"When a soul recognises the will of God and shows a readiness to submit to it entirely, then God gives Himself to such a soul and renders it most powerful succour under all circumstances." - Rev. Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Saturday, December 29, 2012

3 years later

All day yesterday I kept thinking about Levi, and I'm not even sure why. I mean, I think about him a lot, but yesterday he was just constantly on my mind. Some days are like that - I can't help but think about that whole experience in the hospital, and the difficult weeks and months that followed. It still feels like it was yesterday.

Yet here we are, 3 years later. Every year is hard, but this year I keep thinking about how I wish Landon knew his brother. Landon loves being around other kids, and I've told a few people how he should have been like our 3rd kid because he is so much happier when other kids are around. Seriously. 

That being said, though, this year is easier because we are blessed to have Levi's brother with us now. We are so, so thankful for Landon. One day we will tell him about his big brother!

On a side note, Logan and I watched the movie October Baby last night since we were given it for Christmas. We highly recommend it! It's a touching pro-life movie, and what I wasn't expecting was it to make me think about Levi. (I'm not going to ruin it and tell you why - just see the movie. :) )

Our little Levi, pray for us!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

My, how things have changed over the years :)



2012! (sorry this one is weird-looking, the lighting is way off)

Have a very blessed and merry Christmas! :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

[Our attempts at] Frugal Living

Like I said before, we've had to be creative lately when it comes to saving money. If you don't care to read about our attempts at frugality, feel free to skip this post. But for those of you curious, here are some of the things we've done:

  • Stick to a cash envelope system. The reason we save money by doing this is when an envelope for a certain category (i.e. grocery, baby) is empty, we don't spend anymore money! It really makes us consider and reconsider a purchase before we buy. We've tried this a few times throughout our marriage but it always fell through. This time, though, it's been much better (I think we weren't motivated enough before when we had 2 full incomes!). I've changed up the amounts several times, depending on what's going on in life. Like, I had to up the "baby" budget once we started giving Landon formula, and once we started cloth diapering (see next bullet!), I was able to drop it back down again. I do have to say, though, our "gifts" budget blew up in our face from attending 5 weddings within a month - on top of Christmas shopping. Planning on getting back on track next month! I have already figured out how to budget for Christmas next year after totally screwing up this year. You live and you learn, I suppose.
  • Switched to cloth diapers (except at night and long trips). This one is a miracle in itself. Cleaning poopy diapers and doing more laundry was just not on my wish list (as much as I wanted to want to cloth diaper), especially since keeping up with laundry is a weakness of mine. BUT I had a change of heart and I actually like cloth diapering! Well, for the most part. It's definitely been a learning process. The fact that we will be able to use the cloth diapers for multiple children makes it totally worth it though. And if I'm honest, the whole "environmentally friendly" aspect of it wasn't a concern of mine before, but now that I'm in the midst of cloth diapering, I feel much better that we're creating less waste. 
  • Bake/cook more things from scratch. This is what I love to do, but it's currently very difficult to do with a baby who only takes 30-minute naps. Hopefully I will have more time soon! I have managed to make enough bread/muffins/other goodies to take care of breakfast and snacks some weeks, so that's a start.
  • Make our own laundry detergent. I've been wanting to do this for awhile and finally did it! So simple and SO CHEAP. After spending less than $10 on supplies, I made 2 gallons of detergent and can make at least 4 more! I don't think I could go back to buying store detergent now...
  • Make our own cleaning supplies. I do most of my cleaning now with a vinegar and water mixture. Not only is it cheap, it's much safer to use with a baby around! And it's easy to get rid of the vinegar smell by adding some essential oil or lemon juice or something in the spray bottle. My dad came across my massive container of vinegar one day and thought I was crazy, so I had to inform him that it was used more for cleaning than cooking. :)
  • Make our own baby food. I spent less than $2 on sweet potatoes and now I have a nice little stash of baby food in our freezer. With the way Landon likes to eat some days, we could easily spend $30 a month if buying from the store. No thanks! I'm hoping this will also motivate me to buy more fresh produce for Logan and myself, since we can easily eat some and then make some baby food for Landon with the rest.
  • Have a family member take our Christmas pictures FOR FREE. As much as I loved Landon's newborn pictures, spending that kind of money right now just isn't an option. Besides, I thought our Christmas ones came out pretty darn good!
  • Send out Christmas postcards. They're cheaper than regular cards and you save money on postage too! Plus I saved time not having to deal with envelopes. I know Christmas cards aren't a necessity, but I wanted to do them with it being Landon's 1st Christmas. And although I most definitely did not pay full price for the postcards, I would have saved even more money if I had waited/procrastinated until Black Friday to order them. Oh well.
That's all I can think of for now...and of course I have some other ideas to try next year. (Next year?? Yes. It's less than 2 weeks away! :))

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jesus is coming

I think it's safe to say that we are all hugging our babies a little tighter after last week. I, for one, most certainly rocked Landon for an hour and 20 minutes yesterday while he napped. I had 2 baskets of laundry to fold and a sink full of dishes, but those cuddle moments won't last forever. (Dishes and laundry, on the other hand, are never-ending!!).

What happened in Newtown is tragic, and I cannot imagine what those families are going through. It's disheartening to everyone, especially those who have children. I know I wonder all the time about the world that Landon will grow up in. So scary to think about!

What I do know, though, is that God brings good out of evil. Never have I seen so many news reports and Facebook statuses about prayer. And I'm sure everyone will do less complaining and be much more thankful this holiday season.

My little man and his cute self keeps reminding me to pray for those who are deeply hurting right now. Praise God we're in the midst of Advent season which reminds us that Jesus is coming again.
Romans 12:21 - Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good.

Landon sleeping on Noanie's lap this weekend. So precious :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Wednesday randomness

Seriously, Logan and I cannot get enough of our baby boy. He's so darn cute and so freakin' happy!

I just had to say that. :) Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

John 3:30 - He must increase; I must decrease.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Our current situation

I'm still getting this question a lot, so I figured I'd write about it - although most of you who read this probably already know.

Am I still working? The answer is yes. And no. Sort of.

I used to work full-time - until I went out in February on moderate bed rest. And honestly, if we had the money, I probably wouldn't work at all. But since we are not at that point right now, I work once a week. Before I used to work in the same elementary school every day, and now I go wherever they need me, substituting for the nurses. I thought I wouldn't like switching schools, but it's actually pretty fun. Although every time I go to a middle school or high school, people think I'm a student. Sigh.

Logan works long hours, so he's always had one weekday off. Once I started working again this school year, his boss let him have Friday as that day off to make it easier. So, my supervisors know I'm available every Friday since Logan can stay home with Landon. It really is working well for us - Logan gets some quality time with Landon, and he gets an idea of what I deal with every day. And of course, only working once a week makes it much easier to leave Landon...especially since I'm leaving him with his daddy. It's also really nice not to have to get everything packed up and get Landon ready to bring him to a babysitter. Usually I leave for work and the boys are still in bed!

Even though finances are, well, different (ha) now that I don't work as much, I'm thankful for the time I get to spend with Landon - even when it means we have to make sacrifices in other areas. It is making us live within our means, as well as be very creative when it comes to saving money! (I think that will be a post for another day!)

So for now, that's our current situation. And as I'm learning, I know it's subject to change. ;)

And just as a little side note, Logan and I have been praying for 3 1/2 years (our entire marriage, basically) that he can find another job to better support our family. And well, we're still praying. It'd be great if you could pray too! :)

John 15:7 - If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Growing boy: 6 months

He's getting to the age where he doesn't lay still anymore! So this picture is a miracle. ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

6-month check-up

Dude. Tomorrow Landon will be half a year old. What?!

His appointment went well this morning. So far he hasn't been as fussy as he was last time he got shots. Thank You, Lord.

And guess who weighs 16 pounds? Yes. Big boy. And I find it slightly crazy that he's only in the 25 percentile for weight. There must be some huge babies out there!

Landon has been rather fussy when he takes a bottle lately - like he squirms and sometimes refuses to finish even half the bottle. I am still nursing him, but my milk supply has pretty much stayed the same...so it's not like he's getting more from me. So his doctor wants us to give him Zantac (for reflux) to see if it helps. If we don't see a difference in a couple weeks, I'm supposed to call him.

Landon has also stopped sleeping well at night since his last appointment, and I'm hoping (although not counting on it) that it's just reflux and the meds will help. We've already ruled out hunger. He sleeps on a flat surface now (i.e. crib) where before we always had him in something that reclined (Fisher Price's rock'n'play sleeper is awesome. Just saying.). But we had to "retire" the rock'n'play at night once he started rolling over. So it certainly is possible that reflux is the culprit. We shall see.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

1st week of Advent

Thankfully the confirmation students at our church were selling Advent wreaths today, because I've been meaning to buy one ever since Logan and I got married. And here we are, 3 1/2 years later...and we finally have an Advent wreath. Terrible, I know.

So our little family lit the first candle while doing a little devotion (a devotion book came with the wreath), and I'm hoping to do that every day this Advent. But we'll definitely do it every Sunday! Having a baby really motivates you to want to start traditions and stick with them.

I am oh so very glad this liturgical season is here! Sometimes it's entirely too easy to get wrapped up in daily life and forget about being prepared for the day Jesus comes again. I definitely need to work on that...

"Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light" -Romans 13:12

Friday, November 30, 2012

Oh, pictures

I feel like I have something to say but nothing is coming to mind. So I'll just post pictures! :)

Most of them will have both Landon and Marley in it, because the dog has been so jealous lately, she's always in Landon's space. As you will soon see...
Sleeping babies. Happy momma.
Marley seriously stole that little parrot and tried to run off with it. We've already found a few of Landon's toys "buried" in random parts of the house. Crazy dog.
The dog doesn't care if Landon is in my lap...she will climb in too. ALL.THE.TIME.
Um, sometimes the cuteness is just too much. :)
We try to go for walks as much as possible - Marley follows me around the house until we go, and I need the exercise anyway. Plus, Landon LOVES outside (even when it's cold!). So it's a win-win-win!
Ahhh. If I put a blanket out, Marley will play on it. And sleep on it. And get in Landon's way.
Marley is so jealous that she's been jumping up in bed with us in the middle of the night.  And I promise that Landon was not hurt in this next picture...he was just fussy all of a sudden. I just thought it was a pretty funny picture :)
Marley is really very sweet with him. Promise! 
And well, Landon doesn't quite know how to treat Marley just yet. 

Those are pictures off my phone, and I really need to upload the ones from our camera because there are some good ones! I try to take most pictures with our camera since it's better and all, but sometimes my phone is wayyy more convenient. Especially since I can easily text them to grandparents. :) (And easily post them on our blog. Yay Blogger app!)

I feel like all I do now is post pictures. (Maybe because I do!) Everything I plan to write about kind of leaves my brain when I actually start to write. I'm working on that...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Yay for the holidays

We had a lovely Thanksgiving day and day after. Yep.

I almost always have clothes on this little boy, and I realized how fun (and majorly cute) it is to have him just go with a diaper for a little while. Love the chubbiness!
But eventually we had to bathe him and put some clothes on for Thanksgiving lunch. ;)
Logan's mom (AKA Landon's Noanie) took a picture of Logan in this same pot when he was a baby, so we decided to reenact it with Landon. The kid was loving it.

Teething, ahhh. Although sometimes it is cute when he tries to put everything in his mouth... :)
We made plans to decorate the tree and all Thanksgiving night, but a certain tired mother (ahem) went to bed at 8:30. So the decorating (and cleaning) commenced on Friday. Basically, Logan decorated and I cleaned (Logan is the decorator and I'm not ashamed to say it!).

Check out our awesome stockings! My cousin made them and I love them! And yes, I am totally on the ball with Christmas shopping. Yay.
All the excitement wore the little buddy out. I love these moments!
We're eagerly awaiting the start of Advent! One more week!

Since we're just going to teach Landon the story of St. Nicholas instead of having "Santa Claus" bring presents, I want to do something special on the feast of St. Nicholas. Suggestions would be appreciated. :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

So thankful!

Today we are so incredibly thankful for our family, especially the newest addition! We're also very grateful that we are all healthy. I know that's something we take for granted sometimes...

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! We'll be having lunch with Logan's family and then coming home to decorate for Christmas. :)

St. Cecilia, pray for us!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Photo Shoot!

Logan's brother, Tyler, took pictures of our little family yesterday. The main reason for the photo shoot is for Christmas cards, but I'm also very glad to just have pictures of all of us - usually I'm the one taking the pictures!

We just took the pictures outside our house, so it's nothing fancy. But I'm not complaining because it was FREE. :)

 Sometimes this kid is just too cute!

 I hope this mischievous look isn't a sign of things to come ;)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Play time

Landon started rolling over last week! And now that's all he does. Let the baby proofing begin...(I am so not ready for crawling yet!)

Since he's moving more, I've been laying down a blanket for Landon with a couple toys more than I have before. And I'm being reminded of why I didn't do it much the last 5 months. Marley thinks it's her play time too. Sigh.

In a couple months, I'm sure the roles will be reversed - Landon will be annoying Marley!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Growing boy: 5 months

Yes, I'm on a roll today with taking his picture early. Let's thank Monday morning motivation for that. :)

How is this little boy 5 months old already??

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Picture time!

Now that I finally uploaded our pictures, I can share some from the events in the last post (Although I don't have any with Landon and my grandparents other than the one already posted because I forgot to take some :( Thankfully my mom remembered to take a quick one with her phone right before we left!)

Without further ado...Captain America!
 Logan made the shield with the top of a formula can. Because he's awesome and creative in ways that I am not.
 We're hoping to take a picture around Christmas with Landon's 3 cousins also dressed as Avengers. Oh yes.

We had a great time at a friend's wedding!
 This is my new favorite picture. My guys having fun :)
 And here are just some other ones I've taken lately. Landon has many ways to occupy himself these days. His mommy is thankful!
If you look closely, there is most definitely drool hanging from his mouth. Yep.
 We're borrowing this jumperoo thingy from my brother's family, and Landon loves it - especially now that he's figured out how to jump up and down in it. It's so cute. :)

Monday, October 29, 2012

Our little entertainer

Wow, this past week has flown by! We've been rather busy.

The weekend before last, Landon and I went with my mom to visit her parents in Missouri for a few days- they hadn't met our little man yet. And now Landon has officially met all of his great-grandparents! Yay.

This past weekend, we had a costume party with some friends. It was more of a fall party since we don't do the Halloween thing, and of course we had to dress up Landon as well. He was our Captain America! :) (pictures to come later!)

On Saturday, we drove almost 3 hours to attend a wedding (the first of 5 we have in the next month!). Landon loved it so much that he wouldn't even take the time to eat - he was too busy looking around at everybody and everything. You should have seen him when we danced...he was loving it. So much like his daddy! ;)

I teach CCD class (AKA religion) at our church parish, and tonight I had to bring Landon for the first half hour since Logan got off work late. In my class, I have all girls and one boy. And let me tell you...the girls LOVED Landon - and he loved them right back!

Landon "talks" all the time now, and I really wish I knew what he was trying to say! It's so fun seeing his little personality come out. He still doesn't take long naps during the day, and sometimes I wonder if he thinks he's going to miss out on something! Silly boy. But man, he sure is cute!


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