It’s the holidays!!!! That means holiday shopping and gift giving. Well I have 6 kids to buy for so I’m here to share ideas and deals that I found this year!
Teens and tweens – I have an 18 year old, a 13 year old, and a 10 year old daughter. Beauty products are my go-to! I have some really picky daughters when it comes to clothes and their style. So beauty and skincare products are always a win in my house!
Last but not least.. the kids favorite things! Toys! Here are some great toy gift ideas for your littles and older kiddos! My thirteen year old daughter’s most wanted gift was paint sets! We actually splurged and got her some more expensive sets from Amazon but I found this cool inexpensive set at Walmart! My ten year old daughter wanted AirPods (ha!) and our budget didn’t quite allow for the Apple version so we found these on clearance at Walmart that will hopefully work just as good!
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.
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!
So we’re quarantined at home for weeks and running out of things to do! Here are 5 ideas for easy DIY projects you can do right from home!
1. DIY Farmhouse Signs
An easy way to add some cuteness to any room is to make a homemade farmhouse sign. Computer paper and an empty picture frame are all you need! Take your computer paper and sketch out the words you want to add. You could also type words in a fun font and print it, but if you’re like me you’re out of printer ink so we improvise! Then you use a Sharpie, black marker, or ink pen and go over your words. Let dry and add to any frame!
2. Re-paint something you already have to give it a new look.
Look around your house. You have tons of decor already! Pick something that you’re not afraid to change and paint it! I had an oar that was turquoise which didn’t go with my decor now. So I used some craft paint to give it a new look.
3. DIY Watercolor Art
You can also take watercolor paints and computer paper and paint your own artwork! There are plenty of how-to YouTube videos that give you step by step instructions on how to paint a pretty picture! I love painting florals, greenery, or landscapes! It will add a pretty touch to any room.
4. Wallpaper Shiplap
Make an accent wall with easy to apply shiplap wallpaper! I created a farmhouse entryway with a shiplap wall using wallpaper from Amazon! You can also find wallpaper from Target! These farmhouse hooks came from Amazon too!
Find a spot in your kitchen or dining room and move your coffee pot! I found these hooks from the Target dollar spot but Amazon also has them! Add your favorite coffee mugs and a cute ceramic canister to put your coffee in and voila! You have yourself an adorable coffee station!
There you go! Now you have 5 new ideas that will keep you busy for a little while longer! Stay hone and stay safe!
I write this as I sit here waiting to go into labor. It could be any minute or it could be days. My impatience and anxiety are growing yet I am trying to treasure every last moment. I have all of the third trimester things right now… my body hurts, I spend most of the time going to the potty, I can hardly breathe anymore, and don’t even think about asking me to bend down! But through all of that I am constantly reminding myself how lucky we are and the road that brought us here.
It was the fall of 2018 when we decided maybe another baby was in the cards for us. We have a big family and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. We are literally made up of his, hers, and ours. Gene (my husband) and I each had two children before we got married and in 2015 I gave birth to our son Brady. That pregnancy was a dream. It went by fast and everything about it was easy until my placenta wouldn’t deliver. My ob had to manually remove it but that was the worst thing that happened during our entire pregnancy and delivery so hey, not bad for our first try at babies!
Fast forward to December 2018. I saw those two pink lines on a pregnancy test that told us we were going to be parents again! I called and made the confirmation appointment a few days later, only to be let down later that same day when I started bleeding. They told me it was a chemical pregnancy and if I hadn’t been tracking my periods I wouldn’t have even known the difference. There was no sac. No baby.
I was heartbroken. I had gotten super excited already in just the few days that I thought I was growing a tiny human again. December came and went and with it we lost our beloved pet shih tzu of 8 years as well. December was a whirlwind of emotions and sadness but wouldn’t compare to what was coming.
We got pregnant again on our next cycle. Wow! We started telling ourselves all the things you say when something positive comes after tragedy. This is meant to be! God works in mysterious ways! There’s always light after darkness! We just needed to be patient! All the things.
Later in January, we went for an ultrasound at 9 weeks. There was our little bean on the screen! My palms were sweating. Gene looked like he was going to pass out. Something wasn’t right. No heartbeat. To say we were devastated is an understatement.
I had birthed 3 babies with no complications. How could this be happening now? Was something wrong with me? Were we only meant to have Brady and that was it? Should we just be grateful for the beautiful family we have? So many unanswered questions. So much doubt. So much guilt. So much heartache.
I chose to get the D&C because honestly I just couldn’t bare to go home and sit and wait for my dead baby to literally leave my body.
Just when I thought my body was starting to recover, two weeks later on Valentine’s Day, I was in my classroom having a Valentine’s party for ten bright eyed third graders when blood started gushing down my legs. This is graphic so if you don’t want to know the details, skip over this next paragraph!
I went to the teacher bathroom and was passing softball size blood clots. I managed to waddle outside of the bathroom to the phone to call my mom who also works at school to come to me. We ended up going straight to the Women’s Center where I was admitted to (of all places) the Labor and Delivery floor for the next three days.
I had to walk the halls so the clot would pass while listening to newborn babies cry and watching pregnant mamas prepare to meet their unborn babes. There are no words. It was a huge setback.
The following months we tried to get back to “normal.” Finally summertime came and we enjoyed life again, spending more time in the sunshine and with family. Time was healing us.
July 2019 was a good month. In August, I saw those two pink lines again! Only this time I didn’t get too excited. I didn’t freak out like I wanted to. I didn’t tell the world that we were expecting again.
We went for an ultrasound at 12 weeks. Scariest. Day. Of. Our. Lives. Everything was fine! Baby bean was growing. From then on I never got comfortable but I was hopeful. We found out at 20 weeks that I had a low lying placenta. They assured us it would correct itself and it did. We decided that we weren’t going to find out the gender. This was our surprise rainbow baby.
When you are pregnant after experiencing a miscarriage, anyone who has been through this will tell you that there’s always a trickle of doubt in the back of your mind. Even at 38 weeks pregnant, the moment you notice you aren’t feeling baby move will send you into a frenzy. You will be nervous for every single prenatal appointment. You will continue to think “Is this real?” You will pinch yourself just to make sure.
Time is a funny thing. When I look back on this journey in particular, I think about how I felt then. How I couldn’t see past my grief. I couldn’t believe that I could get past that empty feeling. I didn’t think I would ever feel like myself again. Grief never really goes away but it changes.
I think about the baby we lost every day. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t wonder what life would look like today if that baby was here. Was she a girl or a boy… would she have had red hair and big brown eyes? She or he would be 8 months this week.
So we made it this far. We are at the end of this pregnancy. Just when we think, “We did it!,” a national pandemic hits the US. Coronavirus. One baby shower cancelled and a change in birth plans… leaves us with no birth photographer and our other children won’t be able to visit us in the hospital. This has tried to bring us down. The anxiety and fear that has set in surrounding this virus has been overwhelming. We are nervous about being in the hospital where there are known cases. We are worried the baby, or any of our kids, will get it and have to go receive treatment without us by their side. It is terrifying. But we will not let this ruin what we have waited so long for. This happiness. This joy.
We are only days (maybe hours!) from meeting our rainbow baby. We are overcome with excitement and gratefulness. Our entire story has led up to this. And I know this isn’t where our story ends and I am nervous about how our delivery will go! We are praying for a healthy baby.
Maybe it’s a “thirties” thing.. but you begin to see your life as a novel God has written for you. There’s a setting and a plot… even characters. There are chapters. There is heartache and tragedy. Love and happiness. We are starting our next chapter and it just feels right.