Friday, March 28, 2014

Occupied


This room. This little room. It's held so much hope. I've sat on the floor, leaned against the wall, wandered in and out, and sometimes, kept the door shut out of sadness. I've written about the room across the hall from our bedroom before. Now it has an owner! It has a little person who will play on the floor, pull clothes from the dresser drawers, and someday, probably color on the walls when I'm not looking. It's Squeaks' room and, in my opinion, it's one fantastic room! 

Every time I thought about sharing pictures of her room I would think of one last thing I wanted to add. Had to finish the wall treatment. Had to get a crib skirt. Had to decorate her bookcase. Well, I'm finally satisfied (for now) with the doneness of it. 

I feel very comfortable in Squeaks' room. It's cozy. Now that Josh is back to work, we agreed I would take over night time feedings. This is when I've dreamed up the majority of the room decor. I sit in my rocking chair, Squeaks sleepily chugging a bottle, the room lit by nightlight, and I design in my head at 2am. 

There's nothing "precious" about Squeaks' room. I think it will be easy for her to grow up in. I've never been real big on pink and ruffles. Since Squeaks arrived I believe our house contains more pink than 
I had ever imagined it would. So when choosing a style for her room, pink didn't even really cross my mind. Although some snuck in, which I guess is inevitable with little girls. Red has always been my favorite color and, right now, I love it paired with teal. I've also never been one for themes. Lady bug theme, princess theme, owl theme....meh. Not my style. I like things that kind of look like they came together slowly over time. 

When all is said and done though, this is all just gravy. The room across the hall became paradise the second it was occupied by Squeaks.
 Don't you just love panorama! Although it makes the room look even smaller than it is.
 I wanted a bookcase that fit under her window so that it would double as a side table for the rocking chair. I found this one at Target. I didn't like the super thin, plain white, backboard it came with though. Instead I had Josh cut down a piece of bead-board and painted it red. I think it makes the bookcase look more substantial and interesting. It sure is handy having a husband who can work power tools! Yay for manly men!  
The rocking chair is super comfy and fluffy. I've fallen asleep rocking Squeaks in it multiple times. The yellow and zebra print blanket over the back was a gift from Squeaks' birth mom and you can also see it in Squeaks' one month pictures. A true keepsake.
 I love the way the wall over her crib turned out. It cost very little, which I love too. I just got embroidery hoops at the craft store (about $1.00 each), and filled them with fabric I had left over from the window banner you see in the panoramic shot. The frame in the center was 40% off at Michael's. The chalkboard inside is really just a flat canvas I had left over from another project spray painted with chalkboard paint. The phrase "Though she be but little she is fierce" is Shakespeare and I love it. Although, I keep thinking of other things I could write there so it might not stay.
 I'm particularly proud of Squeaks' dresser. It was my dad's dresser, then my dresser when I was little, and now Squeaks gets to enjoy it. It has tons of storage and character. I refinished it using this tutorial I found on Pinterest, changed out the knobs for Talavera-esk ones, and added teal chevron drawer liner. I'm particularly fond of the chalkboard drawer labels. They're made with chalkboard contact paper that I cut on my Cricut. Fun!!
 Other touches around the room include photography taken by my dad (the daisies above her dresser and the crayon picture above the rocking chair), a giraffe storage thingy for books and whatever else I can put in it cause it's so cute, and the best shadow box ever made by my mom of Squeaks' baby shower.

There you have it. The best room ever! Or at least in my house.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

2 Months and 29 Years


My 29th birthday lined up almost exactly with Squeaks' two month birthday this month. The fact that I am 29, one year left of my 20's, makes me think back to a very specific conversation I had with some friends I went to Gemology school with. I had just turned 20 and I had a plan. I remember asking a few class mates where they saw themselves in 10 years. I got responses like "own my own design company" and "living in New York". My response..."I'll have three kids before I'm 30." Naive presumption. I assumed I had control! Don't get me wrong, I understand planning for the future, being prepared, is a good thing, but after a certain point "all is vanity." (Ecclesiastes 1:2) 

Now that I'm 29 and Squeaks is home I laugh at my little "plan". Not because I regret that it did not happen, but because I am so much happier now than I think I would be if everything had gone the way I thought I wanted. I don't regret not having three kids. I regret how tightly I hung onto the idea of three kids. Being Squeaks' mom is better than anything I could have ever imagined. She's the best birthday present ever! I'm sure if we hadn't gone through the trials of these past few years I'd still love her tremendously, no question about it. But now, after what we've experienced, the blessing of having her home, being her mom, watching her grow, it's so indescribably wonderful...How much more do you enjoy happiness after knowing sadness? How much more do you appreciate a blessing when you've worked through a trial? How much brighter is the light when you've been in the dark for awhile? And bygolly God just turned on the floodlights!! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Our Adoption Shower!


I am so excited to share the pictures from this special day with you! We waited a long time for this and, like I said before, this is the second of TWO showers we got to enjoy! My mom and mother-in-law worked so hard and did an amazing job putting everything together. It was the Dr. Seuss baby shower of my dreams complete with a blessing tree and heartfelt speeches.

The morning of was a bit of a rush as we realized I had a dyslexic moment when making the invites, switched a couple numbers in the address, and no one had noticed. So around seven in the morning my mom, mother-in-law, and I were all calling, texting, and emailing everyone on the guest list with the correct location. Then it was brought to our attention that a few people had never even gotten their invites! No idea what happened but we tried our best to explain they weren't forgotten and still welcome to come.

The hall where we had the shower has been the location of a few family events over the years including my father-in-law's 50th birthday party and sister-in-law's sweet sixteen. Its a lovely building. The only down side is that they don't let you hang anything on the walls, not even with tape. My mom and mother-in-law did an amazing job on the centerpieces and the food table decorations that wall decorations were completely unnecessary. We only had an hour before the party to set up so we recruited some friends and family to help. It was gorgeous.

I've never really been one for baby shower games. That one where you guess what kind of candy bar is smashed into a diaper makes me a little queazy. We decided to keep it simple and did a Boggle-style word scramble using Squeaks full name, a door prize, and speeches. I spoke first and maybe sometime soon I'll get the guts to share what I spoke about. Those of you who were there understand.  My mom followed. My mother has always had a beautiful way with words and is a super engaging speaker. Many people, including myself, have told her she needs to write a book. Hopefully someday she'll listen (*nudge!). Every part of her gets involved when she talks. She doesn't just talk with her hands, she talks with everything she's got! I loved watching and listening to her. She's going to be the type of Grammy that will read to Squeaks until she looses her voice (I know because she use to do it with me). My mother-in-law spoke last. I'm one of the blessed wives who really love their mother-in-law. She has a huge personality and is one of the most generous people I know. She's always willing to help and I'm pretty sure she'd give her right arm to Squeaks if she wanted it. Listening to her speak about her full heart and the support she's received over the past few years was a blessing to me. Squeaks has the best grandparents!

We were beyond blessed and everyone was so generous. Squeaks has a great library of cute books now and she'll have a full wardrobe practically till she turns one! We had such a great time celebrating with all our wonderful friends and family. Thank you all! 



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Faded Grief


Yesterday marked one year since Evelyn's due date. In another kind of world we would be celebrating a one year old's birthday. 

Since Squeaks has been home, nothing has changed about how we feel about our first child. Evelyn was and continues to be a blessing. Yes, I miss her. Yes, I wish she was here. But the grief has faded into something closer to gratitude. I am grateful for the six months she was on this earth. I am grateful I got to experience pregnancy. I am grateful for how she prepared us. There were times in the six days between when Squeaks was born and the day she came home where even our agency director looked like she might punch a wall out of anger and frustration. We've been told that those six days are like none other our agency has encountered. I know I haven't shared much about it but they were beyond confusing and difficult. Evelyn's existence and death made us strong and able to endure. Losing her gave me compassion for our birth mom. I've left the hospital without my child. I will strive to reassure our birth mom that her child is beyond loved and cared for. Evelyn is beyond loved and cared for too. By her Heavenly Father. She's passed us by. She's graduated ahead of us. She's been chosen to never experience heartache, stress, grief, and instead to experience eternal love, joy, and peace. Both our daughters are well and both are loved.

Squeaks will know about her sister. She'll know that Evelyn's life made it possible for me to feed her with breast milk. She'll know that we wanted, prayed for, and waited for her, anticipating that she and Evelyn would grow up together. She'll know that Evelyn is in heaven and that someday we will all be together. That's the extent. No need to dwell on grief. Evelyn isn't. Why should we?

Adoption doesn't heal infertility. In hindsight, I'm even grateful for the 14 months of waiting between Evelyn's passing and Squeaks' arrival. I know those of you in the wait would gladly move past it, gladly have it over with. But the wait prepared me, healed me, healed us. It is plainly obvious that Squeaks was meant for us and if she had arrived at any other part of the wait I don't think God's power would have shown so clearly to us. Evelyn came and went just when she was meant to. Squeaks is here now. We are overjoyed to love both our girls.
Four feet. Two different paths. Both loved.







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