Mountain Themed Nursery Room

It was a surprise to me when J.R. said that he wanted to paint the nursery room. I was still struggling with the tiredness that's part of the first trimester of pregnancy, so the thought of painting or doing any decorating sounded like way too much work.

After thinking about it for a few days, I told him that I’d only be willing to paint if we could do a “ship-lap” accent wall too. (I know, I’m such a pain.)

J.R. knew he’d be doing most all of the work (even though I promised to help). So it took him a few days to decide if it was something we could even accomplish. We didn’t have the machinery or the tools that were needed to create the ship-lap look.

But being the good guy that he is, he didn’t give up on making my dream nursery come to life.
He watched “How to Videos” and read up about different “ship-lap” techniques. Then he talked with our incredible neighbors who happened to have a garage full of woodworking tools, and were kind enough to allow us help ourselves to their machinery.

Realizing this project was something we might actually be able accomplish, we set off to Lowes to purchase our supplies.

The "lumber" we purchased for the ship-lap was actually just underlayment boards. They were less expensive, but still achieved the look we wanted. 

We live in a small house, and this room is only about 9 feet by 12 feet. So we weren't working with much space, which meant we didn't need to purchase a ton of materials.

J.R. started layering the lumbar piece by piece.

Everything is looking good!

We debated which color of gray to paint the walls. I was nervous to use the darker grey in such a small space, but I’m really happy with how everything turned out. 

These pictures below are the "finished" room. 

How can you bring a child into this world right now?

Photo by Daniela Rey on Unsplash

 The deadliest mass shooting in US history happened exactly one month before my baby's due date.

"The world is such a scary place. Why would anyone intentionally bring a child into it right now?"

This was a question someone asked online that day. A question that bounced around in my head until it was echoed back to myself in my own voice.

The chaos and destruction in our world has been overwhelming these past three months: The senseless violence that takes place in our own backyard and across the world. The multiple devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires. Plus, the constant background of political and social intolerance and hate.

Many people have responded to these tragedies with fear. Fear for their family's safety, and fear for their future.

But a few people have chosen to respond to these tragedies with acts of love. Individuals who risked their own life to carry injured strangers from the danger. First responders, doctors and nurses who worked non-stop around the clock to save the dying. People who sacrificed their life by using their own body as a shield to protect their love ones from bullets.

Many people believe that the state of our world will get worse before it gets better. So the question again is, “Why would anyone intentionally bring another innocent life into the chaos?”

The simple, yet complicated, answer is because of a belief that love is the only thing that will overcome hate.

If we are headed for a dark and dangerous future, then we need a future generation that can bravely stand toe-to-toe against the hate and chaos. 

I hope we teach our kids that the destruction caused by Mother Nature or other people’s hateful and violent actions is usually out of our control, but it doesn’t mean we need to be afraid. We may not be able to stop or change these tragedies, but we can always choose how we will respond to them.

When we talk to our kids about tragedies, I hope we focus on the stories of those who sacrificed their time, and even their lives, to save others.  I hope we talk about those courageous acts of love more than we talk about our fear. When we discuss these tragedies, let’s remind them that for each act of hate there are hundreds of people who choose to act in love.

And that they too can choose love over fear. 

A Unique Being

Photo Credit

As a parent-to-be, it's difficult not to conjure up dreams and expectations of what your child will be like once they're actually here in your arms.

"I hope he has your hands and your smile." I tell my husband one night.
The next day my husband says, "He'll love watching football me with."

I keep trying to remind myself that kid's are almost never a "mini" version of their parents. They are entirely unique individuals, and that we shouldn't have expectations of  what kind of personality our son will have or what his likes and dislikes will be. But it's difficult not to.

"He'll love country music." I tell my sister.
Or my husband will say, "My son won't be afraid of things like that."

But the honest truth is, we have no idea what he'll be like. He is a mystery that will take years to discover and reveal.

I'm convinced that recognizing, and even being surprised by, your child's own unique traits and qualities is one of the most wonderful things about being a parent.

One day we will ask each other in awe and bewilderment. "Where did he come from??"

Will our son always like the things we like?
Will he always make the choices that we think are best?

Will we love him anyways?