what's in a weekend... mountain edition!

i was {pretty much} without internet for the our long weekend away, so no bloggin' for this momma!
we left Thursday morning to head up to Clyde, NC {a little north of Asheville} for a visit with Justin's mom and stepdad, and have a little mountain getaway.
a weekend full of rest, family, fellowship, and a pinch of J.Crew shopping madness!
pretty  sure it was just what the doctor ordered!

here's a play by play in pictures...


Justin's cousin and one of my best friends, Rachel

my dear friend, Jennifer, stopped by for a visit!

campin' out outside the J.Crew distribution warehouse sale... i took this pic with 2 more hours to go!

the loot!  a lot of this is Christmas gifts ;)

hope y'all had a lovely weekend...
and that this evenin's full of yummy treats!  Happy Halloween!!


who says learning can't be fun?!...

i LOVE the age that Asa is right now!
of course, each new milestone, every new word or quirk, every inch they grow is such a sweet little gift.
it's just in the past couple months that he's really started to appreciate the fun in coloring, counting, and ABC's.
lately, when the baby sister's napping and it's just Asa and momma, we both love getting into little sensory learning projects!
one of the new ones we tried, that he particularly LOVED, was painting in the tub.
believe it or not, this is the first time we've used paint... i guess i was a little nervous about the mess... i'm learning to let go though and so glad i did!
it was a bath night anyway, so we stripped him down to his skivvies and let him go to town... so fun!
{and he didn't even try once to put it in his mouth... go Ace!}

Justin and i were both kinesthetic learners {Justin especially... i was more auditory}, 
and it seems that Asa's heading in that direction as well.
i couldn't be happier!  i love being hands on!... nothin' wrong with a little paint under your nails ;)
it's sweet moments like these that make for the very best of memories!
this boy's got my heart for sure!

then, to add to the sweetness, daddy got in some cuddles before bed... love my boys!


what's in a weekend...

it all started with a DATE NIGHT!!!

y'all there's only been 2 or 3 of these since Bellamy was born.
granted i still don't feel comfortable leaving a sitter to put both babies to bed, so we snuck out after Asa was tucked away... around 7:45.
we went to Cowfish, in the Southpark area.  SO good!
we needed that.

Saturday started off with some yard saling/antiquing.
a friend/neighbor of ours is moving, so i stopped by her place to see if i might pick up a couple treasures...
here's one of them
a little vintage 'Aunt Jemima' duckling for Belle's room
i also found a couple sweet wall hangings for my collage and a pillow or two.

 then i was on my way to pick up the antique vanity i'd found the weekend before...
isn't she a beauty?!

Miss Bellamy reached another little milestone...
cereal :)
i'm pretty sure a baby's first taste of food is pretty much the sweeeeetest thing!
her precious little face scrunched up as i made each attempt to scoop the oatmeal into her mouth before she could push it out with her tongue.
we started out with oatmeal the first two days and today i added a bit of banana... success!

Saturday evening, we went to my parent's annual Octoberfest cookout!
delicious food, family and friends... what's better??

Sunday we worshipped with our Branch family, watched our Carolina Panthers BEAT the Redskins, snoozed a little, and then headed off to my little sister's for dindin.
Gretch and Justin spoiled us for real!
shrimp on white cheddar grit cakes and roasted asparagus!

finished off the weekend with massive amounts of laundry and an exhausted hubby!
{he fell asleep in my lap before i even folded the first t-shirt... needless to say, he got out of helping ;)}

Happy Monday!


somethin' to chew on...

Ted Tripp's Shepherding a Child's Heart has served as such an awesome reference for me now that Asa is getting older and discipline is coming into play.
{the book is good for so much more than that, but i'll touch on that in another post}

i'm gonna make this quick and just share a little tid bit from Chapter 14...
Infancy to Childhood : Training Objectives
Save Time--Do it Right
"If your children are young, do it right from the start.  Don't let them develop habits of disobedience.  Be sure that they learn to obey without challenge, without excuse, without delay.
Don't waste time trying to sugar-coat submission to make it palatable.  Obeying when you see the sense in it is not submission; it is agreement.  Submission necessarily means doing what you do not wish to do.  It is never easy or painless.  True biblical submission must be found in knowing Christ and his grace.  Don't try to make something that does not require grace. Don't reduce submission to authority to that which fits natural man and natural abilities."

it's so easy, as a parent, to NOT follow through.  to become distracted and let some things go and not others, but making a conscious effort in this area is crucial for both mom and child.  it's essential to their well being... read Ephesians 6:1-3
so, i challenge you to ALWAYS follow through, because you love them.
i know there'll be days that this is most definitely easier said than done, but you can be sure you won't be sorry... it's God's promise, as long as he's the center.
when those moments come... breathe, pray, take action!



not much other than lovin' on my babies was on the agenda for today, so when my little sister, Gretchen, called and asked if she could come over for some hang time, i said YESSSS!
she only lives about 45 min away, but with a baby that starts screaming about .2 seconds into any car ride, it might as well be 3 hours...
so, we don't get to see her as much as i'd like.
she may be younger, but gosh i look up to that girl!
she has the sweetest, most gentle spirit and a heart of pure gold.  she loves Jesus, her husband, and her dog with a passion... in that order.  she's going to be an amazing mother, but now she's in the business of delivering little miracles every day {a labor and delivery nurse at CMC Main}.  she's kind, compassionate, witty, quiet, and seriously beautiful.
sisters share an unbreakable bond and for too long i took that for granted and didn't sew into the relationship what i should have.  but times are a-changin' and things are looking SO much brighter from here.
girls, if you have a sister, take advantage! God gave you a built-in bff!  love on her, pray for her, laugh with her, cry with her... take time to pour into eachother's lives.  i'm learning this now and i'm never lookin' back.
Asa and Bellamy LOVE their Aunt Getch, and so do i.



it was just me and the babies.
Justin took off Friday to take Asa to the mountains, so workin' late tonight was in order.
a slight wave of anxiety still washes over me, initially, at the thought of dinner
and bathtime and bedtime all on my own with both kiddos.
but, after sending up a few prayers for grace and patience, i'm proud to say, i tackled the evening with flyin' colors!
of course it helped that Asa was in one of his hilarious moods, thoroughly entertaining Bellamy, who was shootin' smiles and left and right for her big brother!
"rrribbit! rrribbit!" he hopped through the kitchen like a frog, climbed around on all fours (feet, not knees) shouting like a monkey, danced in circles, and whistled away on his blue recorder.
i love this kid... and so does his little sister.  i can already see how enamored she is with him and am constantly choking back tears watching their sweet relationship unfold.

so, tonight i laughed and cried my way through feeding, bathing, changing, lullabies, and bedtime prayers.
what a gift.

i'd naturally prefer to have Justin home lovin' on us, but it's nights like this that make me realize how important this role i've been given is.  
i'm a momma.
thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus.

just look at these precious babes i get to hang out with all day...


just us girls...

my boys have taken off for the mountains {Asheville} this weekend.
Bellamy's got a little case of the sniffles, and my mommy instinct told me it wasn't such a good idea to take her...
so, daddy and Ace are visiting with Mimi & Poppy {Justin's mom and stepdad} while Belle and i get some quality girl time!
{we'll be going up for another visit Halloween weekend, so i wasn't too upset}
the first part of the morning came complete with about 3 cry fests before i could pull myself together enough to appreciate the quiet.
it's never been just me and Bellamy... i've always got Asa to feed, or read to, or play cars with, or dance with, and i just wasn't quite sure what to do with myself outside of that.

but, i got over it... the rest of the day held some good phone convos with dear girlfriends, an iPhone photo session, a nap, and an antique outing!

a vintage toy excavator for Asa... he's gonna love it!

antique dollhouse on a stand... i'm going to paint the stand to match her nursery :)

OH! and i got to fully blowdry my hair for the first time in a couple months.  this is BIG!

we plan on soakin' up some of this gorgeous autumn weather this weekend... 
i hope you do too!
happy day!


thankful thursday...

do i even need to say it??
i'm pretty sure we all hopped on this bandwagon today...
we were outside the first chance we got!
there may have only been glimpses, between the lingering gloom, but i'll take it!
if Asa could talk in complete sentences, he would probably have said something like, "I'M FREE!  and momma, i love you, but i've had enough of coloring books, puzzles, blocks, cars, toons, snacks, and crazy dance parties.... GIVE ME DIRT, AND STICKS, AND PUDDLES!!!"
don't get me wrong, there's beauty in the rain...
but, considering on any given day i can buy an extra hour of happiness in each of my children just by taking them outdoors... sun please.

and, in other thanks...
we have grass!!!
there's still a long way to go, but this is a better start than we've had since we moved in 4 1/2 years ago... our new and fantastically improved front yard is all in thanks to my seriously talented bro-in-law, Justin, and my hard-workin' hubs!

these cool, damp days put baby Belle a bit under the weather and the past couple nights have been little rough... so i'm off to catch a few winks before she wakes.  night!


"it's over, momma"

Bellamy's had enough... of nursing.
just over a week ago i realized it was over.
too quickly.
for Asa, it was enough for me to cut dairy out of my diet and at 10 months, when my supply went down {because of pregnancy} i was able to supplement with soy formula just fine.
i'm convinced that, for Bellamy, it was more than just the allergy.
she literally screamed within minutes of nursing EVERY time.
i was determined to push through, because babies get generally more happy around 4-5 months regardless of circumstance.
but, unfortunately, things happened a little differently than i'd have hoped.
about the 4th night of our beach vacation, when Belle woke for nighttime feeding, she wouldn't even latch without screaming.  i stayed calm and continued to try... switched sides, stood up, layed back... anything!
this went on for about 30 minutes and the screaming just got louder {and i'll admit... i was flustered. maybe a bit more than flustered}.  
it was like she was getting wise... she knew a tummy ache was soon to follow and she wasn't having it.
i decided to give in and TEARFULLY make a bottle... try again later.
the next 4 days looked just about the same as my milk slowly dried up.
now, she's exclusively bottle fed.

over the past week, if i think about it too hard, i cry.
i'm learning not to beat myself up over it.  it was out of my hands and when are babies EVER predictable.  
i'm trying to find the positive...
aside from the fact that she's SO much happier, 
i don't have to think about what i'm wearing every day, 
anyone can feed her {although i still love being the one to do it}, 
she actually takes a bottle {Asa didn't til he was 9 months} so we can leave her with a sitter with a little less anxiety.
so there it is.  i'm rolling with it.  and loving on my happy, healthy baby girl.
and although that sweet connection was little more shortlived than my heart desired, there'll still be plenty of squeezes and snuggles...


arts and crafts...

i've always loved crafting.  
i studied art in college, with a concentration in ceramics... my true love.
{hoping to brush up on my skills with some classes this fall}
anyway, where other types of crafts are concerned, i've always kept it pretty simple.
i guess i'm a little intimidated.  i see things i'd love to do and they might seem pretty easy, but i somehow convince myself that i'll screw it up.
i was going to get a sewing machine for my birthday and chickened out, so Christmas it is!  
and it WILL happen.
i've resolved to take baby steps... with Pinterest as my guide!
here are a couple of the things i've done lately...

Bellamy's mobile {i actually completed this a few months back}

spray painted the crib and customized the bumper with fabric, ribbon, and fabric glue...
special thanks to my dear friend, Mandy, for this genius idea!

mirror was a $10 find at an antique market and applied the gold lettering with super glue.

i've since taken this down.  while i love this idea, i wasn't loving the composition in my particular space.
also, i settled for the colors--Lowes was out of half their spray paint :( 
i might try it again if i decide to redecorate, but in the mean time, i'm trying to convince my sis to do it in her home!

i'm pretty happy with how this turned out, but i did take the pumpkin on the far left off and move the bird nest down... inspiration here.

super cute, super easy baby headbands... a sweet girlfriend of mine gave me the stretchy lace, and
i pulled the flowers off of some synthetic ones from Hobby Lobby.

i've learned... for even the simplest of crafts, you feel a huge sense of accomplishment.
and, spray paint and hot glue guns are AMAZING!

i'm in love with being a momma, but it's nice to have some 'me' time and crafting provides the perfect outlet.
even if it's just a few minutes of every day and it takes me a week to finish something... i'll take it!

got any ideas??... send 'em my way!