Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Courtesy of Pinterest

Disclaimer: This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my post. It's super cool and I love the colors, so it's in. =]

It's amazing how time gets away from you when you're not feeling very good. It's amazing how time gets away from you even when you are feeling good. I've just entered my 14th week of pregnancy (AWOOHOO!) and my energy is coming back and my gag reflex is not rearing its ugly head quite as badly. Have I shared too much? We're all friends here, right? With new energy comes tackling the multitude of projects around our house. As promised, I'm including just a few things on my To-Do list for the beginning of 2012. 

  • Have you read "Organized Simplicity" by Tsh Oxenreider? It is brilliant! I'd like to go through her step-by-step and room-by-room plan for cleaning and organizing. It's exciting to even think about that level of clean happening! Chills!
  • De-clutter! I need to clean out the room that will belong to our beloved offspring come July and start going through boxes out in the garage to get rid of the clutter I know is hanging around. You know how you can just sense its presence sometimes? Come out, come out, clutter! That's where I'm at.
  • Researching baby furniture and baby items and finally making those purchases. Oh my goodness, this seems like an impossible task sometimes. Thankfully, the book "Baby Bargains" by Denise & Alan Fields has been a huge help to me and Mr. N. in taming the crazy.
  • Helping our front yard. Let's just say that the term "curb appeal" can't be applied to our front yard right now. It's not horrible, but it's a product of the previous owners tastes (and my neglect) and doesn't possess the charm that I really wish for our house, mostly because I haven't figured out what to plant and what to rip out yet. 
  • Planning our back yard. We had a great little garden growing last year, and we'd like to make it even bigger this year! I'm hoping to also get a lot of other plants established this year and some of the weird stuff back there ripped out to make room for the new. Plus, we'd like to have our un-traditional baby shower in the back yard, so even more incentive to get it together. 
Now, these are just a few on my list, so keep that in mind. There are lots of other personal goals, lots more things to do revolving around the baby, and the like. It's a process, but it's good to have goals. Hope that you've been able to tackle a few things on your lists so far and that you're cutting yourself some slack if they're not being completed as quickly as you'd hoped. That's the hardest part. Be kind to yourself and go forth and check things off of your lists!  

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


It's hard to believe that it's already 2012! Anyone else having a hard time remembering to write the new year on checks or any other document? You are not alone. I can't say I'm one for setting the typical "resolutions", however, this year will bring with it some BIG changes, so Mr. N. and I are setting our goals accordingly. 

Oh yes, WE ARE PREGNANT! I am in my 10th week and we are beyond thankful. On Thanksgiving day we went in bright and early for a blood test and three grueling hours later, while we were in the car on the way to my in-law's house, we got the call that there is a baby on the way. Yes, we pulled off the road in a safe and non-scary way. Yes, we cried. Yes, we thanked God and have continued to thank Him every day. We know that not every first procedure works, so we feel extra blessed. All of this to say, this year is going to be crazy different for us. 

So, in choosing what I'd like to accomplish this year it's very much like a parfait.....lots of layers. Mr. N. and I are still working on meshing our goals for the year, but right now it's including a lot of prep work and getting the house ready for a tiny human this July/August. I'm ready for spring cleaning like never before and am looking forward to my nausea subsiding so that I can dive in a little more forcefully to such projects. But all in good time. Once I have a more comprehensive list to share I will do so. 

Hope that you all are enjoying the new year so far!

Monday, December 12, 2011


Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart

It has been far too long since my last post. So much has been happening at our end. So much I can't share until next week. But our lives are full and we are adjusting to the unexpected of each day. 

Christmas is on its way and we are finishing up with the last minute tasks we have on our list. I wrapped presents this weekend, when the cats would leave the ribbon alone, and it was so much fun to see each one so festive and shiny (the gifts, not the cats)! While Mr. N. was out of town, I pulled out our antenna and caught Frosty the Snowman on tv. Oh, how I still love those Christmas cartoons being shown on network television. Now, if only I can catch A Charlie Brown Christmas! The tree has been up since the weekend after Thanksgiving, our new mantle is finished and is absolutely incredible (I need to post pictures, I know). I also finished painting the fireplace! Our little house is coming together. One thing that's different this year is that we'll have family over at various times throughout the Christmas week, so I'm trying to put my game face on and get things done despite feeling a bit under the weather. Onward and upward! 

I hope that in the midst of the hectic that this time of year can bring, you are stopping to thank our Lord for coming as a baby to save us so many years ago. Take some time to just savor the moments around you.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This is a picture that I took when Mr. N. and I visited Arlington National Cemetery a few weeks ago. It's an incredible place. It's so peaceful and quiet. Reverent. Birds are chirping, and very occasionally you can hear a few whispers of people passing. Otherwise, it's silent. Simple, white headstones are everywhere. They're nestled under trees and stand triumphantly on hillsides. It's a sobering reminder of just how many people have fought and died for our country. Even more sobering to realize that these headstones don't even represent all of the fallen. And yet, people still sign up today to join the Armed Forces in fighting for us and our country. What would we do without them? It's sad that our society today doesn't honor our soldiers even close to how they used to in years past. The country would rally behind THEM, whether they believed in the war itself or not. Today, it's about protesting or standing outside a soldiers funeral picketing. How far we have fallen. 

At ANC there was also an unmistakable pride and sense of honor that radiated from the soldiers we saw. They take what they do very seriously. They honor the past and fight in the present FOR US. All of the people ridiculously camped out in tents and defecating in the park as part of their protesting across the United States.....they're fighting for you. All of the middle class, the rich, the poor.....they're fighting for you. The children who still need a free country to be raised in......they're fighting for you. They're fighting for you and for me. Let's pay tribute to them today and say thank you. They've given so much for us.

Left at the Vietnam Memorial Wall

Monday, October 31, 2011


Photo courtesy of Martha Stewart
As you may have noticed, I've been off the map for a bit. Mr. N. and I took a rare vacation to Washington, DC this past week and had a blast. It was a great getaway for our third anniversary, as well as a nice chance to getaway from all of the other real life stresses we've been dealing with lately. Sometimes you just need to step away and gain some perspective, which is not always possible when you're in the thick of things. 

In the spirit of improvement, I also had a realization that if I'm stressing myself out to keep entering posts to keep up with the 31 days series, then that in itself is not promoting improvement. When I post things it's because I feel inspired to do so. Sometimes, improvement is cutting ourselves some slack, which I'm not usually good at doing. So, I've decided to resume my normal posts, sharing about what's on my heart or something cool I've come across at any given time. I'll plan much better for next year's challenge. =] 

This week, our lives are all about our fertility treatments, so I'm a little nervous, and excited, and more nervous. It's finally time to see what happens. Okay, granted, we still have a few weeks before we know if things actually take this time around, but at least the ball will be rolling. 

Hope that you all are enjoying the beautiful autumn air this afternoon! Happy November a little early! More to come!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


This morning, I talked to a new client on the phone. She asked me to take pictures of her parents for their 50th wedding anniversary. Now, I do not label myself a Photographer by any stretch. I know who I consider to be true "Photographers" and I do not fall anywhere close, so I don't give myself the title and cringe when other people label me as such. I studied mostly old school, black and white photography in college and would spend entire days locked in a darkroom  (one of my most favorite places in the entire world) processing film and printing pictures. I left school early, though, for various reasons, one of which being that I realized if I wanted to have a career in photography I would need to really sell my work...sell myself. The thought of yelling "pick me, pick me!" still is far too scary and doesn't interest me in the least. One of the appeals of photography is being able to hide behind the camera and secretly capture those things I see as beautiful, even if nobody else sees them that way. I also get to help people capture memories of their loved ones and that is quite a humbling gift. It's a quiet place, a safe place. A safe place that becomes not so safe when I put a price on my work. So, if asked, I take pictures for a few friends and others here and there for a small fee. I don't chase work, it usually finds me cowering in a corner trying to convince it to ask someone else. 

After finishing the phone conversation this morning, the insecurity began. It's always there, really, but it flares up a bit more when the pressure is on. Like water being in a teapot lying dormant until the heat is on. I haven't even met these people, but I'm already critiquing myself and fearing an unhappy outcome. This isn't the only area of my life where the critiquing happens. It's easy to allow the voice in my head, the one I think knows me best, to remind me again why I shouldn't even bother trying, why I'll never be anything worthwhile. It gives me another valid reason for not taking the risk and I listen. Why is it that this is the voice that I listen to so often? Why should it get stage time and be allowed to suck the energy, the joy, and the very life out of me?

Even in typing these words I realized that the voice in my head is NOT the one that knows me best. Why? Because the voice inside only sees things from my perspective. It may know my shortcomings, my past failures, my fears, my deepest desires, my quiet tears, but it can't see the whole picture of my life. Only God can do that. He can see my life from start to finish. He can see what I was created for, the lives He has ordained for me to touch in some small way. He can see my shortcomings and fears and knows exactly what I can handle. He can see those things I see as past failures in the context of my whole life and knows how those may have helped me change course to be right where I am today. He sees my deepest desires and longs for me to make His desires for me my own. He sees my quiet tears and is right there beside me in every moment. Why isn't it His voice that I listen for? Why isn't He the one I run to first? Sometimes I'm afraid to hear Him, what He might say. Not because I think His words will be ones of anger, but because I'm afraid they'll be what I know they'll be, words of love and encouragement. He would tell me that I'm His daughter, that I'm beautiful, that He loves me more than I could ever know, and it would be hard to believe Him, because I don't think I'm worthy of such love. And I'm not. But He loves me anyways. Without condition. Without fail. It's not about me, it's about Him. 

If only His was the voice that I listened to when the critiquing started. If only His was the strength I relied on when my fear is overwhelming. If only His were the arms that I fell into when I feel utterly defeated before even starting. I hope that I reach a point in my life where this is commonplace. Until then, it's worth working towards. Do you ever feel the same way? 

Monday, October 17, 2011


From Holly Mathis Interiors
It's so easy sometimes to fall into the trap of doing what everyone else is doing. It's hard to let our own voice speak when it feels like we're getting whispers of, "That's wrong!" from every side. I know for me, that whispering voice is in my own head most of the time, rather than from the sidelines, but little by little I'm learning to embrace the things I love. This has been a huge learning process in everything from clothing to decorating. Most days, I feel like I'm about 10 years behind in the accepting myself for who I am. It's not easy, but it is freeing when those little breakthroughs come along. It's not about doing what everyone else is doing, anyways. It's about creating an environment YOU (and your loved ones) love to be in. It's about putting together a wardrobe that YOU love to wear. It's about taking a little risk and TRYING even if you might fail a few times. I'm convinced that the outcome will be far better than if we never try at all and live life full of regret. So, let's raise our glasses to risk taking and inspiration!