Hi Five for Friday!

We are finally feeling settled with my parents. We're still waiting on word from the job front so it's super nerve wracking. But we trust and believe that everything will work out.

I can't begin to explain how happy I am that moving is done for now. Packing boxes and lifting stuff is hard work!

On to this weeks highlights!
1. Emberly rolled over! She's 3.5 months. While we were traveling we put her to sleep on her belly and she woke up on her back! This actually happened when she was 3 weeks old in her crib but I'm going to call that a fluke. lol.

2. I have started exercising and watching what I eat (for real this time). We should be settled for a little bit with no traveling, so I have no excuse. I'm almost back up to my pregnancy weight (how the heck did that happen!?). I am determined to get into shape before I get too far away from my goal. I blame it on not nursing this time around. I lost it immediately with Luke. I actually lost it immediately with her too, but I only nursed for 2 weeks (with Luke it was 4 months) and then gained it almost all back. Frustrating!

3. I began applying for jobs. It would have to be a great job with great pay for me to justify the cost of daycare. But I feel like it's something I have to do incase things don't work out with the job Josh is looking at. I want some sort of desk job that is ideally part time. I've put out at least 10 applications, so we'll see what happens!

4. I'm sleep deprived. We are all sleep deprived. Sleep deprivation is terrible. The end. I'm so tired of trying to figure out why she won't sleep- so I'm just going to stop trying to figure it out. We thought it might be teeth (it's early but she drools and chews like crazy), or that she's not getting enough to drink (pretty sure 30-36oz a day is plenty), or that it's too cold, or too hot, or that her diaper is full, or that she's sleeping too much during the day, or that we've been traveling and she doesn't feel settled. The list can go on and on. I'm just going to accept the sleep deprivation, feed my baby when she's hungry and make up my sleep when my children are grown. The upside? I don't worry as much about SIDS with her because I get to see or hear her practically every hour at night!

5. I'm going to recap this month with #5. I set some goals back here. I didn't get to everything but it was worth a shot.
Update project page. There's a project tab at the top of the blog that I started a while ago. It's about 1/3 done with pictures/links. 
**I didn't quite get this finished. I did work on it though. Gotta count for something, right?

Finish a book.
**Fail. I did finish some magazines. Close enough. 

Update 101 goals. Fix broken links. 
**I added my 101 goals to the right side bar. The problem is in posts where I have mentioned the 101 goals. I'll slowly but surely be fixing this. 

Have a yard sale.
**It wasn't our best one ever, but we made about $160. Not too shabby for junk. We still had an entire jeep load to take to Salvation Army. 

Finish the flower beds out front.
**Done! It took me about 3 weeks to get into gear but I finally laid the mulch and raked through it. Wish I had taken after pictures. I think I was just more thrilled that it was finally done!

Gulfport, MS: August 2013

We took a trip to Gulfport last week. It was beautiful and with school being in the beaches were empty! It was the perfect combination.

Josh's brother Jason is getting married in November to a beautiful girl named Fallon, and so we were invited to an engagement party. We decided to make a long beach weekend out of it and Josh was able to help Jason nail down some important details (like the tuxes).

Not only did we get to meet Fallon's family, we also met her sister who has 2 kids around Luke's age. So everyone had fun playing! Isn't that the faces of pure childhood enjoyment?!
Luke so enjoyed the trampoline. I love this picture for some reason!
Fallon's dad made a low country boil and we devoured the Gulf Coast shrimp!
Her dog stole the show with his (yes his) feathers:
You can bet we spent many hours beachside...
Throwing sand in the Gulf-
Poor Luke's swimsuit was a little too big (his other ones were packed), so we had to improvise.
I would love to know about this conversation between Josh and his brother:
And although it's physically impossible to get 2 children to look in the same direction, I think this one turned out pretty darn good!
Emberly's toes touched sand for the very first time!
Seriously what's better than sandy baby toes?
Everyone had a fun day in the sun!

Next Jason and Fallon took us to their wedding venue. Is this not the most beautiful view ever with the coast in the background?
The house is an old plantation style house that was recently finished being rebuilt after Hurricane Katrina. 
Fallon owns her own business- it's a casserole/take and bake restaurant that also serves lunch. The food was absolutely incredible! (and I'm not just saying that)!
I mentioned that we helped them get some details in order- Luke is the ring bearer so he needed to be measured. He was not a fan of suits, or being measured. November should be interesting!

We had a fantastic trip and we can't wait to go back! I am thrilled that Jason found such a sweet girl and their wedding is going to be beautiful! 

You can bet I stopped in Dirt Cheap and Treasure Hunt and I have a post brewing about my finds. I can't explain how much I love that store! 

When it's time to say goodbye...

We have decided to rent our home. And although I know this isn't a final goodbye, we're pretty sure we'll never move back.

We knew this day was coming. In fact we planned for this day. We both knew the moment we resigned from our jobs that we would be leaving. Packing all our earthly belongings into cardboard boxes. And we knew it wouldn't be easy.

I love being home. A night spent on the couch watching a movie or falling asleep to rain sounds far better than anywhere else I could choose be. So letting go and saying goodbye to our house is difficult. Leaving everything that's familiar and venturing somewhere new is terrifying. And as much as I want to be excited for our future, I also want to mourn what we're leaving. To somehow let my soul rest. To give it a proper and deserving place in my heart.

It's hard, and it hurts. This is the house where I dreamed about our future. It's where I brought my babies home. It's the place where so many blood, sweat, and tears were shed. I planted those flowers. Weeded those garden beds. Planted that rose bush. It's where I found out I was pregnant with Emberly. I went into labor with Luke here and walked that hallway a million times as I cradled a sleeping baby. It's where I made bottles at 2am by refrigerator light and changed hundreds of diapers. We both recovered from surgeries here. I cried here. We ripped up floors and repainted walls. We talked about hard things here and made big life changing decisions within these four walls.

It's also where we laughedWe became a family here.

We made memories here. We were newlyweds here and celebrated anniversaries here. I rocked babies night after night after night as tiny eyelids fluttered to sleep. I snuck into rooms to watch and listen to little chests rise and fall. I kissed foreheads every night. It's where first steps were taken and first words were spoken. It will be the place Luke always remembers as his first home and the first place Sadie was allowed to run free and explore. It's where I sat on the back deck under a blanket, let the wisteria overcome my senses, and read countless books until it was too dark to see. I learned how to sew within these walls. I cooked countless meals here and invited dozens over to partake. Oh the memories of this home being filled with friends are some of my favorite nights. We had yard sales, birthday parties, and family gatherings. I took Deuteronomy 6:9 literally and wrote scripture on these door frames.

This was my safe haven... my shelter from the world.

Yet I know this: home isn't a house at all. Home is where we're together.

So we'll take the next step on this journey. A step I finally feel ready to make. Soon we'll call somewhere else home and we will make new memories there; the good and the bad. And I'm thankful I have this blog to reminisce about our life in days gone by.

We're thankful for the years we spent here. They were growing years. Years we will never get back. We made friends and built some pretty awesome relationships here. But there will be another place to call home, new friends to meet and new memories to make.

Home. What is it really? Four walls and a roof with some doors and windows? or is it more?

I can't help but think of eternity and how this world isn't our home.
We're not supposed to be comfortable here. We're foreigners in a place that wasn't meant to last.

I'll never forget traveling to a third world country. We were on vacation, yet we saw the "third world" part just miles from the mainland. It was beautiful- but it was scary. I turned my diamond ring around and held my purse a little tighter. I was hyperaware of my surroundings. I never felt so relieved to be back on American soil. To slip beneath my own sheets; to wash my hair with familiar water. And as selfish as that sounds, that's how I feel about eternity. We're here only for a time. We should crave to be at our heavenly home.

Life is scary, and it's beautiful at the same time. It's nice to enjoy the moments while we're here: but then I remember that our life is just a vapor. A mist. A wisp of fog as The Message translates it {James 4:14}. A vapor- that five letter word usually used in science class to describe water molecules as a gas. A fog suspended or floating in the air.

It's hard to imagine that something that feels so permanent today is so fleeting. So temporary.

As I pack all my memories into boxes I'll keep that perspective. Stuff is just that... it's stuff. And it doesn't define me. I'll keep my eyes focused. I'll make somewhere else home; for now.

Lord, help me not forget this life and this world isn't our forever home.

Photo Credit: {1}

Chalkboard tray

I have NO idea where this tray came from:
It started out silver metallic. Last summer I painted the inside white, but I was never really thrilled with the look.

A quick jump on Amazon and a 2 day wait was all it took to snatch up some chalkboard spraypaint:

I like the idea of chalkboard paint and I've used it a couple times before. So I thought giving the whole thing a coat and using it as a tray in the bathroom was brilliant!

I love that it can be a cute place to corral the little hotel samples/travel size toiletries I like to put out when we have guests. I store all these items in a large vase normally.
Isn't it lovely? and it transforms into a pretty soap holder during non-guest days:
The key with chalkboard anything (vinyl & spray paint) is you have to prep the surface before writing anything on it with chalk. This involves rubbing chalk over the whole thing and then erasing. It makes it so that whatever you write doesn't stay permanently.

Dear 17 year old me...

When I graduated high school I always wondered where I'd be in 10 years. Here I am-10 years older on the day of my 27th birthday. As I reflect on the past 10 years here's some advice I would go back and tell myself if I could. Some photos need an explanation- some don't.

If you think life is hard right now just wait.
Spanish class and college applications have nothing on real life. Making decisions are hard and they only get harder.

It's ok to be unsure about what you want to be when you grow up.
A nurse? Teacher? Mommy? 
10 years later and I'm still questioning what I want to be when I grow up. Be what you want to be. Study what you want to study. And learn along the way. Practice makes perfect. And just wanting to be a mommy is okay too.
{look at that face!}
You are created in the image of God.
The world will whisper lies that you need to be more beautiful- smaller here; larger there. Stay true to who you are.

Be thankful
for your parents. They work hard to provide all your needs. One day you'll miss that. Listen to them. They only want what's best for you.

Take risks-
you have nothing to lose.

You will find Mr. Right.
It's called dating for a reason. You need to figure out what you like and what you don't. You will have a broken heart and think it will never mend. It will. Always follow your heart and love will find you when you least expect it.

College will be the best years of your life
Never again will you be able to be so carefree. You have to be a friend to have a friend. If a situation makes you uncomfortable, leave. Go on trips spur of the moment. Stay up late talking on the phone. Borrow your roommate's clothes. Go to Wendy's in the middle of the night. Laugh until you cry.

College will be hard too.
Yes, you may have to drop a class that you otherwise would have failed. You still won't be the best test taker in the world. But you'll persevere. You know what it means to try and to work hard for something and you'll finish strong.

Stay true to yourself-
Never give in to something you don't believe in, ever.

Enjoy being married
before children. Those are years you will never get back. Be spontaneous. Have fun together.

Always live within your means.
Sounds simple enough but this isn't what the world teaches. Pay off debt as fast and as possible. Don't buy things just to buy things. Clutter and excess weigh you down.

Life doesn't always go as planned.
It will rain on your wedding day- and it will still be the best day of your life. The birth of your firstborn won't go like you always imagined it would- but he'll be perfect and it will rank up there with the best day of your life. Your second pregnancy will be riddled with worry. Worry about life's decisions and situations. That's ok too, because once she's here all that will be a distant memory. The day she enters the world screaming will be another "best day".

{labor with Luke}
{Luke's birth}
{Emberly's birth}

There are such things as adult bullies.
You'll encounter them. Always take the high road.

You are stronger than you think.
When you feel like quitting- don't. Cry about it, talk about it with a trusted friend, but never quit.

Motherhood is holy ground. 
It will challenge you in ways you didn't know possible. Follow your instincts- you know more than you think. There is nothing more rewarding or God-honoring than raising children up to follow Him. Even during middle of the night screaming fits. The days are long, the nights longer; but the years are short.

Change isn't always a bad thing,
so be sure to pray before making the big decisions. Never say never because you really have no idea what lies ahead.

Don't live in the "what ifs".
What if I'd made this decision? What if I hadn't made that decision? What ifs are toxic and will suck the life out of you.
{one of life's regrets- I "was scared" to  get in the water with these gentle giants (manatee). I'll probably never have that chance again}
and finally...
Live in the here and now.
not stuck in the past's memories or in tomorrow's hope. Some days you'll want to re-live- others you wish you could forget. And always hold those you love close.