessarily planes and trains, but possibly old maps, globes, and photography prints of cities. We want him to dream big and this is just a little piece of our hope for him. Now I can't wait to get started!

A question on privacy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I know this is opening a can of worms with a wide variety of opinions, but I want to hear your thoughts:
How much should a person share on a blog/website/Facebook/internet? 
How much should she not share? 
When does it become unsafe? 

I've been thinking about these questions a lot recently before our baby boy arrives, trying to decide how much of his little life we will make public on the blog and how much we will keep private.

The original purpose of this blog was to document our lives for our family and friends who are scattered across the country, and to document it for me and Shawn to look back on years from now and see the faithfulness of God in our lives. Somewhere along the way, you sweet readers (and occasionally some that aren't so sweet) started following along. The blog is all the more fun for you being here, but even if you didn't choose to follow along, I'd still keep this blog as a mini journal for this season in our lives.

But then there's the question of safety. It may seem like I share a lot - and I do - but I also keep a whole lot more private. I'm careful not to show photos of the front of our house, our cars, etc. But I've also been recognized in public at least 3 or 4 times in the last few weeks, which is really flattering and also a little sobering. When I'm writing, I often feel like I'm writing to a small group of girlfriends... not to thousands of you that I've never met.

And then a baby enters the picture. A baby who has no say on how much or how little of his life is put online. Do we share his name? His milestones? Do I make the blog private if I'm not willing to call him "Little E" forever? Whew... lots to think about.

I've seen bloggers on both extremes... some who, in my opinion, overshare everything about their kiddos (and have blogs that have a much larger following than mine). I can promise you right now that I will not post a picture or a story about the first time my son poops on a potty. :) And then there are other bloggers who choose to call their kids by nicknames and never by their real name, though the more popular their blogs become, it seems people find out the real names anyway.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this. And again, I know this can tend to be somewhat heated, so please, please keep the comments friendly and conducive to the conversation (my family reads this, too!). Thanks, friends.

Thank you guys so much for weighing in. As I expected, there are a variety of opinions - but all are such good food for thought in regards to how much or how little we choose to share. I probably won't make a concrete decision until he gets here, but I don't think I can help but show him off (whether or not I make his name known) and I don't plan on going private anytime soon. Ultimately, it's a matter of prayer for discernment and protection, and I am trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me in what to post and what not to. Thanks again.

Baby boy things I love, Etsy edition.

Monday, July 16, 2012

I love supporting other Etsy shops, and I really love some of these baby boy things I've found recently - for him and for his nursery (which, so far, I've done nothing with). Click on the pictures to take you to the Etsy items!

This stuffed animal:

These loafers:

These suspenders:

This print:

This vintage luggage:
This antique map:

This photo print of Central Park:

This bib:

This onesie:

Ok, your turn: Do you have any fun Etsy finds to pass along?

DIY: Pleated linen pillow tutorial.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A while back, I made this pillow for Kirra, and I liked how it looked on our bed so much that I (finally) decided to make another one!

Here's what you need if you'd like to make your own:
• 1 yard white linen fabric (I got mine from Joann's and used a 50% off coupon, making it under $8)
• 4 pretty buttons (mine measure 7/8")
• 16" x 26" pillow form
• Sewing machine with buttonholing capability
• White thread
• Iron & ironing board
• Scissors
• Pins
• Cutting mat and rotary cutter (optional)

Let me know if you have questions along the way! And if you make this and blog about it, please leave the link in the comments section so we can all see. :)

Happy sewing!

24 weeks.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Baby size: 1 full pound and up to 12 inches long, according to the standards. (Although according to all our ultrasounds, baby was already 12 inches long about 4 weeks ago. Oh my.) Oh, and he's growing hair on top of his head! I love that!

Total weight gain so far: 13 lbs. for the pregnancy. It feels like it's mostly in my belly, but I do feel it other places. And a coworker told me the other day she could see it in my belly and in my face. Umm, thanks. :) Haha.

Symptoms: I feel a lot of stretching pains from time to time (maybe when baby is in a growth spurt?), but otherwise, I don't really feel pregnant at all. This pregnancy has been incredibly easy, as far as pregnancies go, and I'm so thankful for that. I definitely feel exhausted by the end of each day, but I have a feeling that has more to do with the pace of our lives right now and less to do with being pregnant.

Movement:  Little guy is moving like crazy these days, and we can even see him from the outside! The other day Shawn put his face down on my belly and the baby kicked him right in the cheek right away. So adorable.

Cravings: Orange juice. I could drink gallons. And sour candy. And Chickfila fries.

What I miss: Fitting into normal clothes. Not a huge fan of maternity clothes, though that's the choice right now. I'm thankful for summery dresses and maternity scrubs.

What I'm excited about: My next midwife appointment. I love going, even if this one is for the dreaded glucose test. I'm also excited to start a birthing class soon, which I'll explain more about in another post.

What I'm thankful for: A husband who does a lot around the house that requires bending over, who prays for our son, and who thinks I'm beautiful even when I'm feeling huge. Parents who get so excited to see my belly, even when they just saw it yesterday. A healthy, uneventful pregnancy so far. A very active, growing son who I'm so excited to meet. A God who adores this baby more than I ever will.

New products!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I'm playing around with some new products for Brighter Day, and one of them is this makeup bag design. It's lightly padded, has a handle on one side, and is lined with a laminated fabric, so it's easy to clean. It actually fits most of my makeup inside, too!
So here's my question...
What do you look for in a makeup or toiletry bag? Anything I should make sure to include? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

A few of these should be up in the shop in the next week or so, so keep your eyes peeled!

Our side yard.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Our neighbor left the barn light on the other night, so Shawn took the opportunity for a quick photo op. I love how these turned out. It was actually night, but he left the shutter open for a few seconds to capture all the light he could. We live in a gorgeous place!

The godsons.

Monday, July 9, 2012

 These adorable, hyper, smily, energetic godsons of ours spent the night with us over the weekend and wow... I'm not sure we're quite ready for little boys in the house. :) At least they made finding bits of fabric and thread on our craft room floor fun. And they definitely make up for their mischief in cuteness. 
We love them.

Baby names

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The second most common question my patients ask me these days is: "What are you going to name your baby?" (The first most common being, "When can I have my next pain pill?")

Apparently, even under scrubs, my body doesn't hide this baby very well. I'm almost 6 months along and most definitely showing. Baby is suuuper active and likes to kick me in all directions for most of the day. Does he ever sleep?! It's making me wonder.

Anyway, back to names.
For several weeks, we were about 95% set on a name.
And then, for some reason, when we found out "it" was a "he" and saw lots of ultrasound pictures, that name just felt less fitting. So we're kind of back to square one, trying to think of names all over again. We would love to have our baby's name not in the top 100 baby names. It also has to go with Newby (obviously), which is kinda tough.

So I thought I'd share some of my favorite names. They aren't on our "A" list - and they're not necessarily Shawn-approved - but I still love them nonetheless. Shawn and I play this little game where I will come up with about 20 names I like, then he will say yes or no to them. My rule is that he has to wait at least 5 seconds before responding, and he has to give it a number between a 1 and a 10 (otherwise, he was nixing all of my brilliant ideas).

So here's my "B" list for now: names I love that are along the lines of what we're going for...
Here's where you come in... we need ideas! Would you comment with some of your favorite baby boy names? We could really use the help!

PS - When Shawn saw this post, he said, "You're really brave. Did you make sure and tell them these are your favorite names, not mine?" :)

Gluten free veggie burgers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

These were such a hit in our house this past weekend. I love veggie burgers, but because I have to eat gluten free, it's often difficult to find them without wheat flour, barley or oats. So I adapted a couple recipes I had and I think you will love these! They also freeze really well, so I made 8 of them that we'll have for future meals.

3/4 cup brown rice, cooked
15 ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 slice gluten free sandwich bread, crumbled*
1/3 cup corn (I used frozen)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons oil for cooking
*I used a food processor to crumble the bread into fine bread crumbs

Mash beans in a large bowl until a paste forms. Add rice, bread crumbs, corn, cilantro, egg, salt, pepper, and oregano. Form mixture into 6 to 8 patties. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large nonstick skillet. Cook patties until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side.

We served ours on Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Hamburger Buns with garlic mustard aioli and roasted red pepper hummus (both from Trader Joe's) and spinach. We also had chipotle flavored fries from the freezer section and fresh cherries. The perfect summer meal!

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