DIY: Clay rose earrings

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

I was so honored to be asked if my DIY Chevron Frame project could be featured on, and the feature came out a couple days ago.

I think the curator of this slideshow really nailed it. I want to try just about every one of the projects listed, and if I know you like the DIY-loving-bunch I think you are, I think you'll feel the same.

Some personal favorites:
This map frame.
This pet pillow.
This distressed frame with twine.
This repurposed door photo frame.

Time to get those pictures on the wall!

PS - I've been working on some new DIY post ideas that should come out in the next few weeks... get ready!

Stealing joy.

Monday, January 28, 2013

In this season of my life, this quote couldn't be truer. I struggle with it: comparing. Don't we all, to a point? I think as women it's especially easy to fall into the trap of comparing. From looks to babies to Etsy shops to jobs to husbands to lack of jobs and husbands to happiness. And as soon as we do, joy slips through our fingers. Contentment walks out the door. Peace is far away.

For me, reading other blogs can be my one-way ticket to comparison. It's like a window into another person's life with all the hard parts carved out. I see perfectly behaved children, clean floors, perfect hair, and exotic vacations. I know I'm guilty of this, too. I've gotten the comment quite a bit from blog readers that my life is so beautiful and "perfect." And while I can sit here and tell you it's so far from perfect, I do try to keep this space positive and light. There's plenty of negativity on the internet, and I decided a long time ago I didn't want to add to it. But at the same time, when you only see the highlights of my life (for the most part), it's easy to fall into that same trap of comparison. What you don't see is the time I cried last week or felt like a failure or wasn't very nice to my husband or got frustrated with my crying baby. I'm not trying to hide it. I just don't feel like this blog is the forum to pour out these deep feelings that tend to stay in the safety of my husband and closest friends. 

So all this to say, for the month of February, I've decided to take a break from reading other blogs. Maybe you're reading this and realize it's time for you to do the same. It's time to take a step back and really savor what the Lord has given me. I want to echo the Psalmist in saying, 
"Lord you alone are my inheritance, 
my cup of blessing. 
You guard all that is mine. 
The land you have given me is a pleasant land. 
What a wonderful inheritance!" 
(Psalm 16:5-6)

3 months with Liam.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Our sweet Liam, 

What a happy, easy going little man you are! You'll gladly be passed around a table (and spit up on most everyone along the way), and you're especially happy when you realize you're back with your mom and dad. You've been making it more obvious that you know who we are, and it makes our day when you "choose" us.

I'm so thankful that you'll sleep anywhere... your carseat, your playmat, the carrier while we walk at Radnor, mom's arms, your crib. You're learning to be a flexible guy, just as we'd hoped. You're just starting to roll from your belly to your back, and you're so proud of yourself when you do it.  (I'm sure the cheering doesn't hurt.) This month, you loved skyping with your Gramma and Grampa in Germany and Gigi in Ohio, visiting the nursing mothers' room every Sunday at church, practicing standing on our legs, and spending some time with Mimi and Poppy while Mommy went back to work. 

We realize more and more every day that you were made to fit our family so perfectly. What a gift you are.

Love you to the moon,

5 things.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

1. I got new glasses. For free! I saw an ad on Facebook for a free pair of glasses from (just pay shipping), and so I did. And I love them! A little bigger and nerdier than I'm used to, but that's the look right now, right? I hope?

2. I'm in a creative slump these days when it comes to blogging and Etsy. Something about being a mom to a newborn and going back to work takes so much energy that there's not much left at the end of the day. I've designed some new fabric for spring, though, and I'm hoping that it'll put a little spring in my creative step.

3. I'm back at the hospital, working just a couple days a week. It's plenty for now, and like I imagined, very bittersweet. Love caring for patients again. Hate being away from my boy. Love feeling challenged and having adult conversation. Hate having to find a place and time to pump every few hours. Such is the life of a working mom.

4. I'm treating myself to a beginner's upholstery class in February. I'm ridiculously excited about it.

5. Speaking of classes, I'm hoping to offer a sewing class sometime in late February or early March and am wondering... what would you like to sew? I've heard from some of you that you'd prefer a beginner beginner class, like how to thread your machine and sew a straight line? Or would you rather do a project like a bag or a pillow? Let me know and I'll get the ball rolling!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I can't help but adore this series of photos we captured when Aunt Shannon and Uncle Erik met their nephew for the first time just before Thanksgiving. Naturals, I tell ya! Liam was a floppy little thing, and Erik was so careful. Little did we know, Liam's cousin was hiding out under that black and white striped shirt. A new baby Newby is on his or her way! We could not be more excited for this little one... and in just a few days, we'll find out if it's a boy or a girl. Whatever the case, it'll be one lucky kiddo. Congrats to Erik & Shans!

PS - Considering Shawn has zero cousins, Liam already has him beat at 3!

So much grace.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

In the last few weeks, our mornings have evolved into a loose routine. Liam wakes up between 7 and 7:30 am, I pick him up smiling from his crib (the best!), and nurse him. After that, we have some kind of devotional time together. I can't recommend Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing by Sally-Lloyd Jones highly enough. It's a devotional for kids, but it's transforming the way I understand my own faith and simplifying the way I teach my son about Jesus. What a gift. (And what a perfect gift for new parents. Or any parents!)

So anyway, the other morning, I told Liam I wanted to pray for him before we began the day. I placed my hands on his fuzzy head as he stared right at me, and I said, "Do you know what it means to pray? It means we talk to God. We ask him for things--"

I stopped right there. 'We ask him for things?' I thought. 'That's the first thing I teach my son about prayer?'

Of course, it's true. Of course we ask him for things. And he wants us to ask him for things. But if it stopped there, it wouldn't be very accurate. We don't just ask him for things. And I'm realizing that in teaching my little guy, my own biases, flaws, and gaps in knowledge and wisdom become exposed so quickly. And he's just two months old! I can only imagine what it will be like at age 2 and 5 and 14 when he's asking tough questions and not just staring blankly at me.

It struck me because teaching my children about the Lord is my number one task as a mother. Leading them to Jesus is a huge responsibility that I don't take lightly. And yet there's so much grace. Grace for inaccurate teachings about prayer. Grace for the times I will mess up in much bigger ways. God wants us to rely on him - and more than anything, I want Liam to see that. I want him to see his mom leaning so heavily on Christ and on his mercy and grace. I want him to see a mom who humbles herself enough to apologize when she has wronged him. I want him to see the gospel lived out in our lives. I want him to understand that we have been graciously accepted by a holy God, not by our own merit, but because Jesus lived the life we should have lived and paid the penalty for our rebellion by dying in our place. I want Liam to understand that he isn't reconciled to God through trying to be a good boy, but through Christ's perfect record. As it's been so beautifully said by Tim Keller, "The gospel is this: We are more flawed and sinful than we ever dared believe, yet we are more loved and accepted in Jesus Christ than we ever dared hope." That's good news, friends!

So when I tell Liam about prayer in the future, it'll go a little like this... "We don't just ask him for things. No, we talk to him like our dad. Because he is our dad! He's in Heaven, so it's hard to see him, but he's just as real as your mom and dad and he cares for you more than either of us ever will. He just wants us to talk to him. To tell him how we feel, what we worry about, why we're happy or why we're sad. We can thank him, too, for the many things he has done for us. He listens to us and he cares. Not because he has to - he has enough joy to last eternity. But he created us to share in that joy."

PS - If I can suggest one more book... Grace Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel. It is so exquisitely written, Gospel centered, and thoughtfully explained. I read it in just a few days and will probably read it many more times as we traverse this parenthood journey.

Liam, meet 70 degrees.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

If you look really close at the reflection in his eyes, you can see me straddling over him to take the photo. :)
70 degrees in January, no less!

When we got home from grocery shopping last week, the sunny skies beckoned us outside for a chance to breathe the fresh, warm country air. This is not typical of winter here, but we will take it.

Liam's nose crinkled as the wind blew across his face and he didn't smile much, but I have a feeling he was just taking it all in. More warm days are coming, son.

Thursday's coming.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

via Instagram @whitneynewby
I'm heading back to work at the hospital on Thursday, and it's incredibly bittersweet.

Missing hundreds of toothless baby grins
Having to pump at the hospital (not sure how that's going to work)
Being away from my guys for a 14+ hour stretch

Serving patients physically and emotionally
Seeing coworkers again for the first time in months
Getting my feet back on the ground as a nurse

Thankfully, Liam will be in great hands - his Mimi's - and I think it will be a sweet bonding time for both of them. But phew... I get to thinking about it too much and it makes me teary. I just adore being this little man's mom.

Working moms... any going-back-to-work advice for me? 

Back to meal planning...

Friday, January 11, 2013

Source: Elana's Pantry
I'm not a consistent meal planner, but it really helps when I take the time to do it. Otherwise, we end up eating Chipotle or frozen pizzas a few more times than I'd like to admit.

So here's the plan for this upcoming week, with mostly new-to-me recipes. Just click on the titles to go straight to the recipe:

Monday: Baked mustard lime chicken, green beans, quinoa
Tuesday: Quinoa stuffed sweet potatoes, spinach salad
Wednesday: Clean eating chicken taquitos, green smoothies
Thursday: Slow cooker lentil and veggie stew
Friday: Perfect roast chicken with veggies and potatoes
Saturday: Baked dijon salmon, quinoa, salad

Also, my new favorite salad dressing recipe: Lemonette dressing
(This makes me want to eat a whole bag of spinach!)

DIY: Birth stats

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I've been wanting to make some kind of poster or photo print with Liam's birth stats for his nursery, and I got the motivation to actually do it when I saw this 85% off offer for canvas prints at (good until 1/14/13) :

I simply put the text on Liam's photo using Photoshop, uploaded the photo to, chose the 16 x 20 canvas size, and placed my order. It arrived in about a week and for under $35 (including shipping), I couldn't be happier with the quality!

One proud wife.

Monday, January 7, 2013

The song is now on iTunes! :)

Click on the photo to purchase it!

Our weekend.

We are learning each other, the two of us and our boy.

We hit a few rough patches this past weekend as we tried (and failed) to translate his crying. Does his tummy hurt? Is he hot? Cold? Overstimulated? Bored? And how in the world could he possibly want to nurse again when he just ate an hour ago? No wonder we have such a hardy boy. He eats like... his dad.

Amazingly, he has slept through the night every night for the past 3 weeks. (Am I jinxing the sleep streak by announcing that?) We've done very little to facilitate this, but to say we love our sleep is an understatement. We adore it. So we really can't complain about the daytime fussiness here and there.

So we did more than just stare at his cute, and sometimes crying, face all weekend. We walked at Radnor, met up with friends, took out the trash (an ordeal when you live in the country), and ate Chipotle. But mostly, we learned him. I think he's learning us, too. And learning this big, loud, bright, confusing world.

A friend of ours used to say, "Life is a journey, not a guided tour." When it comes to parenting, I can't think of a truer word.

"I will stay with you."

Friday, January 4, 2013

Remember how Shawn wrote me a song for our anniversary?

Well, he cut a rough demo of it with the help of my dad on the night of our anniversary, and he's letting me share it. I'm too proud of him not to. I hope you love it just a tiny fraction as much as I do. :)

(If you're reading the post through Reader, click over to the blog to hear the song!)

UPDATE: You can now find the song on iTunes! :)

A daddy and his boy.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

There's a twinkle in his eye when Liam catches a glimpse of his dad, and it melts me to watch them together. There's a really precious bond I can already sense between these two, and I can't wait to have a front row seat to how it grows and changes and deepens.

And because I love it when he smiles... 
[ Taken with my iPhone ]
PS - Speaking of chunky legs, Liam had his 2 month checkup yesterday and he is a big, healthy boy! 14 lbs. and 24 inches long, which puts him in the 80th percentile for weight and the 85th percentile for height. 

My newest hobby.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

One way I love to relax is by crafting (which you could probably guess), and especially by learning a new craft. I've crocheted before, but it's been years - and I've only ever made a scarf or two using one basic stitch.

So over Christmas break, while the shop was closed, I decided to pick up a crochet hook and a ball of yarn and get to work. I went to YouTube and found an amazing number of crochet tutorials, which helped me remember basic techniques and find a small project to work on. Seeing it on video, it was almost as if someone was sitting next to me, showing me the stitches.

First, I made a baby hat using this tutorial: Baby Crochet Cap

Then, I added a flower to it using this tutorial: Crochet Rose

All of this from one skein of yarn, one crochet hook (I used a 5.5mm hook), and a beginner crocheter. If you're on the fence about learning, I hope this inspires you to go for it!

Sweet potato fries with spicy mayo

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Taken with my iPhone

True story: I've been meaning to blog about these life changing sweet potato oven fries for weeks, and when I finally endeavor to do it, my camera battery dies before the fries even come out of the oven.

Luckily for all of us, they've already been blogged about here:

I add plenty of salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to mine before they hit the oven.

If these sweet potato fries could be a meal in and of themselves, I'd have them at least once a day. Just warning you... they're pretty addicting. They're crispy on the outside, a little chewy on the inside, and go so well with a spicy kick. Sometimes I serve them up with the spicy mayo called for in the recipe, and other times, I create a spicy ranch by combining 1/4 cup ranch dressing with about a tablespoon of sriracha sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you want to make them). These would be so delicious alongside these veggie burgers! Again, check out the super easy recipe: 

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan