Friday, June 26, 2015

We Bought a House! And Other Things That Have Been Keeping Me From Blogging

Every once in a while, when life is crazy and I'm not blogging as often as I like, I like to check in to confirm that I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth.  I'm alive and well. Sigh of relief please?

So first of all, we sold our house. And when I tell you that we'd packed a lot of stuff into that 1300 square foot ranch, I mean it. It took lots of evenings and weekends of work to clear it out and pack it up.  And I've admitted myself into hoarders anonymous.  During the packing process, I only cried twice.  Once when packing up Dax's nursery, reminiscing about how designing it while Joe was sick became a bit of an obsession and escape for me. And once when getting rid of more of my work clothes and shoes. Because every time I get rid of more corporate Tiff stuff I get a little sad. Can anyone relate?
This collage was from this post- about our "old" house.
Then we celebrated our 11 year anniversary.  11 years with my best friend.  There's no one I'd rather walk through life with.  The longer we're married the more we experience (and practice) loving each other, being a team, and giving each other grace through good times and hard times.  I feel very blessed to have Joe by my side.

Another thing that's kept us busy-- we visited North Carolina twice.  During the first visit, we planned to find a rental and check out schools for Genevieve.  We did find a school for Genevieve but we found that the town homes we were looking at weren't going to be available by the time we needed them.  So we abandoned that plan and looked at a couple of new construction neighborhoods. We fell in love with one but didn't make a move at that time.

Enter the second trip to North Carolina. That trip was to interview with Genevieve's school and make a final decision on the house. Its price had increased several times so we knew if we really wanted it we needed to act now.  Thankfully we did as its price increased a 4th time the next day!  During this trip we also found a preschool for Nadia.  So, we found a house and enrolled both girls in school. Now all we need is to find a place to live.  Soon! And I should also mention that we haven't closed on the house so we'll be praying that all goes as planned!
Please note this is the model home.  Ours is not this fancy. ;)
In between the two NC trips, I went to Texas for my niece's graduation.  That was a fun trip and I got a chance to try my hand at family photography. I couldn't bring all of my lenses since I was traveling solo with Dax, so with my 'small' lens in the bright midday sun, I did the best I could! It was a joint effort with my sister and we made a great team and pulled it off. Random note: I love that while we're all wearing white we all accessorized so differently that our personalities came through. :)

Now it's on to Dax's dedication this weekend. It'll be very low key- yummy brunch, a few signs, maybe a banner, balloons, and colored table cloths.  That's it. I promise.  The fact that I ordered this custom printable from A Meek Boutique as a tiny bit of decor is making me feel better about the situation.

After that it's helping my Mom-in-Law plan our going away party in conjunction with planning an early birthday celebration for Nadia and Dax who turn 4 and 1 on September 3rd and 4th.  I'm going with a camping theme and am excited to throw one more big bash before we go.
T-shirt from Roots of a Flower Etsy Shop.
And that's it.  I hope to be able to squeeze in lots of time with family and friends over the next 5 weeks. We've built a pretty good life here and on some levels it seems crazy to leave it. There are a lot of reasons we've decided to relocate but a primary one is that this area just doesn't support some of our goals in life.  In order for me to stay home with the kids,  invest in a Christian education for them, and live in a house that's comfortable for a family of five, something had to give.  Throw in weather, my mom (who will be relocating with us), and a few more factors, and it really made sense.  We will be sad to go but have peace about this next step.  It's something we've literally dreamed of since we moved here in 2003 so to see it actually happening is very exciting.  It's going to be a pretty big adjustment though and we'd appreciate your prayers for this new adventure.

Friday, May 29, 2015

4 Figure Flattering Swimsuit Styles You'll Love

Before vacation I was searching for a swimsuit which is my version of hell.  Well the most shallow one I've experienced anyway.  I know there's the camp of women who are all "look at my stretch marks in this rad bikini" but that is not me friends.  I have figure flaws and I'd prefer to hide them. People often think I'm being modest when I say I have a belly but I promise I'm not lying. The only reason it's not always obvious is because I dress around it.  While a swim dress might be in my future (sigh) I'm not there yet.  All of these styles are flattering, modest, and pretty.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

A Floral Themed Sprinkle for Baby Violet

My dear friend was having a girl after THREE boys.  With a 4th baby and a different gender a sprinkle was a must, so a few friends and I put one on. She loves purple and named her sweetheart Violet, so a floral theme just seemed appropriate.  We added lavender, mint, and kraft, did a few DIYs, and called it a sprinkle.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

How to Have a Marriage that Can Survive Newborns

I am no marriage expert and could very easily rattle off things Joe and I could improve upon (communication for instance) and that I, as a wife could improve upon (keeping score for instance). That said, I love learning about how to make a marriage work, I'm not afraid to ask for advice from those with more experience under their belts than me, and I consider our willingness to meet each other halfway a strength of Joe's and mine. Not to mention, we're going on 11 years of marriage during which we've endured 3 moves, buying a house, a job loss, a miscarriage, 3 pregnancies & newborns, and cancer and we still like each other so that counts for something right?!

A friend recently asked my opinion on this topic and after a lengthy text conversation encouraged me to write this post, so that gives me a tiny bit of confidence to 'go there.' But bear with me as I honestly and openly share my thoughts.  Also these thoughts are based solely on my own marriage/experience.  There are extenuating circumstances in every relationship that can make this topic tricky. And I'm well aware that there are some marriages that have years of baggage and hurt that can't be remedied with a few tips in a blog post. Lastly I can't share our experience without outing myself and Joe (just a little), so please be kind!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Floral Monogram DIY

Hello Spring! This DIY is perfect for spring right? I've seen some floral monograms lately and have fallen in love. It was definitely one of those DIYs I needed to get out of my system. I used my friend's sweet baby girl's arrival as an excuse to try my hand at one.  This was a fun and easy project. I promise.  

Friday, March 27, 2015

Five Pretty Sun Hats for your Little One.

This barely qualifies as a blog post but when I'm searching for something I feel the need to share my finds.  This is what makes me a blogger I suppose. Ha!  Last year I scored the sun hat above at Gymboree for only $7. I never found Nadia one and as any mama (or sister) knows, you can't get one baby a pretty hat without getting one for the other.  Hence my search for a hat for Nadia.  Here are my favorite affordable finds--all under $15 (plus special offers)!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dax's Newborn Pictures and Shutterfly Offers Galore

Okay "galore" might be a bit of an exaggeration.  But there are so many great Shutterfly and Tiny Shutterfly's free book offer.  Though I love when it comes around, I don't always have the time to make a book from scratch.  Luckily we take professional family photos annually and making a book is the perfect way to use them. I don't know about you but the amount of gorgeous photos hanging out on my laptop drives me crazy! Using images from a professional session is much easier than weeding through tons of candid shots and editing and piecing them together in a moderately attractive way.  It took about an hour to throw this book together.  Take a look!  I've included some current offers at the end!
Prints offers right now!  Plus I realized I never shared Dax's newborn photos so I figured now was as good time as any.  I made a book of our newborn photo session using
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