"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


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