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11/21/14

#beeskneegrams and an update

Here are some of my favorite moments lately via my Instagram feed.  
You can see more all day, erry-day right here.
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Guys!! It's been so much fun being back in a blogging routine this week! Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement.  I have truly missed this community and creative outlet.

Quick story on that.  After all my computer problems at the beginning of the year, one of my sweetest readers along with her friends, pooled their money to help get a computer so I could get back to blogging.  Isn't that amazing?! I have never met this girl and she blessed me so so much with her generous spirit of love.  Unbeknownst to her, my sweet in-laws had just gifted me a brand new laptop which totally blew me away.  Two months later, while I was visiting at a friend's house, their kids accidentally spilled a glass of chocolate milk all over said new computer.  Our friends were more than gracious in paying for the repairs but it took months longer than expected.

Blogging has always been a bit of an idol for me, if I'm completely honest.  As much as I love it for all the right reasons, I struggle to not let it's growth and vision become an obsession in my heart and life.  God used this year to teach me so much about letting go and I feel in such a healthier place when it comes to priorities and the posture of my heart.

Two other great thing about my forced sabbatical.  First was working with this incredibly talented, sweet girl from Croatia (!!) to revamp my blog's layout.  Guys, if you ever need design work done, I can't recommend her enough.  Her prices are so fair and she is very thorough and quick.  Second, I started listening to these insightful podcasts by Elise Joy about blogging and living as a creative.  They really helped renew and inspire a clearer vision and direction for this blog.  I would  be happy to share more on this if you are interested, just let me know in the comments below.

Okay!! All this to say, I am truly so happy to be back to sharing and connecting with all of you.  You have no idea what this community means to me and I look forward to growing and getting to know you better.

I also wanted to just share a couple ways to stay connected for new readers or for you old faithfuls on the off chance you forgot.  Be sure to hop over to my Instagram account -- shout out to my favorite social media outlet of all times!!  I love sharing bits of our day throughout the day and would be so excited to see you over there.  Also you can get post updates via my Facebook page or Twitter.  I also love curating creative ideas and spaces on my Pinterest page so be sure to check that out as well.  

Thanks as always for sticking around and for being a part of our family's life.  Happy weekend, friends!!

11/20/14

A Letter To My Postpartum Self

Dear Postpartum Self,

I know you are feeling pretty down on yourself right now. . . what with your once smooth stomach completely riddled with stretch marks, your emotions that can give a mood ring a run for it's money and that mid-section that still thinks it's three months pregnant.  As much as you tried to prepare yourself, this is a whole lot harder than you ever imagined.

Not only did you just squeezed a watermelon through a hole the size of your nostril, but now there is the pain of milk coming in and that feeling like shards of glass tearing through you when the feeding hour comes around.   You never bargained for the night sweats, the fat mattress pads you straddle for the greater part of a month or the feeling of panic as you wake just to make sure that fragile little angel is still breathing.  And to top it off, there's the motherload of all periods that seems to never end, the cringing every time you see yourself in pictures and the sinking feeling when you realize your body will never quite be the same again.

So before you lock all your doors, stay inside and swear to never do this again, I hope you'll remember to be kind to this strange, postpartum version of yourself.  Be kind to yourself when your toddler has watched half a season of Curious George in one day.  Be kind to yourself when you smell like leaking, day-old milk.  Be kind to yourself when you can't quite suck that stomach in far enough to hide what's left over from 9 months of turning food into a tiny human.  Be kind to yourself when you feel unstoppable, hot tears fighting their way down your cheeks because your husband only cleaned up the spilled salad dressing with paper towels instead of soap and water.

But most of all, be kind to yourself because somehow God saw fit to use you as the secret place for crafting a miracle.  The place where a tiny seed of a soul can grow into a great legacy for the Gospel and you forever will carry the marks on your body to prove it.

Love Your Miracle-Making Self
^^ post-too-much-sucking-in ^^

11/19/14

Emmett's Nursery // A Room Tour

I have lots of great memories from growing up in a shared room with my sister, Tiffany.  Elaborate doll house set-ups, forts in the closet, long games of 'house' and lots of prayers together at night.  There is something really magical about being young and spending your whole day playing.  So creating a creative, imaginative nursery for Emmett -- and now for little Gideon as well -- has been one of my favorite projects in our home.  It's such a labor of love to pour creative energy into curating a place of imagination, play and rest.

We mostly kept things simple with both toys and decorations.  I opted for an eclectic collection of special things to bring this room together and now I just want to move in myself.  
^^ One of my favorite parts of the whole room is the large wall canvas from Tiny Prints.  It's so fun because just recently, Emmett has started to recognize people in photos so I love having our whole family on his wall!  Tiny Prints has so many great options of ways to display your favorite family memories., have you seen them?!  Check out more here.  ^^
^^ Adam and I collaborated on this teepee for Emmett's first birthday this year.  And by collaborate, I mean I come up with design ideas and Adam does all the brainy measuring, math and building.  God bless that man. ^^

^^ Emmett is usually more interested in eating the chalk or stuffing it into the register vent than actually drawing... maybe someday. haha! ^^
^^ I love this vintage Fischer Price camera that my sister found at a second hand store in Mexico & the little animal pull toys that we bought at a little street stand in China! ^^
^^ I found this abandoned dresser in our attic when we moved in.  It was missing one top drawer so I have plans of putting a build in shelf area on the top drawer row with wire baskets for extra storage.  So far I've only gotten it painted this happy yellow -- projects are always a bit of a slow go in our house.  ^^

// Source List //

Crib // Buy Buy Baby
Dresser // free 
TeePee // handmade
Child's Table Set // garage sale
Laundry Hamper // thrifted  


World Map // Hobby Lobby
Be Awesome Print // Trader Joes greeting card
Excited Poster // DIY
Chinese Lantern // gift from our chinese friends this summer
Art Frame // gift from local artist
Red, White & Blue banner // handmade
Wall Canvas Portrait // Tiny Prints
Record Wall Shelf // Target 
Record Player // thrifted
Fabric Covered Lamp // DIY
Coat Hooks // handmade by my brothers in a blacksmith shop 


Elephant Crib Sheet // Target 
Faux Sheepskin Rug // Ikea
Emmett Blanket // handmade
Muslin Curtains // handmade

11/18/14

Baked Oatmeal

Why do all the delicious breakfast foods have to be the most unhealthy for you?! Donuts, bacon, cinnamon rolls, cold cereal. . . especially because I am such a cereal junky.  I usually limit myself by having it on the 'rarely purchased' section of my grocery list.  Just way too much temptation to devour multiple bowls for breakfast each day.

So when I can find healthier, whole grain alternatives to my favorite foods is always a win in my book.  Enter Baked Oatmeal.  I have loved this breakfast food for years and this version of an original recipe from a Gooseberry Patch cookbook is definitely amazing.  This version is super easy to throw together in the morning if you are craving a hot breakfast -- or in our case this morning, eggs just weren't going to cut it.

If you get a chance to try this, be sure to stop back and let me know what you thought.  Also I'd love to hear your favorite go-to, healthy breakfast!!

Happy Tuesday, friends!
xo
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Baked Oatmeal 
// serves 6 //
modified from this recipe

1 c. vanilla, unsweetened almond milk
2 t. baking powder
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. sea salt
2/3 c. honey
2 eggs
1/2 c. melted butter
2 t. vanilla
3 1/2 c. oatmeal

Stir together milk, melted butter, honey, beaten eggs and vanilla.  Mix in dry ingredients until moist.  Pour into parchment lined // or greased // 9x13" pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and break up the oats.  Bake another 5 minutes for a little extra crunch.  Best eaten warm with milk.  Or cold.  Just eat it up, people!!