26 November 2009

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord.

Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;

Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.

For the Lord is the great God, and great King above all gods.

In His hand are the deep places of the earth;

The heights of the hills are His also.

The sea is His, for He made it;

And His hands formed the dry land.

Oh come, let us worship and bow down;

Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.

He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and sheep of His hand."

Psalm 50:1-7


This year we celebrated Thanksgiving at the Faires' home. Isn't it lovely?

It's especially lovely considering that it looked like this less than two weeks ago when they moved in! (Now you can see where we've been spending all our time!)

Here's another before shot of the family room:

And here is Caleb's family enjoying the room today. (Look at all those gorgeous windows looking out into the backyard! Perfect for a Mama whose kids love to play outside!)

Oliver and Bea enjoyed making puppet shows with our cardboard Ikea puppet stage.

And poor, poor Oliver had to hold still for just a second so his
Mama could photograph him in his handsome tie.

Was it really too much to ask?

Caleb tending the fire.

Beatrice had her eye on a loaf of french bread on the side board...

... and some days you just can't come up with a good reason why not.

I think she looks a little bit like she's playing the bassoon.

With this pudding 'stashe she looks a bit like her cousin, don't you think?

Oliver cuddled with his Grandpa,

and with his Papa.

And this Mama enjoyed being with two of her boys.


We give thanks not because of the absence of trouble or because we have the security of many blessings. We give thanks to God because of who He is - because of His unchanging character. He is good. He is faithful. His steadfast love endures forever!

I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving!
God is so good, all the time!
(oh, and a very special thanks to my sweet husband who took time with me to make my blog header a little more "Christmasy"! I'm a tough client - it's a good thing I get to pay him in food, kisses and babies, otherwise I'd owe him a lot of money for all the design things he does for me! Thanks, Ry!)

25 November 2009

Alternately titled: unloading my camera and avoiding having anything real to say.

Truth is, I do have things to say. And the real truth is that I'm just not ready to talk about some of those things yet, so I'm avoiding writing much of anything right now.

Being pregnant after losing a baby is brand new territory for me. Grieving and rejoicing simultaneously is exhausting and confusing and still somehow very beautiful and redeeming. I have a million thoughts, a million emotions, a million moments to tell you about. But I just need some more time before I can really talk about them here. I really want to and I plan to. So when I'm ready to I will.

Until then, here's another post buying me time until I write about what's really on my mind. :)

What we've been up to this fall:

Welcoming and photographing a friend's new baby boy

Oh, and remember this photo from last fall taken by our very talented photographer friend Claire Wise?

Well, Ry took this shot a few weeks ago and it's so funny to see how much this boy has grown in a year. (The photo is SO far from Claire Wise quality, but it's fun to see!)

I'm all but finished with this lovely quilt now! (I finished the handstitching on the binding the other night and then noticed one place that I'll need to go back over. Other than that, it's complete and it looks AWESOME!) I love it more every time I see it!

We've been painting a bedroom getting it ready to accommodate two instead of one. (And by "we've" I mean Ryan has... thanks, honey!)

We've been enjoying the last good swings on the swing set before the cold weather hits.
(If it ever does!)

Playing in the leaves

and enjoying house guests at the breakfast table!

We've been making tasty recipes and not letting any honey go to waste :)

We've been getting the yard ready for winter,
and enjoying all the fun things that come along with being 3!
And that is what we've been up to!

And now for a nice rest before the big Thanksgiving feast tomorrow!
Have a lovely, restful, worshipful Thanksgiving tomorrow, friends!

22 November 2009

... because I'm just too doggone exhausted tonight to write anything interesting.

Instead, I'm just sharing a few photos from our day:

We decked the halls this afternoon (a bit earlier than we usually do,
but the afternoon was clear and we just love decorating for Christmas!)
(notice anything extra little and cute about that above photo?)

The boys took a break from hall-decking for some cocoa.
Oliver got to use Ryan's little espresso mug - it was just the right size!

And, a couple of shots of my growing midsection at 24 weeks pregnant.

Grow, Hazel, grow!!!

That's all for tonight. *yawn* It's bedtime for this sleepy Mama!

19 November 2009

I know, I've fallen off the face of the Earth again... I'm sorry...

I'm just writing to let y'all know that everything is fine! It's been a busy week (including instructing and hosting a gourmet Thanksgiving dinner for twelve with my Art of Homemaking class on Monday)! Whew - that was a lot of work. But well worth it!

Anyway, it's Thursday evening and I've got my nose to the grindstone - okay, well, more like my foot to the sewing pedal. I'm (hopefully) in the final stages of my quilt-making project and I'm really excited to show you all photos (as well as photos of all the other things that have been going on around here this week!)

I will post again soon!

Miss y'all!

06 November 2009

Something exciting is happening at our house! Well, many exciting things, but one of them has been very evident on my kitchen table for the last 24 hours.

I've never made a quilt before, but I really wanted to make one for our baby girl. (It helps to have nice, visual reminders that not only is there a baby living in my belly, but she's going to come home and live here with us!)

So I did a little research online and got some basic instructions for making log cabin squares. I figured that if they were 12"x12" squares, I could make a dozen of them and call it a baby quilt since that's about the size they make them at PB Kids.

So I set to work - figuring things out as I went.

I have to say that there are few things I adore more than being surrounded by beautiful colors and patterns. It's like therapy! (Color therapy's a thing, right?)

And then, there's the exactness of cutting fabric into precise sizes and shapes.
I love exactness!

And of course, I love the sense of accomplishment when it all comes together and works out sort of like I imagined. I love making nice, pretty things that look how they're supposed to!

But there's this one problem.

This is my first quilt.

And I'm not really sure what to do next.


(And by "help", I mean, I know there's supposed to be batting and backing, but what kind? Can I use minky, soft fabric for the batting? Should I make my own edging? Does quilting a soft, minky fabric look funny on the back side? Also, how do I actually "quilt" it? Just my machine and my choice of cotton thread in any color? Just follow the lines of the pattern? Do I just need to take it to a quilt shop or is this something I can do myself?)

That's what I mean by "HELP!"

03 November 2009

It's okay if it takes a few minutes (or more) for it to settle in. It's sort of a big name for a little baby. It took us a while looking at photos of blonde little girls and imagining them with that name before we could commit. :)

Hazel comes from the Hebrew hazā'ēl which means "God sees", and oh my does that mean everything to me! It reminds me of David's words in Psalm 139, I love that:

"O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.

You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you."

We also realized after talking with Ryan's parents that Hazel is also her great-great-grandmother's name on Ryan's side. Isn't that a happy happy providence!

Wren means "little bird". We like that it's got the same feeling as Hazel and it reminds us of Jesus' words about the birds of the air in Matthew 6:25-27:

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"

So, what does Hazel Wren mean to us? It means,
"Worry not, little bird. God sees you and He cares for you!"

We can't wait to meet you! And now we can pray for you by name!
(May I note here that she is currently somersaulting inside of me as I type!)

Thank you for all your tremendous help yesterday, friends! It was so much fun to hear all your name suggestions! I knew I could count on you ;) And if there are others of you who are also working on naming a girl, there are TONS of good ideas in the comments of that last post - please, help yourselves (except to Hazel Wren, of course!) ;)

Update: Believe it or not, our little girl's name has been chosen! I had no idea this little exercise would actually work, but we have a name that we ADORE and it's in part thanks to your help!

Give us a bit as we honeymoon with the name before we post it for the world to see. We're enjoying calling our daughter by name and also enjoying those last bits of time before we actually pull the trigger and commit for a lifetime!

We are planning to share, don't worry. Probably even this afternoon.

Thanks SO much for your help!

Original Post:


Okay girls (and guys!), in a concerted effort to name this precious daughter of ours, we are now - for the next 24 hours - inviting all name suggestions from my dear blog readers!

It's not a contest or anything like that - just a good, old-fashioned brainstorming session!

A little guidance:
  • We would be especially delighted to find a name containing a "v" like her big brother and sister. This is NOT a must at all, just something we've considered.
  • We love old, porch-sitter-type names that have been around for a while - again, NOT a must.
  • We also want to avoid names that are too common/popular if possible.
  • We love names with good meanings. (Oliver William means "peaceful conqueror" and Evie Grace means "life of grace"). Just another consideration :)
If everyone that stops by today leaves at least 3 name suggestions before they go, that will give me a good number of names to consider. The more the better! All suggestions are welcome! So please, I'm begging you, bring on the names!!

01 November 2009

This is the question I've been getting as I've Tweeted about the assembly of Oliver's Halloween costume this year. Fair question, I suppose. Even as he graced the streets of Franklin last night in his stellar little costume most of the comments he received were things like, "Oh, what a cute little mouse!" or "Is he Despereaux?"

So, we didn't choose Bob the Builder. It would have been easier and more recognizable, but Oliver (and we!) love Reepicheep!

What is a Reepicheep? you may ask.

Reepicheep is actually a character in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. He appears in Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as well as The Last Battle. He's a large, talking mouse who carries a rapier and wears a red feather tucked in a gold cap. He's all about defending honor and he lives his life in the service of Aslan.

Here's a video clip from Disney's version of Prince Caspian where Caspian meets Reepicheep for the first time:

One of our favorite bits about Reepicheep is found in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. He accompanies Caspian on his voyage in the hope of finding Aslan's Country at the end of the world. At one point Reepicheep accidentally falls off the ship. Everyone's panicked because someone's fallen overboard and when they realize it was the mouse they are a little miffed to have to go back to save him.

They hear Reepicheep exclaim as he swims delightedly in the water, "It's sweet! It's sweet! The water is sweet!". He then recalls to all his companions a dryad prophesy from when he was a baby:
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter East.

I like to think of Reepicheep's longing for Aslan's country like our own longing for Heaven. Reepicheep lived his life in search of it - always longing, always seeking. Like Reepicheep, this Earth is not our home.

So, I hope this answers the question of, "What is a Reepicheep?" :)

Now, onto some photos of our own sweet guy in his Mama-made Reepicheep costume!

As we were showing him his newly-constructed costume and getting him dressed he excitedly informed me, "This is my best costume ever!"

He fell asleep in the car shortly before it was time to begin our evening.
He was so cuddly!

Would you make fun of me if I called him "Sleepicheep?" :)

Now we're off!
(Seriously, check out that awesome tail - that thing had life!)

(I coached Oliver just a little to get as many "orange squares" as he could. I'm shameless!)

Beatrice and her Mama and Papa came along too. Can you guess who she was dressed as?


Oliver and his Papa had to take a time out when the going got a little too greedy. Sitting out a few houses got him back on track and he was a happy mouse once again!

Did y'all go Trick-or-Treating last night? How did you costume your children? Did you dress up as well? I would LOVE to hear!!!

Happy Reformation Day, friends!