Saturday, July 14, 2012

a new blog

I'm moving.
Well, my blog is.
The title of this blog has bothered me for quite some time.
1) I have two babies now so knitting for my baby isn't really true.
2) I don't really knit as much as I do other things.  Like sew, quilt, bake, take pictures, and play with my kids.  So I'd rather write about all those other things.

So come follow me at:

The title of the blog is
Not without my...

Each post will be a fill in the blank of either something I can't live without or something I had to have for the project I made.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Camping Trip

What a lovely weekend we had! 
Friday night was super hot- like it would have been in the high 80's by the time we were planning to put the girls down, so we stayed in and decided to leave Saturday morning.
We got up early and the car was already loaded so we just packed the food and left.  I found this campground that is part of the Three Rivers Park Area so it was close- only 45 minutes, and cheap- $30 for two nights.
Upon arrival and set up we learned that our friends weren't going to be joining us.  So we embraced a weekend with just the four of us.  And it was wonderful.
Also- I just got on Instagram- this is going to be fun! I love all the edits I can make to my pictures immediately! 
Audrey cooling off after a swim.  She loves playing with cell phones.

Greta has curly hair!  Really curly!  It's so sweet to see.

The mosquitoes were rough but we pushed through and managed to have a delightful time at the fire- just the two of us!

Friday, July 6, 2012


2009 Pregnant with Greta (6 months or so)
2010 Our first fourth of July with Greta (9 months old)
2011 And the four of us! (G was 21 months old and Audrey was 7 months old)
2012 Greta is 2 1/2 and Audrey is 18 months

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Memorial Day, 2012 style

I can't believe I haven't written about our fabulous camping trip this past Memorial Day!  (and to think it's almost Father's Day!)

Anyway- I have to start with a financial story.  Another true testimony to God's faithfulness.  As we were preparing for our twice a year camping adventure I realized that we were quickly running out of cash as the weekend was approaching and that we wouldn't have money to pay for groceries ahead of time.  My plan was to buy the food on Wednesday or Thursday even though we weren't leaving until Friday as I like to make a bunch of food ahead of time.  Less prep to worry about while camping and more time to relax.  So, I let go of that option and decided I'd just have to go shopping first thing Friday morning and bring the food, as is, to camp.  My man was fine with using the CC for the night and then paying it back but I feel like it's a slippery slope I really want to avoid. 

Then.  An unexpected check came in the mail. 

You see.  We benefit from something called Medical Assistance.  Audrey is covered by MA because even though we have health insurance, the premiums get expensive, and the state has deemed us as qualified recipients of such a blessing.  And so they reimburse us for her premiums.  But we always forget when it's coming.  It's kind of a fun game we like to play with ourselves!

And so.  We had cash.  Enough to cover all the groceries, drinks, and gas on the way down.  It was such an answer to prayer. 

So after cooking and chopping and baking all night Thursday we loaded the car Friday am and drove to Cresco, IA for an amazing weekend!  The girls slept outside in our new tent (which was more than fantastic by the way) and never cried at all.  We sat in the river and enjoyed the sun on Saturday.  We heard a new band from Iowa for our first ever live music concert by professionals.  Feel free to check them out- incredible group of musicians.  The Comfort Kings. We had a fun wine tasting that was Mexican themed.  We laughed.  We cried.  We spent a lot of time in the rain.  It was great.

And this is the only photo I have to show for the weekend.
A peaceful Audrey Lou asleep in her Daddy's arms

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day

I think I've come to love the month of May.  First of all- it's a beautiful time of the year! Second of all, my birthday is in the first week.  Third of all, Mother's Day is the following weekend.  And then to top it all off, Memorial Day weekend comes and I get to spend an entire weekend with some of my favorite people on the planet.

This morning I woke up to two sick little girls.  I promptly went back to bed.  An hour later I woke up to the smell of strong, dark coffee and monkey bread.  Yes!

Then, the card.  How sweet! I look forward to many more years of homemade cards!
Then, the gift.  I wasn't expecting anything, not after last week and the gift of our new tent.  But my man knows me well.  And he bought me not one but two new stock pots for all the soup I make.  I no longer have to borrow my friend Mel's pot!

So, we're skipping church, since the girls are sick, and laying low, but I kind of love it.  All four of us are still in our pajamas!  We'll have dinner with my mom and dad later on but for now, it's just us.

So- Happy Mother's Day to all you Mom's out there! Hope you find a way to enjoy this lovely day!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Yes, Mama, I'm ready for my rest

I've always heard stories of people who's kids fall asleep in the high
chair and I think to myself, "how does that happen? My kid would never do that".  Until one day, when she did.  Audrey Lou. You crack me up.

Greta "reading" You Are My Sunshine

This video was taken on February 8th but it still melts my heart every time I see it. 
Plus- check out Audrey hanging out on the couch.  Q.T.Pie.
And don't check out my hair/pajamas.  It's the way I roll. Don't judge me.

St. Patrick's Day 2012 (only a couple of months late!)

I can't believe I never blogged about one my favorite holidays of all time.

St. Patrick's Day!

We had an awesome celebration this year!  Jon and Briseida (who were just engaged at the time but are now married!  Woot- woot! that's another blog though!) came up to spend the weekend with us and we informed them that they would have to wear all green and march with us in our parade.  They were up for it.  That's one of the few reasons why I love them.

So we dressed the girls up and headed downtown.
Audrey Lou in a handmade outfit! The headband is the newest addition!

Greta Elise showing off her shamrock face paint!

My niece Isabelle Eve!

Our little family of four!

MacDonald Clan! Love these people so much!


28! I'm 28 years old!  It feels great!
I had a lovely birthday this year.  Simple, but lovely.  My family and my man's family all pitched in and bought us a new tent!  It's this giant 10 person tent that will successfully fit a queen size air bed, a pack and play, and this cute blow up air mattress for Greta.  I can't wait for Memorial Day weekend so we can try it out! Along with the tent I was showered with beautiful words from friends and lovely gifts.  I am blessed.

When your birthday rolls around do you ever think about where you thought you'd be by this age? Or what you'd be doing?  I do.

So- where did I think I'd be at 28?
Exactly where I am. 
  • I wanted to get married young.  Luckily I met my man at 14 (don't worry- we didn't start dating until I was 20).  We got married when I was 22 years old and I couldn't be happier.
  • I wanted to be a teacher.  I graduated college at 22 and was able to land a teaching job the following year.  I was able to do it for two years before choosing to stay home with my children. 
  • I wanted to be a mother.  Dan and I got pregnant with Greta in December of '08 and had her the day after our third anniversary.  Then we got the loveliest surprise of all with another baby due the following year.  Audrey joined our family when I was 26 and she is absolutely delightful. 
  • I wanted to own a home.  Something about having your own place meant a lot to me and it was a goal I had.  Done. 
  • I really wanted to be a strong Christian with a life that looked like the life I talked about.  I'm still not there but hope to be :) Just a work in progress I guess.
So now what? Two more years before the big 3-0.
Enjoy life.  And what's left of my twenties.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter, 2012 style

We got to host Easter again this year!
It's a new tradition that started a few years ago and I absolutely love it. So much so, that it keeps me up at night planning and preparing for the big day. I LOVE having people in my house. I love cooking for people. I love decorating with memorable supplies that will light my Grandmother's face up!

Both my man and I have a heart to welcome all to our table. We have been so blessed by God that it's only fair to share with others, right? So we always invite friends. Friends who don't have family in town. Friends who are single and needing a place to go. Friends who we like to spend time with. Really, anyone can come. It's so much fun. And then both our families come. Mine from around the cities and Dan's from KS.

It's a full house and I wouldn't have it any other way. There were 20 adults this year and 5 kids! We had an Easter egg hunt courtesy of my dear friend Mel. We had ham, egg dish, potato dish, pineapple casserole, rolls, and plenty of sweets to go around. We drank Mimosas courtesy of my dear friend Shelby and strong, dark coffee. We had a tres leche cake that will rock your world. Seriously- I highly recommend it. Invite me over when you make it as a taste tester. I'll bring some coffee. Yum.

It was delightful.

But the best part.

The prayer before the meal. My man said grace and in his words of Thankfulness to our Lord and Savior he said this simple statement, "Thank you for dying for us. Without you our lives are nothing". I can't stop thinking about how true he is. Without an eternal focus on Christ and the blessings he's poured out on us, we're inwardly focused and prideful.

Oh Easter- I love the reminder of Spring, New life, and true Joy that you bring.

Monday, February 27, 2012

What would you do with a whole extra day?

So, I feel like I'm constantly asking for just one more hour to get things done. One more hour in my morning before my girls wake up. One more hour in my afternoon for tasks that lie undone. One more hour in my evening to spend time with my man before we both crash.

And now, we're getting it. Welcome February 29th! I'm so excited you're coming to give us an extra 24 hours to get things done!

What will we do? Not sure. But I do know this- we are not going to take Wednesday for granted, that's for sure!

Monday, January 30, 2012


I love craigslist.
I love buying other people's treasures that they are getting rid of.
I love selling our stuff that we're done with.
My man and I have a deal going (at least, I think we do). Whatever you sell, meaning, anything that you take a picture of, create an ad for, post on c-list, and get rid of, you get to keep the money. (we've already agreed on the things we can sell so you can't just start selling your spouses items that you may or may not hate).

I just sold a rocking horse that has taken up more space on our porch that any other piece of furniture. It was given to us by one of Dan's co-workers as a hand me down and although Greta loved it, we needed to be done with it. We need space on the porch for the furniture we're hoping to get before the Spring comes.

So, my question is, what do I do with the money I just made ($45!)?

Put it in the "porch furniture" fund?
Put it in the "finally update the master bedroom" fund?
Go out for a nice dinner with it?
Finally get my hair cut at a nice salon?

Decisions, decisions. Mind helping? What would you do if you were me?

Monday, January 23, 2012


What a month!
We are having a great start to 2012 as I hope you are too!
Last year we met some interesting challenges and I'll be honest, we were quite ready to say goodbye to 2011. There's just something so lovely about a fresh start. Do over. Another chance.
So as we were leaving Kansas after our last trip down there, over New Years, we made some "resolutions". I say that is quotes because they aren't really anything new. Just the stuff we had hoped would have happened last year and didn't for one reason or another.
I love driving in the car with my man. The girls were sleeping and we were just chatting. About our hopes and dreams for 2012.

The first one that came to both of our minds was that we really wanted to be present to this year. We wanted to feel like time wasn't slipping away too quickly because we were forcing it. We wanted to enjoy the small moments and make sure that we appreciate all that we have to be grateful for. One of those opportunities came just yesterday morning.

Our ladies are pretty good sleepers. Audrey is usually up first, to nurse, and then she goes back down for another hour or so. Greta sleeps until about 7:00 most mornings. We appreciate it. So yesterday both Daniel and I woke up before the girls (gasp!!) around 7:30. We just sat in bed, smiled at each other, and soaked in the beauty of waking up on our own. Then, slowly but surely, the girls woke up. First Audrey, then Greta. And we just left them in their cribs and eavesdropped on them. Greta proceeded to tell Audrey about our day the day before and Audrey just babbled back to her with the occasional, "no" or "mama". It was precious. And instead of rushing in there to get them we just enjoyed the moment. So as a treat (not sure how much they got that we were treating them for sleeping in and then being really cute but we wanted it none the less) we went out for breakfast and coffee. Such a treat for our family!

Another thing we talked about on our car ride home was about how we wanted to spend our time. Last year felt so consumed with "us" and to be honest, I don't know if there was any other way it could have been. When your kids are sick you have to stay in and take care of them. When you go in for surgery to have a kidney stone blasted you have to accept the meals that friends and family are willing to bring. When your husband is laid up for 12 days with a wicked flu you have to take care of him. And so this year, to the best of our ability, we want to be "others" focused.

So far we've been able to bring a meal to a family who just had a new little girl and this weekend we are hosting an event for our church that will allow all the families in our church to drop off their kids at our place for 5 hours of uninterrupted parent time. We were also able to take my niece in the other day when her childcare fell through. (Now this one wasn't too difficult as we treasure any time we can have with her but it was Dan's day off and we were planning some fun family stuff). We want to stretch ourselves in new ways by lending a hand when we can. It feels good to think about who we know that is in need and how we can help.

So- here's to 2012- a new year to grow!

Monday, January 9, 2012

All's quiet on the Northern Front

Both babes are resting.
At the same time.
It's something I've come to look forward to about my day.
Don't get me wrong. I love when they are both up and we can play together. And I love when they are up individually (usually Greta in the early morning and Audrey when she's up from her afternoon nap).
But I love when they both sleep.
I love catching up on my email and blogs. I love getting little things done. I love crafting. And I love reheating a cup of coffee that I still have in the pot (I purposely make more each morning to leave one there).
So here's to your 1:30- where ever you are.