A Windy Afternoon…

we had some family pics taken the beginning of april.  jodie from jg designs & photography snapped some shots of us around campus.  

the weather was fairly cooperative considering that it had snowed the week prior and any given day could be freezing or raining.  so we settled for a bit on the windy side. 

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it’s been almost a year and half since we had some family shots taken.  little M boy has grown up so much!  sniff, sniff.  it’s bittersweet.  i’ve loved each stage he’s been at, but sometimes i wish i could just freeze time and keep him from growing up any more. 

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while jodie did a great job capturing so many still shots, we weren’t so sure how they were going to turn out at the end of the photo session.  we quickly learned that trying to get a  2 1/2 year old {while being outside} to take a few pics is way exhausting.  

the little guy just could not sit still and there were so many distractions…  it was seriously like trying to capture a wayward balloon on a windy day! 

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and he was loving every moment of it!!

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of course we only received all the nicely edited pics… but i would’ve loved to have seen the other candid shots that were captured. :) 

this one in particular, i believe both of us had to hold little M boy down and try and tickle him to get him to smile. 

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they still look so much alike, don’t they?!!  such a fun thing. 

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of course, another motivation for taking some family pics at this point was to capture the miracle of pregnancy for us.  i think i’m about 36 weeks along in these photos.  

little M couldn’t be more precious in giving a little “kiss” to his baby sister. 

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i just LOVE some of these sweet moments captured of my little M boy! 

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hope you enjoyed the pics.  thanks to jodie for capturing these moments for us. 

and a very happy mother’s day to all the amazing mom’s out there! 




It’s May!

sorry to have been a bit absent from the blogging world for the past few months. my goal is to have a few more regular postings… for at least the next few days. :)

hard to believe it’s already may!  granted for us, the beginning of may has been much anticipated as it marks the arrival of baby # 2… may 6th to be exact.  which was of course, 4 days ago. 

it seems that little miss e has decided that a due date holds no significance and she will come when she feels like it.  so we wait.  hard as the waiting can be, we also trust the Lord and know that her little life has been completely in His timing all along and continues to be.  we rest in those truths… or at least we’re attempting to. 

in the mean time, i’m accomplishing lots of little projects here and there… i suppose it’s the whole nesting thing, right?! 

thought you might like to take a little peak at what we’ve been up to {by the way, it’s taken several months to accomplish these things… so, please don’t get the false impression that i pulled all this off in a matter of weeks}.

first off, i finally got around to hanging these wood picture blocks which i absolutely LOVE!  i’ve been told that they’re fairly easy to make, but i’m just not that ambitious.  so… i ordered them from here {in case you’re interested} .  such a unique rustic look!  

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next, is the kiddos room…

i mentioned in this post {yea, it’s from september… see my point about it taking several months…} that there were some other closets to be tackled in the organizing category.  so, my Mr., who is most gracious in attempting to meet all my requests in addition to his hectic schedule, built a couple shelving units. 

here is the before pic of little M’s closet… 

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and this is the finished kiddos closet {they’ll be sharing a room} with labels and all!!

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i particularly love how these clothes labels turned out for little M’s cubby boxes.  i just found some clip art online, mounted them to some scrapbooking paper, and then laminated for extra protection.  so far they’ve worked like a charm for little M in learning how to take out and put away his own clothes and shoes. 

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i’ve also been working on redoing the theme in their room {something for his side and something for her side}.  little M boy’s room had previously been… well, very baby boyish.  i loved it and it was great for a time, but he’s not really a little baby anymore. :(  so, i needed to come up with a theme for his side that could grow with him for more than 2 years. ideally, until he’s 18… just kidding. i know that’s probably not realistic. but i can hope. 

so, between airplanes, trains and cars, little M decided he liked trains the best.   and this is what we came up with… 

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i think i found all the prints on etsy… one is a sketch of a large steam engine and the other is the real-life photograph of the same steam engine.  my Mr. helped me choose the prints and he was quite proud to have found an actual photograph of the sketched print. i think it’s pretty cool too. and the other is a map of all the railroads in the u.s.

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lastly was the theme for little miss e’s side of the room.  i decided i wanted to go with something not quite so “babyish,” but rather something that would grow with her as well.   

i went with a collage of shabby chic style paper framed by white vintage frames.  they turned out nicely.  and as an alternative to glass inside the frames, i used some very thin acrylic material.  

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also, for a sort of mobile above the crib, i thought it would be fun to have some pom-poms hanging from the ceiling.  so i followed this diy tutorial here.  

of course she has pink plaid bedding {little M boy has blue plaid bedding}. overall, the room is fairly simple. and though the themes don’t correlate in any way, it still seems to work.   i’m pleased with how it all turned out.  

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and i must admit, it’s been fun to have some “extra” time to put together all the baby stuff before little miss e arrives.  quite a different experience from the last time we brought a baby home. 😉

oh… and here’s a random pic of little M and i at easter.  so fun to have a little easter egg hunt with him this year as he was old enough to play along! {such a funny kid, though… the candy didn’t really tempt him at all, but instead he was so tickled by how many plastic easter eggs he could find}.

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a few little highlights

i always find january and february to be a little blah-like… cloudy, cold weather, stuck indoors, and if you live in kansas… cold AND no snow. depressing really.  

anyways, we’ve managed to find little happy moments throughout our days.

for me, that means sneaking in a few more naps which i’m always grateful for. and for little M boy, he spends much time with his tool box, hammer and wrench.  pounding away on whatever hard surface he can find.  and me, feeling like a tape recorder, reminding him that he may only hammer on his tool box or his wooden blocks.  

little boys and hammers… i guess i should just accept the fact that many of my possessions will have dents or not make the cut altogether.  it’s the making of memories though, right?!!  

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daddy and little M boy have been frequently collaborating to perfect their tower-building strategies… 

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and if you know my little guy, we have definitely spent a few hours outside too… even in freezing, wind-chilling weather. 

so, in the 2 whole times that it has snowed here where we live… we’ve had to capitalize on our chances to use the new sled little M received for Christmas. 

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little M’s buddy C-man and his dad joined in on the sledding fun too… 

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and i just had to show a few shots of him getting all bundled up. don’t you just love those fat cheeks?!!

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and we’ve eaten our fair share of donuts… 

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and more donuts…  {i think he likes the blue ones the best!}

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last, but not least of course, i thought it only appropriate to share a few sneak peeks of our little gal.  

we had a 3-D sonogram last week and it was pretty fun to see her!  i must say that for me, seeing these images makes a bit more real as it’s still been quite a shock to think that we’re even pregnant. 


she seems to enjoy being scrunched up in a little ball… with both her hands and feet up by her head. 

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amazing how technology is able to give us such detail before she’s even born!  and it was comforting to know that she indeed has 10 fingers and 10 toes! :)

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just about 12 weeks left and we will no longer be a family of 3!

Christmas recaps {2 of 2}

the actual festivities of christmas and family gatherings began with us hosting chris’s side of the family first. it was a fun, and possibly overly stimulating time for one little toddler boy… and maybe all the rest of us too. 

opening presents with grandpa barker… and little M with his “leprechaun” face.  don’t know where that comes from. 

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with grandma & grandpa ross

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we had our own little family christmas time of reading the christmas story and opening presents. 

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and then it was on to kc for some crazy, hectic fun-filled time with my family. 

several rounds of settlers, ticket to ride, and dutch blitz were played by all…  {and pay no attention to the brother on the left, he always looks that scary}.  love you pete man. 


the inevitable craziness of family gift-opening time… 








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surprisingly… i think it only took us 3 hours to get through all the presents this year {hint of sarcasm}. and we had fewer to open this year too, go figure.  oh well.  i’m just grateful that we could all be together again this year.  with 10 kids and several of us spread around the country, there’s no telling how many more years we’ll be able to gather like this.  so, i’m grateful.  hecticness and all. 

we even attempted to take a family pic.  almost everyone made the cut {minus one spouse and 4 grandkids}. and yep, that’s a baby bump you see… me at 21 weeks pregnant. 

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in our spare time, i was assigned the role as stand-in pitcher for little M’s batting practices.

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seriously.  he absolutely loved his new ball and bat and was continually wanting someone to throw the ball for him. and believe it or not, while i tried to get him to hit the ball on his right side, he seems to both bat and throw ball primarily on his left.  could we have a lefty in the family?  not sure yet, might be too early to tell. 

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our last highlight in kc was a little trip to union station to see the trains with mema and grandpa.  

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little M even had a chance to take a ride on one of the trains…

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he had a smile on his face for about 2 seconds.  the rest of the time, he looked like he was either bored out of his mind or possibly on the verge of crying…

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looking at the train models with mema… 

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it was a special time. a chance to have mema and grandpa all to ourselves.  and we snapped a little family picture too. 

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hope you all had a very blessed christmas with family and friends. and happy new year!! 

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Christmas recaps {1 of 2}

well, i had every intention of blogging a bit more in the month of december, but alas, i didn’t.  and since there were so many highlights over the last month… i’ll break things up into a couple posts.  

here are a few of my favorites from the christmas season…

we celebrated advent each day of the season… , okay, it was more like every other day, but we tried.  we dimmed the lights and lit the candles and read out of little M boy’s Jesus storybook Bible.  initially, we had started a family devotional called “a Jesus advent celebration” by ann voskamp & nancy ridden.  it’s really great, but a little beyond the interest and attention-span of my 2-year old.  so, when i stumbled upon this blog post that just happened to be using the little Bible that we read to him every night at bedtime, i was thrilled.  just right for little M’s age really. 


                       source: themommyhoodmemos.com

and so, we would gather around the table after dinner and listen as daddy read stories about God’s plan of redemption and how Jesus would come to our world… 

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i so cherished these times.  not only because it was a chance to be together as a family, praying that the truths of His love story for us would be penetrate my little one’s heart, but also because it gave me a chance to be still for a few moments too.  a chance to reflect on my own heart before the lord.  

my other favorite from the season, was decorating gingerbread cookies with my Mr.  can you believe in the 9.5 years that we’ve been married, we’ve never decorated christmas cookies together?!!  it really was such a fun bit of time to connect while drawing faces and scribbly white lines on gingerbread people.  i think we’re going to make it a tradition. :)

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little M boy had his fun too in helping make my all-time favorite christmas cookie… snicker doodles. 

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he did pretty good, i must admit.  even if he did take a few licks from his hand of the sugar and cinnamon that he was supposed to be rolling cookie dough in. 😉 

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and we made a few more christmas cookies too. to share with our neighbors and friends… 

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and on an unrelated holiday note… we finally took the plunge.  yep, i know, i really loved those curls on his head too. but believe me, after we had a little trimming, i realized just how crazy his hair had become. 

check it out…  at the barber shop waiting for his turn in the chair. 

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i was half-way contemplating cutting his hair myself, but i’m so thankful that we took him to roger… the same guy that’s been cutting my Mr.’s hair since his college days. 

{daddy had to hold little M boy since the barber chair was a bit too much to take in this time… }

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little M did great.  and roger… well, let’s just say that he was finished with the task in about 8 minutes. { no need to even bother telling you that it would have taken me about 5 times as long ….not to mention the hot mess of tears from a toddler and this mommy that we managed to avoid too}.  

mission accomplished. 

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he may have temporarily lost a few curls.  but roger assured us that after a few days time, his curly mess would be back.  and he was right!  so glad my little M boy still has those curly locks. :)

{p.s. — roger told me that if i wanted some practice before taking a turn at cutting little M boy’s hair, i should go stand in front of a blowing fan with a pair of scissors and a balloon. haha.  i don’t think this was his attempt to keep us as customers, but nonetheless, i didn’t need more convincing. i think we’ll be seeing roger again in the future}.