january showers bring…april babies

Ok, taking a break from the frantic “we’re living in a hotel” posts as of late, I thought I’d share a long-overdue peek at what was quite possibly one of the best baby showers of all time.

Abby, Robin, and Debbie threw the shower for me and Baby Angle in late January, and I just have to say it was pretty perfect. They are all such talented women, and they spoiled me like crazy with some adorable details.

First off, Robin had the amazing idea of borrowing some boy toys (she’s the mom of two sweet girls) from a friend to decorate for the shower. I’d never seen this before at a shower, and I loved it! Cute details like Toy Story figures, dump trucks, and tool sets we scattered around the house. It set such a sweet, playful tone, and gave me a fun glimpse into what our house will probably look like very soon.

If there is one thing you need to know about these ladies, it’s this (ok, well it’s that they love Jesus, but also): they are the most fantastic cooks ev.er. Let’s do a little mouth-watering run-down, shall we?

Abby made these insanely adorable bird’s nest and caterpillar cupcakes that hands down looked like they came straight from a Martha Stewart magazine. And yes, they tasted as good as they looked. She even sweetly made sure they were my favorite flavors- coconut and plain with oreo  topping. I was so blown away by the adorable detail she put into each one- can we all just remember that she was 36 weeks pregnant at the time? Seriously, who does that? She rocks.

You may remember by slight obsession with hot chocolate, and the girls were so thoughtful to include a hot chocolate bar as part of the shower. Robin did an amazing job of making some of the creamiest, most delicious hot chocolate I’ve ever had (it definitely rivaled the Umstead’s), melt-in-your-mouth marshmallows, whipped cream, peppermint bark, and toffee bark. Delectable, I tell you. The set-up of all the fixin’s was adorable, and it made me feel so loved that they added such a personal touch to the day.

Debbie’s Monte Cristo sandwiches were completely addicting…seriously I could’ve eaten the whole platter. The girls also put together sausage balls, parfaits, and other yummy treats that had everyone happily stuffing their bellies.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I love a good onesie banner. Knowing that I would get to see our sweet little guy in these in just a few short months was the icing on the cake.

The girls also put together these cute circle cut-outs with encouraging verses for me and Baby Angle. Guests got to write notes on them, and they put them together on a binder ring for me to save as a keepsake. I’m so excited to find a special place for this in his nursery!

I had so much fun opening tons of generous, adorable gifts for Baby Angle. He is already one spoiled little guy! One present in particular totally cracked me up. Some former students that I’ve had the privilege of staying in touch with made our little man a custom onesie with their faces on it. I love it.

Sweet shower guests:

The beautiful hostesses:

26 and 36 weeks respectively (now 32 and -2!….Man, how time flies!)

Of course, while the set-up was totally charming, and the gifts were incredible, the company was even better. It was so much fun to spend the morning with a group of ladies that mean so much to me! Baby Angle is so blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people. We can’t wait for him to meet them!

a very happy valentine’s day

Short of the first “date” I went on with my husband on Valentine’s Day of 2005, I think it’s going to be hard to top yesterday. Why?

Because I got to meet this little guy:

Sawyer Benjamin Barnard was born at 8:47 on February 13th. He is 18″ long, and a whopping 9 lbs! (If you have met Abby, who is 5’1″, or her husband Ben, you know that this is quite hilariously unexpected.)

Both mom and baby are doing amazingly well. Abby looks absolutely radiant, and Sawyer? Well, he is just pure baby perfection. (Can we please talk about that hair? Is it not the best baby hair you have seen in your entire life?!)

 We loved getting to stop by and get introduce ourselves to the little man we’ve been waiting 9 months (ok, more like 10 years) to meet. I also loved that while I was holding Sawyer, Baby Angle gave his BFF-to-be a few good kicks in the diaper. :) He’s ready to play already!

Sawyer Benjamin, we are so glad you’re here! We love you!



home sweet holiday inn

Welcome to our new home:

Allow me to give you a tour.

Our kitchen:


 Bedroom /family room/ dining room/ study:

Yep. We are currently living it up at the Holiday Inn. Now that we’ve transitioned out of house #2, we’ve entered into a slightly homeless state for a little while.

For the most part, we resisted the urge to look at houses while ours was on the market because we had no idea how long it would take to sell, and the idea of two mortgages at once wasn’t exactly appealing. Also, cash is king, and we wanted to be able to use the equity from the sale of our house to go toward the purchase of house #3. I feel great about that decision, but there’s just one little snag: now that we’ve sold, we have nowhere to go.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve hit up the MLS in full force, but we’re still looking and praying through where we should go next. The good news is we’re both big fans of looking at houses and discussing the possibilities, the bad news is I stink at waiting. Big time. It’s pretty clear that the Lord is trying to teach me to rest in His timing, goodness, and provision for our family.

So for now, we’re choosing to enjoy all of the wonders that hotel living has to offer and to be thankful for all of the incredible ways God has already provided for us during the transition. For example:

– So many offers from friends to share their homes with us while we look for our next one. Ultimately, we opted for the hotel so we could have a chance to regroup and not worry about stepping on anyone’s toes, but it’s amazing how many people were willing to rearrange their lives to help us when we needed it.

– Cable. Total hotel perk. Plus, House Hunters is significantly more fun when you can compare it to your current life situation.

– Friends who are keeping our dog, invite us over for dinner and let us bring our laundry, and send us home with food for the next day. (our room has a mini-fridge, but that’s it) Seriously amazing. I am overwhelmed by their generosity!

– Clean towels every day. I could get used to this.

– Someone to make the bed while we’re gone.

– Newspaper under our door in the morning.

– Basically no housekeeping responsibilities. Convenient for the third trimester? I’d say so.

– Friends who gave up their Saturday morning to help us move.

– Prayer. LOTS of it. We have totally bombarded family and friends with pleas for various house-related and other random life needs over the past several months, and they have been so gracious to respond by consistently talking to God about us. We have loved seeing His hand at work through this situation, and I have no doubt that the sweet intercession of people we love made a difference.

Although our current situation might not be what we expected, we feel truly blessed to be where we are. We’re looking forward to seeing where this adventure leads us!

moving right along

As of Thursday, our house is officially s.o.l.d.

The past few weeks have been nothing short of a whirlwind, but I’ll try to recap as best I can.

First, back up to about a month ago: we had had several promising showings, and lots of positive feedback. In fact, we were thrilled that everyone that saw the house seemed to love the interior- they had some super sweet compliments to share. But, we had one little problem. Or shall we say, one big problem. Or shall we say, we didn’t have. Ok, enough with the riddles. Notice anything missing from this picture?

Yep. That’s right. Our lovely abode was pretty much perfect in all but one way- we didn’t have a garage.

This was obviously an issue we knew about when we bought the house and probably helped us to get such a good deal in the first place, but it was never really a problem for us, even being the home DIY , car-fixing family that we are. Nevertheless, a garage is a pretty standard feature in most homes in our price range, and even though we priced our home accordingly, it became clear that not all buyers were as comfortable with the situation as we were. So, after lots of talking and praying, we decided over Christmas break that we would take the house off the market in January and build a garage.

To our delight, pretty much immediately after coming to that decision, we had a bunch of showings and ended up getting two offers in the same week, which was such an answer to our prayers for a little competition between buyers. God is so good, people.

After a little back and forth, we selected the offer we were more comfortable with. We were also excited to find out that the buyers’ agent was the mom of a former student that we love and have kept in touch with- it was such a fun surprise!

Here’s where things start to get a little crazy: the offer we accepted had a closing date of three weeks from the day we went under contract.

Even though we knew life would be nothing short of insane for pretty much all of January, we were really happy with a quick closing. If you are familiar with the current market, you know that buyers pretty much have all the power and can walk at what feels like almost any time (not quite, but it feels like it), so we figured the faster the turnaround the smaller the chance of the deal falling through. Also, getting out earlier allowed us to avoid a couple of payments and have cash in hand for our next purchase.

Ok, still with me? The next few weeks went like this: yard sale, packing, patching holes from frames and whatnot, inspection details, moving, looking at houses, figuring out what to do with the dog, finding a place to live post-move, and generally freaking out about the rapidly changing pace of life.

Super busy. Super exciting.

Thankfully, everything went fairly smoothly, and we are happily out of house #2. And now? I’ll share the details of our current residence soon. Here’s a hint: it’s definitely the biggest place we’ve ever lived. :)