Saturday, November 26, 2011

giving thanks

I'm sure I've mentioned how much I love this time of year before, but I feel the need to say it again. I love the weather, the crispness in the air as it starts to turn colder, the leaves all different colors. Our neighborhood is beautiful right now. I took the kids for a walk yesterday to soak it all in. We are starting to decorate for Christmas, but before I put away my fall decorations...

I recently acquired these acorns. And now I have them hanging from our dining room chandelier.

Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.

We did. After all the traveling we've done lately, we decided to stay at home.

'Twas the night before, and I stayed up late doing lots of ironing. Lots. Why do almost all of Hannah's (and a good bit of Joseph's) clothes need to be ironed, even if taken promptly out of the dryer?


We celebrated and gave thanks, just the four of us. Hannah practiced her cheering.

While Joe was finishing up the meal, I took the kids outside for some pictures.

Hannah is not into staying still these days. That's ok. My mom sent the kids the turkey outfits, and we've worn them all week.

While I helped with some prep work, Joe was responsible for the meal. It included these:

I probably haven't eaten Brussels sprouts in two decades and Joe has never had them. It was my idea. Joe poured olive oil over them, added some salt & pepper, and roasted them, sprinkling with paprika half-way through the process. They tasted great. In fact, Hannah ate them first.

There is turkey on that plate, too. We had a friend grill our turkey. He's famous around here for his barbeque skills. That was the best turkey I've ever had. Hands down. And the sweet potato souffle was so good...and everything else on the plate. It was Joe's first Thanksgiving in the kitchen but you wouldn't have known it. We opened a bottle of wine from our trip to Napa last year.

Have you ever seen a turkey throw a fit?

We tried for a family photo while visiting our friends Thanksgiving night.

It was unsuccessful.

But we've had a nice few days, relatively low-key at home. I am counting my blessings. In all the busyness of life, sometimes it's just nice to slow down for a bit and take it all in. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

i got to meet the twins

{I am working on uploading Thanksgiving photos and realized I never published this post.}

I'm speaking of Alexander and Caroline. My best friend from high school, Beth, lives in Kentucky. I do not like that. However, I was very fortunate to get to visit her while on seminary trips with Joe. {He's working on his doctorate from Asbury in Wilmore, KY - just outside of Lexington.} On June 16, Beth had twins. Now, five months later, I finally got to meet them. They were visiting family in Savannah a couple weekends ago, and I got to fit in a visit on my way out of town.

Hannah was being a fussy-bottom, throwing a tantrum during picture time, but she soon got over herself and we were on the road back home.

I love you Bee, and hope that you and those babies can move closer to me soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

the nursery: part 6

{In case you missed the previous nursery posts, they are here: one, two, three, four, and five.}

Well, this is way overdue. The last nursery post was two and a half months ago. I haven't done much of anything since then, but it has taken a while for me to take pictures and blog about it. I kept putting it on the back burner so I could blog about more current events {when I actually had the time to blog}.

Since Joseph has officially moved in to his room, I thought I should get my act together. After all, I know you can't wait to see how it all came together. Right...? So, without further ado.

I did not want an over-planned space. I was hesitant over any "theme". I really wanted the room to be a collection of things we like, appropriate for a baby, but having the ability to morph into a boy's room when Joseph is a little older. This nursery took almost a year to come together (ideas swimming around in my head for quite a while), but we did move in the middle of it so I'm not going to be too hard on myself. You could say the room has a something-old-something-new-something-borrowed-something-blue theme. I used a mix of old and new, rustic and refined elements, and nautical accents. I like natural textures and a neutral color palette. I found the bedding and worked around it.

Upon walking into the room, this is your view. The door on the right wall is the jack-and-jill bath that connects Hannah's room. The window is on the front side of the house.

The rug is one of my favorite things about the room. It is a Moorish tile rug from Pottery Barn. I don't think they sell it anymore. I fell in love with it years ago. It was in our living room in the last house, but matched the trim on the crib bedding perfectly.

There you see where the oars made their landing. My handy husband hung those up. I wrote about the glider in a previous post. Both that - with new cushions - and the changing table came from Hannah's nursery. I switched the white rattan baskets for natural sea grass ones instead.

The window treatments were done by a church member here who is a seamstress. {Though Ann insists that she is not a professional, I think she did a great job.} I went with a casual, but tailored, pinch-pleat design with a standard rod-and-ring system. Ann tucked drapery pins in the pleats for easy hanging. As for fabric, I chose a natural linen for the body and a slate seersucker for the trim. I asked for the three-inch band of seersucker to be run on the bias (diagonal) along the leading edges.

Due to the bright and hot afternoon sun, I had the panels made with black-out lining. The obvious benefit to that is that the room gets completely dark, unlike Hannah's room which is so bright. Dark room = more sleeping. Theoretically...

That is the mirror I found while at Scott's a couple months ago. It is solid wood, heavy, and I love it. I took my time looking for the right mirror so it was the last thing added to the room. It is exactly what I had envisioned. The two lamps in the room were made by Joe's grandfather, Joseph Alexander Buck, Jr., who also made several other things in our house. Each square on the shaft rotates. I love having original pieces mixed in with store-bought ones. And while we are on that subject, there is the dresser that I gave new life to. I found the little giraffe and cat while traveling years ago. I can't recall where at the moment. My mom might remember. The cross-stitch was a gift and has Joseph's name along with "God will increase" and the Bible verse, "From the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded." {Luke 12:48} Such a good verse... The ship came from my dad's model collection.

There, above the closet doors, is the first oar I found at a yard sale. I intended to paint it so Joseph would have something in his room that I did like Hannah does, but for now it's just a plain old weathered oar. The frame to the right of the closet is a cross-stitch of the Georgia coastline that was done for us as a wedding gift. You can see where the vintage rolling crate ended up. A nursery must also be practical, hence the camera.

I love the bedding.

I found this chair at an antique store in a small town right near us. I knew it was meant to be Joseph's the second I saw it.

As my Dad was downsizing to move out to the Pacific Northwest, he gave a lot of stuff away. I took this framed historic map of the Jamestown/Williamsburg area of Virginia.

And there are those hampers I found at Target. Whites go in one, colors in the other. When they are full, I pick them up by the rope handles and dump the clothes in the washer. Makes doing laundry relatively simple.

The shelf to the right of the crib has some toys and gifts we have received. Finally, I wanted some photographs of Joseph on the wall. I decided to hang the frames directly next to each other so I would have room to add more as time goes by. I also like the aesthetic. The frames are both dark-stained and black-painted wood.

Besides the monitor and necessary pieces of furniture, the most important thing in the room is sitting there on the side table: the iHome. Joseph and Hannah both listen to the ocean as they sleep. Joe and I are strong believers in the benefits of white noise we read about in Happiest Baby on the Block. Since their births, not a day has gone by when we have not used it.

And that's Joseph's room. The photos are darker than I anticipated, but you get the idea. Now...on to the next room. {And it will not be a nursery!}

Monday, November 21, 2011

seven months

On Friday, Joseph was seven months old. When I went to take his picture, he was so happy. I couldn't decide on just one picture to post...

Those coveralls were worn by Joe and his dad, too.

He spent his first night in the crib one week ago today. It was the day we got back in town, having been gone almost a week. I had this crazy idea that it would be a good time to try something new. In my thinking, might as well make the transition when he had spent several nights away from what he was used to anyway. Hesitant to move him to the other end of the house (connected to Hannah's room by a bathroom) where he might wake up his sister, we kept him in our room in a pack-n-play once he outgrew the bassinet. You could say we got our money's worth on that bassinet; he stayed in it until both his head and feet touched the ends. We put him to bed at a decent time and he slept 12 hours. Success! Most nights since have been great.

He's (finally) eating solids. Instead of us having to shove food in his mouth and chase it with a pacifier so it stays in, he's actually agreeable. So far he's had prunes, sweet potatoes, apple sauce, carrots, peas and pears. We are whipping up some oatmeal mixtures too. He's really taken a liking to sweet potatoes.

Tuesday was a beautiful day, so we played outside. He's wearing Hannah's first Thanksgiving duds.

He was talking and laughing the whole time. You know, the way you want them to be when you are paying the photographer.

You are probably thinking that he's always smiling and happy and we are the luckiest parents in the world. People comment all the time about how good he is. It makes Joe and I laugh. I can assure you that Joseph is not always like this. I can say that he's happy as long as he's being held or has your full attention. Even now, I need to go get him from his crib where he has had a miserable attempt at a nap...

But before I go...

This little outfit belonged to my brother, Ben. My mom found a tote in the attic filled with our old baby clothes. This sleeper fits Joseph perfectly. He's gotten to wear a few of Uncle Ben's things, including little ivory leather shoes he wore for the wedding, which my dad wore as well...we're talking old stuff!

I'm so totally in love with this guy more and more everyday. I give thanks for having him in my life.

{I just realized that in every picture in this post, Joseph is wearing hand-me-downs. He does have his own clothes, bought especially for him, I promise.}