Bathroom Spruce Up

A master bathroom remodel is just about finished in this house and we couldn’t be more excited. That said, it was making our guest bath seem extra sad. To keep us from going crazy and trying to remodel that one right now too, I decided to just give it a little TLC and spruce up. Soooo I went to Target. IMG_2709.JPGIMG_2710.JPGWe live in a small 1950’s home so design and function (namely storage) are important features to have. That galvanized steal fellow was a whopping $14 on clearance.

Frames, no prints, and a cheap solution. IMG_2732.JPGIMG_2731.JPG
I found an awesome site that offers beautifully designed desktop wallpapers for free. I took a few of their images, PDF’d them at the highest dpi possible, and uploaded them for print at FedEx Kinko’s on 110lb card stock (just shoot me an email if you can’t figure it out). IMG_2735.PNGIMG_2736.PNGIMG_2737.PNG

IMG_2738.PNGThere are literally hundreds to choose from and they are amazing. You should do yourself a favor and check out the site no matter what.

I still support the many awesome small businesses out there and purchase prints. Some of my faves come from:
Naptime Diaries
Grace Laced Shoppe
Jaime Bravo
Rachel Harding
Angela Dimler Photography/Life

What if?

What if we stopped talking about abortion as only this narrow and focused war against Planned Parenthood?
What if we put more resources into counseling in schools so children who have been sexually or otherwise abused are less likely to engage in risky sexual activity?
What if instead of picketing at clinics we hugged a young woman walking in, told her she is loved, and gave her our phone number if she needs someone to talk to? What if we meant it regardless of her choice?
What if some clinic staff were filmed and shown how they talk to pregnant teen women? How they abuse their power?
What if they were shown how they often talk to folks of different ethnicities differently?
What if some hospital staff reflected on how they bully teen women in labor as though this is an appropriate time to show them what they think of their choice?
What if instead of critiquing the underage mom whose child is having a melt down at the store or during library music time, we reached out or we simply smiled?
What if both sides stopped silencing women who have had abortions and actually listened?
What if more people were willing to foster and/or adopt?
What if we made the conversation bigger and considered our role in it all?
What if we truly loved our neighbors?

I’m Pro-Life. These “what ifs” aren’t me taking the comfortable middle road. I truly believe, however, these and a whole host of “what ifs” are worth ALL of us considering and remembering in conversations about abortions.

*I’ve worked or volunteered with teens in inner city Phoenix in some capacity since 2008. I’ve held the hand of girls who have decided to have an abortion and I’ve held the hand of girls who have chosen to carry and deliver their babies. I have driven girls and their babies all over town to WIC and DES appointments. I’m the daughter of a teen mother. I’m the wife of a man whose 14 and 15 year old parents placed him for adoption. I have two small children and live a comfortable American life. This is where I speak and “what if” from.*

The Journey of Nursing

This Steve guy that I’m married to knows me and my recorder heart pretty well. For Mother’s Day, he gave me a little pearl ring to memorialize the adventure that has been nursing. Starting out with Henry was rough. Staying committed to pumping at work and all over town was something else. Steve was my biggest cheerleader for the 30ish months of it all. IMG_0766.JPG

This may seem silly to some, but I love tangible markers and reminders of big, refining times in my life and I certainly count nursing our babies to be one of those times. IMG_1225.PNG
Some part of me feels freedom in being done and another part feels a sense of loss. A sadness that Rebekah decided she was done so soon. We don’t plan to be in this season of life again; I won’t have another first feed moment like the above. It was a beautiful journey that I’m grateful to have been supported through.

Henry’s First Day of School

Today was big boy’s second first day at LBM! Mi sapo verde tan emocionado!

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Ms. Sandra missed him over the summer. He loves her too and talks about her on the way to school – despite what his side hug thing going on indicates :) IMG_2545.JPG“Mi salon es mi favorite color!” (gotta love the Spanglish)

IMG_2546.JPGMi cubo!

IMG_2547.JPGSis was not so thrilled about this new adventure of leaving brother.

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I think she changed her mind when she realized all the mama time she could get. It was precious to focus on her and slow down enough to have her really look at my mouth as she tried out new words and just get to do whatever SHE wanted us to do. (SHE also insisted on putting on her new LBM shirt from Ms. Heyli)IMG_2550.JPGThat said, she was SO excited to pick brother up. She giggled, smiled, and pointed at him the entire walk out of the school. Brother had a super first day and played hard with some new and old friends.

IMG_2557.JPGWe are so very grateful for our little school and the community there.

Favorite Kid Playlists on Songza

A lot of our time at home – snacking, playing, cleaning, etc – is set to the tune of music. Both kiddos love to dance their ways through the day. Songza has a number of playlists we really enjoy for being truly kid-friendly and full of variety.
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Playlist titles:

  • Acoustic Kids’ Wake-Up!
  • Classical for Kids!
  • Family Car Ride Karaoke
  • Kids’ Music, Grown Up Bands
  • Nursery Rhymes
  • Sunday School Sing Alongs
  • Faves from elsewhere: the full Raffi concert on YouTube and our VBS soundtrack.

    Bonus for the mamas: “Soothing Songs For Moms” on Songza is great for that last load of dishes, the final sweep for toys and shoes, those 10 minutes the kids are completely immersed in some game in their room, etc. A worship option in this same vein is the “You Make Me Brave” playlist on Youtube by Bethel Worship.

    Happy listening, kids, mamas, and families!

    “It was one of the ironies of life that – born at a time and place where women could and did lay claim to all kinds of ambitions – she should elevate the role of wife…” – VĂ©ra by Stacy Schiff

    Whip My Arse and Be Motherly

    Last night a friend called with a wobbly voice and asked, “what are you doing? Want to drink a thousand glasses of wine with me? I’ve had a day.” The answer to this question is always “yes.”

    I cranked up calming oils, poured huge glasses of wine, and hugged that friend to the couch.

    She said, “I was driving thinking ‘who can I go to who will whip my arse in shape and be motherly about it? Vanessa, of course.'”

    Isn’t that what we all need? I’m resolved that I need to seek out my friends, their wine, their couches, and their ears more often.

    Also, this is one of the best (and fun for its color :) ) compliments I’ve ever received. I think there’s been no bigger honor in life than having friends or loved ones sit on our overstuffed, cheap couches and feel safe to spill their ugly/sad/scared/confused/etc guts.