Thursday, June 30, 2011


You have no idea how much we adore this little miss...

You have no idea how much she makes us smile and laugh...

You have no idea how many times a day we kiss this sweet face...

Absolutely no idea. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Are you ready for some amazing news about this little miss?! 

We just got the best news ever! Kate doesn't need surgery!!! 
They got her under and did an echo down her throat and saw for the first time that her aortic valve only has 2 flaps instead of 3. This is likely the cause for the valve leakage instead of the subaortic ridge. Therefore, there is no reason to take the ridge out if it isn't causing any problems. We serve an awesome God who still does work miracles. She is in ICU recovering because she was fully under. 
We should have her home later this afternoon! 

Thank you so much for all the prayers!! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

melissa and kate.

Meet Melissa. (She doesn't usually dress up quite this fancy. She was just modeling her prom dress here.) 

Melissa was one of my very best friends in high school. I can't really remember when we became friends... or how... Drill Team, maybe?? We were the tallest, so we always stood next to each other in the kick line. 
This might have been a ski trip?? I love how your curl makes it look like I have a black eye. 

But there were 5 of us that were pretty much inseparable my last two years of high school. 4 of us still keep in touch. (Thank you, blogs and Facebook!)
 I think this was  "Reason" tour. Did we have matching pajamas?? 

"Music Man" (This may have been the night I had 102* fever)  

Melissa was such a special friend to me. We must have spent HOURS on the phone some nights... talking about homework, or just talking. =) She used to borrow my clothes all the time... even when no one was home. (How did you do that, Melissa? Did you have a key?? Or did we just leave the back door unlocked all the time??) I love that we have been able to reconnect these past few years. We got together for the first time in 10 years, maybe... and it was just like old times. We sat and talked like no time had passed at all. I love that.
 This is my favorite picture of us! 

This is what Melissa's life looks like now... how sweet are these 4 little people?!

This is Miss Katelyn. (How much does she look like her momma?!) Kate needs some prayers. She is having a pretty big surgery on Wednesday and although she doesn't really understand what is going on... her mommy and daddy do... and the whole idea of surgery has her momma pretty terrified. 

Kate was born with a heart murmur.  We took her to a cardiologist when she was a week old and were told she had a hole in her heart and also a subaortic ridge.  We were told then that surgery was likely.  The hole closed up by the time she was 6 months old, however this ridge has grown in size.  A subaortic ridge is a tissue mass in her heart near the aorta valve.  This mass causes the blood to get turbulent near the valve and this has caused mild valve damage.  The surgery is to remove this ridge and hopefully stop any further damage to her valve from occurring.  There is no guarantee surgery will work.  It is possible she has an aortic valve disease, however there is no way to determine this until they do surgery.  And also there is a possibility this mass can grow back during her childhood years.

So will you pray for this little miss? Pray for her doctors, nurses and surgeons? Pray for a quick recovery time? And just as importantly... will you pray for her momma? I know that Melissa is so worried about this surgery. Melissa remembers my friend Hanni and her sweet little girl, Hadley. Hadley had what was supposed to be a routine heart surgery, but instead of coming home to her family, she went home to Jesus. As hard as she tries, Melissa can't seem to think about Kate's surgery without the thought of losing her. Can you imagine how agonizing that must be? Add to that a 3 month old... maternity leave that is about to run out... 2 busy baseball-playing boys... no family close by... and you have one stressed out momma. Melissa lost her mom several years ago... and it's times like this that a girl needs her mommy. No matter how old she is. Oh, how I wish she could be there with you during this, Melissa! (and to see what an amazing job you are doing with these 4 little people!)

Also frustrating is the fact that doctors refer to this surgery as elective. But it's not, really. Elective is cosmetic surgery, not heart surgery on your baby. If it was elective, Melissa and Jerry would just say no.  But how can you tell parents that waiting could cause worse damage to your child's heart and then expect them to do anything but agree to the surgery?? I can't imagine. 

Kate appears to be so healthy and isn't affected by her heart condition in any way. That makes it even more difficult. No parent wants to put their seemingly healthy child through a major surgery. Melissa and Jerry have complete faith that God could heal their baby girl. Could. But at this point, He hasn't. They are following their doctor's advice and doing what the doctors say she needs... even though it is terrifying for them. 

Danielle has told me several times how comforted she was by the thought of so many people praying for Britton before her surgery. (And I've decided I have too many friends that have babies having surgery!) So can you do the same for Melissa? Pray for peace to calm her heart and mind... pray for her as she tries to care for all these little people that she loves so much? And pray that Miss Kate will come home to her family and be running around with those big brothers she loves so much soon! 

"You (God) will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!" 
Isaiah 26:3

I stole this verse from your blog, Melissa! Keep your thoughts fixed on Him and trust in Him. I'm praying He will give you that perfect peace you need right now! Love you! 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Are you ready to see my birthday present?? The one that has been making me so crazy happy?? 

I love mudrooms. Really, really love them. 
Our "someday house" is going to have an awesome one. One that you walk in to, right off the backdoor. It is must for my farmhouse someday. 
So... we decided to try to turn our breakfast nook/toy room into our very own little mudroom...

These white benches are built into the corner of our breakfast nook. I love them. It's one of the many things that made me fall in love with our house. But... we never eat here. Once we had a little person in a highchair, (8 years ago) we just didn't fit well out here anymore. We always eat in the dining room. 

So the table just ended up being a catch all and looking like this most of the time. Isn't this lovely to look at when you first walk in the door? 

Miss Gretchen had also figured out that she could reach all the fun things on the table by climbing up on the benches. (The little white shoe shelf gave her just the extra step she needed to be able to climb up.) So that created a whole new mess. 

A few months ago, we took out the table. It gave us a little more room, gave us a spot to sit while tying shoes, etc. and helped (some) to eliminate the catch all pile. (Although a lot of it just moved to the benches.) We still had a coat rack for the kids' stuff and shoe boxes for Sophie and Lawson.

 I love this organizer shelf with cube boxes that I got at Target a few years ago. But the clutter and mess still spread to the other side of the toy room.

So... I drew some plans... Corey did a little building... Lawson and I did some painting... and I suddenly became crazy happy...

The kids and I each have our own cubby. (Corey gets the little coat rack right inside the backdoor. I told him I wouldn't share mine.)

I was trying really hard to not buy anything new, but reuse things we already had. Sophie and Lawson kept their shoe boxes, but I bought one for Gretchen and I. We had four purple boxes in Sophie's room, holding books and random things. I spray painted 3 of them and then stuck their Easter buckets in there, too. The initial tags were 99 cent cardboard disks at Michaels. I painted them, covered them with scrapbook paper and my neighbor, Amy D, cut out letters on her super cool Silhouette machine. (Thanks again, Amy!)

I'm thinking I need some fun, colorful pillows for the bench now!

I'm pretty sure this may be my favorite birthday present. Ever. I am LOVING them!

And... just to keep it real... in case you think it always looks this clean and organized... this is all the stuff that I had to remove from the toy room, benches and little red table before I took these pictures...

Don't go thinking we're completely clutter free...

But you can pretend it looks like this all the time. That would make me really happy.

p.s. Just pretend there is a strip of white crown molding near the ceiling. Someday... 
p.p.s If you look close, you'll see little shims wedged under the cubbies and toy shelves. Our floor out here is really sloped. 100 year old houses tend to do that. Corey is working on something a little nicer looking, but I didn't want to wait to post these. 

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Personally, I would be content with just these two ingredients... 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

blog books.

My 2010 blog books... 

Love, love, love them. Just as much as all my others. (I have 5 now.) I couldn't fit all of 2010 into 1 book. I reached my 440 page limit in October. I blame it on Miss Gretchen. Just too many blog posts about how sweet she is. (I had 100 more entries in 2010 than I had in 2009 or 2008.) So I made 2 books. Since our lives kind of work in "School Year" and "Summer" that was the logical way for me to divide it up.

I figured out this year how to design my own page layouts and I'm so glad I did. (It's super easy. I just never took the time to try and do it before. I wish I had! I loved being able to design just what I wanted!)

I order through
Zero complaints about them. I am 100% happy with everything.
It does take awhile if you design your own pages. I think I average about 1 to 1.5 hours per month.
But we have already spent so much time looking through them and remembering. (It only stresses me out when Gretchen is trying to turn the pages.)
All my other books have been right around $100.
My summer one is 190 pages, 570 photos and cost $56.75.
The rest of the year was 356 pages, 1050 photos and cost $79.95.

Totally worth it, in my opinion.