Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Fall Family Session

I'm pretty sure I'm forever indebted to my super talented sister in law. She makes ordinary things look amazing and she has the ability to capture so much love and life in a single photo. ...Don't just take my word for it. Check out her work for yourself, then head over HERE TO HER WEBSITE and have her take your pictures too :)

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hair's to Change!

This year has been a year of excitement. So much change, so much adjustment, but so much joy! In the early winter months we settled into our new house where we watched my belly grow. In the spring we brought home a beautiful little man and had no idea what we were in for. Summer was perfectly lovely as we enjoyed Brett's time off of work and adjusting to life as three. With fall came football season and Levi and I spent our Saturdays cheering Brett's team on, all while I began to juggle life as a (part time) working mom. Now the winter months are working their cold way back in and even more change is coming our way.

This has been heavy on my heart for the past 8 years. Over time, some doors have opened and others have closed, but now it seems as though everything is perfectly aligned. After so much prayer and conversation, Brett and I have come to a final conclusion. It's time to start a new chapter. To step out in faith and mix things up. And now it's official: Fox Hair Studio is coming your way!

We are remodeling one wing of our house and turning it into a salon. It's quite the process, I've learned, but Brett and my parents have bent over backwards to see that this dream comes to life, and I owe it all to them. It's scary and sad, leaving my comfort zone and family at the barber shop. However, I'm very confident that this is the best decision for our family, and I'm delighted to serve my clients in the comfort of my own home! 

So there you have it, the explanation as to why there's been a severe lack of blog posts the last couple of months. It might have something to do with a little guy trying to crawl and beginning to get into mischief too. I've been preoccupied :) Anyway, I'm excited to share pictures of the finished product as well as more about this new step in our lives! Talk about bringing the new year in with a bang! :)

Friday, November 29, 2013

Six Months...Six Months!!!

Six Months

(Getting him to sit still was a JOKE!)

You are becoming quite the adventurous little man!! You will go to anyone, you love to "fly" on our legs or in our arms, and prefer to hang upside down. Your hair is really growing in now giving us lots of laughs over your morning bed head. You have eaten avocado, banana, pears, and your favorite thus far, green beans! You want to crawl so badly, but we are totally fine if you wait! As crazy as you are, you still have a very sweet side who loves hugs and kisses and you love to stroke Mama's face and hair. Your bashful smile is still our favorite, the way you turn your head as if you're about to blush. When surrounded by a pile of toys, you reach for a book every time. Sophie has made you smile and laugh more than any of us. We're so glad you love her! You are such a delight, Levi Jack and it's such a joy to know you! Our bedtime prayers continue to wrap up with a request that you would experience the love of Jesus one day and become His disciple! That's the greatest adventure of all! We love you, boy!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Five Months

Five Months
(Previous Entries, See Posts four,three,two, and one)

You, my boy, are a brand new baby these days! This month you started rolling over every chance you got. You're sitting up on your own for a while at a time, too, which has made play time so much fun!! Beginning to fill out your 12 month clothes, you're growing into a charming little boy! You've started babbling, "Memememe," which is adorable, but I always respond back, "Mamamama." Hey, a girl can dream! We still haven't tried any solid foods yet, mainly because I think you'll look far too grown up with a sippy cup and I want you to stay little! Speaking of eating, you've turned nursing into quite the game, full of giggles and then smacking my face repeatedly. Your favorite things to do these days are to play peekaboo, have us blow raspberries on your belly, gurgle your spit, "sing" yourself to sleep, and hang upside down. And lo and behold, still no teeth, yet you're teething like a mad man! Levi, we're continually reminded how blessed we are. The best and scariest prayer we pray is a prayer of surrender. We're trusting God to soften your heart and speak to you so that you may know Him and experience His love for you. Whew, it's not easy being a parent (already!) but we love you like crazy and are hopeful and excited to see what God will do in your life!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Four Months

Four Months
(Previous Entries: Three MonthsTwo Months, and One Month!)

  Every day with you is more and more fun! We love watching you discover new things! You chew on your hands all day long and have continued to learn how to roll over. You have a new found love for Peek-a-boo and you smile from ear to ear at Sophie! We're amazed at your ability to sit up straight (with support) and hold your own bottle and put your paci in and out of your mouth! So many milestones were reached this month and we're SO proud of you! You're still an ornery little napper, but I think that's partly because you're teething these days. NOT fun! But even in the midst of the drool and fussiness, you flash us smile after smile and yes, even a few laughs! It's music to our ears, sweet boy. Every morning we spend some time reading from your special Bible! It excites me to know you're hearing truth at such a young age. It's our prayer that Jesus would stir in your heart and that you would come to know Him and love Him. He loves you even more than we do, so you have every reason to trust Him! To the moon and back, kid!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Play Time

Levi has had so much fun discovering new toys! He played with this toy from his aunt Kortney forever the other night! I caught a little video of him playing...I was talking to him for a while before he noticed me! His reaction was priceless! You can see it around 1:00.

Friday, September 20, 2013

One Year of Awe

One year ago today was the day everything changed. My heart grew and my cup overflowed. From the moment my eyes first landed on those two pink lines, the only thing that mattered was God's mercy. And now, as I sit here holding my sweet baby boy as we talk all about his daddy, I reflect on all the Lord has done this past year and praise Him for allowing my heart to feel love like I'd never felt before.  To read more about that day, click here, here, here, then here!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Real Life.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: our sweet Levi is one magical baby. Rarely fussy and he has been smiling since birth. Sleeps through the night and nurses like a champion. No diaper rash, no reaction to laundry detergent or soap. Takes a bottle if he has to and can entertain himself like nobody's business. He's magic.

I read "Baby Wise" when I was pregnant and it made a lot of sense to me. The basic principles are that if a baby eats every 3 hours, has adequate wake time, and takes good naps, all in that order, you will have a generally happy baby. The baby will receive all of the calories he/she needs throughout the day to start sleeping through the night between 8-12 weeks old. Problem solving is much easier because you know when his/her tummy's full because they eat a full feeding each time they eat. A mom can plan her day with ease because she knows when the baby will (most likely) be hungry (with the exception of sick days and growth spurts in which case baby needs to eat more often.) The overall theory of Baby Wise is that if you can implement this routine into your baby's life, you will have room for flexibility and it will be easier to find a way to invest into your marriage as well, because you're not as stressed and the overall mood of the home is stable and as predictable as it can be with a child in the house! That was so important to me: to nurture my child in a way that would meet his needs and let him know he was so loved, but also to continue to grow in my relationship with my husband, all the while honoring the Lord.

That's all I wanted. So I began that routine in my baby's life as soon as he was born.
And you know what? IT WORKED! Levi went from getting up twice each night to once each night to sleeping through the night in a matter of 8.5 weeks. Rarely has he cried when I've had no idea why. Never have I ever sat and nursed all day long. I dropped the dream feed at 11 weeks old and ever since then he's been sleeping 12 hours a night, just like the book said he would. He is a super happy, easy going hunk of love. The kid is text book. 

Eh, not so much. His issue is napping, or lack there of. It has never been a struggle putting him down for nap. He let's out one or two whimpers, closes his eyes, and sucks on that paci until he's sound asleep. It's a beautiful process. However, since about 6 weeks old, he has never (well, with very few exceptions) napped for more than 45 minutes. Now, Baby Wise says a baby should nap anywhere between 1.5-2 hours (depending on age and time of day). The book contains all sorts of simple solutions to the problem. I found myself in the midst of a battle, trying to stuff my crazy baby into the author's formula: eat and play for 1.5 hours, sleep for 1.5 hours, then repeat. Except it wasn't working.

So then I tried everything. I asked my husband what I should do. He had no answers. I asked my mom, my friends, I read several blogs and re-read Baby Wise, sure to find answers! Apparently this phenomenon is known as "the 45 minute intruder," aka "I'm not the only one who's ever had to deal with this." Comforting, believe it or not. Anyway, my problem was that he wouldn't stay sleeping during his sleep transition that occurs in people after about 45 minutes of sleep. When he woke, he was clearly still so tired and desperately needed at least another 30 minutes of sleep, but couldn't fall back asleep. So I did what the experts said to do.

We tried cry it out with intermissions of reassurance. We cried it out without reassurance. We tried PUPD (pick up, put down), rocking, hand on belly, reassuring words, less wake time, more wake time, less stimulation, more stimulation, nursing one more time before nap, darkening the room, white noise, etc. I even considered Baby Wise's advice on "infant fatigue" in which a baby has been so tired for so long that it's recommended you let the baby sleep in your arms for a few days to catch up on much needed sleep, then place back in crib. But guess what? After days and days of trying each and every one of these, we ended up exactly where we started: a 45 minute nap.

After many afternoons of frustration, many days doubting my ability to even be a good parent, many times wondering if my kid would be able to thrive without good naps...I've come to a conclusion: it is what it is. Truth be told, Levi is not textbook. He
is not someone you shove into a mold. He is our Levi Jack. He is a unique individual created by my Almighty Creator. Don't get me wrong, all the books and all the unsolicited advice are great guidelines and I believe each have general principles worth applying. However, my kid is not going to squeeze into a parental one size fits all formula. I need to see him for who he is and do my best to meet him where he's at.

Here's a fun thought: our Creator sees us for who we are and meets us exactly where we're at. Funny how this whole "having a baby" thing really makes you better understand God's love for us.

So here's my conclusion: my little man is still most certainly magical, but it has nothing to do with what he does or doesn't do. I call my baby magical simply because he's mine.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

My House Checklist!

Have you ever had so many ideas going through your mind you actually lose sleep thinking about it? Then when you actually fall asleep, you dream about it? That's been me lately. So many ideas for what to do to our house, and so much time to do it! At our old house, I felt more in a hurry to complete each room since I knew we wouldn't be there for a long time. However, when Brett and I bought this house, we bought it with the hopes we would be able to stay here long term. Assuming that we will and that God won't lead us elsewhere anytime soon, I've collected ideas for each room of the house. Over the next year, I hope to tackle a few of these projects, all within the realms of a very small budget. Granted, it'd be nice to be able to spend as much as my little heart desired for each room, but I like the challenge of keeping it reasonable and making something out of nothing! Here are a few ideas I have so far. Listed are both long term and short term goals. There are other rooms in our house I can't wait to tackle as well, but for now, this will have to do :)

Front of House

  • Paint and add shutters, remove most of landscaping and add a few plants, paint front door
  • Eventually replace and add more porch spindles, replace door, change light fixtures
Living Room 
   (pardon the Christmas decor as these are older pics...)

  • Paint walls, paint trim and bead board white
  • Eventually change light fixtures, replace carpet, replace furniture, replace baseboard
Family Room

  • Paint walls, paint trim white
  • Hang artwork and window treatments
  • Eventually add built ins, rug, funky chairs, replace baseboard
Dining Room

  • Paint walls, paint trim white
  • Paint door
  • Add window treatments and artwork
  • Change light fixture
  • Eventually add farmhouse table and chairs big enough for a few more kiddos, add proper baseboard, replace door with dutch door

  • Paint walls and trim
  • Eventually replace backsplash, add island, paint cabinets, add proper baseboard
Entry Way

  • Paint walls and trim
  • Paint door and paint spindles on staircase
  • Eventually replace door and replace baseboard
Master Bedroom/Bathroom
  (previous owners pictures...)

  • Paint walls, paint trim, paint closet doors
  • Add window treatments
  • Paint dressers and nightstands
  • Create better bathroom storage (awkward closet not shown)
  • Eventually replace baseboard

  • Update landscaping
  • Strip and stain deck and swing, add proper support beams under deck
  • Eventually add pergola, add lighting 

If you notice, there's one very strong theme when you look through the pictures: BROWN. I know there's a time and a place for taupe, but it's not now and it ain't here. My hope is that when you look at the "after" pictures, you see nothing but light and color and patterns and texture! Anyway, that's what's been on my mind lately! Now, to decide which project to start first...

Songs with Levi

   We are spending a good chunk of time on the backyard swing these days. I'm so thankful I get to spend time singing truth over Levi. What a precious way to spend my days. His favorites have been Peace like a River, He's got the Whole World in His Hands, and this little ditty...

Forgive the horse sound at the end...
Funny what noises you come up with 
during "baby talk" :)

Saturday, August 31, 2013

House Challenge

Football season is in full swing and the baby is finally a little more independent! "Independent" may be a strong word, but he's capable of entertaining himself for periods of time! This has been the season I've been waiting for...the season that would finally allow me to start decorating this house! We moved last November when I was still newly pregnant and incredibly sick. Once I started feeling better, we had the baby to prepare for! All summer we've been busy adjusting to life as parents. Now Brett is gone a good chunk of the time (I hate that, but it's just for a season) and I have some extra time on my hands (do moms have extra time??) so I can finally dig in and do all the projects I've been dreaming of this last year!

Oh, except there's one little problem. We have a very tight budget, leaving basically no room for paint and furniture and curtains and the like. To some, the glass is half empty, to others, the glass is half full. To me, well I'm smashing the glass and thinking it could make a really cool mosaic! So I've decided I'm going to challenge myself to completely redo the main living areas in our house for less than $100 a room. I'm giving myself a year to work on our family room, dining room, kitchen, living room, entry way, and our bedroom. We also have plans for the outside of our house, so if the budget allows, we'll be working on that next summer as well!

In case you missed it, here's a post from last December of what our house was looking like then (and pretty much still now, with the exception of a few changes) to get an idea of what I'm working with. For those of you who follow me on Pinterest, here's where you can see a glimpse of what I'm hoping to accomplish, all with a small budget and in between diaper changes, feedings, laundry, and work.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

3 Months

Three Months

After the growth spurt you had this month, you are up to 18lbs by now! You were eating every 1-2 hours, and if you weren't eating, you were crying. Makes for a very tired Levi and Mama :( But we made it! You are back to your sweet self again!! This month, you rolled over for the first time! Thankfully it was when both your mama and daddy were home, so we got to watch and caught it on camera!! You have also begun to bat at toys which has made play time so fun! We've had fun going on walks and sitting on the swing in our backyard watching Sophie play! How quickly you've outgrown your 3 month clothes and are now entering 6-9 month clothes! You're growing up so fast, Levi, and your mom and dad are so proud of you! We hope and pray you continue to find joy in the simple things in life and that you would have a heart for Jesus and his people! We love you, Hammy!!

Previous Posts

Monday, August 19, 2013


Lord Jesus, 
  Thank you for Levi's growth spurt, for it means my baby is growing as he should. Thank you for the ability you've given me to nurse him and provide nourishment as his body needs. Thank You for allowing me to stay home with him so that I can comfort him in the midst of his exhaustion. Thank You for being my strength when I feel so weak and tired. I'm being reminded that when I am at my wits end and feel I can no longer do it, your grace is proven sufficient. Continue to work in my heart and in Levi's life. Be glorified even in this trying time, Lord. Amen.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Levi's Newborn Session

My brother's beautiful wife from D.I.A.images came over about a week and a half after Levi was born to snap a few photos of Brett and I with our newest little man. I'm so thankful to have these photos of him while he was still so little! Heaven only know he's not so tiny any more!