Friday, October 2, 2015

On conduits and buckets

It's October already.  How did that even happen?  Time is going by so quickly.

For today's post, I'd like to share a little something that has been on my mind a lot recently:  conduits and buckets.  But first, I'd like to share what trusty Google has to say about the definition of both:


We know this of course - a bucket is something that holds things.  It stores up, if you will.  You can fill a bucket full of all sorts of things if you'd like.  

A conduit on the other hand should not be filled up.  It is only for transmitting things from one place or person to the next.  In fact, by definition, if the conduit was full, it would not be functioning correctly, because how could something get through it if it was stuffed?  

I'm thinking about these things in light of an overwhelming sense of gratitude for our friends and neighbors and co-workers and families over the past few months as we have prepared for and welcomed our little one into the world.  A pastor of ours once said something that has stuck with me since.  That is, that we should be conduits and not buckets of our blessings.  I think it is a similar sentiment to "blessed to be a blessing" which is essentially that we shouldn't hoard up our blessings and things which we've been given for the sake of just our own benefit, but that we should be conduits instead.  Blessing others because we have also been blessed.  

Whether it has been with gifts, money, hand-me-downs, meals (oh, the meals...the delicious meals) time, conversation, well-wishes, and prayers, we have seen more and more how blessed we are.  We are surrounded by truly wonderful people who we love and who love us back.  

We are so thankful.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Our Little One is Here!

Hey there, blogland!

I'm happy to report that our little bundle of joy has made his grand entrance into the world almost 2 weeks ago and we are in love.

This is actually the first time I've gotten on the computer since his birth so don't have a ton to post just yet - but figured I should share rather than going totally quiet over here.

All of us are doing well, albeit tired.  And mama is looking forward to finding a routine soon.

It's crazy that we have been parents for almost 2 weeks.  We actually started keeping a journal each day to jot down highlights and reflections from each day.  I want to remember all of these little times.
Dad is going back to work this week and I am nervous about it.

What a learning curve - but one that we are happy to be on.  :)

Friday, September 18, 2015

Our 2015 Fall Mantel

If you've been around here since the beginning, you might remember our fall mantel from the first year we were in our house. I was so excited to have a mantel and to decorate it that I went a little crazy at HomeGoods aka one of my favorite places to shop and bought all the fall decorations.  And it was fun.  

We also decorated last year, but I was slacking and didn't write about it.  And since then, I've adopted a little more neutral, year round, everyday mantel that frankly, I really enjoy.  It's full of white and cream, and neutrals and metallics.  It looks like this: 

For me, it's simple enough and I've enjoyed it.  (especially little one's ultrasound pic from his anatomy still my beating heart)

Remember these vases
 This year though, since I spent quite a bit of time it felt like waiting for the babe's arrival, and the weather took a wonderfully surprising turn toward fall, I decided to pull out some of those old decorations and spruce the mantel up for the season.  It was basically a now or never decision, since I was pretty sure I wouldn't be concerned about fall decor when I had a fun little one to snuggle.

We didn't do anything too crazy.  Just pulled out my favorite little ceramic pumpkin and wooden acorn, tucked the silver jars away for the time being, and added a couple of sprigs of color.  Not too shabby, but still quite simple.  

I eventually added the wooden harvest plaque from my original fall mantel and stuck it there as well along with some orange leaves for more color.  I haven't fully decided which I prefer, but the wooden plaque is still there, so maybe that?

I figured I share a couple close ups of each of the little corners.  The first is this little ceramic pumpkin (which I actually forgot about last year until I was transitioning to Christmas decorations.  I was sure to save it WITH the acorn this year, so it wouldn't get lost!

And last but not least, my little acorn.  I really enjoy this little guy!

We're also using the same fall wreath we've had for several years.  It's still going strong though, so I don't have plans to toss it.  It might get a little makeover at some point, but until then, it's hanging right out on our door - another year strong!
Details here. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

DIY Nursery lampshade cover

Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite parts of our guy's nursery - the little lamp on his bookshelf.  We actually got this lamp for free from a college friend who was moving out of his apartment years ago.  We have two of them and they looked like this: 

Perfectly functional and hubs loved it because it was free.  And I kept it because I couldn't justify not and I really did love the shape of it and knew that we would use it.  I just didn't love the shade.  That said, I never got around to recovering it or buying a new shade because the lamp just served its little purpose in the guest room and that was that.  

But, since I wanted to use it in the nursery, I sat down one Friday night for a little craft session and wrapped that thing right up into a perfectly suitable nursery lamp.  And I love it.  

The first thing I did was tape together lots of copy paper - 16 sheets to be exact and I was shocked at how much paper it took.  Second, I laid the shade down on its side - note:  NOT like it is in the picture above, but actually on its side.  

Monday, September 14, 2015

On decorating the nursery

One the things I was most excited for during our pregnancy was decorating the nursery.  Basically as soon as we found out we were having a boy, I grabbed the alligator canvas prints up from Home Goods and just knew that we would have an alligator themed nursery.  I didn't want to repaint the walls, since we had just painted them about a year ago and they are a neutral enough color that I really liked.  

But, then I saw that sweet little whale canvas in Hobby Lobby and loved it too and I didn't want to get rid of our map on the wall, so I ended up just filling the nursery with things that I liked rather than just one theme.  

And to be honest, I prefer it that way (notice all our college pictures still on the wall...).  I love all the bright colors and that we won't end up with tons of themed things to change out once the baby grows bigger.  The result?  Not so pinterest-esque, but totally warm and comfy like the rest of our home, so we like it.  :)

And we finished it without spending a ton.  The crib is actually the one I slept in, just cleaned up, the bookshelf was already in the room with lots of books from our own childhoods plus some new books from friends, a lamp that was an old college friend's, etc.