"For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace"

Tuesday, May 28, 2013


We are moving.

How can three rather simple words be tied to such complex emotions? When asked, "How are you feeling?" I am bombarded by a rush of emotions on both sides. I am excited. I am thankful. I am peaceful. I am anticipating new adventures. I am hopeful. I am happy. I am nervous. I am so so sad. I am heartbroken. I am torn. I don't want to leave. I don't want to say goodbye. I want to feel all the pain of saying goodbye and yet want to dodge the goodbyes all together. I want to hit pause and fast forward at the same time. I want to live in two places and live two lives at once. I am trusting in what God is doing and who He is.

To make a long story short- about a week ago Seth accepted a construction job in Illinois. We've spent the better part of the last 5 months praying, seeking, searching, wondering, counseling, talking and dreaming about what is "next". Now we know- just like that. What seemed like an endless process in making a decision is done and we continue to move forward in it. Why is it the things that seem to take SO long, sometimes seem like a blink of an eye in retrospect? 

We are confident that this is right. We are peaceful. We saw God close all other doors and open one door. I'm so glad God made this decision for us because I don't think we could've chosen on our own. 

I prayed that God would reveal it through Seth because I knew I couldn't trust my heart and I wanted the stability of hearing it through my husband. Through making the decision about this job Seth felt excited and peaceful and would tell me how He saw God working in this and how He knew God was directing him to take this job. And then i'd ask him to tell me again. And again. And again. I kept asking him to tell me again because I wanted to be sure this was of God and not us. And he patiently would say "Baby doll, I am 100% confident about this". I asked God to reveal it through my husband, and He did. 

So now starts the painful process of goodbyes. We have already said goodbye to people we may never see again on this side of Heaven. People who are so dear and who are "family". We've started our let's do this "one-more-time" list. I've cried a lot. But i'm soaking in the sweetness of the painful goodbye- and I want it to hurt- I don't want it to be easy to leave- because it means that we have loved much and deeply. 

I was telling my mom on the phone the other day that it's not that i'm not excited to move back- I am. But I have to go through the "goodbyes" before I can get to the "hellos". One thing that my brother, Tony, taught me was to always let people know you love them and how much they mean to you- never leave without leaving right- love with all your heart. 

So that's what we're in the midst of right now- looking ahead & making decisions but also pausing where we are at and savoring the sweetness of this community and these friends and feeling the weight of this "goodbye". 

Thanks to all who prayed, loved and counseled us through this decision- we love YOU!

In other news, this past friday was Seth's bday. We had a fun day making one of his favorite breakfasts, visiting him @ work with lunch, and taking him on a bbq picnic at one of our favorite parks complete with a "campout" inside! Here's some pics:

                 Our dear friends had a birthday party for him Thursday night, what a blessing!!
                                         LOVED spending the evening with these dear friends!!

                                                Best friends- Isaac, Gracie & Elia :)

                              Glen has been such an amazing & dear friend for Seth!!

                                         Birthday morning snuggles with his baby girl :) 

We had a picnic supper for his birthday and sweet friends offered to babysit Gracie!

 From our favorite bbq restaurant here- whole hog! What better for a man's birthday than good southern bbq (maybe a big steak, but nonetheless :))...seth's pick- pulled pork & potato salad with baked beans!
 My favorite- pulled chicken bbq salad, it's amazing!

 Birthday dessert- strawberry shortcakes in mason jars...haha his was obnoxiously huge 

one happy man :)

We played some good old catch in the park, it was honestly a blast!

I love this guy & am so proud of him

                         This park is called Two Rivers park in Little Rock. It's just minutes from our house and you get to it by crossing this bike/walking bridge. It's connected to over 20 miles of biking/walking trails. 

                           A view into the woods from our picnic area...behind us is the river

We blew up the air mattress in the living room and put in a movie. We were going to make smores but we were too tired, haha oh well, it's the idea that counts :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

nursery reveal...5 months later.

Better late than never, right? I've been meaning to take nursery pictures...rather I meant to take them when I was pregnant...but I guess that means I would've had to finish the nursery before gracie was born. We just finished it. So I finally took the pictures.

I wanted a nursery that was shabby chic vintage. At least that's what I was going for. Thankfully there's lots of margin in that. I love lace. I love girly but not overtly girly. I love floral but not suffocating floral. I love colors but I love neutrals as well. I love lots of stuff but I hate too much clutter.

We had a lot of fun doing "projects" for it when I was pregnant. My goal was to do it as inexpensively as possible...which means a lot of diy things. A lot of the fabric we used was free, cheap, or old sheets cut up. Seth even got to use some of us carpentry skills....he built our diaper shelf and cut out the letters on the "grace" wall and painted them. Some of the decorations were gifts that were used as decor at my baby showers. The dresser/changing table was my grandpa kieser's...he built it himself and we painted it and cleaned up the original handles. I love love love this piece and cherish it because I never met my grandpa but have heard about the godly man he was and I love having something that he built with his hands to pass on to my kids to tell them what I know about this great man of faith.

At first I didn't want a white crib. I mean I wanted a white crib for a girl but we intend to use this crib for all children, one of which may be a boy someday, and I didn't know if white would be a "boy" color. But then I saw other boys use white and loved it...hence our white crib. I love it.

Seth's mom sewed our crib skirt. I. love. it. I really wanted a ruffled skirt because it's super girly and I love super girly so I was going to sew one. After starring at instructions and getting frustrated before even getting the sewing machine out, I decided this was not a project I should tackle...it was bound to be a disaster. Enter my talented mom-in-law and voila a masterpiece!

Enjoy your tour:

         Our "grace" wall. Seth cut out the letters from some wood and painted them & I used fabric swatches placed in embroidery hoops. Some fabric was my grandma kieser's, some was free, some was discounted, and some I just loved.

I wanted to make a mobile. I had an "idea" in my head but wasn't sure what it would end up looking like. Two of these balls are christmas ornaments and the other three....I kinda just made something up and this is the finished product...imperfect but unique.


                                         Her jewelry holder for her first pieces of jewelry.

            I love the bird and the clock because they are from the sparrow's nest (which is a resale/repurpose store in LR that supports PATH- a shelter for trafficked women) and I want them to stand as a reminder to gracie of the importance of having a heart of compassion & justice for this cause.

                          Her first piggy bank....they gave this to her at the hospital.

    Her crib- I love it. And the bed skirt- I think I shrieked out of joy when I received it in the mail! 

             My sweet friend made this for a baby shower for gracie, so it hangs on her doorway.

                      The dresser that was my grandpa's. The white diaper shelf seth built. A mirror we found at a garage sale and spray painted. And a banner of fabric swatches that I sewed- one of the ONLY things I can sew :). The lamp is from a garage sale.

The letters were from a baby shower. The large frame is from the sparrow's nest. The bottom two were made from my talented sister-in-law, Jackie, for a baby shower. The bottom left frame will contain her life-verse once we decide on what that is...one day. In the middle, the left is a frame I simply wrapped fabric around and put her ultrasound pic in and the one on the right was in my room when I was a little girl. 

              These were pieces I already had...the two on the right were clearance hobby lobby and the picture on the right was a photograph I took a couple years ago.  

             She LOVES this butterfly for nap times. Pretty much as soon as I put on "her" song, her eyelids get heavy :) 

The frame is from tjmaxx and inside is a printout from pinterest. I found the mug at garage sale for .25 cents:)

My sis-in-law, Jen, made these incredible bows. I didn't want them to sit in a drawer because they are so stinkin cute so I made a bow holder. It is a frame (that was free) and old sheets ripped up that I wrapped around and glued down the ends. Then I stapled (rather, seth did) ribbon the back to hold the bows.

The curtains were fabric I found at walmart and just sewed simple pockets for the rods and at the bottom. 

The finished product!

Friday, May 10, 2013

our Texas weekend :)

Last weekend we went to Texas to see family. We LOVE going to Texas and we LOVE the time we get with Jake, Jen & kiddos. We always wish we were able to stay longer, have more talks, do more projects, dominate in hand & foot :), and play with those sweet girls longer.

They have a way of making you feel "at home". I've learned soo much about hosting people in my home from my sis-in-law (sister, rather), Jen. She has such a grace about the way she entertains people in her home. She's so prepared, so easy going, so engaged, and has such a servant heart. Plus she's an incredible cook. We always have something new and amazing. She's a southern gem.

The guys (Jake & Seth) ALWAYS do a project of some sort. I don't know if we've ever been there and they weren't working on or fixing something. Seth loves it and loves working with Jake. He often comments how he is one of his favorite people to do projects with. Jake is one of the nicest people I know (ask me that when we were kids...might've been a different story, haha). 

Between Jen and I (both aspiring photographers, haha :)) there are always TONS of pictures! Plus this time I asked if she would take family pictures for us since we haven't had any taken since Gracie has been born and she did AMAZING.

So here is our weekend, in photos [some of these are probably the same as the photos on her blog :)] :
Believe it or not, Gracie is taller than Lila by a 1/2 inch but 4 months younger!!
                                                   Such a sweet moment! Mom snuggle time!

                                      We were getting our Kylie Jo lovin in!

                                                   Jake & Jen getting their Aunt & Uncle time

                                  These girls are going to have so much fun growing up together!

hahaha, Lila trying to get Gracie.

                        The guys doing their traditional project...this time, making a frame for us!

                         I love how they all only have shirts on in this pic...so cute!

Lila Ruth- you are growing up so fast pretty girl!

Love this sweet Kylie Jo.
                                                                     Our photo shoot!

We love you guys, thanks for an awesome weekend!!