Homemaking, House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home: Germany

Taming the Beast of Housework

January 20, 2017

“The point of keeping a home is not to be perfectionist or neurotic about cleanliness and order but to create a life of balance that brings joy to your world and those around you…. Find out for yourself what the most confounding things in your own world are, and come up with a workable schedule, with solutions that suit your own hours and days.” An excerpt from “Desperate: Hope For the Mom Who Needs to Breathe” by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson.

Well here we are, almost ten years into marriage and military life and with four kids, ages five and below. I’m not sure that’s something I ever anticipated saying, and I certainly can’t say I was prepared! But many of the best things in life aren’t things we necessarily planned for, and that’s part of the beauty of it all. I have to admit that 2016 was pretty much a blur. But now that Lilah is no longer in the womb and is four months old and we’re past the pregnancy + those very sleepy and unpredictable newborn days, I’ve been focusing on getting back to some good homemaking habits that help me to keep up with this wonderfully blessed and busy life we live.

By the way, I borrowed the title of this post from a great chapter out of Desperate, a FANTASTIC book for moms that I quoted from above, because it’s so true; housework is truly a beast that needs to be tamed! Here are a handful of my own methods that I’ve been working on lately.

ONE | THE DISHES. I run a load of dishes every night right after dinner, and then put those dishes away after the kids go to bed so that I’m not trying to do it during the morning rush.

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House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home, Our Home: Germany

Dresser Drawer Treasures

January 17, 2017

I opened up the top drawer of this end table and realized that it’s basically become Lilah’s baby-essentials command center, packed to the brim with all of her little necessities. It’s funny how something as simple and unassuming as a drawer full of stuff can say a lot about a person! Each of these little items tells a story about her. Some are treasures that we’ll hold on to as keepsakes, others are just everyday, practical things that she uses. I have a feeling that even when many years have passed I’ll have them tucked away in another little drawer somewhere, just because they’ll always remind me of her baby days.

From left to right:

ONE | Her cotton bloomers. Between this mustard colored pair and her pink ones, she’s almost always wearing them!

TWO | The nursing necklaces by Bubuline on Etsy (that I really just bought because I like wood bead necklaces, not so much because they’re nursing necklaces….but they’re good for that too).

THREE | Her muslin bandana bib. Unlike her brothers, Lilah is one heck of a spitty baby. She needs like five more!

FOUR | Her brush (here’s a similar one). So far she’s our first baby to be born with a thick head of hair and to keep that hair! Asher had a lot, but it fell out pretty quickly after he was born. So, here’s hoping hers will stick.

FIVE | Nail clippers. The standard kind, cause I lost our baby pair like four years ago.

SIX | Little Remedies nasal saline drops, because she’s not only perpetually spitty but she’s also perpetually stuffy.

SEVEN | Wedela Calendula Baby diaper rash cream. This stuff is German and it’s amazing! Finn seems to need it more than Lilah, but it’s great to have around.

EIGHT | Medical tape, which we use to tape her little pinky toe down on her right foot. Ever since birth it’s wanted to stick up, I guess you could say it has a personality all it’s own, haha!

NINE | A NUK pacifier that she somewhat reluctantly uses when we don’t let her use her thumb (as seen in this post).

TEN | The little knit slippers and knit socks were hand made with love by some dear friends! And the sweet white and blue ribboned bonnet hiding underneath the necklace is a hand-me-down from another friend.

Such treasures!



Bits & Pieces

January 11, 2017

ONE. This little tree is one Christmas decoration that didn’t get packed away. But now that Valentine’s Day is next on the holiday roster, I’m thinking we might need to make some heart ornaments for it.
TWO. This scooter was the first thing I photographed during our last day trip to Bamberg, and it ended up being my favorite photo of the whole batch.
THREE. When I met a family for a photography session at the edge of a large public field, where this wood was stacked, a German lady sped up to me in her car and very aggressively asked me what I was doing there. Luckily my camera was evidence enough that I was only there for photography, NOT to steal the wood. Apparently a wood thief had been laying havoc to their supply…. She warmed up pretty quick once we got to talking, but boy was she serious about guarding that wood!
FOUR. This little guy has had a cold that’s lasted weeks, but he’s finally getting back to his usual happy and healthy self.
FIVE. I finally got to do a family photo session at this magical little spot in the woods! For those who are local, it’s right down the road from us in the Holzweg forest.
SIX. One of these days I’m going to do something more presentable with these cork tiles. But until then, it’s pretty happy to collect the likes of what you see here.
SEVEN. It only took having four babies to finally get a thumb sucker! Not that it was an aspiration of mine, or even that it’s a good thing….but it’s a novelty.
EIGHT. So now that the TV is no longer here, what do I put in this awkward empty white space?
NINE. Scribbles.
TEN. Santa brought the basics this year. Matchbox cars, light sabers, and this big Playmobil fortress equipped with a working drawbridge and a QUEEN! I’m slightly more interested in playing with this fortress now that she’s around, because I can almost pretend it’s a doll house.
ELEVEN. Just re-posting this photo from a collection of some gorgeously aged German architecture I showed here. This, too, resulted in a funny interaction with a local German lady who opened the window as I was photographing, haha! She gave me a smile, said something I couldn’t understand, I responded with “your window is beautiful!” and quickly scurried away.
TWELVE. Yours truly. When I still had a tan.

Biblical Womanhood, Motherhood

Baby Spam

January 9, 2017

I usually keep my baby spam to the confines of my own laptop, but since I’m trying to get back into the habit of regular blogging I figured hey, why not spam everyone?! So here we are. Lilah’s wearing a few of my all time favorite baby-girl items; her Woolly Wonder Knits bonnet that just started to fit her a few weeks back, her pink pair of Poudre Organic bloomers via Mama Owl, her basic white Gerber top (I love the classic Gerber wear!), and then there’s her blue Summer Poppy swaddle by Little Unicorn. I’ve bought very, very little for her, but when I do buy I make sure to invest in timeless items that I love. We’re not exactly planning on expanding our family any further, but….she may need a little sister to pass these things down to someday! Just saying.

These pictures were taken right about the time she was three and a half months old, which was coincidentally the same time she realized she could stick out and wiggle her tongue (reference photo #1, haha!). And honestly, whether she’s wearing pretty little things or a hand-me-downs from her brothers, I’m just so thankful for every little second I have with her. The longer I’ve been a mom, the more I’ve learned to slow down as much as possible and appreciate every little thing about each child. I never feel like I do that successfully- almost every night I put them to bed somewhat regretful (grateful for bedtime, yes), but worried that we didn’t glean as much quality time together as we could have. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to avoid that feeling….life is busy, it moves fast, and it’s hard to split myself between all four every day and be relaxed enough to take it all in to it’s fullest. But each and every day is a gift from God, and for every time that I’m tempted to worry about how fast the time goes or to regret what’s already passed, I remind myself of all we have in Christ. I remind myself of the joy of knowing Him, of the fullness He’s given to our family and the good, beautiful things He has in store. There is so much to wake up and be thankful for every single day, and so much to look forward to in the light of His promises!

Family Adventures, Traveling Europe

Around Town in Oberammergau

January 6, 2017

It’s been well over a month since we toured around this little German town called Oberammergau, and these photos have been edited and basically just sitting on my lap top waiting to be published for almost as long. So, here they are! This has been one of my favorite German towns so far because it is small, quiet, and full of Bavarian flare. And we were there just before Thanksgiving, when all of the Christmas decor was either freshly displayed or just going up. Thane will roll his eyes if he happens to read this, but it’s true that the holidays are magical in Germany!

So, first of all, do you see that gorgeous window?! Just like living in Hawaii spoiled my perspective on the Atlantic ocean, living in Europe will spoil my view of the standard American window.

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Homemaking, House + Home, Motherhood, Our Home, Our Home: Germany

Musical Rooms

January 6, 2017

There was a day when I thought that having beautiful little rooms for our kids was totally doable. I mean, of course! They’re all over Pinterest, right? Asher’s first nursery started out alright. Then he became a naturally curious and destructive toddler…. And then we kept moving to new houses…. And kept having babies…. And now I continue watching all of them basically destroy any/all efforts I have made to give them nice rooms. (Okay, mostly just Asher and Silas, but Finn and Lilah aren’t far behind I’m sure.) And now it’s a challenge to even know where to put them all! At this point we’re just packing them in like sardines.

Families with many children- how do you handle the sleeping arrangements? This is one thing we can’t quite seem to figure out for our kids. And as soon as we do think we have it figured out, we either move into a different house or have another baby, and then we’re sort of back to square one. It’s not like it’s a national emergency, they could all sleep in sleeping bags on the floor if need be. But it’s just one of those pesky little things that there hasn’t been an easy solution for in a while.

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