A new camera. I'm slowly learning how to operate it at its fullest potential. I have a long ways to go, and I'm having a lot of fun in the process. (And driving Cody slightly crazy). It was indeed the perfect birthday gift. And a totally unexpected one at that.
Three new scent bars for my Scentsy pot. One of my favorite comforts on a winter's night. When we can't have the windows open to enjoy the fresh air, breathing in air that smells delicious is the next best thing. ;) Right now I'm loving the smell of Blueberry Cheesecake, Mochadoodle or Sugar Cookie. And then there's always my most favorite of all... Black Raspberry Vanilla.
90% off at Hobby Lobby. I finally purchased that Autumn wreath I'd been resisting for the last couple of years. (And did I mention I also had a gift card?) My favorite season will be even more welcomed this year with the excitement of finally being able to hang this baby. ;)
A Jesus Storybook Bible and the precious minutes Jaden and I spend every night reading it in his bed. Pretty soon Brandon will be joining us, but for now I'm enjoying this one-on-one time with my first born.
Pinterest. This website has kind of changed my life. ;)
Car windows rolled down. In Iowa. In January. An office window opened a crack. In Iowa. In January. I'm ready for Spring. I know, I know... I'm the same girl that once July 4th has come and gone goes on and on about how much she's ready for Fall. But this is why I live in Iowa. I love the variety of it all. There's a special excitement that comes with the first big thunderstorm - or Blizzard - of the season. And I wouldn't give up our May or September evenings for anything.
A freshly painted bathroom. Our bathroom has been "half done" since we had to replace the bathtub in July. (And take out the window). We started that project just a few days before Cody became very sick. Two months of bad health, followed by four months of devoting every weekend to college and NFL football games... lets just say I was more than relieved to have a Christmas break, the kids at daycare, and my mother-in-law with me to help finally roll some paint back up on the walls.
Final weeks spent in a little boy's baby room. It won't be long now and our special crib won't be a part of our home decor anymore - for the first time in four years. I actually had plans to also paint this room during Christmas break, as we are soon going to be transitioning it to a home office. I decided not to do it just yet. Our youngest has been raised in this room for almost two years - it's the room we brought him home from the hospital to. I can remember how excited I was when we finished painting these nursery walls and how I stood in this room every night for minutes at a time - with my ever growing belly - envisioning the moments we would spend creating precious memories with our baby. I wasn't quite ready to give that up yet. And as my dad said to me, "If you're not ready to do it yet, just don't do it!" (Hmm... I think he knows his daughter gets a little worked up at times).
Plus... Brandon still really likes this monkey on his wall.
A church home. And I do mean home. This rings true even more so tonight after receiving a letter in the mail from the pastor who married us, stating that our family was one that the church team recently devoted time to in prayer. Obviously, every family at Orchard has the chance to be touched by this. And this is actually the second time since becoming members that our family has been blessed by prayer in this way. But wow -- what an amazing thought to know that our names were lifted up in prayer by people who don't even know us. God's timing in this is pretty cool, too.
A perfect Christmas gift. Out of all the amazing gifts our boys received this year, this particular one from Cody and I might be the favorite. These two spend so much time playing with this, it's amazing. In fact, tonight they didn't even want to watch Bubble Guppies - something they do every night while we get supper ready. They threw their coats off and immediately headed downstairs to play with their marbles. Together.
Watching Brandon eat goulash. A typical picky eater, this meal is sure to get cleaned from his bowl. And tonight... he cleaned two bowls.
A second hair cut. Though he wasn't thrilled with the process, Brandon did so very well - not a tear was shed. And Jaden was such a sweet big brother trying to calm Brandon's uneasiness by repeatedly telling him how handsome he looked. ;)
His face kinda breaks my heart here. You can see that he's just not real sure about what's happening.
When the hair cut was finished, Brandon didn't want me to put his hat on his head. He kept pointing to his hair. In the end, I think he was pretty proud of himself, too. ;) And afterwards, both boys got suckers. It took Brandon an hour to finish his, and he spent that hour showing off his sucker repeatedly to Cody and me. He was so proud -- and he looked pretty cute with blue lips.
Oh... and Jaden was right. Brandon really does look handsome. I can't get enough.
Happiness is being a mommy.
If it's possible, I love it more and more every day. These two keep me grounded. When life gets crazy, I force myself to pause and think of them... and everything becomes a little clearer again. They push me to be a better person every day. They push me to be the best that I can be at everything I try to be. They push me to grow my relationship with God so that I can be a model to them of how life is meant to be lived and who it's meant to be lived for. They're pretty cool like that.
Happiness is raising brothers. They truly enjoy each other.
(Cody and I rarely get to use the recliner anymore... they have to sit in it together.)
....All of this is and more is what's filling my cup these days. Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.