Brighter Day Baby.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

After months on hiatus, Brighter Day Baby is open again! I'm slowly stocking the shelves with ready-to-ship items only, and all of the whales in the shop right now are one of a kind. Once they're gone, they're gone!

Until Monday, enter the coupon code "FREESHIP" to receive free shipping.

Getting to know you.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Shawn's parents are in town from Germany for two weeks. For Liam's Grampa, it was the first time he and Liam had ever met. Gramma was in town when Liam was just a couple weeks old, but even with frequent FaceTime sessions, it's been an adjustment. 
It doesn't help that every person that comes between him and his Mama is a threat these days. They're met with cries and pushes when they reach out and want to hold him or kiss his head.
But little by little, he's learning to trust them. To play with them. To eat from their hand. 
And it's precious to watch.

I love this.

Monday, October 28, 2013

And on lots of days, it's a message I need to remember.

I know it isn't Mother's Day, but whether you're a brand new mom or a seasoned one, it's a reminder we all need.

Starting point.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Every new home has a starting point. 
Every new home has a starting point.

It's what I keep trying to remind myself when I see mini blinds, former tenants' paint color choices, and no rugs.

Still, here's a glimpse of where we're starting. The photos are very low light, as that's what we've had to work with. We've had one sunny day since moving in. It's terrible for pictures, but so incredibly cozy for living.

Overall, we feel the weighty privilege of owning our first home. We don't take it for granted for a second that we were able to buy this sweet house in Raleigh. The fact that this home is a blank slate for whatever our minds (and budget) can come up with is so, so exciting.

That quintessential Fall post.

Monday, October 21, 2013

You know... the one with hayrides, tractors, and babies in a pumpkin patch. October has long been my favorite month of the year - especially now that it's Liam's birthday month - and a trip to Hill Ridge Farms with new friends was a grand way to celebrate. It all would've been perfect except for the muggy 90ยบ weather that had us all sweating within about 5 minutes of being out there. But hey! The boys didn't seem to notice the difference.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

via Instagram @whitneynewby
The prospect of the next few days could be daunting: hundreds of boxes to unpack, an 11-month-old who's keen on unpacking everything himself, and Shawn leaving town today for a wedding in Texas.

Amazingly, though, the body of Christ has wrapped their arms around us and so lifted our burden that it doesn't feel daunting at all.

... My parents had our house cleaned from top to bottom just after we closed, sparing me from wiping down baseboards, scrubbing bathrooms, and taking down cobwebs while trying to wrangle Liam.
... My grandma is helping us have the house's interior painted so we can really move in and feel settled.
... Shawn's parents are helping us with a washer and dryer set. I will jump for JOY when we have more than occasional access to laundry, which has been the case since we've been here.
... Our brother and sister who live down the road have shown up at the drop of a hat with snacks, Chipotle, help with Liam, and a million other things. They've been amazing.
... My mom is flying in today, very last minute, to help me while Shawn is gone. She cancelled several things on her calendar to be here, including giving a devotional to a moms' group. Instead of talking about being a great mom, she's choosing to be one. I couldn't be more grateful.
... I have Bible study friends who are pitching in left and right in the most creative ways: helping us unpack, taping off walls for painters, and taking Liam to the children's museum for the afternoon.
... We have other friends who have brought delicious, gluten-free meals.

And all this in a place we've only called home for 2 months.

Never have we felt so loved by a community of believers, so helped, so supported. Our burden has been so lifted by these dear friends and families of ours, and we are humbled and encouraged by their many, many acts of love.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I've been on a reading kick - especially novels - which probably started when Ashlyne gave me a Kindle last month. (Thanks, Ash!) I think it's also been a nice way to escape our current situation for a few moments a day... soaking in someone else's story for a change. Reading is magic.

Currently reading:
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
It's children's literature, but sometimes, those are the very best stories. (It actually makes me want to pull out some old classics like Where the Red Fern Grows. Oh, wait. I'd have to be in the mood to cry my eyes out for that one.) I'm only halfway through, but loving it. It's impossible not to love Auggie, disfigured face and all, for his vulnerable heart. And it speaks a beautiful message about kindness from what I can tell.

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller
It's a short read, but an important one concerning joy and the freedom we have in Christ. Highly recommend. I mean, how can you go wrong with Tim Keller?

Hey Worship Leader, Are You a Theological Lightweight?  by Ronnie Martin
This topic is kind of a soapbox issue for me, and I think he handled it well. Theologically rich worship is just so necessary in a healthy church.

Just read (this month):
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman
The most disappointing ending ever, but such thoughtful writing and a story that asks so many ethical questions. Even though I wish I could've rewritten the final pages, I'd still recommend it simply for the quality of writing. It's her first novel. I can't wait for more.

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
This was my second time reading this memoir, and I loved it just as much as the first time. It's a black man's tribute to his white mother, and deals with race and identity issues, faith, and a strong willed mother who I wish I could've met in real life. Fascinating.

Looking for Alaska by John Green
I adored The Fault in Our Stars by the same author but didn't like this one. The characters were very well developed, but the coarse language in it was such a turn off for me, I hardly finished it. I wish I'd been forewarned.

Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel by Maria Semple
A quick, delightful read. And it made me want to visit Seattle stat.

I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy by Angie Smith
I love Angie's blog, but had a hard time getting into this book. I really wanted to, and would highly recommend it for those who have experienced a miscarriage or have lost a child, but it felt very heavy and drawn out to me. Perhaps in another season it will be more meaningful. Her writing is certainly beautiful and her trust in the Lord is inspiring.

Your turn. What are you reading these days? 

Our first home!

via Instagram @whitneynewby
Yesterday, after what felt like a year of living out of a suitcase (but was really only 4 and a half months), we closed on our first house! We're no longer homeless! Today, our furniture and boxes arrive from Nashville. We haven't seen any of it since May, so it's going to feel like Christmas.

Walking into the house yesterday with our own set of keys was an incredible feeling. We took some time to walk into each room, praying God's blessing over it for as long as we call it home.

Summer talked yesterday about cashing in God's promises (such a great post), and today, I'm cashing in this one (which is #1 of her 50 promises memory verse cards):
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord." - Psalm 31:24

There's still so much to do to make it feel like home, and with a very curious little guy around, it isn't the smoothest or quickest process. Still, we are so, so grateful to own a home - one we really love - and to hopefully sleep there for the first night tonight!

Reaching out.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Just over two years ago, we were visiting California for a mini vacation. I posted a photo of the beach in San Diego on Facebook, and soon after, got a message from my friend Ashlyne. Ashlyne and I had been friends in high school, but we'd since lost touch. She had moved to LA to pursue a music career, and when she saw the photo, she thought we may be close. We met up with Ashlyne and her then-boyfriend, now-husband Mason (who I also went to high school with) and walked around Santa Monica the next day, reconnecting after lots of years and lots of life that had happened in those years.

The rest, I guess you could say, is history. Ash and Mase moved back to Nashville, got married a year ago, and have become those incredible friends that you just know you don't deserve. They were the first to find out we were pregnant (funny story there), and were waiting with my mom in the labor and delivery waiting room as I pushed Liam into the world. There have been countless dinners, apple crisps, good conversations, and meals at their wonderful restaurant. They're the kind of people that you know are "for" you. They've got our back. Always.

I need these kinds of friends. We all do. Friends we can chill on the couch with after a long day, can laugh with, can tell our embarrassing moments to without fear of judgment. I'm missing them a lot. And I think it goes without saying... they miss Liam. I'm pretty sure they love him almost as much as we do.

A few weeks ago, as we cleaned up the kitchen after our last dinner together, Ashlyne and I talked about the impending move to Raleigh. I told her it feels pretty humbling, moving to a brand new state and knowing almost no one. If someone asks me to go to lunch, I say "yes!" because I need friends. It would be easy to hide behind the busyness of our move and put it off, but I have to step out there and meet people. It's healthy, and it's often really out of my comfort zone being the new girl all the time.

Ashlyne's initiative in reaching out to me is so inspiring to me to do the same in this new place. I want to meet my neighbors, to reconnect with some fellow Moody alums here, and to pursue women in my church for friendship. Little did I know the amazing friend I would have in Ashlyne, all because she took a risk and reached out.

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