Friday, April 26, 2013

Your imagination, please.

The nursery for...HENRY (we found out yesterday we have a little man in there!) is quite the project. Mainly because the room is 10' x 4'10". The room was built to be a photo darkroom back in the 1960s and actually only has a skylight and no windows.

Here are some pictures to get your mind thinking :) Sorry the quality is not that great. We painted stripes awhile ago because it was an office/craft room.

Most cribs are 4'6" which means we would have to put the crib together in the exact place and take it apart in the exact place.  The only problem here lies in the fact that if any of the installation has to occur on the ends of the crib...

So-we are brainstorming possibly this crib instead.  It is 38" wide versus 54". Thoughts?

Babyletto Grayson Mini Crib via

Please let us know if you have any ideas for this manly little space!  We are also thinking of painting two of the walls navy and also, sadly, getting rid of the chandelier and maybe getting this fixture below (but I am yet to really research very many little man things!).

Also, you must see these two items that I found via a friend on pinterest. What are the odds that this amazing company only makes five of these dolls and two are named Henry and Ruthie?!?!?!?!  Divine.

And my husband has a big fox tattoo...

Henry the Fox via

Ruthie the Deer (dear) via
Thank you for any help!

xo, Anna N

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My fave baby essentials

My fave baby essentials

Long-Sleeve 4-Pack Bodysuits/ H&M h m / Hoy Shoe Salt-Water Sandals (Baby, Walker, Toddler, Little Kid & Big... / aden + anais Swaddle Blanket, 3 Pack mela 9201 Soft rayon... / Munchkin Standard Wipe Warmer / VTech Baby’s Toy Laptop / eeBoo tot Tower Blocks / MAM Night Silicone Pacifier - Pink - 0-6 months: Baby Summer Infant Bib

Here is a little list of things that I love. I know every mom is different and every baby is different but these are things that have landed on my "love" list and will be used for baby number two :)  We find out Thursday if it is a little boy or girl!

1) Carter's Onesies: these things are straight from heaven. They wash well, last forever (Ruth is still in the 9 month ones), and in my opinion, babies are cutest in onesies.  And they are exceptionally priced and always on sale.  I have about eight in each size.

2) H&M leggings: these were my faves for Ruth when she was a wee wee one. They only go up to size 6 months so now we love Circo from Target and Old Navy (they also seem true to size).  In my experience, everything from H&M runs large.

3) Salt Water Sandals: I actually don't own these...but am ordering them because I have heard they are perfect. I have adult ones and I am quite sure/I know they will be cuter on Ruthie.

4) Aden and Anais Swaddle blankets: splurge for the more expensive my opinion, there is a textile difference. The ones that cost $10 more seem to get softer and softer.

5) Wipes warmer: I know this seems superfluous to some but I LOVE ours. Ruth literally went through 20 diapers a day as a wee one and the warm wipes were the best in the middle of the night (at least for mommy).

6) Vtech laptop: Ruth's fave toy for over six months.  So much so that it squeaks when you open it.

7) EeToo Blocks: another toy given to us and such a blessing. She started loving these around 12 months and plays with them everyday.

8) MAM pacifiers: I know, some babies love them, some don't. Ruth does and these are great because they glow in the dark. Ruth throws hers out of the crib (she likes to have three...) so it makes it easier for me to find them. And they seem the most orthodontic.

9) Bibbidy Bib: Only $6. I tried so many cutesy, fabric, plastic lined ones and they all were terrible. They would be great if babies didn't eat :)  This one is so easy to clean and so easy to pack and you only need one (not ten while the others dry).

Hope you all had a great weekend. Please let me know if you have any specific questions about baby items!  I am no expert but I am a mother :)

xo, Anna N

PS: The sun is coming to Portland...Praise Jesus.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

No thank you sand and grass

Every now and then mom breaks down and buys these things.

After Disneyland, our family went to Laguna Beach. And I must say, that place is gorgeous. I only watched one episode of "The Hills" (which was more than enough), but now I can really see why people live there...if you happen to have a minimum of $2 million for a home.

We learned a few things about Ruth:
-she doesn't like sand
-she doesn't like grass
-she doesn't like the ocean
-she loves blended strawberry lemonades
-she loves to share (for now)

I am sure all of these things will change but clearly the Pacific was not warm enough and that sand and grass...well, she has met other textures that she welcomes much more. 

But it was hilarious! She would immediately go to her tippy-toes and beg dad to get her off of the lawn. And on the sand she would just crunch up her legs while dad was holding her so she wasn't touching it.

I am thankful for living in Oregon but oh I can see how people like sunshine (consistently) and "beaches" versus our "coast." HUGE difference if you have never been to the coast...

Off to go to Ikea-some of our sweet friends just gave us their beautiful yellow couch and our bright green rug seems to not match. I will post a pic soon!  And also, we have to go buy another amazing! Ruth and this little one (we find out next Thursday) will be too close for Ruth to have a toddler bed so we thought Ikea's cribs looked great AND were the right price.

Enough rambling.

Love, Anna

Much happier in the air than on the ground.

Those teeth, that grin, that suit.

She doesn't seem to want anything to do with actually "sliding."

The magic puffs.

Someone thinks their daddy is funny...

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Post-partum depression

I am writing this because I know there are other women out there, or you know someone, who will go through post-partum depression.

It needs to be talked about more so those of us that feel like we hit rock bottom don't think we are alone (I personally feel Satan uses isolation and loneliness to the "T").  So here is a little of my story and hopefully it is edifying and encouraging to at least one of you or to someone you know:

I can't say I was entirely ready to be a mom. My husband and I were totally blessed and were able to get pregnant not too far into our marriage. But, we had been married only 9 months when we found out.  I was never someone dying to have kids, partly because they totally intimidate me and secondly because I knew it wasn't easy.  Nonetheless, we were very thankful and I was super excited to have Matt as my partner for it.

Our dear little girl, Miss Ruth Charlotte, was born on February 8th at 4 o'clock in the afternoon after I had been induced that morning. The labor wasn't awful (I can say that one year after) but I promised at that point to never do it again.  Personally, I would opt to never be induced again but Ruth was moving around so much that I was in a lot of pain so I thought it would be "easier" with her on the other side.

Not so much the case.

The first, and what turned out to be the only, night at the hospital was one of no sleep...and I was quite sore (for those of you who have had an episiotomy you might understand more). Ruth was not a sleeper from the start and actually quite fussy.  I got a total of three hours of sleep in what felt like an old motel room-but my nurses were EXCELLENT so there was the upside.

Needless to say, I thought we would get more sleep at home.

Not. True.  The next six weeks were a collection of 1-2 hour chunks of sleep at night filled with a screaming baby in between, attempting to figure out why she was crying, having struggles breast-feeding (I went to the lactation nurses four times in the first week), and never being able to sleep and when I did have the chance-insomnia kicked in.  The sleep deprivation, which as my mother wisely pointed out is a form of torture, left me waking up sweating and in complete panic multiple times each night.

I was also skinnier than before I got pregnant within three weeks after delivery-all because I barely ate or slept (not recommended for weight loss).

I would have panic attacks and start balling every night when it started getting dark.  I couldn't nap during the day because Ruth would never sleep more than 30 minutes. I couldn't take baths because of the delivery-baths are MY THERAPY.

All of this together left me a total mess. I didn't even know if I wanted to be a mom.  I didn't understand people when they would say, "You must be so in love?!"  I was so heart-broken, not so in love. I was grieving my marriage and the life we had. I was a girl who was always filled with hope and I had no idea how to look forward and believe that things would get better.

My mom HAD to stay the night for six weeks because I was always on the brink of a major breakdown and I absolutely couldn't do it by myself.  I would call her crying at 8pm and she would say, "Are you sure you don't need me?" and through the tears I would say, "I think I will be okay." And she would say, "I am coming over sweetie.  I will be there in 20."

And she was, every night (except for the amazing three nights that Matt's mom helped out). She would get there at 9pm and leave at 5:15am to go to work. Our nights were filled with Ruth getting up 4-5 times, I would feed her, try burping her, change her diaper, and then my mom would try putting the screaming little lady back to sleep.  Between the two of us, we would each get about 4 hours of sleep total/night for six weeks.

It honestly took me until just over a year after to even process through how horribly sad I was.  It took me a long time to even be able to pray again because I felt so alone during that period and felt like God had left me.  I have learned that depression isolates our hearts, manipulates our minds, and tricks us into thinking that no one is with us, not even the One who died on the cross because He loved us so much.  

Here is a list of things that helped me get through it and get out of it-just in case you are this woman or you happen to know someone:

1) Accept help. At all hours. I had girlfriends come and just hold Ruth for an hour so I could try to sleep.

2) Read truth. Read your Bible. Don't listen to the lies. They will destroy your heart and then eventually seep into every other beautiful part of your life. Please know that Satan is real (I have never felt something so real as I did during that period) and he is after your heart and as the verse goes, "He comes to seek, kill and destroy."

3) Sing worship songs. I got quite mad at my mom when she said this but it truly did help.  When you are helplessly depressed it seems like the last thing to do...which means it is probably the first thing to do. If you aren't worshipping Jesus, or even just trying, then you are worshipping a seemingly deplorable situation which will just leave you in a crazy cycle.

4) Find things you love and do them. Baths, coffee, reading, exercising, etc.

5) Ask for help. Again I say this.  You need it. More than you have ever needed it.

6) Pray.  Even if you really don't know Jesus, just say "God help." He does.

7) Don't feel guilt. Guilt and shame are not from God and will not help. Grace and truth are.  Seek these.

I hope this helps even one of you and please know, you are not alone.  It is the hardest job anyone can ever have and it literally takes all of you and then some more.  But it is beautiful.  And now I am overwhelmed by the beauty.  I am grateful because I think this really hard time made this beautiful time exponentially brighter (even in the gray, Oregon, winter months).

Grace and Peace,
Anna N

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Summer pregnancy staples: new polyvore addiction

So...about a month ago I signed up for a Polyvore account and then got overly intimidated by the whole thing.  Well, today I decided (while I am supposed to be working out...heading there next) to try it again and hallelujah, my college degree is good for something!

I ordered the two skirts here from Swell and now am admittedly feeling like I wish I was a surfer girl. Naturally, this goes so well with Oregon weather (it is currently a downpour outside).  Also, the sports bra type thing is from Forever 21 and is the best bra I have ever owned-and they are $4.80. Wow.

I am quite excited about this because I actually worked in retail for quite a few years (Ralph Lauren in Aspen and before I was able to sometimes be a buyer for a small boutique in college which allowed me to go the LA Clothing Mart).  As a mom I do think you need some sort of creative outlet and since my sewing machine tends to remind me of the air conditioning unit in Elf, I am choosing the digital creativity instead.

PS: I think I have only purchased five maternity items in all of my brief preggo times.  I really just try to find things that I can use all the time and thankfully, drapey tends to still be in.

Love, Anna

Summer pregnancy staples

Friday, April 05, 2013


First off, advice for anyone out there who might be considering going to Disneyland at spring break, don't go. It is just even better with a tens of thousands fewer people. There, that is the last I will say about that.

We had a lovely time with both of our families (we missed the Casadys, Kate and Meggie) and the weather couldn't have been more perfect for us Oregonians-high 60s to low 70s.


1) Ruth's expression when she saw Minnie. It was pure joy and shock at the same time.  Life size Minnie!?!?  She wasn't so sure when it came time to get a picture with her.

2) Eating dinner at Naples Pizzeria with both of our families. It was actually quite hard to connect both groups given we were staying on opposite ends of the park and we were working around Ruth's schedule so the two dinners we had were amazing!

3) Cars ride!!!!  Seriously, the fast pass line (just to get a pass) was a 45 minute wait and they were all gone by 9am...crazy. But it was amazing!!!! And it was the only "no preggo" ride that my OB said I could ride :)  I just stared at Screamin' and dreamt of a time I will be able to go on it again (I LOVE rollercoasters).

4) I had nice a conversation with a cast member named Johnnie about his little boy and before you know it, he gave us a 12 person pass to the front of ANY line!  We used it on Nemo (which actually wasn't super exciting).  Still, so awesome and we were so grateful!

5) Matt and I's date night: I have been so desperate for more time with my husband.  Having a kid (and a delightful one) is such a blessing but it definitely alters your marriage. My parents took Ruth one night and we got to eat dinner at the Park, eat ice cream-two scoops for me, get a Disney shirt, watch Fantasmic, and 8 minutes of Dreams Come True (high winds ended it early).  It was so amazing.





Monday, April 01, 2013


This last weekend was a huge blessing.  Easter is definitely my favorite holiday-it restores my heart just in knowing that Jesus is so real and is changing the lives of tons of people I know (as well as my own). And that the Author of my story (as long as I let Him), is a million times greater, and more powerful and gracious, than I. Where my eloquence fails, His grace and mercy abound.  And Jesus means forgiveness-which releases anyone who chooses from bitterness and guilt and shame.  And who wouldn't want that???

Onto the singular "tears" word of the title:

I met a gal on Saturday, at the most delightful Easter egg hunt (of which Ruth just ate fruit, smiled and said "hi" to everyone, and fell madly in love with a huge foam pit), who has just gone through a huge change in her life. I knew part of her story because one of my besties has been directly involved.  This lady is beautiful, has four little ones, and has been married 12 years.  Within the first two minutes of speaking with her, I was in tears. And so was she. Beauty overtook us.

Then last night at church, singing a song about Jesus's resurrection, I had to fight back tears that seemed to be drawing my mascara down my face. Multiple times.

Then last week we found out one of our friends, who happens to be besties with one of the gals we do dinner with every Wednesday night, was put on hospice at the age of 30. She has a six month old son. And a husband of only 1.5 years. And I balled. I am crying just typing this.

And that gal, that I wrote of above, is in perfect peace. PERFECT. Hope rules her life and her story (this is her third fight with brain cancer) and Jesus is her everything. She only asked for prayer for her family...not even for her pain.

And I cried more when I read that she wrote that.

And then I thought, one of the most beautiful things about my life is that Jesus gives us hearts that are moved.  And mine, pregnant or not, has rarely ever made it through one day without tearing up-whether it be joy or sorrow.

I pray you know Jesus and you experience His beauty everyday and that you get to live a life that is filled with tears. Because while some are from brokenness, many are from overwhelming beauty and from stories that catch your heart and your soul by surprise and take your life soaring.