Snow Pugs!

The pugs are not quite sure what to think about all of the snow that the blizzard dropped on us.

Regina surveying the snowy backyard through our window.

Regina cannot believe all the snow in the backyard!

Luigi and Regina investigate what has happened to their backyard.

Snow pugs!

Regina warms up after playing in the snowy backyard.

Luigi warms up after playing in the snowy backyard.

Luigi likes his winter sweater. So cozy!

Regina and Luigi figure two bodies = warmth!

Regina suns herself in our window. Look at all that snow in the background!

Luigi suns himself too.

Luigi and Regina find a patch of sun.

Luigi and Regina snuggle together in the sun.

Luigi and Regina cope with the snow by sunning themselves as they snuggle together.

The pugs use Bella the cat for added's not so bad snuggling up to a cat!

Nursery Progress

Since we were snowed in for Christmas we decided it would be the perfect time to finish getting our nursery together.

Remember the inspiration board?

Here's how it's all come together:

View of the nursery from the doorway

Simply Shabby Chic (from Target) Pillow and decorate the crib.
When the baby sleeps in there we'll take the pillow out though.

Still need to add more decorative accessories to this shelf.
The dress in the middle and two to the right of it were mine when I was a baby.
The other two were awesome consignment sale finds!

Lamp that was in my room when I was a toddler.
I made a new lampshade for it to coordinate with the colors in the nursery.
The lamp was a vintage shop find by my mom when I was just 2 years old,
so it's got to be at least 45-50 years old by now.

These are shelves from IKEA that we've had for at least 10 years!
The baskets had red and yellow striped liners so I made new ones to match the lamp shade.
The Care Bears are new except for the dark blue one which was mine when I was a child...vintage! You can tell he's different because he has real hair and the others don't.

Swivel/Rocker/Recliner we scored for $50 on Craigslist.
The day bed is 25 years old and real enameled
iron with brass finials, also found on Craigslist.
We still need to get a proper quilt for it
(found one I like from Target's Simply Shabby Chic line)
and add the pop up trundle and a dust ruffle.

Bigger view of the room. Not pictured...J's "study" corner which is to the right of the daybed.

Our cloth diaper stash! 36 unbleached Indian cotton prefolds. The other box has the covers and wipes, etc. We also scored a second-hand wipes warmer for $6...I figured it's worth a shot!

Our multi-functional crib with lots of storage.
Still awaiting the arrival of the properly sized changing pad for the top of the drawers.
Best of all it will convert to a single youth bed with a nightstand
when the baby is ready to transition out of the crib.

Wall letters that I made with supplies from the local craft store.
I decoupaged scrapbook paper onto the balsa wood letters and
then attached them to twine with mini clothes-line clips
(hot glued in the back for extra security).
I still plan to add some bird decals to the clothesline.

All of Joseph's work has paid off! We have a gorgeous, sturdy crib for Libby!
He put it together all by himself, by hand!

Me and my bump at 35 weeks pregnant!

I still need to add some wall decals and artwork to the walls, dress the day bed with pillows and linens, etc. But all in all, it's ready for our little girl!

Christmas 2009 - Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Well our plans for Christmas this year were drastically changed by old man winter. He dumped 6 inches of snow on us on Christmas Eve. The next morning the roads were closed and there was no way we were going to be able to make the 2 hour drive southeast to spend the holiday with J's mom, step dad and brother. We were especially disappointed because this would have been the first time we could visit them at Christmastime without his mom being in the hospital. The last two Christmases she was in the hospital fighting pneumonia and gravely ill. But with all of the adjustments to her health care this year she's been feeling good and was ready to host us.

Here are some pictures I took from throughout the day on Christmas Eve:

Our backyard at mid-afternoon

A little later that day....

Christmas morning!!!

Our driveway...the snow was so thick that J couldn't get the car up into the driveway!

J scraping the driveway so we can get in and out and also get our car parked in it!

Since we had planned on Christmas dinner at the in-laws we had nothing really planned or prepared in the house. J managed to put together a lovely meal for us (we were thinking it might end up being frozen pizza, but he defrosted some steaks and make a proper Christmas meal for us). We snuggled up with the furbabies and rented some movies on pay-per-view. This being our last Christmas as just a duo at the end of the day is was perfect...just the two of us.

Nursery Inspiration

Well the nesting mode has kicked in full force. This weekend it continued with finishing up some DIY craft projects (will post pics soon) and getting some more furniture. We scored an awesome antique iron and brass day bed with pop up trundle on Craigslist for a steal. I am so excited! It will go in the nursery and provide a place for mommy or daddy to sleep with baby, if/when the need arises down the road and she's no longer in her Arm's Reach Co-sleeper in our room. We also can use it to free up our room for guests who come to visit (since we no longer have a guest room with my mom living with us).

We've put the nursery together on a budget with lots of consignment finds, Craigslist purchases, and repurposing/refurbishing items we already have. I have created this mood board to get a better idea of how it's all coming together:

The first two colors at the top (white and toasted almond) are the trim and wall colors of the room. We don't plan to paint since we're renting and the space is shared with J's study (or the place he spends nearly 8 hours a day studying as a full-time nursing student) and we like it the way it is.

We have ice blue curtains up already, which led to my decision to incorporate the blue into our little girl's nursery. The pink chair is a swivel/rocker/recliner that we got for $50 and is a dusty rose color. And the apple green we are pulling in to balance the pink and blue we have going on in the room. I am calling this sort a of Shabby Chic meets Woodland Animal themed nursery. The cube shelving we already had, so we're repurposing it for storage (using lined storage baskets that I made new liners for that coordinate with the lampshade that I also DIY'd) and will add a changing pad to the top along with storage bins that have our cloth diapers and supplies in them.

The bird mobile is almost done...I have sewn and stuffed all of the little birdies and just need to figure out how to balance the branches I've attached them to so that they look like a mobile. The pillow with the dingle-ball trim I found at Target as part of their Simply Shabby line. And the wall decals are made of fabric and sold on Etsy. I really think that those decals will transform the space into one that is truly for a little child. We're still awaiting the arrival of our crib, but as soon as all of this is in place I will post pictures of the actual room....hopefully by the New Year.


On this Thanksgiving holiday I am grateful for:

1) My husband who shows me everyday just how much he loves and supports me without conditions
Today I pray for all couples who are struggling in their marriage that they may find common ground and cling to their love for one another.

2) For this healthy baby who grows bigger and stronger inside me
Today I pray for all those who are struggling with infertility and for those who are pregnant with severe complications.

3) For my family, both near and far
Today I pray for those who are estranged from their loved ones. May they find a way back to each other's love.

4) For my friends
Today I pray for those who are lonely or isolated, that they may be comforted by the smile or hug of a new friend.

5) For my wonderfully, comprehensive health insurance and health care
Today I pray for those who face everyday with the uncertainty that lack of coverage or health care brings them. I pray that our leaders in Washington will continue to work towards a better solution than what we have in place so that every man, woman and child who wants to have health insurance can.

Happy Birthday to Me!

J got me this Nikon D40 SLR camera. I am so excited! I have been wanting a new digital camera for about 3 years. The one I have been using thus far has served me well and is about 6 years old. It's a Mintola DiMAGE s414 and has suffered a big fall at ancient ruins in Thailand, a million road trips and family vacations and was basically on it's last legs.

I was ton between getting another digital point and shoot, with a much slimmer profile, or jumping into the digital SLR world. I took photography in high school and learned all about F-stops and composition, lighting and aperture on a 35 mm manual Panasonic. But since then I've pretty much just used point and shoots (first 35 mm and then digital).

So I am excited. This is an entry level DSLR and according to it's product description, I should be able to use it pretty much straight out of the box:

The D40 is a compact and lightweight high-performance camera that makes it possible for anyone to create stunning images with an SLR. Designed specifically for ease of use, the D40 lets you use the kind of digital and optical technologies that professionals use without the need to deal with complex functions. Whatever you shoot there is an automated Digital Vari Program that lets you achieve fantastic results in any situation. Help menus are easy to navigate and the in-camera retouch menu makes it simple to edit and enhance your images on the large, bright 2.5-inch LCD monitor. Perfect for people who want an affordable camera to explore what it is that makes SLR photography stand out, the D40 is so user-friendly that all you have to do is concentrate on the scene you want to photograph and the camera's advanced Nikon technologies will take care of the rest.

So here's to becoming obsessed with lenses, accessories and all things Photoshop. I plan to get a good grip on how to use this thing before our little one arrives, since we all know she'll be ready for her close-up!

The Highlight

of today was getting our photos from our maternity/photoshoot today. We narrowed our choices down to ten favorites (out of seventy-two). Here they are. The rest of my day was pretty craptastic. The good news? I think it can only get better from here, right?

35th Birthday

Today I turned 35. It didn't go quite as I expected...and was actually probably one of the worst days of my life. It certainly ranks up there.

I think I need to give up the notion that birthdays are supposed to be special. Maybe that's for youth and when you're 35 you're no longer young enough to get away with such pollyanna ideas. I don't know.

All I know is that when I used to think of what I'd be and where I'd be at 35 this is not even close to what I had imagined for myself. And for the most part, I am okay with that. But there are certain things that definitely should be more together for someone who's just turned 35. And those things are now what I will work to get together by the time I am 40. Maybe that is a more realistic goal. Only time will tell.

Maternity/Family Photos - Sneak Peek!

We have been having some unseasonably warm weather later and boy did it pay off last Saturday! We could not have asked for better weather. We spent 1.5 hours with a local er, Malisa Morgan Walrop at Woodward Park with our puggies. The weather was glorious! It was nearly 80 degrees!
Here are a few snaps from Malisa's blog:
We cannot wait to see the rest!