Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Improvements: Update

So today we finally finished the list of improvements I mentioned a couple of posts back.

We wanted to caulk around our shower/tub combos in both of the bathrooms. Aaron took care of that last week. I don't have a picture because it's not all that exciting- just necessary.

We also replaced our kitchen faucet.

We chose Moen brand. It's a brushed nickel finish, so it doesn't show fingerprints which is awesome!  I wasn't sure I'd like the pull-out sprayer, but I really do love it.

We also put hardware on our kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Previously, we've had no hardware on them. I don't know why it took me over 5 years to install cabinet hardware. I totally love it! Here's a closeup of the hardware, then a photo of our kitchen, hall bath, and master bathroom.

Finally, we painted over the red stripe in the former "man room" (current office).  We also removed the Detroit Red Wings wall decals. I think the room looks less busy now.

Hopefully, potential buyers will like the improvements. And in the mean time, we'll enjoy them ourselves!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Friday, February 19, 2016

What We're Looking for in a House

Our house has been on the market now for about 8 1/2 months.  Pretty typical time line these days.  We had briefly put our house on the market in April of 2014.  We received one offer in June of 2014 and the buyers pulled out of their contract.  In August 2014, we took our house off the market.  Our oldest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes two days later. God protected us during that time in our lives.  He knew it would be way too stressful to have our house on the market while we were in the throes of learning diabetes care.

Fast forward nearly one year to the end of May 2015.  We chose to put our house back on the market.  Aaron and I had painted both of our bathrooms a bright white in March and April 2015.  We had our patio screened in to create a screened porch in September 2014.  We felt like it was time to put our house back out there.  Within two weeks time, we lowered the price by $7,000.  We really wanted to sell.  Another month passed and we lowered the price by another $1,000.  We had a few lookers within the first couple months, then things slowed to a crawl.  In October, we had an eager couple come look at the house and we received an offer.  It was low.  We bantered back and forth for a week, but we couldn't come to an agreement.  A few more lookers rounded out 2015.  We've had two showings this year so far.  We're debating lowering our price again by another thousand or so.  They're building two new homes across the street from us and a couple lots down.  That tells me that someone thinks living in this area is desirable, right?

Aaron and I have made another home improvement and are going to make a few more home improvements over the next week (hopefully one week will be sufficient!)  About two weeks ago, my dad came over and installed a new faucet for our kitchen sink.  An updated faucet was something I had been thinking about since we were first looking to buy a house back in 2010.  I'm surprised it took me over 5 years to actually do it!  We love our new faucet and now I know how easy it would be to replace a faucet in our next place (I say "easy" like I'm the one that did it-- although that's hardly true.  I observed and I cleaned out some pipe while my dad and Aaron installed the faucet.  But it looked fairly easy, and we paid my dad with a chocolate chess pie and homemade lasagna.)   :)

Tonight, we went to Home Depot and bought cabinet/drawer pulls for each cabinet and drawer in our kitchen and bathrooms.  We currently have no cabinet/drawer hardware at all.  I believe we got a really good deal.  We picked these (or at least something very similar) and Aaron says he can install them tomorrow afternoon or Sunday evening.  Cabinet/drawer pulls are something we've thought about doing before-- pre-kids and when we didn't have a "home improvement budget."  I'm glad we both agreed that it could spruce up our kitchen, and I'm glad we decided just to go for it and stop hemming and hawing about it.

We also bought some caulk and a caulk gun to fix our bathroom shower/tub trim.  When we painted, we inadvertently used a putty scraper instead of a paint scraper, to scrape stray paint marks from our shower/tub combos in our bathrooms.  The putty scraper didn't have as sharp of an edge as a paint scraper has, and it kind of messed up the trim between the shower/tub combo and the wall. We are hoping that a fresh line of caulk will make things look seamless again.

Finally, we bought a gallon of fresh white paint for one of our spare bedrooms, which is currently my office for work.  When we bought our house, we decided to keep one room painted blue (as the previous owner's had left it), and we decided to paint the remaining spare bedroom ourselves.  This room was designated as the "man room" and we went with a Detroit Red Wings theme since that's Aaron's favorite hockey team.  We chose "Wing White" and "Wing Red" from Glidden.  We painted the room "Wing White" (which is really just a can of Glidden white paint in your choice of finish-- satin, high gloss, eggshell, etc).  We then painted a "Wing Red" stripe about 14 inches wide around the center of the room.  Then we hung a Pavel Datsyuk Fathead on the wall, and also hung the accompanying Red Wings symbol Fatheads around the room.  Needless to say, this was a very personalized space.  Aaron outgrew the need for a "man room" and when Noah was born, this room became his bedroom.  Then when I had the opportunity to work from home, I needed a designated office space.  Noah benefited from moving into Michael's room to share with him, and I took over the spare room as an office.  I don't really mind looking at a bright red stripe along the wall as I work, but we both recognize that this room is a bit too personalized for potential buyers.  After all, we live nowhere near Detroit, and although we're not Alabama football fans (Auburn Tigers all the way! War Eagle!), we recognize that the bright red isn't the crimson hue that Alabama fans desire in a "fan room"-- so we don't really have hope that the room will appeal to a potential buyer who might be an Alabama fan.  It certainly won't appeal to any fellow Auburn fans who sport orange and navy.  So, we bought a can of Glidden "paint & primer in one" in the eggshell finish.  We also looked up how to save the Fathead decals to preserve them for our next house. The plan is to remove the Fathead decals and paint over the red stripe this week.

We will then take pictures of the improved spaces and send them to our realtor to update the pictures on our listing.

I have high hopes for these improvements!  It's nice to be able to make the home more functional for us as we wait to sell it.  Each home improvement gives me a little boost as we endure these days while we wait.

So, since our house has been on the market for a while, we've had lots of time to think about what we really want in our next place.

We've toyed with wanting acreage.  We've thought it might be nice, instead, to be in a subdivision with streets our kids could ride bikes on, etc, as they grew.  We have debated choosing an older home, and we've thought about picking out a newer build.

We know for sure what school district we want to be in, so that keeps our area pretty tight where we're looking.  The schools around here keep growing, so the school zone lines are semi-liquid.  We know we don't want to pick a home that's near the current school zone border because we don't want to have to switch schools partway through elementary, middle, or high school for the boys.  When Michael goes to school, he will have an individual education plan due to his Type One Diabetes.  I really don't want to have to re-hash all of that in a different school if we chose to live on the school zone border and had to change schools.  Therefore, we want to be safely in the middle of the zone for the school where we want our boys to attend.

We also know for sure that we need cable internet.  Working from home requires me to have cable internet.  Satellite internet just won't do. It's not an approved source of internet accessibility due to its speed.  Some newer subdivisions in the area have not provided cable internet services, and rely only on satellite.  This automatically rules them out for us.  We have to be certain that our new place has cable internet-- otherwise, I'd have to return to working in the office on a daily basis and I don't want to do that!  My schedule working from home is so conducive to being available for my children's needs, that it would totally throw a wrench in the plan if I had to return to the office everyday.  This necessity for cable internet has led us to look at more established streets, and therefore, older homes, since not all newer subdivisions have cable internet capability.

It's so funny to think about what was important for us when we were first looking for a home.  We wanted brick-- no questions asked.  We wanted a flat lot, because we were thinking about starting a family and wanted a nice place for kids to play.  We wanted a fenced lot.  We wanted a master bedroom closet that wasn't attached to the master bathroom.  I wanted a regular window with blinds in the master bathroom, rather than a frosted window.  (Why? I have no idea, but I remember wanting it that way).  In our first home here, we got everything on our wish list.

We wanted to live about 20 minutes away from our parents.  Check.  Well now, I'd like to live 3 minutes away from them.  Driving 20 minutes everyday to pick up my boys is a lot.  I'd like to just trot down the road, pick them up, and be home within 15 minutes of initially leaving the house. :)

We wanted brick.  Well, now we don't care if it's brick, siding, whatever.

We wanted a flat lot with grassy play space.  Although we'd still like a grassy area, we don't mind having a few hills because we have two young boys and we know they're going to want to explore outside all day long in a couple of years.  Hills are fun!

We still want a fenced lot since we have kids and two dogs.  But it doesn't matter to us whether it's privacy fence or chain link, etc.  We know that a fence is always something we can improve later if we choose to.

I no longer care if the master closet is attached to the master bathroom.  I'd just like to have a nice bathroom and a nice closet.

I don't care if the window in the bathroom is frosted.  If it is, I'd probably still put some kind of blind or curtain or valence in the middle of it, anyway.

We're much more flexible now.

I have a fantastic amount of kitchen cabinets in this house, and that's something I'd like to keep in our next house.

We now know that we can hire a contractor to install a screened porch, and we know we can change out faucets and paint colors and use carpet shampooers, etc.  I think we're in a good spot to pick a home that offers the square footage we want (and if not, then at least offers a lot from which we can add onto the house), and potentially this next home could be it for us.  We are looking with future intentions-- can we make this what we want it to be over time?  Can this new place be our forever home and accommodate us as our family grows?

We're going into this with "flexible" on our minds.

Fingers crossed and prayers rising in the hopes that our house will sell soon!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Monday, February 15, 2016

Boys Update

It's been a while since I've done an update on my little guys.  It's also been a while since I've been regular at blogging.  That is probably due mostly to working at home.  Although I love it immensely, I have a daily production and quality quota to meet-- which means limited time to write a blog post on the fly.  I'm also the one who mainly picks up my boys from my mother-in-law (who watches them during the day) since my husband works for another hour after I get off everyday.  It's easier for me to get the boys, but that means that I don't really get much free time to write. So I'm taking advantage of a couple of minutes when my boys are fed and my husband is playing with them in the living room.  I sneaked away to fold a load of laundry and to write a bit.

Let's get started.

Michael is three and a half.  (Excuse me while I cry).  Where in the world did the time go?  Good grief!  He is a tow headed blonde boy who is the total definition of spunk and stubborn.  He has hazel eyes and rosy pink cheeks.  His hair and fingernails grow faster than you'd think was possible. He has eyelashes that celebrity women would pay to have.  Haircuts hardly even last on him.  I know it would probably be more beneficial to give him a buzz cut, but I have a strict mom-rule that says "no buzz cuts until at least age 5."  I have the right to keep my child looking like a little boy rather than just a boy, right?  His hair is thick and beautifully straight.  He can get out of the bathtub looking like Anne Burrell, but then within 15 minutes, his hair is straight and shiny.  sigh He didn't get that from me.

Michael is mischievous to a fault.  He will test any boundary set before him.  As a parent, this is utterly exhausting because I have to keep enforcing the boundaries-- otherwise, it'll be ten times easier for him to break the rules the next time.  That's the difficult part of parenting-- being consistent.  Oh, it can wear me out in a heartbeat.  And this is why my children go to bed at 7:15pm.  Because I need some time to sit down on the couch and breathe, and just be still.

Michael is still tall for his age.  He wears mostly 3T and 4T clothes. He has a  long torso and shorter legs-- like me.  We prefer dressing him in longer shirts so that it covers his Continuous Glucose Monitor (which is inserted in his upper buttocks).  He wears a size 11 in toddler shoes.  He will soon graduate to children size shoes (I think toddler sizing only goes to 12 or 13).  He LOVES to run.  He also LOVES to laugh and when he really gets going, his uninhibited laugh is the most precious sound in the world.  I love seeing my son so happy.  It makes all the heartache of diabetes just a little bit soothed during that time.  I have a few pictures on my phone of his facial expression when he's fully engrossed in a laugh, and it's such a balm to look back on those expressions.  I like to look at those pictures in the middle of my work day.  Seeing my kid happy is so so priceless.

Michael loves any movie about the "minions."  He has only recently discovered the "Despicable Me 2" movie (we haven't seen the first one yet).  And we also recently bought the movie "Minions" (on sale at Target).  You can bet that one of these movies will be watched at least once a day.  He has some "minion" toys that he plays with on the daily.  His favorite minion is Kevin "because he's brave."

His favorite snack food is Greek yogurt in all the yummy flavors (like Boston Cream Pie, Apple Pie, Blackberry Pie, Coconut, Key Lime, Raspberry, Chocolate Cherry).  He calls yogurt "coo."  He also likes to eat Pirate's Booty Cheese Puffs (low in carbs).  He is not a fan of Cheez-its.  He says they taste weird.  He likes peanut butter spoons, Goldfish, dill pickle spears, American cheese slices, and PB&J sandwiches.

He is fully potty trained.  Our next step is to get him to actually completely go to the bathroom himself without us having to be in there.  But, oh! It's so nice to have him fully potty trained and to be able to successfully go to the bathroom when we're in public places like Children's Hospital, Target, etc.

He surprises me with his bravery.  He is not as much of an animal fan as his brother is, but he did excitedly go into the petting zoo inside the actual zoo today and he really did pet a goat.  I was impressed.  I safely sat on a bench right outside the petting zoo-- I'm not a fan of animals with horns. :)

Now onto Noah.

Noah is very recently two years old (beginning of January).  He has dark blonde hair with a bit of a wave in it (he gets that from me).  His eyes are crystal blue (like his maternal grandma).  There's no mistaking the color of his eyes and people stop us in the stores to look at them.  Weird, but true.  Both boys will get a haircut this week.  Noah is looking a bit like Trump in a windstorm. :)

Noah is super duper sweet.  When he's alone. Noah is our early riser (I'm talking like 5:40am early).  When he's up in these wee-morning hours, he can be the sweetest little guy.  I'll turn on Elmo's World while I get started on my work and he's good to go.  When Michael wakes up and joins the fun, Noah goes into full "second child" mode and starts arguments just for the sake of arguing.  Michael can say "Oh, we're watching Elmo's World" and Noah will say "Noooooo" just to get a rise out of Michael.

Noah is small for his age.  He still has 18-month size pants that fall off of his little waist.  He wears 18-month shirts, and some 2T or 24 month size shirts.  He is in the 25th percentile for weight and 50th percentile for height (based on his stats at his 2-year well check-up).  He is in size 7 toddler shoes.  This seems big based on his height and weight.  Michael was also in size 7 shoes at 2 years old, but Michael weighed a lot more and was a lot taller than Noah is at this age.

Noah is obsessed with vacuums.  Obsessed.  You think I'm joking, but I'm not.  We had to relocate our vacuum from our hall closet to our bedroom closet because Noah would pull the cord all the way down the hallway to the living room every single day and then shriek when we wound the cord back up.  If we vacuumed while he was awake, we'd have to leave the vacuum out until he went to sleep so he wouldn't see us put it away.  He'd open the hall closet door and just stare at the vacuum and touch it and try to turn it on.  So we relocated it so that we wouldn't have to constantly hear shrieks when we wound the cord or put the vacuum away.  I tried to only vacuum on my breaks during the workday when Noah wasn't home.  Today, however, I was off of work and the house really needed a vacuuming, so as a "treat" I vacuumed while Noah watched me (and he "helped" a bit.)  I was successfully able to put the vacuum back in my closet because we were heading out the door to my mom's house, where she has a toy vacuum and a real vacuum-- so that was sufficient bribery to get out the door without any tears.  My mother-in-law keeps her vacuum out during the day so Noah can look at it. :)  Any object can turn into a vacuum at anytime-- a rolling toddler-size suitcase becomes a toy vacuum at our house.  Noah makes his own vacuum sounds to accompany his imaginary play.  I'm raising the next generation Danny Tanner.  I can only hope that this vacuum/cleaning obsession continues to childhood and the teenage years when I can really use the help!

Noah loves all food and doesn't discriminate.  He could eat all day long if we'd let him.  For breakfast, he has a Kashi waffle and a few toddler-size bowls of Froot Loops.  He loves Goldfish, Cheez-its, Pirate's Booty cheese puffs, Greek yogurt (which he also calls "coo"), and dill pickles for snack.  He LOVES ketchup, and is starting to have an affinity for mustard as well.  He will request both with his fish sticks.  He loves air popped popcorn and could eat the whole amount if we allowed it.  But we're really trying to teach him to stop when he's full.  He's getting better at it, and we're getting better about really noticing his signs of being full so that we can aid him in stopping his eating.  He is so small that it's not a huge issue for us to let him snack since he's obviously using what he intakes, but we'd like to teach him to recognize when he's full as well.

I have high hopes that Noah will be potty-trained this year.  He can tell us when he's making a mess in his diaper.  He sits on the potty occasionally, but hasn't been successful on the potty as of yet.

He LOVES Elmo and we watch "Elmo's World" at LEAST twice daily.  We start our mornings with either "Elmo's World" or "Blue's Clues."  If we don't start our day with "Elmo's World," you can bet that it's the next thing he asks for.  He loves to have us read books about Elmo.  Aaron does a great Elmo impression, and that always gets a giggle out of Noah.

Today at the zoo, he was very content to ride in the stroller.  When he was out of the stroller, he wanted to "help" me push it.  That was an experience.  He was kind of just "so-so" about the animals.  When we were looking at the giraffes, he was ecstatic to see a bird instead.  This is so Noah.  He finds joy in the tiny things when we're all looking for the big things.  He did enjoy being lifted up to see the HUGE rhino today at the zoo.  He is a cuddler by nature and I hope he always likes to cuddle.

I love these little boys.  Such precious precious gifts.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Monday, February 8, 2016

Valentine's Day Decorating Details

Today I'm linking up with Rachel and Astleigh to share Valentine's Day Decorating Details!

Let's start with treats for my boys!   I found these felt envelopes in the Target Dollar Spot.  In the past couple of years, I've seen pins where people use felt envelopes to stash sweet notes and to put Valentine's treats in, and I've wanted to do the same.  When I saw these light blue envelopes, I knew they'd be perfect for my boys.

When I was growing up, my parents always made a point to get my brothers and me some type of little treat or game.  I definitely want to do that with my kids.  My husband and I don't celebrate this holiday for ourselves, but we both agree that we want to make a conscious effort to make this a fun day for our children.  I picked up some "googly eye robot stickers," a Skittles heart (they both love skittles for potty-treats), and a Snoopy chocolate box (with the carb count on the back so that it's easy for us to account for each piece when my older son with Type One Diabetes eats his treat).

I snagged the one pink envelope that Target had left, because I know my husband and I are going to adopt a girl in a few years and I want her to have a coordinating envelope!

I also found these dish-towels in the Target Dollar Spot (do you sense a theme here? I'm a Target addict.  No shame).  I just loved the pop of bright pink.  In my house full of guys (a husband, two sons, and a boy dog), my girl dog and I have to add in our pops of pink without going overboard.

I found a jute and cardboard banner to go across our mantle (I don't even think I have to tell you where I got it-- hint: see all Valentine's details above.)  It's fairly simple with XOXO in bright pink, and then three gold hearts on each side of the words.  It's not over-the-top, and it was long enough to stretch across the whole length of the mantle, with extra room for a swag drop-down.

When I took the picture below, I had every intention of finding something to actually place on the center of the mantle, but I haven't come across anything that strikes my fancy.  So it remains as is-- lantern (from Hobby Lobby), bird votive holder (Target-- two summers ago), and a wedding picture in a frame (from Hobby Lobby).

My favorite seasonal decoration is my Season Changing Wreath from the Etsy shop Hopscotch and Honey!  Trust me when I say that you need one of these!  I seriously get so excited about the first of every month so I can put the new decor fixings on the wreath!  It's by far my favorite decorating item!

Hope you've enjoyed the simple, but sweet Valentine's decor in our home.  I am so looking forward to setting out those blue envelopes on our couch on Saturday night for our boys to find in the morning!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Friday, February 5, 2016

Tailor Success!

Last Friday, my mom and I went to a local tailor shop.  I have never taken any clothes to a tailor shop and I was a bit nervous.

I bought a really nice pair of flare jeans from Loft during a fantastic final sale (I paid $28.00 for them).  I read reviews first and I knew that the final sale meant I couldn't return the pants if I didn't like them. The pants were only available in "regular" size-- so they didn't have any "petite length" available. I sized up on purpose because, let's be real, I don't like to suck it in and I don't like to be uncomfortable whenever I'm sitting down.  My job is a sedentary job and I hate having jeans cut into my stomach as I'm sitting.  It just makes for an uncomfortable day, and I avoid uncomfortable things at all costs. :)  The reviews on these jeans were kind of all over the place.  Some reviewers admitted they were tall and that the pants were a fantastic fit for them.  However, the next review would be by someone of average height who said they could wear flats with the jeans and the length was fine.  So I took a risk and bought the jeans anyway even though the reviews were not conclusive as to the real length.  I have a very long torso and shorter legs, and I'm not a tall person (5'5"), so I knew the pants would probably be too long.

The pants arrived and I was right.  They were about 4 inches too long!  I wasn't super bothered because I knew I could roll them under and safety pin them, and I could ask my dad to hem them.  I washed them, then wore them safety pinned to church, and then I washed them again and asked my dad to hem them.  Aaron helped me safety pin them at the length I wanted, and I delivered the pants to my dad.  My mom called me the next day and told me that the pants were too nice for my dad to hem!  :)  So she offered to come to the tailor with me.  We decided to make a girl's afternoon out of it for that Friday.

We arrived at the tailor shop and I tried on the pants and stood on a small stage as the seamstress pinned the pants at the length I wanted.  I purposely wore the pair of flats that I planned on wearing with the pants most of the time.  That way, I knew the length would be right.  She pinned the pants, I took them off and left them with her and she wrote my name on the receipt and pinned it to the pants.  She told me to come back the following Tuesday to pick them up.

I was a bit nervous before picking them up because I wondered if they would do a proper jean hem-- by rolling the pants tightly underneath and sewing that rolled hem.  I had to pay for the hemming up front-- and it only cost $10.00 so I was wondering if I'd really only get $10 worth or if it would turn out to be worth much more than that and make the $10 look like a great deal.

I walked into the tailor shop and she handed me the jeans.  I was so satisfied!

They did a fantastic job!  They did a proper jean hem, as well as kept the flare to the pants!  Sometimes, when cutting off so many inches on pants, it's easy to lose the shape of the pants and they end up looking stumpy.  But this tailor did such a fantastic job!

Also, I wanted to share with you a link to one of my favorite shirts!

I got this shirt in a medium because I wanted a looser fit.  I was shocked at how soft it is!  I got it in the color "Winter is Coming" (a pale purple/blue) since I have nothing in that color.  I really like the length of the shirt itself, but I also like the length of the sleeves.  They are longer than normal and they don't ride up my wrists as I'm typing.

The seam of the shoulder is actually more on the upper bicep, which is slightly weird, but that's a trend these days and it's not a deal breaker for me.

The front of the shirt is a bit shorter than the back, but I like the longer back on this.

The shirt is very sheer, as you can see.   I definitely have to wear a cami with this, which I was slightly disappointed about, but again-- not a deal breaker.

Hope you've enjoyed this little fashion peek!

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Lyrical Thursday: Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

I heard this song on the radio for the first time yesterday and it totally spoke to me.  The lyrics of this song can pretty much be applied to a part in everyone's life.  For me, it spoke to our son's Type One Diabetes diagnosis.  Our world was shattered.  The life we had dreamed about for our son was over.  The freedom and the carefree ability of childhood was gone.  From that day forward, his life would revolve around making sure he got insulin and that we acknowledged and counted every gram of carb he put into his body.  It would mean sleepless nights for us as his parents.  It meant knowing our child was now included in the unspoken lists of "children with disabilities" and that we would have to meet with school officials to create an academic plan for him to succeed in school.  It meant endless calls to insurance agencies, medical suppliers, pharmaceutical companies, etc.  Carefree life-- gone.  For him and for us.  But, I've learned that I cannot live there-- I can't dwell on the past.  I've got to learn how to include diabetes into our daily lives and to not let it define my son.  A year and a half into this game, and I'm still learning. This song helps me.  I'm going to hold onto these lyrics and keep them at the forefront of my mind as I'm learning to let go and let God.  After all, He loves my son more than I even can, and diabetes was not a surprise to Him.

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again

You're shattered
Like you've never been before
The life you knew
In a thousand pieces on the floor
And words fall short in times like these
When this world drives you to your knees
You think you're never gonna get back
To the you that used to be

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Just let that word wash over you
It's alright now
Love's healing hands have pulled you through
So get back up, take step one
Leave the darkness, feel the sun
Cause your story's far from over
And your journey's just begun

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again

Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far
'Cause love sees farther than you ever could
In this moment heaven's working
Everything for your good

Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace
Yesterday's a closing door
You don't live there anymore
Say goodbye to where you've been
And tell your heart to beat again
Your heart to beat again
Beat again

Oh, so tell your heart to beat again


This song is for me.

This song is for you, Nana.

This song is for anyone out there going through a rough time.  Lean into God.  He's there.  He can sustain you.

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: How to Win My Heart

I'm linking up with Andrea today for Show & Tell Tuesday.  The topic this morning is "How to Win My Heart."

My husband and I do not celebrate Valentine's Day (I'm sure that's a shock to some of you out there.)  We're of the tribe that believes that Valentine's Day is a holiday to spur spending copious amounts of money on cards, chocolates and roses.  (A dozen roses costs half as much in June as in February.)  We like to celebrate each other and our bond on our random date nights or with random fun things we do together, rather than by spending lots of money on one day of the year.

When we were dating, I told him I didn't want anything for Valentine's Day and his friends didn't believe him when he told them so.  But, he listened, and he didn't get me anything, and I didn't get him anything either.  And we made it!  It wasn't a test to see if he'd really show up at my house with balloons and chocolates and flowers.  Nope.  I was honest in saying that I didn't want anything, and he listened.

The first Valentine's Day we came upon after marriage, we broke our rules and decided to get gifts for each other.  It was nice and fun, but I think both of us felt like the gift-giving was a bit forced.  Later on that day, we decided to keep things how we originally intended them to be-- and forgo celebrating Valentine's Day.  In fact, one year, we attempted to go out to dinner and we couldn't figure out why there were lines outside each restaurant until it dawned on us that it was Valentine's Day!  So we turned around and went home, and we went out to eat the next night instead. :)

Now, for my boys, I want them to decide for themselves one day whether they want to celebrate this holiday or not.  So, for now, we will get them each a small treat and a sweet card.  This is something my parents always did for me and my brothers and I want to continue that tradition for my boys.  Also, I see nothing wrong with sprucing up the house with some bursts of pink and red here and there!  (I'll be writing a Valentine's Day Decorating Details post next week!)

So, onto the real question of this post:  How to Win My Heart.  A few months ago, my husband and I each took the online version of "The 5 Love Languages" quiz.  I totally recommend that everyone take this quiz, even if you're not in a relationship!  It is really helpful to know how you love and how you like to be shown love.  My top two love languages were "Words of Affirmation" and "Quality Time."  Aaron's were "Physical Touch" and "Gift Receiving."  You guys-- this could not make more sense!  After we took this quiz, I really understood that we perceive love so differently!  And we didn't take this quiz until we had been married 6 years!

Our results made total sense to me.  I am definitely so appreciative of quality time spent together.  Whether this be a family vacation and enjoying each other on the journey, or if it simply means sitting next to each other on the couch on a random weekday night watching a show together or playing a game (this one is really fun!).  And I can tell you something-- watching "American Sniper" together will surely make you love your spouse more (well, I guess I can't speak for everyone, but it made me love my spouse more).  My other main love language was Words of Affirmation.  This is so true.  I want to know that I'm doing a good job.  I want my husband to say that he's proud of me.  Let's face it, we've got a tough life.  We're very young parents of a young child with an incurable disease.  It's rough!  So I do like to know that my husband notices the work I do for my child (endless phone calls with insurance companies, and medical suppliers, and midnight blood sugar checks, and intricately taping on a medical device so that curious three-year-old hands can't rip it off, etc).  And when my husband says he's proud of me, that makes my whole day. It makes all the sleepless nights, worry over this disease, and frustrations exhibited during phone calls worth it. It does.  Just a simple phrase-- "I'm proud of you"-- can win my heart each and everyday, just as much as a good evening of quality time can do the same.

Aaron's results were "Physical Touch" and "Gift Receiving."  This really opened up my eyes to see how he perceives love.  A good back rub, or shoulder massage can mean more to him than saying the words "I love you."  And now his love language of "Gift Receiving" is at the forefront of my mind when I'm shopping at Target, etc.  If he's had a bad day at work, I'll pick up a bag of Reese's peanut-butter cups and a movie and I'll place it on his pillow for him to see when he goes to the bedroom to change out of his work clothes.  This could even be as simple as making a batch of his favorite cookies one night after we tuck our boys into bed.  Knowing his love languages has also made me more perceptive to realize when he's showing love to me.  He might choose to acknowledge his own love languages as a way to express his love for me.  He might give me a back rub or shoulder massage even if I haven't asked for one-- and I have to acknowledge internally that he is showing love, even if it's not specifically quality time or words of affirmation.

Taking the love language quiz really has changed how I view his love, and it's changed how I show love to him in order to make it most effective and to really let him know that I love him.  Oh, believe me, I say "I love you" about a thousand times a day and he always says it back (and he does say it first, too).  But to know how to effectively show love to my spouse is such a fantastic gift.  We do have the book "The 5 Love Languages" but taking the online quiz is so simple, quick, and effective.

So quality time and words of affirmation are really the keys to winning my heart, and my spouse knows this and acknowledges it.

Such a great link-up topic!  What do you think?  What are the ways to win your heart?

Until Next Time,
Much love, Reba