Friday, January 20, 2012

A sweet season


Baby belly

Here's a sweet belly photo that my friend Jenny took of me (and my baby) several weeks ago. More to come soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Sew" cute!

Thanks to my wonderful, amazing, favorite Aunt Helen, I have found a new creative outlet: Sewing! A couple of months ago, my very creative aunt (who also happens to be a pretty expert seamstress and quilter) called me and announced that she had received a much deserved new sewing machine for her birthday and was looking for a good home for her perfectly functioning old machine. I about peed my pants. This sewing machine has been in the family for years, and it is an enormous honor for it to pass into my hands! So, eager to start sewing and happy to provide it a creative home, I accepted the offer. Eric's parents were spending Thanksgiving in Missouri, and agreed to pick it up from my aunt who lives about an hour from where they were. When they came to visit us this December, the sewing machine came with. It currently resides on my art table in the sun room and has been running quite frequently in the past two weeks.

With the help of my friend Liz, who provided me with verbal instructions (you can visit her amazing sewing blog here, I made this knot dress for Lexi. I finished the dress this afternoon and took some quick snapshots of her modeling it.

(And yes, my daughter has two legs. She's just tricky like that.)

Now that the dress is done, my next work in progress is a small quilt. The fabric is currently in the drier and waiting to be pressed and cut. But first things first. A certain whining toddler needs her dinner or I fear WW5 may be heading our way...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Electric hair

Yesterday was fort building day. An afternoon in which our living room turned into a canopy of fuzzy blankets and support chairs.

Lexi got to experience the full effects of static electricity.

(Please excuse the cracker in the open mouth.
Her hair was just too hilarious to miss the photo op. )

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

It's Thursday, and I have so much that I am thankful for and that have blessed me this week that I thought I should take a minute and share some of them. Most of it has to do with Lexi, but that is to be expected since we spend 11 hours a day together.

1) Lexi had her first Gymnastics class yesterday! And if you are sitting there thinking, "Beth, your kid is 20 months old and is way too young for gymnastics," well, friend, you obviously don't know my daughter. While she does have some trouble following directions (what one-year-old wouldn't have trouble listening in a room full of laughing little kids and a cushy floor that is covered in foam wedges and balls and tunnels to crawl through!?!), Lexi can do somersaults and hang on the bar way better than some of the 3-year-olds in her class! Of course, being a gymnast myself in my younger years, I am immensely proud of her, and thrilled to death to think that we can totally afford gymnastics classes here for quite some time (hooray for the wonderful Chicago Park District!).

2) Eric received some new video equipment in the mail this week and has been acting like a 5-year-old kid on Christmas morning. I love seeing him having so much fun and loving what he does for a living!

3) When I gave Lexi an apple this morning, she looked at me and said very proudly, "Thank you you're welcome."

4) I sat on the couch yesterday afternoon and watched Lexi play pretend with her stuffed animal Violet for a full hour. I still can't believe that this smart little girl was formed and developed inside my body. God is constantly giving me things I definitely do not deserve.

5) The snow falling outside our windows this morning. While I have loved loved LOVED the sunny 50 degree weather we have been enjoying, there is nothing more beautiful than watching the first real snow of winter fall gently past the windows and coat the ground with pure white.

6) I think that what I am thankful for the most this week are the hard times I have been going through. I know it sounds strange, but it is because of some incredibly difficult circumstances in my life lately that have allowed God to reveal Himself to me in some pretty big ways. And He has not only been revealing Himself to me, but He has also been revealing to me the poor condition of my heart. This breaking process is not fun, to say the least, but the blessings that come with the healing far outweigh any pain in the process. More about this later (when Lexi isn't squealing that she is done with lunch while throwing noodles all over the dining room floor.....).

7) Eating a bowl of cereal in bed last night while watching BBC's The Human Planet. Did you know that there is a species of bird that actually intentionally leads humans to trees with honey-bee hives? God is so cool.

8) Being a part of a really cool church that has really cool people that have a heart for the city of Chicago.

9) The cups full of creamy chicken noodle soup and fresh bread that Nick keeps bringing back for us from his restaurant job. YUM.

10) Dan coming over everyday for lunch now that school has started up again. There are some huge perks for him now that he is an art teacher at the middle school across the street from our house.

Monday, January 2, 2012


This afternoon I find myself sitting in a coffee shop, sipping a spicy chai tea and feeling warm and comfortable after a steaming cup of delicious bean chili. It's quiet in here. Soft lights and comfy couches. Quiet conversations about French literature between friends, a family sitting and enjoying each others company and the early evening by the fireplace. Individuals reading, writing, or just sitting and being.
It is rare that I force myself to intentionally come to a place simply to be alone. To be quiet.

And I am realizing now how important that is for me. Especially now, as a mom to the most active and intelligent toddler on the planet (ok, slightly biased, but I have no problem burning calories with all the running around I do everyday to keep up with her!), and with a baby who is only about 3 months away from joining our family in person.
The real reason I am at this coffee shop right now is because I completely lost it today with said active toddler (who can't keep her hands out of a certain animal's water bowl), and then continued to project at my husband (who certainly doesn't deserve an unkind word) and even at the dog we are currently caring for (who can't keep his sniffing nose out of my grocery bags!). Ten minutes later I found myself crying in the laundry room, folding the laundry and trying to not smear my runny mascara on the clean towels.

So after some apologies and hug, my husband (who is very understanding of certain crazy pregnancy hormones) took Lexi to his friend's apartment to spend the afternoon and ordered me to either go to a coffee shop or go buy shoes. Strangely enough, I chose the former. (I'll take him up on the shoe offer later.)

And so here I sit. Relaxed and finding quiet.

I don't have a chaotic life. In fact I work hard to keep my schedule relatively open and activity free. But I am realizing that even if I am not going somewhere, or doing something significant, I am always trying to be busy doing something. Anything. Because there is always something to be done.

So maybe in this new year I will try to find the quiet more. Create it, if that's what it takes. Because God can be rather difficult to hear if there is constant noise everywhere.
And I am a firm believer that every soul needs quiet in order to thrive in the noise.