Fifty Two Pages // March 10-16

This last week was quite full for us! I can say this because look how many photos are in that collage. Usually, if there's not too many, it was an uneventful week. 

Last Sunday, I had the privilege of being part of my best friend's labor support. I've known Amanda and her husband, Tabor, for thirteen years. As you can imagine, we've gone through a lot of life together. She was with Danny and I through all of my labor with Amelia. Then with Elsie, we invited her to be there for the labor and birth. To give back a bit of the blessing that she was to us was amazing. They welcomed baby Lucy into their family on Monday morning and she's pretty much adorable {auntie pride}. 

The week went on and I had to recuperate from being awake for nearly twenty-four hours during Amanda's labor. I don't recommend that if you are pregnant with two small children to care for. But you live and you learn, right? We had a couple chill days at home, full of snuggles and shows. Thankfully, the weather was even nice! So we ventured out to the backyard for blowing bubbles, kicking balls, and drawing with chalk. 

Elsie got quite brave in her mobility this week. She stands from a squatting position all on her own now. She also enjoys pushing the laundry basket around and climbing {read: giving her mama heart attacks}. I fully expect Elsie to be walking any day now.

One of the best parts of our week was finding out that I'm pregnant with another girl. We're definitely going to have our hands full with the three of them. But we are so excited to see how the Lord blesses their little friendships with each other as they grow up so close in age!  


Three Girls

First off, I can't even believe that I'm already halfway through this pregnancy. The time has gone by so fast since we found out we were expecting back in December. 

That being said, halfway means the big ultrasound to check development and find out gender. We had our ultrasound yesterday. The baby was a healthy girl! She was squirmy as ever. We didn't get a good profile photo because her hands were near her face the whole time. But it looked as if she waved! 

I've done this all of this twice before but it still gets me. Seeing that sweet girl on the screen just made my heart swell. The love you can feel for a person you haven't even met is unreal.

We're excited and a bit overwhelmed at the thought of three girls, ages three and under. Amelia was actually slightly disappointed over the news of another sister. She really wanted a brother apparently! But Danny gently explained how big of a blessing our new baby girl is to our family. And that God makes no mistakes. Amelia is definitely warming up to the idea now. I'm glad for that because I really believe that these girls are a gift to each other. I know they'll have their ups and downs because that's what relationships are like. But I've always heard that a sister is a friend for life. I don't have any biological sisters. Honestly, part of me is jealous of my daughters!! Danny and I pray hard that these girls will be so in love with each other. 

Next up on the pregnancy/baby schedule is ordering cloth diapers for the two girls who will be in them {we have to save money somewhere!}, organizing clothes for consignment, and taking my glucose test. Since I had gestational diabetes with Elsie, my midwife wants to test early this time. Understandable but totally sucky. 

Overall, I'm feeling great! I can't wait to see what kind of fun this baby girl adds to our family. 

Isla Abrielle Grace // due August 2014


Fifty Two Pages // March 3-9

I want to get in the habit of posting my weekly collages from Instagram this year. Consider this the start!

Kendahl started a project late last year called Fifty Two Pages. Basically, at the end of every week, you collect your favorite photos and put them together in a collage. Then at the end of the year, you have a whole photo book's worth of collages to publish! It's a fun way to get the thousands of photos off of your phone and into a book for being able to actually see and enjoy all of them. 

I started back in November 2013 with the goal of having my collages done in time to order photo books as Christmas gifts this year. So far, I've kept up really well. It has been a lot of fun! If you want to go back and see my collages from previous weeks, check out #maia52 on Instagram! 


Basement Burnout

The fact that we live in a basement is pretty well known. After all, we have been here almost a year and a half

We moved here back in August of 2012. Amelia was 18 months. I was eight weeks pregnant with Elsie. Our goals consisted of saving like crazy so we could buy a house the following summer. And then life happened. Wouldn't you know it, we're approaching spring and we are still here. 

Amelia is three, Elsie is 10 months, and I'm almost halfway through a third pregnancy. 

This isn't at all what we had planned. 

Because this is my blog, my place to record this crazy life of ours, my corner of the internet to just let it out, I'm going to do just that. 

I'm burned out with living in this basement. 

Hear me loud and clear: this living arrangement has gone as well as we could have all hoped. Our friends and the owners of this home, David and Lindsey, have been great to live with. I'm not even kidding when I say we haven't had one argument or disagreement. We have always kept an open line to talk about stuff but there just hasn't been anything come up. Honestly, I believe The Lord orchestrated this living arrangement from day one. And so His hand of protection is covering it all. That doesn't make it easy though. 

Our main refrigerator is upstairs in the garage. And I forget that I need stuff in it all the time. So up and down I go. 

The dishwasher is upstairs. But hauling dishes up and down is awful. So they pile up because I can't wash dishes and see the kids at the same time. 

The kitchen is upstairs. And Danny works late hours. He's often not home for dinner which means I have to cook dinner and watch the kids. Because we don't live upstairs, I feel it necessary to make sure the girls aren't touching everything of David and Lindsey's. Also, their only child is three months younger than Elsie. So they have only recently started thinking about baby-proofing {which is totally fine because I don't expect them to baby-proof for our kiddos}. Usually I would wear Elsie and let Amelia play a game on my phone. But since becoming pregnant, baby-wearing is tough. The ergo is not comfy and I haven't figured out my woven wrap yet. So tonight, we're having frozen waffles and scrambled eggs. Because it's easy. 

This basement space wasn't meant to have a family of four live in it for for over a year. Therefore, storage is weird. I'm starting to nest and it is overwhelming.

Two weeks ago, we put an offer on a house. And things are moving along. But it's still a question if we're going to get this house or not. Danny is content to walk away if God is closing this door. And I'm begging God to leave the door open, with my foot in the door because I want out of the basement and I'm emotionally attached. I've envisioned our family playing in the backyard. I've decorated the rooms and felt at home even in just the few visits so far. 

I'm writing this in my kids room, as they beg to be fed dinner. I'm writing this from a place of frustration and total burn out. 

This basement has done us well. But now it's time. The big question though... is it God's time? 


Perfect Provision

A couple weeks ago, I shared the story of how Danny came to be an employee of Verizon Wireless back in 2011 and what a blessing it was for us at the time. In that post, I also shared how Danny recently started a new position in the company. This new job was the biggest relief after the difficult months we had had prior. 

If you haven't worked in commission based sales before, let me tell you... it's hard! I mean, I've never done it. But I know enough from walking alongside Danny in all of this. There's crazy quotas to meet and consequences if you don't.

This last November, we were faced with those consequences. Danny was in his third month of poor sales. If he didn't pull his numbers up, he was going to be fired in December. This all happened right before Christmas. We were still looking for a house to buy and we had a pregnancy "scare". The fear and anxiety I felt through this was time was very difficult. I struggled deeply as I knew I needed to relinquish control to God but my hands were so tightly grasped on how I wanted our life to look.

In the middle of all the craziness, there was word around Danny's company that a new position was being created for a new model of stores, set to open in early 2014. The new job would still be considered sales. However, it was no longer commission based and focused more on customer experience. Basically a hospitality person for the sales floor. Basically the perfect the job for my outgoing, chatty, technology loving, nerdy husband. There was no clear indication on what the pay would be. But we figured A job was better than NO job. So Danny applied and interviewed for the new position! 

In that same week, Danny heard from his boss that the interview panel was raving about him. They couldn't get over how perfect he was for the job. Days went by and Danny was offered the job. Of course he accepted. At that point, his sales numbers didn't matter. He couldn't be fired for sales performance! All we were waiting for was the new store to open. It was like the job was created for Danny. Hmmm. 

Well, the store opened a couple weeks ago and I have never seen my husband so excited about his work. It's the best thing in the world. He still works weird, long hours. It is also still retail, which Danny wants to be out of someday. But the job is fun for him. He greets customers and discovers their needs as they enter the store. Danny gets to educate customers about their different devices (phones, tablets, etc) in a class like setting. He also assists the sales reps in transactions. And probably the best part for him is that he gets to demonstrate some of the product. For example, flying a drone around the store using the controls on his phone. Honestly, it is a nerd's dream job. And a nerd's wife's dream because seeing my husband this content is a true delight. Not only is the job fun for Danny, but since he isn't getting paid based on sales performance his income is more stable and fair. This has taken so much pressure off of him. 

We are overwhelmed by the blessing of this job and the absolute perfect timing of it all. Just two weeks after Danny was hired for the new job, we found out that I was pregnant with our third child!! If it had been a month earlier (during that "scare" I mentioned at the beginning of this post), we would've been thinking that Danny was losing his job while finding out about a major surprise pregnancy. I'm glad God saved me from that anxiety. Now with 2014 under way and Danny loving his new job, we're looking forward to the adventure of home buying this spring and welcoming another baby into our family in August. 

I know that if Danny had lost his job back in December, we would've been okay. We've been through rough times as a family before and we've always been better because of them. However, because I'm human, there are still days that I worry unnecessarily. Ultimately, I know God provides. Our family story speaks to that truth over and over again. For this I am so grateful.