We're moving to...

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's true! On August 15, Shawn starts a new job at an incredible church in Raleigh, North Carolina. We're going to be North Carolinians!

When we prayerfully decided that Shawn would quit his corporate job at the end of May, we had no clue what was next. We spent the entire month of June staying with my parents, sending out résumés, and basically free falling. We knew it would be Shawn's dream job to lead worship in a church, but we were completely open.

Amazingly, God connected our paths with this church without us even looking, and it felt like such a perfect fit on every front. Just three days after Shawn's initial conversation with the staff there, they flew us out for the weekend. We fell in love with the people, the church, and the city of Raleigh - and we even got to meet our 3-day-old niece who lives there. (Ironically, Shawn's brother, sister-in-law, and new niece live less than 15 minutes from the church, but had nothing to do with this position becoming available.)

Shawn is currently in Raleigh, and Liam and I will fly out to meet him tomorrow. We'll be back in Nashville for one more week after that, and then we pack up and head out there for good on August 12.

This is so much more than a job. It's a dream come true for Shawn. He'll be leading two services every week, organizing rehearsals, songwriting, and so much more... all things that he is so passionate about. It's a gift to our family that we'll be surrounded by a loving church family and a privilege to pour out our lives in community there. And it's an incredible bonus that we'll still be near family, even though we're moving hundreds of miles from Nashville.

God is good and we are thrilled!


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

via Instagram @whitneypaints
"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life." - Confucius

To be honest, that quote has always bugged me. When anyone has quoted it to me, I've been in the thick of working a job I didn't really love. I've had some interesting jobs: hotel babysitter, live-in nanny, live-out nanny, painting instructor, registered nurse. There have been aspects of all of them that I've liked, but as a whole, they haven't been my dream jobs by any stretch.

Right now, though? I'm going to have to revisit that quote. Because it's really, really true. I have two part-time jobs that add up to full-time hours on top of being Liam's mom (which, as you know, feels completely full-time in itself). I stay busy, but as cliché as it sounds, I don't feel like I work a day in my life.

One of my "jobs" is Brighter Day. I get to interact with customers, make bags and earrings, sell them to brides and customers and stores, and support a great cause. My other job is a recent addition, getting back to my love for art: I'm painting. The company I used to teach for needs new paintings for their database, so I'm painting fifteen new paintings a month. The paintings aren't incredibly detailed or difficult, which is by design - they need to be taught to a group of beginning artists (some of whom have never painted before) in 2 to 3 hours or less.

Just this past week, I had to reevaluate what I'm doing. I'm seeing my nursing school buddies transition into their second nursing jobs. They've worked for one year and are now finding jobs in fields they love. It makes me wonder why I went through the craziness of nursing school only to work for a few months, have a baby, and then sew and paint full time.

But when I really think about it, in this season, I've got my dream jobs: crafter, painter, mom. I get to do it all from home, create my own hours, drink gallons of hot tea, and not miss out on a moment with my son. Who knows how long this season will last, but I'll soak it up and thank Jesus for it while it does.

9 months with Liam.

Monday, July 29, 2013


I say it every day: I adore you at this age. Of course, I've adored you at every age - but the way you're becoming less baby and more toddler every day has me completely smitten. You're the smiliest baby I've ever seen, and I hope it's because you're just as happy as your face appears. I have a feeling you are.

This upcoming month is a big one for you: you're hopping on two more airplanes (your 13th and 14th flights!) and moving to a new state. For the past two months, we've all been staying with your Mimi and Poppy, who have spoiled you in the best possible way. You crawl at full speed out of our room each morning on a mission to find your grandparents, who smother you with all the hugs and kisses you can stand. It's the sweetest thing.

You're giggly, cuddly, and love taking walks and taking baths. You're also growing like a weed. I'm pretty sure you're a head taller than most of the babies your age in the church nursery, and you're wearing all 12 to 18 month clothing. Slow down, son. You're more than we could've asked for, and you bring us joy we can't even describe.

We love you, Guy.


Friday Five.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Well hello! I took an unintentional few days away from blogging as we've been really busy over here... prepping for an impending move (more on that later), trying to sleep train our teething boy (yikes), and catching up on lots of sewing.

A few things...
1. For my nieces' birthdays, I sewed them matching dresses (my first foray into kids' clothing, really) using the Geranium Dress pattern by Made by Rae. It is such a versatile pattern with a wide range of sizes and options. I totally recommend it, even for beginners.

Asking an almost 3-year-old to model her new dress looks a little like this:
And her little sister... 

2. A few more pictures of when the family was all together. Had anyone told my sister and I five years ago that Kels would have two girls and I'd have a boy, we'd never have believed it. I was the girly girl and Kels was a total tomboy, so it's pretty funny this is how it worked out. And somehow pretty perfect.
 Some very happy grandparents...
 And this little man who is becoming less baby and more toddler every day (nooo!!!)...

3. Because we're moving, Brighter Day and Brighter Day Baby have to go on vacation mode for a few weeks. Before we do, though, we'll be selling lots of items we have in stock. I'll let you know when that comes, but it should be in the next week or so. A little preview... I'll be having one of each of these new messenger bags in the shop: 
4. I read The Fault in Our Stars this week and wow. Heartbreaking, hopeful, exquisitely written. I stayed up until 1am to finish it - I couldn't put it down. If you haven't read it, be prepared to laugh and especially to cry. That's all I'll say.

4. It's Friday! I'm headed to Cleveland for the weekend. Shawn will be in North Carolina, so I'll be taking my first flight alone with Liam. Should be an adventure. Do you have any fun plans?

A Seussical party.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our past week has been busy, loud, and really fun with a house full of little ones. My sister, Kelsey, and her two girls came to visit for the week - and because both of their birthdays are in July, we decided to have a family birthday part for them. We chose a Dr. Seuss theme, as one of Charis' favorite books is Hop on Pop. We got lots of ideas from Pinterest and from the books themselves. Happy birthdays, sweet nieces!
We had a repeat (and very beat up) copy of one book, so I tore out the pages, cut them into triangles, and sewed them together to make a banner.

Too Fast.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Shawn's newest song, "Too Fast," is now on iTunes.

He wrote it for Liam, but I am convinced that every parent can relate to nearly every word of the song. I was a weepy mess when I heard it the first time, thinking about Liam and how he's only 8 months old and already growing up way too fast. I know I'm really biased, but I think this song is so beautiful and the best thing Shawn has ever written.

You'll grow up too fast, but I want it to last
The thought of it's breaking my heart
But until that day when you're driving away
I'll cherish each moment we have 
As you grow up too fast

DIY: Pacifier clips.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

There are two times in Liam's life that he uses a pacifier: going to sleep and flying. Obviously, keeping his pacifier off the airport floor is pretty important, so I made a few pacifier clips the night before we took a flight last week. I photographed the [incredibly easy] process so you could make a few too.

They couldn't be simpler. Seriously. If you can find suspender clips, some scraps of fabrics, ribbon, and a sewing machine, you can whip one of these up in less than 10 minutes.
1. These are actually ironing board clips I found at Joann's for $3.99 (for 8 clips total). I used my Joann's coupons, so they were half that price. They also carry suspender clips that would work just as well.
2. Trim off the elastic, if it comes with any.
3. Cut 8-inch strips of ribbon for as many pacifier clips as you're going to make. I made 4.
4. Cut your fabric scraps into 3" x 11" strips.
5. Fold each strip in half, lengthwise, and press with a hot iron.
6. Open it up and fold each short side in about 1/2" and press.
7. Now fold one long edge toward the center crease and press.
8. Repeat for the other long edge.
9. Tuck a loop of ribbon, as shown, inside one side, then fold the fabric over.
10. Using your sewing machine, go back and forth several times near the short edge of the fabric to secure the ribbon inside. This will be the loop that holds onto the pacifier.
11. Now stitch all the way around the long rectangle, as shown.
12. Finally, put the opposite short end of fabric through the metal clip, fold it down, and secure by sewing. That's it!

This may seem like a petty DIY because you can easily just pick one of these up at Target. But in reality, it's definitely a money saver. Each one that I found at Target was around $5 or more, and with Joann's coupons, I spent under $3 for all of these supplies... which comes to $0.75 per pacifier clip, and I still have supplies left over. These would be great for handmade baby gifts, too, with a matching bib and burp cloth, don't you think?


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

These photos just scream, "It's July!" The naked babies, the sprinklers, the lush, green grass... summer has clearly arrived.
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