Sunday, November 30, 2014

Festival of Trees and Lights.

I love celebrating Christmas and doing festive things. I saw an advertisement for the Festival of Trees and Lights (can't believe I've never gone before!) and convinced my family to go. Proceeds go to help Blank Children's Hospital, and there are tons of trees decorated by different companies, groups, and organizations. It was neat to see so many trees. It's maybe not something I would pay to do every year, but definitely glad we went and would go again someday! I would want to go back when Norah is older so she could do the kids activities, like the train ride, cookie decorating, etc.

Norah was clearly pumped.

Keaton and Rose (my brother and girlfriend).

Our little family!

My favorite tree- Dr. Seuss!

Grandpa and Grandma.

My whole family- I love getting family pictures!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Meeting Great Grandparents Part 2.

While we were in OC last weekend, Norah was able to meet the rest of her great grandparents (both of Kley's sets of grandparents). Kley and I are both super blessed to have all of our grandparents still living, so Norah has 8 great grandparents, and how nice that she was able to meet all of them in her first month!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thankful 2014.

We have so many things to be thankful for this year, but I'm most thankful for this:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Moving in!

This last weekend was a huge one for us! Thursday we moved all the stuff we will need for the next month to my parent's house, and finished packing up our apartment. Friday the movers came and loaded everything up from our apartment, and we cleaned and turned in our keys! Saturday we were in OC unloading the van and unpacking everything into our new house! It was a big weekend, but glad to have been able to accomplish a lot. We are so grateful for both of our families, who spent the entire time helping us. Although it is far from finished, I am glad we got everything into our house and some furniture assembled/some things unpacked. 

These are kind of the "middle" pictures. Here are pictures of the "beginning" when we were painting and what it looked like before it was finished. I'm most excited to post the after pictures in a bit when everything is set up!

Here is our house- can't believe we are homeowners!

Thankfully the kitchen was redone not that long ago, and done in neutral colors with new appliances, so we didn't change much in the kitchen at all.

Master bedroom- painted and new carpet.

Norah's nursery- painted and new carpet.

Newly painted front door.

Living room- painted walls and fireplace and new fan.

Guest bathroom- new tub, toilet, sink, and flooring.

Guest room- painted.

Basement- Kley's "man cave" room. He is super pumped.

My sweet siblings!

Grandparents stopped to visit.

My sister Kayla holding Norah.

It was a long and overwhelming weekend, but I am so glad for the things we got done and for our bright future ahead!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Norah- One Month.

Norah was one month yesterday! In one sense it feels like she just arrived yesterday, and in another sense it feels like we have never not had her. How do you even describe the first month? 

First off, Norah has been the biggest blessing. We are so honored to be her parents and so grateful that God is allowing us to raise her. Parenting is definitely hard at times, but it's so rewarding. It's amazing to look at her and think that she was created by Him inside me and to see parts of both Kley and I in her. 

Norah eats like a champ. She eats about every 2.5 hours, and thankfully breastfeeding has not been a challenge like it is for some others. I am very grateful for that. She likes to pass gas loudly and fills her pants often. She likes to trick us and pee/poop while being changed or very soon after in her clean diaper. She has been grabbing onto things more often and more tightly lately. She has grown a lot in making eye contact and likes to check out whoever is holding her. She absolutely loves bath time and would probably stay in the water until she was a total prune if we'd let her. She enjoys listening to noises like fans, hair dryers, clothes dryer, etc. She likes riding in her car seat and sleeps in the car almost every time. She loves being warm and sitting in front of the fireplace or space heater, but also really loves to kick her feet and move her arms while just wearing a onsie or diaper. She definitely does not like being swaddled and sleeps with her arms up, and often with her mouth open. She enjoys taking her medicine (like her daily vitamin D supplement) and makes lots of lip smacking noises while taking it. She has been on a few stroller rides and liked those, but unfortunately it's getting colder. Sometimes she likes the baby carrier and other times not. She usually does not like the pacifier and will only take it occasionally- she usually just spits it out or gags. She has not yet shown any interest in books, toys, or tummy time, but I've tried! She also loves grunting and grunting often. She loves being a night owl and we are trying to get into a bedtime routine. (We have a routine of bath, lotion, pajamas, feeding, song/prayer, and laying down with lullabies- but Norah isn't quite having it yet.) She often fusses/cries when we lay her down and takes awhile to calm down and fall asleep. She loves to sleep in people's arms, and usually wakes up when she's put down, even if she's in a deep sleep. We took her first trip to Orange City last weekend! It was great for her to see our new house and see more family, but it definitely threw all the progress we were making with her sleeping out the window! Oh well. She has also had lots of baby acne in the last two weeks, but is still as beautiful as can be and still has a head of hair. 

Norah, we love you so! Happy one month!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Norah's newborn photos.

So, this is definitely one of my favorite posts ever. I would like to share some of Norah's newborn photos, so favorites!

(We used Jill Austin, from Jill Austin Photography, and she did an absolutely fabulous job. She is my mother-in-law's cousin, which is how we got connected to her. She did a beautiful job, was timely/good at communicating, and was a joy to work with/very friendly. Also, nobody paid me to say that, it's just my opinion- I would recommend!)

While sometimes being a mom can be really hard, it's also the best thing ever and so rewarding. We had gender night last night (where our small group meets just as women and just as men- we would HIGHLY recommend all small groups do that on occasion- it's amazingly refreshing and so good and healthy to meet with your own gender), and I left feeling so uplifted after talking to other new moms. Community is a beautiful thing.

Also, when I am clicking on labels to include for this post, the label "family" has a whole new meaning now! Kley and I have always been a family since we got married, but I always considered "family" to be our families we grew up in. It's still surreal to me sometimes that we are now a family of three.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Norah recently.

Here are a few pictures of Norah recently!

Those little feet!

I love this one. :)

She loves to sleep with arms up. (And usually mouth open!)

She LOVES bath time and being in the warm water!

(Also, she slept so amazing last night without being fussy! Huge yay!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Discouraged to uplifted.

This morning I was feeling pretty discouraged because...

1. Norah has not been sleeping well at night. She has been pretty fussy and takes a long time (like hours) to settle down and sleep. Last night was one of her worst nights, probably the worst yet, and she didn't fall asleep until 3:15am. So, I am tired today!

2. We are moving out of our apartment NEXT FRIDAY. I can't believe it. We will move all of our stuff up to our house in OC (meaning Orange City, IA), and then live with my parents for a month until Kley finishes school and GRADUATES! Today, my mom came over and helped us start packing because she was heading up to OC for my sister's volleyball game, so she took up a van load of stuff. I am excited for our next step, but packing and moving makes me sad. We now have a lot of white, bare walls and empty shelves. We had over three great years in this apartment, and it's always sad to see the end of an era.

3. I was also feeling a bit sad at how fast our baby is growing! I know she is only three weeks, which is still quite young, but I packed up her newborn clothes today and rearranged all her three month things. Can't believe it! (She is also pretty big for her age, so three month stuff is fitting her early.)

But then, while I was having a little pity party for myself, I found two things that really made me feel better...

1. I read this post over at, and it was seriously a gift of encouragement from God to me today. She is talking about how their son is 11 months old, and how difficult those first few weeks of adjustment can be and how exciting all his milestones are. While I just talked about how sad I was that Norah is getting big so fast, I am also so excited for her to grow up and to get to know more of who she is. I can't wait to hear her laugh and to hear her call me mom!

2. I watched this video about things kids do that are unacceptable for adults to do and laughed out loud.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Meeting Great Grandparents.

Something special that Norah has done in the last week was meet both sets of my grandparents, so her great grandparents! We don't get to see them as often as I'd like, so I am so thankful that it worked out for both sets to be here and to meet her shortly after her birth! What a special time. I am so thankful to have these pictures and the memory of them meeting her. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Before Norah was born, I had a dream that maybe I could be the one that could actually be supermom. The one that looks put together, has the cutely dressed baby, is still on time to things, maintains a clean house, etc. I logically knew that "supermom" wasn't really possible, at least not all the time, but I thought it couldn't be TOO hard to strive for.

I don't like that word anymore. Supermom. It has an unrealistic meaning attached to it that makes moms feel like a failure and leads to comparison between each other. You are your own "supermom" just by being the best mom you can be. You are "supermom" for meeting the needs of your baby/children. Because you know what?

Meeting the needs of your baby is the most important thing right now, and that is what moms are called to. To lay down our plans and serve our children. Because that's what Jesus did- served. It doesn't really matter what your baby wears, because they could have a blow-out diaper at any moment. (Before Norah was born, I naively thought that blow-outs only happened to people who didn't change their baby's diaper enough. Boy, was that ever wrong.) It doesn't really matter what's for dinner, as long as your family is getting fed (as long as it's not cake and ice cream every night). It doesn't really matter if there are crumbs on the kitchen floor if the baby needs to be fed now. It doesn't really matter if the bed doesn't get made because your kids need some extra snuggles in it.

One thing that's been an adjustment to being a mom is balancing what I think needs to get done in a day and what Norah thinks needs to get done in a day. I am learning to surrender my ideas and try to embrace what Norah needs. The other things will get done in time. And if they don't, oh well. (That's hard to say sometimes, but totally worth it since Norah's needs, and serving my husband, are my biggest and most blessed priority now.)

And in doing that, I think that makes me a "supermom."

Friday, November 7, 2014

Funny video.

Shake It Off- 1989 aerobics

So, I watched this early this morning when I was feeding Norah. I thought it was quite funny- Taylor Swift's song "Shake It Off" set to a 1989 aerobics video. Ha.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A few house details.

I am so excited with the house progress we are making! (In case you didn't know or missed it, we are moving soon after Kley graduates so he can practice law with his dad.) My mother-in-law has been such a huge help in helping us figure out all the details and setting up the workers to get things done, since we aren't physically there. I am so excited to make our house our own when we move in, and to post before and after pictures of everything we are doing. Until then, I thought I would post just a few details.

Our new master bedding- Harper Paisley from Pottery Barn (they don't sell it anymore, as we got it for our anniversary over a year ago).
Light blue lamp for dining room from Pottery Barn

Mercury glass table lamp for master bedroom nightstands from Pottery Barn

Kendra Trellis blue drapes for living room from Pottery Barn

Floral Bell rug for under dining room table from Target
Floral rug for garage entryway from Grandin Road

Newburyport Blue- The color we chose for our front door!

There are more things, but I will save the rest for later!