March 7, 2018

Heaven Is Here

I recently finished re-reading Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson. The first time I read this book was four years ago, before I had Bubba. I loved the book then, but I feel like I loved reading this book even more now that I am a parent. If you are looking for a heart wrenching and touching read, I highly recommend this one. It is a very powerful story.

March 4, 2018

Nursey Redo Before & After

We purchased our first home about a year and a half ago and we have done a ton of work to it. I was adamant that we not unpack our boxes until we finished painting the entire house. When I first came home from the hospital with Bubba, most of our things was still in boxes-- it was a bit stressful at the time. I thought it would be fun to show what Bubba's nursery looked like before and what it looks like now.

 *Note: The before photos where from when the house was for sale, I downloaded them and cannot take credit for them. And, Bubba's name is not Wyatt.


We pulled the trim board that goes around the middle off the wall down. The former homeowners not only nailed it to the wall, but glued it as well. When we pulled the trim board down it really damaged the sheet rock. Andy did A LOT of work to fix it and then he painted the walls and the ceiling. We also ripped out the unfunctional shelving in the closet and built our own shelving-- it's so much better now! We also had the carpets replaced just before we moved in.


We bought this book case used for $10. We sanded it down, repainted it and anchored it to the wall.

We picked up the toy block used.

The rocking chair and octopus came from Target. The blanket was gifted to us.

The mirror is old, it is from Ikea.

The clouds came from Target.

I love the deep shelves.

We bought the crib and mobile at a garage sale for $15. The mattress was gifted to us. The bedding came from Target.

The giraffe came from Hobby Lobby.

We bought the dresser used for $30. We sanded it down, repainted it and replaced the rails.

This print came from Hobby Lobby.

The sign was gifted to us. The elephant came from Hobby Lobby.

The sound machine is from Amazon. The bird is old, it was a gift. The lotion is our favorite it comes from Melaleuca.

February 28, 2018

Tender Mercies

I recently finished reading Heaven Is Here by Stephanie Nielson for the second time-- it is one of my all time favorite books. In her book she talks about tender mercies and I loved the way she defined them. Unfortunately, I didn't mark the page and it is too big of a book to go looking for the quote. In essence though, she said that tender mercies are moments where you can see the Lord's hand in your life. Tender mercies can come in the form of protection, strength, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation and support.

Recently we have experienced a few of these tender mercies ourselves.  Finances have been tight for since we went from a two income household to a one income household. Bubba has been growing and he needed some bigger clothes. One day a received a message from a friend online and she wanted to know what size Bubba was, she gave us a large bag of hand-me-down clothes that were the perfect size for him.

A few days a large package showed up on our front porch. An extended family member sent us a large box of summer hand-me-down clothes.

Later that same week we received a large medical bill in the mail. I went online to pay the bill and it showed that we didn't owe any money to the doctors office-- this seemed strange to me. I called the doctors office and they confirmed that we didn't owe them any money. I'm not sure how this happened but I am grateful to the Lord for this blessing and the blessing of clothes for Bubba.

God is there, He is real and He will bless us.

February 27, 2018

A Heavy Heart

My heart is really heavy tonight, Bubba, it is taking a lot to hold back the tears. My Nana isn't doing very well. In fact, she hasn't been doing very well for a long time. She is in a lot of pain and our family suspects that her time on Earth will be coming to a close soon.

The tears are streaming down my face now...

Nana has been like a mom to me for the past 15 years. She is someone that I look up to, admire and seek advice from. Saying goodbye see ya' later will not be an easy thing for me. I know that it is for the best that she is relieved of the physical pain she is in, but it doesn't make saying good bye any easier. I suspect that she will be close by me throughout the rest of my life and that brings me comfort. I will always hear her voice in my head saying, "Love you my girl." It is more comforting though, to know that I will see her again. I am go grateful for the knowledge I have of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, specifically that families can be together forever.

I'm glad that you were able to meet Nana last year. I hope that you will have a relationship with your Nana and Papa like I have with my Nana.

I suspect that you can sense I am upset because you cuddled with me this evening for nearly two hours and didn't want to leave my side. Or maybe it is because you fell and hit your head/face really hard in the neighbors driveway and you need to be held as much as I do. Either way is fine with me, I just love you. I hope someday you will understand how much I love and care for you.

February 18, 2018

Here Goes Nothing

One day while chasing Bubba up and down the aisles of the library a book called out to me. It said, "Pick me up, take me home and read me." Okay, maybe it didn't really talk to me, but it felt as though this book were calling out to me. Naturally I picked up the book, read the back of it and I decided to take it home and read it.

The premise of the book is there is a girl, her husband and a baby about Bubba's age. They have been living in Guatemala for the last several years. While in Guatemala they have been involved in some form of humanitarian work. They are getting ready to head back to the United States and they are nervous about adjusting back to the American culture.

The people that this young family has been working with give them a profound piece of advice. They remind them that the first great commandment is to love God and the second great commandment is to love your neighbor. They advise them to go home and learn to love their neighbors.

While it might seem like silly advice it had a profound impact on Kendra (the mommy in this story). Kendra is an introvert by nature and does not enjoy interacting with others. Upon returning home she decides to take the advice to heart. Each day for thirty days she finds some small way to step outside of herself and serve her neighbors. She includes some scripture (note: NIV version of the Bible) and a challenge to the reader to step outside of themselves and serve their neighbors.

I thoroughly enjoyed this read. While the scriptures passages were worded in a way that is different from what I am used to (I use the King James Version of the Bible) the overall messages were wonderful. I found myself examining my own life and looking for ways to serve and lift those around me. If you have been feeling down lately, I highly recommend this book.

February 13, 2018


Have you ever noticed how obsessed we have become as a society with labels? Labels seem to be lurking everywhere. We have labels on our clothes, the food we eat, phone numbers, zip codes, cities, states, race, ethnicity, gender, pictures (i.e. # on social media), we label others and ourselves as successes, failures, winners, losers, pretty, ugly, fat, skinny and the list goes on.

I was recently listening to a Face-To-Face event with Elder Oaks and Elder Ballard and they started talking about this very subject. They cautioned against labeling ourselves and others. I haven't been able to find the exact quote, but Elder Oaks said in essence that the most important label we have is "I am a child of God." These remarks have caused me to do a lot of thinking, pondering and introspection. Do I label others? Do I label myself? Why do labels matter? Are they important? Do labels matter to God? Do I care how others label me? What's the big deal with labels anyways?

As I have contemplated these questions I was brought back to a time in my life that wasn't a very happy time. Growing up I didn't care what people thought or said about me, I marched to my own drum and did my own thing.

Sometime in college things changed. I found myself in situations I had never been in or ever imagined that I would be in. I didn't have a lot of space and I didn't have a lot of privacy at this time in my life. About this same time some people entered my life that I thought loved and cared about me-- hindsight is 20/20 and I was wrong about them loving or caring about me. These people made it a point on a regular basis to point out what they perceived as my flaws and weakness and compared them to their strengths. And they said a lot of terrible, awful things and cruel things about me not only to my face but behind my back to others. These remarks changed not only the way other people perceived me, they changed the way I saw myself.

My self-esteem and self-worth were pretty much gone at this point. I would look in the mirror and tell myself that "so and so says I am (insert put-down-of-choice here) so it must be true." I started to feel really down and defeated.

The mistake I made was that I didn't tell these people to stop it soon enough. And I didn't remove myself from the situations I found myself in fast enough.

Since that time I have been learning how to standup for myself. I have learned that it is okay to not associate with people, even family if they don't treat you kindly. It hasn't been easy to change my perspective. It hasn't been easy to regain myself esteem, but I have done it.

I have learned that what other people say about me doesn't matter. I am a daughter of God. My worth in His eyes never changes. He will always be there. His love is constant. He loves me for who I am and where I am in life and that is what is most important.

February 12, 2018

Sunshine, Slides & Sunday

It has been so beautiful outside lately. The sun has been shining, the sky is blue and the temperatures have been in the high 60s and low 70s, for Oregon this is an unusual thing for February. We soaked up all the sunshine we could get.

We went on walks around our neighborhood and on the river trail with some friends. We also went to the park and we spent some time in the yard.

One day while we were at the park, you surprised me my pulling yourself up the slide. Not only did you pull yourself up, you tried to climb up the slide to the top. You are some determined little boy.

Beets are YUM!

You did something really funny yesterday. We got you all dressed and ready for church and you decided to pull your church pants off. You are really skinny and your pants are a little loose, so we know that's why you were able to get them off. You were walking around the house in your diaper, socks, dress shirt and sweater vest. We decided that for the time being, you will be wearing jeans to church as all your church pants are too big in he waist.