Friday, August 19, 2016

{around here} Week 33/52: Week of 8.15.16


A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.

Around here, I have been:

taking care of my family as a viral infection made its way through the house.  A sudden fever, headache, aches, chills and sore the heck do you get these symptoms when it's over 100 degrees outside?!  I managed to nurse everyone back to the land of the living before catching a sore throat myself. (#mamalife) I'm also dealing with some pretty intense ligament pain, which is making it hard to do anything quickly.  I'm tired.

nesting, despite the pain and exhaustion, like a crazy person.  I've been decluttering, organizing and cleaning like the baby is due to arrive any day.  (I'm only 24 weeks.)  I even put the new bassinet together, all by myself, because I couldn't stand walking by the box anymore!  At this point in family size, most women are extra laid back - I apparently turn insane, even earlier than normal.  Poor Mark and the kids.     

finishing up shopping for S and TJ, my September birthdays.  (A friendly reminder: don't forget to support your favorite bloggers and use their links when shopping!  I know it's always so appreciated.)  They both are at such fun ages, turning 2 and 4 (!!), and I've had so much fun picking out gifts for them.  

(not) reading.  I'm in a reading funk - I haven't picked up a book all week.  I think I just have too much going on in my brain right now to settle into a book.

seeing new little birds around our backyard.  We think they're barn swallows.  They are so cute and small, but are pooping all over my porch!

calling it a light "work week" for Big White Farmhouse.  Some weeks I can commit to a lot, others not so much.  I love that about small business.  A few notes to remember:
+ I finished listing most of the remaining Vintage Finds and restocked the wooden rattles.  We added a new bear design and I love it!  
+ Consistent social media marketing is starting to pay off!
+ Christmas is on the brain already as I started making lists about possible purchases.  So excited for what's to come in the next few months!

watching Limitless and Jim Gaffigan on Netflix.  We also started Vikings on Amazon Prime, which I have mixed feelings about.  I appreciated Bishop Barron's commentary, but I feel like he didn't make enough of a disclaimer about the violence and nudity!

taking the big boys out, one at a time, to get their school supplies.  I am loving the one-on-one time with them, holding their hands and hearing them talk without any distractions.  I also love seeing what they choose: this year, black and red seem to be the favorite colors!  In other back-to-school news, I've been starting to get special treats to go in their lunches.  I bought a few of these organizers for the pantry and love them for the "these are special, you can't eat them now" purpose. 

listening to M read to his little siblings complete with hilarious voices!  So thankful that he can read aloud for hours without getting hoarse like his poor mama.  

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

{link list} Best of the Web Vol.05

I've been saving links for months with the intention of writing one of these posts!  What things have you been loving on the internet these days?   

#FBF // It sometimes feels taboo to admit that I love my epidurals.  I have so much respect for the ladies who choose the natural route, but Blythe's experience was so similar to mine...every single time.  No stress or fear, just lots of relaxing and chatting it up with the nurses.  Happy to see a medicated birth told in such a positive, non-scary way.

Oven-Puffed Pancake with Blueberries // Adding this recipe to my list to try soon.  Looks so delicious! 

5 Surprising Ways Reading Fiction Benefits your Mental Health // I can vouch for #4, although I think pregnancy may have a role in that too.

Love and Loss Ring Pair // "Love makes our hearts whole, loss leaves an emptiness. Somehow we hold these opposing things together. The joy of love, the pain of loss conincide in our hearts. We wouldn't change it--this beautiful paradox. It makes us better and braver and more tender."  Loved the story behind this ring and thought it was perfect for my friends who may have lost babies to miscarriage.

Why I Decided to Stop Writing about my Children // Thought provoking.

These 3 Numbers in Google Analytics Will Help You Make Better Content // While helpful for blogs, I really appreciated tip #3 in terms of my shop.   

Sometimes you need to dance to the beat of your OWN drum. //  The woman in the gray sweatshirt = what I look like when trying to follow any type of dancing (Zumba, I'm looking at you).  This video had me laughing.  

Monday, August 15, 2016

{family} His Name

I've mentioned it off and on through the years about my struggle with anxiety.  Most of the time these days, I'm in a really good place.  But there are also days that knock me off my feet: my thoughts go haywire and it's sometimes hard to leave the house.

As a perfectionist, I also tend to frequently doubt my ability to do anything well: my roles as wife and mother, the size of my family, my business. The voice in my head claims that if I were JUST a bit smarter, a bit thinner, a bit more patient...only then could I fulfill that role in the way I imagine.   

While anxiety usually stays on the back burner and I'm able to live a full life despite its presence in the back seat, hormones really mess everything up. (hah, understatement!)  This spring, as I weaned TJ and (unknowingly) become pregnant for the sixth time, I was gripped with a new round of restlessness.  It was hard.

During this time, the kids and I stumbled upon a book about Saint Patrick.  As I read about his incredible bravery and trust that God would look out for him, I had a lump in my throat.  I desired that trust, that letting go of fear of the unknown, in such a deep way.

So I started praying part of Saint Patrick's Breastplate Prayer whenever I felt that dread rising in my gut.  In case you've never heard it, this is the prayer:
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me
Christ in me, Christ over me, 
Christ to the right of me
Christ to the left of me.
Christ in lying down, Christ in sitting, Christ in rising up, 
Christ in the heart of every person who may think of me,
Christ in the mouth of every person who may speak of me,
Christ in every eye, which may look on me!
Christ in every ear, which may hear me!

I can't tell you how helpful this prayer has been in my life.  When I panicked at the idea of a sixth baby when I didn't feel like it was in "my plan", I prayed this prayer.  When I woke up in a sweat from terrifying dreams, I prayed this prayer.  When the news filled with horror and death and destruction and hate, I prayed this prayer.  When I felt inadequate and all alone, I prayed this prayer.  

Fast forward to mid-May.  I had done a first trimester screening for chromosomal abnormalities and had the option to know the sex of the baby at eight weeks.  And in a very anti-climactic telephone call from the office, we received the news that the testing came back normal AND he was a boy.  

Our sixth child.  Our fifth son.  

Mark and I spent that evening hashing out baby names.  Nothing seemed right until Mark threw out, "What do you think about Patrick?" With goosebumps immediately prickling my skin, I knew that was it.  Of course it was.  

This baby will always be known as the one who helped his mama step (albeit a bit unwillingly) into the unknown.  He will be the one who helped his mama face fear head-on.  He will be the one who taught his mama how to really trust.  

Our little Patrick.  We can't wait to meet you.
Saint Patrick, continue to pray for us.

Friday, August 12, 2016

{around here} Week 32/52: Week of 8.8.16


A collection of our ordinary days, recorded every week.

Around here, I have been:

starting some small health changes.  I haven't really excercised all summer and am feeling the nudge to begin again.  I started my 30-Day Walking Challenge (#60 on my 100 Little Things list) and it's been nice to carve out that 20-minute "me" time.  I've also been feeling the need for more veggies in my life, so trying a mix of juicing and adding more to my plate (when I can stomach them).

reading A Spoonful of Sugar and Struck by Lightning....barely.  So much going on and not enough time to sit down and read.

saving, because of Rosie's reminder, Box Tops for our elementary school.  We don't typically buy tons of products that have them, but every little bit counts, right?  I put a little Mason jar in the kitchen to collect them.

buzzing TJ's hair!  It's been on our to-do list all summer, but we've been hesitant to have him look so grown up.  He looks SO different, but adorable and is now the spitting image of his big brothers.

starting a new series over on Big White Farmhouse's poor, neglected blog: Monday Morning Coffee Chat.  It's a weekly collection of delicious recipes, easy DIY projects, and gorgeous interiors.  I'm having fun curating all of the inspiration I've pinned over the years to create the collections.  In other BWF news, new art prints have arrived!  We restocked Following Seas and picked two new designs.  The first one, Wonder, is up and the second will hopefully go up next week!

meal planning again.  I've had a lazy summer of winging it but am trying to get back into a regular routine before the fall.  This week's menu:
t: 15 minute roasted chicken & veggies
w: sandwiches for the kids & date night for adults
th: meatball subs with salad
f: homemade pizza

searching for a "new" dresser for TJ and the new baby to share and am having such a hard time!  I want solid wood, something that we can redo and keep forever.  I've been combing Craigslist and the Facebook resale groups, with little luck.  Praying I find a winner (that doesn't cost an arm and a leg!) soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

{around here} Ten on Ten: August 2016

It's been over a year since my last ten on ten - time flies!  I thought it was a good time to document a super normal, lazy summer day where we don't go anywhere or do anything exciting.  Here's a peek at our beautifully average day:  

8:05am: After breakfast, everyone scatters to do their own thing, so I hunkered down for an hour of work on Big White Farmhouse.  Today I planned a week's worth of social media posts, researched for future blog posts and responded to a few emails.

9:27am: I hit the jackpot when I found this homemade Flash Halloween costume on the Kidizen app, just the right size for J.  He is absolutely hilarious in it and we made a whole photo series of him beating up the "bad guys" aka his brothers.  

10:12am: I'm making a list of clothes the kids need for fall and sat down to quickly browse Kidizen.  Success!  Found a button-down shirt for M and jeans and a dress for Sophie.

11:35am: Pregnancy is so weird.  I haven't really had an appetite for anything in particular and some days, nothing sounds good to eat.  Today for lunch, I started with chips and guacamole and will hopefully fill up on some protein later in the day.

12:45pm: TJ went down easily for a nap, so I got in my mile walk on the treadmill - in flip flops.  (Did I mention I'm starting my 100 Little Things challenge of a 30-day walking streak?  Today was Day 2!)

1:00pm: TJ is still asleep and the kids are playing in the basement, so I put on Fixer Upper for inspiration and worked a few minutes on Big White Farmhouse.

2:02pm: TJ crawled into my lap to cuddle, but wasn't ready to wake up and fell back to sleep.  So with everyone happily occupied, I took a nap too!  

3:30pm: Up and at 'em again and playing a little game of hide and seek.  The kids love to wrap themselves in my dining room of these days I know I'm going to find the whole rod torn off the wall!

4pm: Lost track of TJ for a minute and found him happily playing with his "guys" by the stairs.  What a sweetie pie.

5:25pm: Mark and I are having a date night tonight so the kids were in charge of dinner.  M is on a sandwich kick and created a masterpiece.  He was so proud. 
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