We’ve been home for months now. We are halfway through our first year of homeschooling and I think the kids are in a slump. No one has any motivation and the weather is getting colder. We aren’t getting as much fresh air. But the holidays are among us and with them comes a little excitement!
I decided to do an advent calendar this year and I let the kids help decide what we will be doing each day! It’s a fun way to get them involved and frankly, get the tween and teen off their phones for a little bit.
So here’s the full list of things we will do for the next 24 days!
Make paper snowflakes
Make a gingerbread house
Watch National Lampoons Christmas Vacation
Making Christmas cards for the nursing home
Print Christmas coloring pages
Gather canned goods for needy families
Go see Christmas lights
Make gingerbread house flower pots
Family game night
Make Christmas cookies
Watch a Christmas movie we haven’t seen
Watch The Santa Claus
Take Christmas pictures
Make a handprint wreath
Make ornaments via Pinterest
Christmas scavenger hunt
Go ice skating
Create dollar tree foam Christmas trees and decorate
Get in pajamas and watch The Polar Express
Make cookies for Santa!
Open gifts and enjoy time together!
Also I have attached the image we used to print for our “Countdown to Christmas” board as well as the Christmas lightbulb printable!
Find a cute spot in your house – maybe it’s on a bulletin board or on the fridge! Make a visual so the kids can see it and have something to look forward to every day!
Ahh, the married life. I couldn’t imagine being single again. Go on a date? Like with real clothes on? Ha! No thank you. I have no desire to want to enter back into the dating scene. Ever. Being married for me means feeling like I’m going on a first date every day, over and over again, except with the same guy. It means butterflies when he pulls in the driveway. It means waking up next to your best friend. It means being comfortable. Content. Happy.
Gene used to ask me “Are you happy? Are you sure?” But what I’ve realized over time is that it’s more than “being happy.” It’s routine and balance.
Our daily routines make the evenings together relaxing and the weekends even better. We are “used” to each other. Having that one person who knows you better than anyone is the feeling of never being alone. When I’ve had the roughest day or I’m scared or anxious or nervous.. I know that no matter what I’ll be taken care of.
We balance each other out. We keep each other in check. We have surely brought each other back to reality a few times. We remind each other when we forget. We vent and listen when we’re stressed. And my favorite, we dream together. Being around Gene, having him as my other half, makes me feel safe and comfortable.
I know I keep using the word “comfortable.” But really. That’s the perfect word! Comfortable in my own skin, comfortable talking about anything, comfortable laughing, crying, arguing, comfortable in it all. We’re comfortable in who we are and love each other for it and that only comes with time.
This fall marks 9 years being together. 9 years! Yeah, we’ve both changed a little. Maybe even grown up a little! His beard is out of control. My hair is long and nappy and needs color. After four babies, my hips are wider than ever before and the belly rolls don’t exactly make me look like a supermodel. We’ve both gained a few pounds in the last couple of years. We’re both a little imperfect and rough around the edges but that’s part of what makes us a good team. Every scar, every heartbreak, every bump in the road has gotten us right here.
We’re not always good but we’re always good together. We’ve had our challenges and setbacks but what marriage doesn’t?! That’s life. For us life just gets sweeter. And I wouldn’t want to live it with anyone else.
One year old. One whole year. You would’ve been one year old today.
I imagine what you would have looked like. Would you look like the rainbow baby, your brother, that we were just blessed with five months ago? Would you have curly hair or big eyes? Pouty lips or chunky legs? I imagine you as a beautiful little girl, with the perfect skin, daddy’s nose, and mama’s eyes.
I can see you taking your first steps. Red hair bouncing as you stumble towards me. I can see your brother and sisters cheering you on. I can hear you saying “mama” for the first time. I can see you smiling at daddy when he walks through the door. I can hear your sweet giggle.
But I won’t. I won’t ever hear you say mama. We were robbed of that life with you. Your life. You were taken from us at only 9 weeks pregnant. Your tiny hands would never hold mine and your little feet would never learn to walk and I will never know what your sweet giggle sounds like.
Our new baby Beau will never replace you but he sure does make it easier to live without you. I still feel you missing. Missing from our daily lives. Missing from our living room, our home, our hearts.
I felt selfish today. Your due date. I felt selfish as I snuggled your brother Beau so tight. I was giving all of my love to him when I should be sharing my love with both of you. I didn’t mention you like I should have. I should have talked about you today. So you aren’t forgotten. But I still can’t. I can’t bring myself to say it out loud. That you are gone and taken from us. I can’t help but think we’d have a beautiful little girl running around right now. I can’t talk about it yet.
It seems like forever ago. It feels like I’ve been missing you for so long. One year old today. I know you would be beautiful. I believe that is why our baby Beau is the best baby. He is double the sweetness because you were watching over us when he was made, sprinkling some extra special sparkles on his little life.
Heaven has you now. You are an angel baby. Every butterfly that stops to say hi, I will think of you. And I will say hi back to you. Until we meet again sweet girl, I’ll always love you. Happy birthday.
You lose a baby. Then what? Life doesn’t just stop. Your grief doesn’t just go away. Days pass. You somehow keep going. Things get easier. Your grief comes up every day but it doesn’t tear you down the way it used to. You’re stronger. You’re braver. You’ve grown to know your grief. You manage it better than you did at first. But just when you least expect it, every now and then it will still bring you to your knees.
New hope emerges. It seems like it’s been forever. Forever since you felt that feeling. The feeling of hope and excitement and giddiness, and all that comes with the thought of a new baby.
You see those two pink lines again. God is telling you to hang in there. You are scared to death. With each doctor’s appointment there is so much anxiety. So many nerves. But with each month that has passed, you start to believe this could actually happen.
You really don’t truly believe this baby is real until you hear that first cry… or until you feel that first latch. Everything about this is different. You notice every moment. You feel every touch. You take in every smile, every milestone. This baby is real and here and you just can’t get enough. You notice every little crevice and roll in those chunky baby legs. Every diaper change. Every bath. Every time he wakes you up. Every giggle. Every smile. You don’t have any other care in the world when he’s looking at you with those big round eyes.
There is something truly special about a rainbow baby. This baby isn’t a replacement. The memories of before are still there.. but this baby reminds you that there is hope. There is joy again. And it’s that much sweeter.
So you’ve been on Pinterest and seen those amazing farmhouse curtains right??! The ones that look a little like burlap… the oh so natural looking… the perfect shade of neutral… yes those! Well if you search them online you will find that they are not only pretty, but they are pretty pricey! Here’s how you can get the same look for a fraction of the cost!
Paint drop cloths!!!! These are a super affordable option for farmhouse curtains!
I purchased two of these from amazon for $11.99 a piece. One drop cloth creates two panels so you’ll need just one per window. That definitely beats paying $40-60 per window for panels!
Here’s the link for the drop cloths:
Ok next you need curtain hooks! I also purchased these from amazon! Here’s the link:
These came in a pack of 24 so this covered 2 windows. I used 6 clips per panel.
Next I washed and dried the drop cloths. I added some bleach to lighten them a tad. Then I laid them out and cut them down the middle crease. So these drop cloths had the seam running 6ft rather than 9ft. So the curtains show the seam in the middle as you will see in my photos. However, when I made these again for my living room, I bought my drop cloths from Lowe’s and the seam ran 9ft so I was able to cut along the seam! You can also purchase seamless drop cloths too!
I did not sew the edges because I put the cut edges to the outside of the window and they aren’t really seen. However you could sew these to keep from fraying if you’d like. I don’t sew and as cheap as they are, if they fall apart I’ll just replace! I also am not opening and closing these curtains so in theory they won’t be touched.
Next I folded the tops over and clipped with the clips. Lastly, I hung them up!
Take a look!
All in all these curtains for two windows cost me $36! Since then I’ve also made them for my living room windows and they look amazing! Now you can make them too!