Saturday, October 23, 2010

9 Months Old

Yesterday you turned 9 months old, little man. Where has the time gone? You are so sweet even when sick. Unfortunately you are recovering from the flu and a double ear infection, but you are happy regardless. I love this face you make because it emphasizes your dimples.
You are into everything! You love to crawl under the table until you get stuck under the chairs. You also love the blinds on the patio door even though we don't let you play with them if we can help it.

You still love to nurse, but you are very distracted by all that's going on around you. You light up when Daddy arrives home from work or when your brothers play with you. You are definitely a boy - your playing involves lots of banging things, exploring, and moving.

This is your lounging position, though you usually have your top leg crossed over the other. It's very cute! You can pull yourself to standing (or tip toes) but don't do it very often yet. You prefer to sit on your knees. You weigh 18lbs. 3 oz. (2-3 lbs. smaller than your brothers at this age), which makes you seem so little to Mommy.
You are starting to babble a lot. You can play "Pat-a-Cake" and "So Big." You give high fives and now try to kiss. You have quite a bit of hair that's already hanging over your ears and below your collar. I don't want to cut it yet, but I also don't want people thinking you're a girl. You're eating some food, though you like it best when it's in little pieces on your tray. You make the funniest faces when I try to feed you baby food on a spoon.
You are such a blessing! We love you Caleb and are so thankful you're a part of our family!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

In Living Color: A Home Tour, Kind Of

When we first moved out to the country in Feb. of 2007 our house was about 3.5 years old. It was in desperate need of cleaning due to the previous owners' rottweilers and I was just so thrilled to be moving into our first house. It never really occurred to me to paint before we moved in.

So after thinking about it and saying I was going to do it, I finally did it! It's not perfect, but it brings much needed warmth and personality to our living space, not to mention it has covered all the marks on the walls. I learned a lot in the process, about picking colors and about the actual technique. I did not paint our bedroom, the (current) guest room, the office, or our large school/play area, which has to be over 500 sq. feet. I do anticipate painting our master bedroom once I find a new duvet cover for our bed.
So without further ado, welcome to our home. We live in the country, within 5 miles of our town and about 50 miles from the big city (Mpls./St. Paul). We have 10 acres and live on a dirt road. North of our property is 20 acres of state land and to the east is another 40. We do have neighbors situated to the west of us, but we all have 10 acres each. Having grown-up in the suburbs of the twin cities, this is very country for me. For Paul, who grew up on a dairy farm in the bluffs of SW'ern WI, it's still not rural enough. He still desires to move to the middle of nowhere.
Our entryway (looking down from the main floor) is quite small for a growing family of 5. If you're looking for a home to buy, I recommend a large entryway or at least one without stairs. Going up is our main level and going down is the walkout basement. I wanted a darker brown for the entryway because of dirty boys (big and little) coming in. Due to the lighting in this area, the color I used, tends to look a little a bit orange-y at times. Other than that, it serves its purpose well.

At the top of the stairs is the dining room with the kitchen off to the right. This is an odd arrangement in my mind. The dining room is carpeted too, which also seems odd. These are not things I really thought much of when we first saw the house though.

This is the view of the dining room from the kitchen. The hallway leads to the 3 upstairs bedrooms and the bathroom.

The kitchen is my favorite room in the house. Our apt. prior to moving had a little galley style kitchen, emphasis on little. Moving into our house was like moving into a mansion in some respects. I love the corner sink and windows, which looks out onto our property and the state land ~ very picturesque. Because of the vaulted ceilings and walls connecting one room to another, I had to decide to either paint everything one color throughout or split up the colors on some of the walls. I opted for the latter.

Here is the living room. My camera does not do justice to the colors. The red is brighter than this picture shows.

To the left of this picture is where the kitchen is, though it is a separate room. Down the hallway from the dining room are the bedrooms. The first bedroom is the boys' room. I love how this color turned out. It looks baby blue in the picture, but it actually has a grayer undertone.

Across the hall is the main bath. It is just a mild tan color. I figure that way, I can change the theme easier in it if I ever desire to do so.
This is our master bath. I actually got this color from mixing two colors. I had picked out a color called "rice wine" for the hallway, which was a pale yellow color. Unfortunately though, it looked like puke green in our dark hallway so I had to repaint it a tan color. But I used the rice wine color and mixed it with the color I used in the downstairs bathroom and got this minty green color.

Note to those home shopping: the whirlpool tub seems great at first, but the jets are hard to keep clean inside, especially if the home has been preowned. They are not comfortable either. If we were to build our own place, we'd either skip a bath or just do a deep bath tub. We hardly ever use this. (There is a standing shower behind the door.)

And lastly, this is our downstairs bathroom. Not much to say here. Obviously, there is much of the house I didn't include because it didn't get painted (or photographed in a clean state). This home tour was mostly about the color thing. In doing this I realized that photographing rooms is very difficult and I'm not good at it.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Celebrating Felicity's Purposeful Life

Yesterday we celebrated two years of missing Felicity. Paul took the day off which was such a gift to me. My mom also joined us.

I started preparing for Felicity's birthday a few weeks ago. I really felt an intense desire to buy a little girl's outfit so I went and bought this outfit for a friend's daughter, who was born just a few weeks before Felicity.

Caleb woke up at 6:22 am yesterday, so I was able to be up before the sun and also be up at the exact time that Felicity was born. It helped me feel more connected to her and to her birthday to be awake during that time and be able to sit and think about her.

We spent the morning decorating cupcakes and arranging flowers to be delivered to some special people later in the day.
It was then that Ethan noticed the visitor on our deck. This is something that has never happened before, so it was really special to have it happen on Felicity's Day. And I was able to get a picture.

I think he's a northern goshawk, but I'm not too proficient in hawk identification. He sat there for about five minutes after we noticed him and then he took to flight which was a beautiful sight!

After eating cupcakes, we left for our day of celebrating. First of, we stopped at the hospital that Felicity and I were transferred to. We had one special nurse that day and she was wonderfully compassionate to us in our grief. We had not been back to see her since though we spoke with her on a couple occasions after Felicity's death. She knew we were coming today, but it was still wonderful to see her, hug her, and bring her flowers and a gift.

She asked if I'd be willing to work on a sheet of resources for grieving families that they can include in the folders that are given out. I told her I'd be thrilled to do it and I am! If you can think of a book/website/resource that was helpful to you, please comment so I can include it.

Next we went to see our NILMDTS photographer. She did not know we were coming and so it was really neat to surprise her! She shared with me that she had just been viewing Felicity's photos because the day before she had done another session at the hospital. So heartbreaking to hear of another family going through such pain.

After our flower delivery surprises were complete we headed down to our favorite hiking place. After lunch drove to a scenic spot overlooking the St. Croix River. The colors were beautiful even if they were past their peak. While we were there we did this:

The balloons traveled almost straight up. What a glorious day it will be when those who have believed on Jesus rise up into the sky to meet Jesus.

After that we traveled over to the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix to hike in Interstate Park. It was a wonderful indian summer day. The blanket of golden leaves on the ground in the forest made me think of the streets of gold in Heaven that Felicity walks upon.

After all that it was time for ice cream and pizza at Schoony's, our favorite restaurant in Taylor's Falls, MN. The celebration ended with a few minutes visiting Felicity's grave.
It was a good day, although not without tears. She will always be missed and loved! I am thankful though for the healing God has provided for our family in the past two years. We rest in His promises!