We Moved!

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n typical Hannah-fashion, I decided to move along to another blog. I felt a little stale on this one, a little disenchanted, and a whole lot like a different person than I was when I started writing here. But, that’s my creative freedom, right? Right? Hello?

Real Small Life came from a part of my heart that is learning the vast value in the smallest moments, people, gifts, perspectives and attitudes. I have often been driven by my selfish desire to appear bigger, better, more than I am, which is dishonest and exhausting. Keeping the words, “real” and “small” at the forefront remind me who I really am, and hopefully truthfully portray the stories of our life.

I hope you’ll move over to Real Small Life with me, and continue to follow along and be friends. I sure would love that.

Love always,
H

Third Anniversary Date Swag

Kip and I celebrated three years of marriage yesterday!  Thanks to a week of off & on freezing rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, and then back to freezing rain, (Hey, Texas.) our plans for a night out to Top Golf got cancelled. So, a date night at home it was!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGoogling “At Home Date Night Ideas” comes up with a bunch of blogs that all say the same thing. And I promise you’ve probably already thought of most of them. Haha. We opted to eat a snack with the babies while they ate dinner, and made a plan to have our date after they went to bed. I am 0% a good cook (can we talk about how the steak looks black in this photo?), but this meal came together pretty easily and quickly! I chose our favorite bottle of wine, and literally planned the meal off of what the bottle said it would pair well with. We so classy!

Some quick Pinterest-ing in the middle of Target turned up these recipes for sirloin steak and bacon-wrapped + cream cheese + craisin stuffed jalepenos. Whoa baby. The steak was pretty good, but those peppers? I could eat them for dinner every night. I also roasted some red potatoes (started those before bed-time routine because they take so long!) and threw together a wedge salad. BAM baby. (P.S., aside from the potatoes and wine, we totally had a Trim Healthy Mama friendly anniversary dinner! BAM.)

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After dinner we sat on the living room floor, played three rounds of Phase 10, and laughed so hard our sides hurt. All that to say, sometimes the unplanned dates turn out to be the sweetest! I am grateful for three years with this sweet man who loves me so well.

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Love, H.

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Tomorrow, September 26, is Mesothelioma Awareness Day,

Here in Internet-World, we are not lacking in opportunities to raise awareness, support a good cause, or read a heart-touching story. We can easily become desensitized to these messages, so much so that we (literally) require a bucket of ice water over our heads to really wake us up to the reality of a disease.

Do you know what Mesothelioma is? I definitely didn’t. When I received an email from Heather Von St. James, she immediately had my attention. She didn’t ask me to do anything silly- she was genuine and real. She asked for help educating others about this cancer which is caused by asbestos exposure. I didn’t know anything about Mesothelioma, but the more I read and the more I learned about Heather, I knew I had to share.

Heather was diagnosed with Mesothelioma at the age of 36- only 3.5 months after giving birth to her baby girl, and was given 15 months to live. (Now, if that doesn’t pluck a Mama’s heartstrings, I don’t know what will.) Simply playing in her Daddy’s work jacket as a child exposed her to the chemical that would eventually change her life forever. But thanks to a ground-breaking procedure which required one of Heather’s lungs to be removed, she is now an eight year survivor of this cancer, living a full life with her baby girl and husband. Glory to God!

I simply ask y’all to watch the video of her story, and from there I know you will be inspired to learn more- as well as encouraged to look at your life through your own rose colored glasses of gratitude.

Love,
H

Alive. Sort of.



Hi friends!

Just wanted to reach out to say that we are, in fact, alive. I’m just a little sleepless and a little braindead and a whole lot busy changing diapers and bathing babies. I am working on writing out Samuel’s birth story, which I plan to share here, as well as a raving review about my new babywearing love in life: my ring sling from Bibetts! Seriously, all you need to know right now is one thing: worth every penny. But more on that later!

If you pray for us, please pray for rest, strength, and normalizing postpartum hormones. 😉

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More from us soon!
Love,
H

“Overdue.”

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Photos taken by my Mother-in-law on my due date, yesterday. Yep, I’m officially big enough for Rosie to saddle up and ride my belly.

Had contractions last night and this morning that actually hurt, but they have subsided as of now. I’m on my way to a checkup with my Midwife in about 30 minutes. I suddenly found myself paranoid last night that Samuel might be posterior, so I’m praying for an encouraging visit that reveals that he’s right where he needs to be!

Just a short update. I still appreciate and strongly desire your prayers.

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters,
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me,
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now.

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise,
My soul will rest in Your embrace,
For I am Yours and You are mine.”

Trusting (because what else can you do?),
H

Almost to Due Date!

39 weeks, 3 days.

Can you say, “ready”?

In the last three weeks, a combination of motherly nesting instincts and a bite in the butt from the spring cleaning bug has sent me into high gear. I have scrubbed all our floors and baseboards (the whole house is ugly tile:)), cleaned our tiny bathroom, washed baby clothes, washed comforters, bought new sheets, changed out curtains, rearranged furniture, bought new furniture, gutted a dresser and turned it into extra storage for linens and towels (yeah, regretted moving that thing by myself later), hung things on the walls in Rosie’s room, cooked and frozen lots of THM muffins and meals for after baby Samuel is born, and heck, I even cleaned the vacuum. What newborn doesn’t love a clean vacuum?!

I’ve felt contractions on and off for the last few weeks, but nothing that sticks around for more than an hour or so. Feeling lots of low pressure, too. Hopefully this is all good pre-labor work and it will mean a smooth, quick birth. 🙂 But, we’ll see… reminding myself to trust the Lord in whatever happens…

The hardest part about the end of this pregnancy has been hip pain. Oh, the hip pain! Thankfully, visits to see our dear family friend who is a Chiropractor have helped so much. It was getting so bad I felt like I couldn’t walk or pick Rosie up anymore. Now… well, I just waddle pretty bad. 🙂

My older sister had my sweet baby niece a few days ago! It was the second birth I’ve had the honor of being present for, and it was such an awesome experience. She came so, so quick! I can’t wait to read Bambi’s side of the story, because watching it was pretty stinking amazing.

In these last weeks, I’ve pretty much resigned myself to my house. Even a short trip to the grocery store wears me out, and I end up leaning on the grocery cart to get myself out the door and back to the car. Haha. If we go way overdue, I plan to rent Frozen and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire when we get desperate for something to occupy our time while we wait. 🙂

If you’re praying for me, I sincerely appreciate it. Please, pray that…

-I am patient and keep a good attitude until “Labor Day” arrives,  and that I keep my mind “stayed on Him” (Isaiah 26:3).

-That I don’t worry about Rosie, or feel sad for leaving her while we go to the birth center. She is my sweet little buddy, and I hate to leave her for any amount of time! Pray she is calm and happy and manageable for whomever ends up here to watch her, and is happy to have her “Bubba” come home!

-That labor is smooth, my mind is still “stayed on Him”, and for productive, efficient contractions that lead to a quick birth of a healthy baby!
Thank you to everyone who has been checking on us and taking care of us. We are so excited to become a family of four, and can’t wait to meet this sweet little boy! Hoping to post a birth announcement soon… (And remembering that it wasn’t long ago that my sister posted the same thing…)

Waiting,
H

36.5 Weeks

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Ohh lawdy.

Waddling? Check.
Braxton Hicks Contractions? Check.
Stopping in the middle of Target to cross my legs and pray my water doesn’t break? Check, check, check.

I’m feelin’ it.
When I was pregnant with Rosie, who stayed bundled inside my tummy for 42 weeks, I didn’t feel a single thing like this until the weekend she was born. This time, something about hitting 35-36 weeks signaled something to my body and I can tell it has been doing some pre-labor prep for me! Hallelujah! At my 36 week check up I was 50% effaced and 1cm-ish dilated. Which really means nothing, he could still wait until 42 weeks like Big Sissy did. I just don’t think that is going to happen. And hopefully all these “warm-up” contractions will help the real ones along.

I’ve been taking my Evening Primrose Oil and drinking Red Raspberry leaf tea almost every day. Hoping both of these also help labor along, as well as minimizing bleeding post-partum. Doing some of the stretches/yoga poses from the book, Active Birthby Janet Balaskas has really helped my hip and lower back pain. They feel sooooo goooood. And Rosie climbs all over me while I do them!

Samuel’s “spot” has been all set up in a corner of our bedroom. We have the Pack & Play set up with the bassinet attachment, and all his little clothes washed, folded, and organized in the space below it. Rosie got a whole room, Sam gets a corner. Oh well. {Little boy, you are still loved and one day we will make you a fun, manly little room! What will it be? Pirates? Cowboys? We’ll see… :)}

My birth bag is almost completely packed. Samuel’s take-home outfit(s… ya know, in case of diaper explosion before we leave), diapers, wipes, and a few of my clothes are packed. The thing is, our ridiculous Texas weather has literally changed from 80 degrees on Sunday to sleet and ice on the ground Monday and Tuesday… and today it is warming up a little more. I have no idea what to pack to come home in. A coat and sweatpants, or shorts and a T-shirt? Haha. Hoping for the latter. I am also obsessively collecting Rosie’s paraphernalia (snacks, diapers, sippy’s, Desitin, etc…) and putting it all in a central location. I have written ridiculously detailed notes for my Mother-in-law for when she comes to watch Rosie while we have the baby. They are mostly to make me feel better that I have told her every detail about Rosie’s life, because my MIL is a completely capable Granny. 🙂 I’m learning I might be a bit of a control freak. Also, my Mama gets here on Sunday! She will be here for my new niece, soon to arrive (eeee!!), and then for Samuel. My sister and I are so thankful!

As far as spiritual and mental prep, I am listening to my “Labor” playlist on Spotify, and the mantra “I will do this” has been playing over and over in my head. Note: “will” instead of “can”. At some point I know I will want to believe that “I can’t do this”… but I know I can always hold onto “I will do this.” Because really, the baby is coming no matter what I can or can’t do. 🙂

I’m so excited to nurse a baby again, to spend those quiet hours in the earliest of the morning just he & I. I can’t comprehend how tired I am going to be, haha. But with Rosie’s first year still fresh on my mind, I know now how fast it will go by. I’m holding onto every minute!

Any last minute words of wisdom/encouragement for me? I’d love to hear it!
Waiting,
H

34 week bump

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34 weeks.

My first pregnancy, I had a new bump picture almost every week. These have been few and far between… because, well, the times when I get dressed and look decent enough for a photo op are rare. 😉

In the last week or so, I have reached the “I am so done.” phase. I try so hard not to complain, but every once in a while it kind of builds up and overflows. :/ My husband is so sweet and encouraging, and lately has kept me laughing so much I have hardly had time to be too grumpy. 😉 For the first time my left hip is kind of constantly hurting, which makes me waddle and moan like an old woman. Or a whale. Yeah, whale sounds more like it. 😉 I think it is because this baby is so low! Rosie was always up in my ribs, but not this little boy. He’s getting ready to make his entrance!

Sidenote: Rosie has picked up on what makes Mama moan and grunt… So, now when I drop something on the floor or grab the hard-to-open jar of coconut oil, she usually beats me to the “urrghhhhh!” noises. 😉 It is hilarious and embarrassing. What am I teaching this girl?!

Last night, I drank coffee on our drive home from visiting in-laws in a desperate attempt to stay awake/sane. (Edit: haha, it sounds like I meant sane from visiting in-laws. I meant from the long drive with a sick, fussy babe 😉 For the record, I have wonderful in-laws!) I’ve not had coffee much recently, and especially not in the evening. The result was me up late cleaning our disastrous kitchen and thinking about the last 6ish weeks of pregnancy ahead. I determined, in my over-enthusiastic state, to do my best to make these last few weeks good. I am tempted to throw myself headlong into a pit of despair. Really, I am. But who wants to live with that person for over a month? Not me, and not my family.

Life is about to change in a big way. I am enjoying every family Walmart trip, every dinner, every night of (mostly) uninterrupted sleep, and every impromptu walk around Cabela’s while it’s just the three of us. Soon, we will be four and things will not be as easy or simple. But who ever wanted easy, anyway? 🙂 Our lives are about to grow, our love about to multiply, and our purpose deepen. Samuel, baby, Mama can’t wait to hold you. 

Looking forward,
H.

 

4 Years Ago

This time last year, I was desperately waiting for Rosie to make her appearance- today was her due date! Little lady, thank you for waiting 12 more days to be fully baked before you were born, and for sanctifying your impatient Mama. 😉

This time four years ago, I gained certainty that I was a Child of God.

When I think of where I was just over four years ago, I can’t begin to understand how I could be where I am today- a wife to a sweet man, and a Mama to an almost-one-year-old girl and to an almost-here baby boy. It is a miracle that “because of His compassion we are not consumed,” but what’s just as unbelievable is our “adoption as sons” and the overwhelming Fatherliness of God. He gives good gifts to His children.

His Glory. I can’t understand how my good is for His glory- but I’m overwhelmingly thankful He made it so.

Last year I posted my testimony, and I’ve now included it as a page on my blog. I hope to be less about me and more about Him in the coming days, but I also want to share what God has done!

Happy January 16th! ❤
Love,
H