June 30, 2011

In all things.....

My baby girl turns 6 tomorrow......tonight, I held her a little tighter because she's a little girl whose story could have turned out so differently...

Our daughter was almost delivered at 29 weeks....

At about 25 weeks, I was put on complete bed rest....the kind where the doctor doesn't even want you sitting up.  Basically, there was nothing between her and the outside world...for some reason, my body just doesn't keep babies in.

Have you ever had times in your life where God just seems so far away and the pain that you are facing makes you feel like He's not even there? With my daughter's pregnancy, that's exactly where I was.....a very dark and lonely place.....a place where I just couldn't understand why God had put me there.

The day that I went into labor with her was one in a series of disasters. We were moving back to the East Coast and my husband had to leave 2 weeks early to start his job.  I was left to pack the house...on bedrest.....with 2 small children....yes, completely insane!

Even more insane.....as he was flying home for our house closing and move, our moving company pulled up.....and pulled away......without any boxes!  Yes, they didn't like how we had packed the boxes.....so.....they left.

I remember standing in my driveway....my husband in the air......the moving company gone....completely and utterly alone.....(and yes, I should NOT have been standing!)

I went into panic mode.....and members from our church arrived within 20 minutes to start repacking our house....I remember being in complete shock and kept repeating through tears....how does a moving company pull away??  Who will take all of our stuff??

My husband walked in the door about 2 hours later and within 10 minutes, I was in full-blown labor......at 29 weeks....with only 3 days left of health insurance.

I remember our frantic drive to the hospital.....to this day, I still don't know who took care of our other children or where they even spent the night.....how people found them clothes to wear in the chaos of our house....who tucked them in.....but I am so grateful for the hands that cared for them.....

After many attempts and high dosages of magnesium, they were not able to stop the labor.....the hard part about this is that when you are in preterm labor, the doctors are only focused on stopping the labor.  Pain management is relative.  So for many hours, I was laboring hard.....sick from the magnesium and scared to death.

The doctors brought in a consult visit from the NICU--the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.  We were familiar with them....both of our boys were preterm and had spent time in the NICU.  But this time, the tone of our conversation was a whole lot different.  They read a litany of problems that our 29 week old daughter potentially could have.....

They told us about 6 pm that evening that they only had one option left.....a drug that was rarely used, but had been known in the past to stop labor.  This drug was their last possibility of stopping labor.

I remember being in a fog of confusion.....all I wanted was for the pain to end...but what if the end of my pain was the beginning of a lifetime of pain for my daughter....

Hours later, the contractions slowed and then ceased......I attribute it to the hundreds of people praying for us!  For me to be released from the hospital, I had to go 24 hours without one contraction....

I went 24 hours without contractions.....at 7am on the morning our insurance expired (due to our job and state change we had a lag between insurance coverage) we pulled away from the hospital.  I was a bit of a celebrity that morning....everyone wanted to see the "crazy lady" who was driving 16 hours east....

Amazingly, I ended up delivering our little girl at 38 weeks.....but those 9 weeks between would be some of the hardest of my entire life....

My contractions didn't end....they just paused long enough to get home to PA....I ended up contracting around the clock for the next 9 weeks.  I seriously thought that I would lose my mind.  

I have a deep empathy for people who suffer from chronic pain.....during those 9 weeks, I couldn't focus on anything except enduring the constant pain that I was in.....truly, I could not understand why God had put me in such a painful and lonely place. 

To this day, I still don't fully understand why I had to go through what I went through......my faith in God was shaken.  Alone at 3 am, awake from the pain, I would just cry out to God and ask Him..."Why me??  You could take this pain away in an instant".....but....He didn't.....instead, He was asking me to endure.

Honestly, I'm not sure how well I endured.....I was pretty mad at God for a while....at the time, I was not able to pray through or even believe the words of Romans 8:28...

 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

People tried to encourage me, but in the midst of my storm.....it was just too dark for me to see that...I needed other people to believe it for me...

Tonight, as I kissed the sweet head of my little girl and told her parts of "her" baby story, I realized that those months of suffering were so worth the feel of this precious little girl in my arms....healthy and alive....

Happy Birthday, precious girl.....
your Mama loves you so very much....
and your Father in Heaven loves you even more....

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June 29, 2011

Thrifty Thursday #15

Last week at Thrifty Thursday we had wonderful projects linked up!  Without a doubt your favorite projects to view are always furniture re-dos!  

The most viewed link last week was from Absolutely Loving My Life.  Rachel turned this Craig's List table and chairs into a stunning dining room set.....

Laura Beth at A Step in the Journey transformed an extra mirror on her wall into a picture with some 3M tabs and a canvas!

Laura Beth also made this super cute wall hanging....

One of my favorite projects were these Plant Markers from Artsy VaVa.  

Who wouldn't love those cute markers in your garden!

Viv over at The V Spot has been crafting like crazy this summer!  Not only has she been making faux coral like from homemade clay.....

 .....but she also came up with these PB knock-off shell candles!

If you are looking for some amazing recipes, then you must go over to chef-n-training!  Look at these cookie dough brownies......

Nikki also shared her recipe for cookie salad!!  Yum!!

If you were featured this week, be sure to grab a button!

Now it's time for week #15 of  Thrifty Thursday.......

Here are some very simple suggestions for the link-up:
1. Please become a follower of Thrifty Decorating.
2. Be sure to link to your POST and not your blog.
3. Please copy and paste my link button somewhere in your post
or blog so that others can link back.
4. Share some comment love....We all love to get them!!

Don't forget that you can go over to link up with Thrifty Thursday at

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June 27, 2011

Under the sink organization....

Hello!  I'm Becky from Organizing Made Fun. I'm very happy to be invited by Nicole to come and help everyone get motivated to organize a bit!

If you've ever tried to tackle organizing, it's best to do it one little bit at a time!  That's what I do...and what I always recommend to ladies who come to me asking for advice to getting their whole house organized.  Start small and then keep that newly organized place up a little bit each day.  You'll find that sometimes your space isn't working how you wanted it to, but that's alright.  Here's what I did when I could see there was a problem under my sink.

Just lovely, isn't it?
It had been doing me well for a few years, but I began to realize the clutter gathering up and I just needed a little more room to put stuff.  I have my bag organizer on the door, which holds plastic grocery bags.  My son made a "time capsule" at VBS this past summer but wasn't using it.  I asked him if I could use it under the sink - that's the brown coffee can with stickers.  I use the brown can {with hole cut out on top} to put our "poo" collecting bags in - recycled fruit bags, sandwich loaf bags, or other smaller plastic bags for the kids to use to pick up dog poo in the yard each day - that's part of their chores!

Cleared everything out, wiped it down and put new contact paper in!

Yes, there's a large gaping hole under my sink...we re-plumbed the house four years ago and hubby hasn't gotten around to patching it up, so I put some left-over insulation there in hopes that it would help with the leaking air I often feel from there.  I put new contact paper down and then started putting things back.

I keep my stash of Bath & Body foaming soaps in an old ice cream bucket.

 I found this terrific organizer for the door that holds more daily-used bottles and things. I got the door organizer at...The Container Store, but you can also find them at Walmart - we do NOT have a Walmart in my area, it's really crazy!

I put everything back in....and voila!  Pretty as can be! 

Remember, if you have somewhere that needs to be organized, just tackle a little at a time! It may seem like a small accomplishment but will make a little bigger impact each day when you can easily find things!



Becky has been a fun new friend that I've made here in blog world.  She's been a wonderful mentor as a "seasoned" piano teacher and has graciously answered all of my million questions!

I love Becky's site!  She gives wonderful tips for organization, but she also has done some amazing projects.....here are some of my favorite!

An old dressed turned into an outdoor buffet...

A custom painted desk....

....how fun is that?!?

And she even has organized it for her son!

Becky, thanks so much for stopping by!!

So if you are looking for fun, organizational ideas (and some great projects, too!), check out Becky's blog Organizing Made Fun!

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June 26, 2011

Red, white, and blue flip-flops...

Natalie, from A Turtle's Life for Me, is a friend in real life and her children swim with mine.  Recently, her daughter wore the cutest pair of flip-flops to swim practice and I decided to improvise....

All you need is an inexpensive pair of flip-flops and some ribbon.  

Take your ribbon and tie a double knot.....

....and that's it!!  You're done!  If you get tired of patriotic flips, then just take out the knots!

I just love those quick and easy crafts!

HERE are places I party!

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Fourth of July bean flags...

Isn't this just the easiest (and cutest!) idea???  I saw it over at Mushkiloves.

Kirsten took black beans, white navy beans, and red kidney beans to create this adorable flag replica.....in a jar!!

I really want to make this craft, but I think 
that I am running out of time! 

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June 25, 2011

Blueberry Muffins...

Blueberry season has arrived in Eastern Pennsylvania.....I didn't know there was such a thing until I moved here.  Stores literally post on their doors..."Blueberries are HERE!"

We love blueberries.....we eat them like candy, so I decided to take the plunge and purchase 20 pounds of them....yes, that's correct...20 POUNDS!  People buy them in bulk here!  I only paid $34.00, so in the long run, it's way cheaper than buying quarts every week!

My plan is to take the majority of these blueberries and HIDE them in my freezer so that we can have some in the winter, but first I had to go to my stand-by muffin recipe!

This recipe was given to me by a Wisconsin friend named, Karen, and it's originally for Cranberry muffins....but I substitute any small, round fruit in the recipe!

Start by creaming 1 1/4 cups sugar with 1/4 cup of softened butter.

Add 2 eggs, beating after each one.

In a separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients.....and I actually did do this in a separate bowl...usually I'm too lazy!

Add 2 cups of flour....

2 tsp. of baking power 

1/4 tsp. salt

Add the dry ingredients to your creamed sugar mixture by alternating some of the flour mixture and then 1/2 cup milk.

You can then add-in 1/2 cup walnuts and 2 cups of fresh or frozen fruit.  

I've used both cranberries and blueberries and each time the muffins turn out wonderfully!

Sprinkle the tops with sugar and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Yum!!  I love this recipe because it's quick and easy!

1 1/4 cup sugar             1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 butter softened        1/2 cup milk
2 eggs                         1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 tsp. baking powder      2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Happy Baking!

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June 22, 2011

Thrifty Thursday #14

Thrifty Thursday is back!

Being at the beach last week, I just needed to take a break from blogging, so Thrifty Thursday took a little vacation, too! 

This week's highlights will actually be going back to two weeks ago....but wow, there were some wonderful projects linked!

The project with the highest number of "clicks" was this repurposed cabinet door from Two Tiny Towheads.  

I just love how these chrysanthemum designs are popping up everywhere! What beautiful and inexpensive wall art!

Wayward Girls took a yardsale find bookshelf and turned it into this beauty with the addition of fabric and paint!

Her bookshelf redo cost her all of $14.00!!

I have seen a lot of versions of the cloche, but this one caught my eye....The Quick Journey took some Goodwill parts to create her Very Own Cloche.

The wider base gives this cloche it's own unique look!

I really like this Gallery Glass Striped Vase that Johnnie from Saved by Love Creations made.

She has a great step-by-step tutorial for how to make it!!

There were a number of recipes linked up this week....YUM!!....but the one that caught my eye was this Fruit Pizza from Ohh Baby Designs!

What a simple dessert idea that can be "dressed-up" into something fancy!

If you were featured this week, be sure to grab a button!

Now it's time for week #14 of  Thrifty Thursday.......

Here are some very simple suggestions for the link-up:
1. Please become a follower of Thrifty Decorating.
2. Be sure to link to your POST and not your blog.
3. Please copy and paste my link button somewhere in your post
or blog so that others can link back.
4. Share some comment love....We all love to get them!!

Don't forget that you can go over to link up with Thrifty Thursday at

Read more ...
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