Amy Beth

February 20, 2015

These Days // 9

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Happy Friday! We’ve spent the week stuck in the house due to a big winter storm in our area. It’s been cozy and lazy and all the things a snow day should be, but it’s lasted all week and we’re starting to get a little stir crazy. We’ve had some good times though. Here are the highlights from these days.

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playing: with cornstarch. It turns out a simple mixture of cornstarch and water makes a crazy feeling concoction. If you squeeze it or poke it fast it feels solid, but if you let it run through your fingers or poke it slowly it’s like a liquid. It’s because of science, I’m sure. We ended up adding a bit too much water to our mixture, and Charlie wasn’t so sure about sticking his hands in it. But he enjoyed stirring and scooping it with a spoon, and then we added some food coloring to swirl around. It was pretty for a few seconds. Then I remembered that I should never give a child three primary colors. It always turns brown. Oh well.

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shoveling: lots of snow! We got a foot of snow and arctic temperatures this week. So some shoveling was necessary. This snow isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Charlie got to play in it one day this week, but every other day has been too cold. I’m hoping it will warm up a bit in the next few days so we can get out in it again. Snow like this hasn’t happened around here since I was a kid!

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loving: the first real smiles from my girl! I discovered she likes to be thrown in the air. I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot of throwing if it means more smiles. They’re the best!

baking: monkey bread. Charlie loved our time making banana bread so much that we had to do it again. We had a little monkey bread baking mix stuck in the back of our pantry that we finally got out and made use of. Charlie’s getting pretty good at stirring. I think next we’ll need to work on his pouring.


finishing: All the Light We Cannot See, my first pick for the 2015 Reading Challenge. It was very good. I’m working on writing a review to share with you in a few weeks, but I’m finding I’m pretty awful at writing book reviews. I’ll keep working on it…

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So that was our week. I hope you all are staying warm!

Coffee with Caitlin

Once again I’m linking up at Coffee with Caitlin for another High Five for Friday post. Check out some other bloggers over there!

February 13, 2015

These Days // 8

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These days we are:

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baking: banana bread. Charlie really loves banana bread, so when we had a few overripe bananas this week we decided to do a little baking using this recipe. It was fun, and now we have a tasty snack. I’m hoping to do more baking projects with him in the future.

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sending: Valentine’s Day cards. In case you missed it, we made these sun catcher Valentine’s Day cards to send to our family this week. Getting Charlie to participate in craft projects can be a little hit or miss, but he seemed to enjoy making these cards.

creating: a Bible reading habit. They say it takes 21 days to turn a new practice into a habit, and I’ve been using the Mission 119 app for my daily Bible reading for 22 days now.


sorting: cars by color. This activity filled up a good portion of our afternoon one day this week. Charlie has a lot of cars.

wishing: for warmer weather. We’re all getting a little tired of staying inside all day long. Spring is just around the corner…right?

Coffee with Caitlin

Once again I’m linking up at Coffee with Caitlin for another High Five for Friday post. Check out some other bloggers over there!

February 6, 2015

These Days // 7

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These days we are:

listening: to Cool Family Radio on iTunes radio. It’s a station that plays a good mix of oldies and more contemporary music with generally upbeat tempos and no foul language or overly explicit sexual references. So basically, music for grown ups that’s safe for kids. We find it’s a good thing to turn on when a toddler needs to dance a little energy out and a mama needs to bounce a baby. And the title makes me feel cool. Like I could hang out with some college students and mention some music I had been listening to lately and not feel like a total dweeb. So that’s a plus. (Wait, did I just forfeit my cool status by using the word dweeb?)

eating: from a bottle! Not me, my baby. We tried out a bottle on Penelope for the first time this week and she took to it like a pro. This means Mama can get out of the house without a baby every once in a while. I used my first moments of freedom to go grocery shopping, which isn’t really an exciting way to spend the first moments of freedom in six weeks. Oh well.

writing: a newsletter. Not me, my husband. Chris is starting out a new creative pursuit in which he will share snipits of life and interesting bits of the internet in a weekly email newsletter. It’s a good read! You can become a subscriber here.

celebrating: Valentine’s day early with the purchase of assorted chocolate boxes. Chris and I don’t give each other gifts for Valentine’s day. It’s mutual agreement we came to several years ago in the interest of saving us both from the stress of being really thoughtful and on top of it. Instead, we usually just plan on having a nice dinner together sometime around the holiday. Since we aren’t sure when we’ll be getting out for a date night this year what with the new baby and all, we’ve been celebrating by splurging on fancy chocolates. I’m not complaining.

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My new coworkers

trading: my working mom title to that of “stay at home mom.” We’ve been blessed with the opportunity for me to stay at home with my kiddos, so this past week I officially put in my notice and said goodbye to the job I’ve had for the past 5 years. It’s a bittersweet sort of thing. I’m thrilled to be able to stay at home and focus my energy on my kids. It’s the arrangement we’ve been hoping for since Charlie was born. But at the same time I can’t help but acknowledge that I had a pretty great job. I’m going to miss the daily interaction with some of the best coworkers ever and the time I got each day to sit in the quiet and do what was usually pretty creative work. We’re now in a period of adjustment as we try to establish a new routine and set realistic expectations for the days. I’m excited about what the next few months will bring as we settle into our new normal. Crafts? Play dates? More blog posts? Who knows!

Coffee with Caitlin

Once again I’m linking up at Coffee with Caitlin for another High Five for Friday post. Check out some other bloggers over there!.

January 30, 2015

These Days // 6

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These days we are:

Reading: the Bible with I’ve been out of a daily Bible reading habit for a long time now, and it’s something I really want to get back into. This app (along with daily morning nursing sessions) has made it pretty easy so far. Each day you are given a few chapters to read and it’s paired with a 10 minute or less audio lesson on the day’s reading. This is the part that really makes it nice. So many times I’ve read a passage of scripture and left not really knowing what’s important about it. This app basically gives you a pastor/professor to explain the entire Bible to you. I’m excited to continue with this program throughout the year and see what new things I learn!
If you’re interested in doing it too, just go to and register for an account. That way the site will track your progress and remember where you left off. (There’s also an iOS app, but it’s honestly pretty awful. Just stick to the website. It works well enough.)

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Wearing: cloth diapers! Not me, my baby. We used Applecheeks cloth diapers on Charlie and had always planned to use them on our second child too, it’s just taken us a little while to get settled into enough of a routine to feel like we could stay on top of the laundry. Also, cloth diapers on a 6 lb baby are bulky to the point of extreme ridiculousness. She’s filled out a little now and the diapers are only slightly ridiculous. I’ve been happy with them so far.

P.S. Check out my post on why we chose cloth diapers.

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Playing: in the snow! We had the best snow we’ve had in a long time this week, so naturally we had to go out and play in it. It was a fun time.

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Fitting: in some real pants! I was able to comfortably wear some non-maternity jeans today. Now, these are my “transition jeans” that I bought after I had Charlie, not my actual pre-pregnancy skinny jeans. I still have a ways to go before those can see the light of day. But it feels good to be in something that doesn’t have an elastic waistband.

Finishing: the hall coat closet makeover! Our tiny hall closet has a big job and it’s finally able to do it without exploding. I’m excited to share more details in a post next week.

So that’s what’s going on around here. I hope you’re having a great week!

P.S. My friend Tina (check out her blog here!) has been doing a post called High Five for Friday for several weeks now and this week I decided to join in on the fun. Take a look at all the HF4F posts over at Coffee with Caitlin.

January 23, 2015

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It feels like Christmas was a million years ago by now, but I wanted to take a minute to share ours because I think it might go down as my favorite Christmas yet. I have three reasons for this:

1. This girl


Penelope was born a week before Christmas. So rather than spending Christmas in the hospital, or spending Christmas sitting around hugely pregnant, I got to spend Christmas cuddling a brand new baby. That was definitely the best scenario.

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2. This boy


At two and a half, this was the first year that Charlie really seemed to recognize Christmas as a special time and participate in some family traditions. Christmas traditions form a huge part of my childhood memories, so it is exciting to get to share some of those experiences with Charlie. And then his big gift on Christmas morning (Duplo train set!) was a smashing success. Chris had it all set up the night before so Charlie could walk out to a living room full of train tracks. Needless to say he immediately started playing with it. And then he wouldn’t stop. It took a good hour before we were able to persuade him to open any of his other presents.



3. This guy

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Chris and I have been married 7 years. We’ve been together for more than a decade. And I think this was the first year that I actually surprised him for Christmas. Normally he’s the kind of guy who only wants a few very specific items. So much so that it’s usually easier to just give him money to go buy the thing himself. It means he gets what he wants, but it’s a super boring way to give a Christmas gift. But this year I got him a Wii U, a gift I knew he would love, but one he hadn’t considered putting on any sort of wish list. When you can make your husband’s face light up like a little kid’s you know you’ve done a good job. And now he and Charlie can bond over Mario Kart.

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Most of all, I spent this Christmas enjoying my little family and feeling oh so grateful to the One who put them in my life.

December 26, 2014

Introducing… Penelope Kay

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Much to everyone’s surprise, our little bundle of sweetness joined our family a couple of weeks earlier than anticipated. We weren’t able to complete all the laundry and decorating that we were planning on before she arrived, but I think when all was said and done she had perfect timing. We’re looking forward to a holiday week full of family visits.

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A few notes from the first week of her life:

  • I had forgotten how sweet newborn cuddles are. I’m soaking them in.
  • Penelope has a loud and angry cry. Thankfully she doesn’t choose to employ it very often so far.
  • Little girl clothes are so fun!
  • Charlie has been such a good helper and sweet big brother. I know it’s been a big adjustment for him, but he’s handling it as well as I could have hoped.

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It’s amazing how the heart just creates a brand new space you didn’t know was there to fill up with love for a new baby. We’re so happy to have her in our lives.

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December 9, 2014

These Days // 5

These days we are:

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doing: the dishes. I’ve managed to keep my pile of dirty dishes under control for about a month now. “Under control” means that most of the time the counter is clean, and if there is a small pile it doesn’t stay more than a day. Unfortunately, this is a major accomplishment for me. What am I doing differently? Only what my mother has been trying to teach me since childhood – cleaning up my messes as soon as they are made rather than leaving them for later. Turns out she knew what she was talking about…

counting: the days until Christmas! We are using our activity advent calendar again this year, along with a simple ornament advent calendar that Chris used growing up. Charlie looks forward to putting up each day’s ornament and doing each day’s activity. It’s been so fun to see him get excited about the season this year. Thankfully it’s not all about gifts for him yet. He seems to just be enjoying all the other things that make each day special. Hopefully we can keep it that way as he gets older.

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moving: furniture! All of my paper planning is starting to take shape in real life. We’ve got our living room all set up with a new couch and soon we’ll be rearranging a few things in the master bedroom to make a space for the baby’s bed and changing table. As strange as it feels to remove several pieces of furniture from our rooms (like my desk, and some large bookshelves) I’ve been happy with how much space it seems to open up in our small home.

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eating: ALL the food. We celebrated Thanksgiving with each side of the family in November. We’ve also been enjoying lots of fallish foods for dinners at home. Pot roasts, soup and chili, and my favorite – stuffed acorn squash.

folding: baby clothes. There’s a lot of cuteness going on in these drawers.

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playing: pretend. It’s been fun to see Charlie’s imagination really start to take off in the past few months. At any moment little boy Charlie may morph into a fire truck, monster, or robot. His cars now have conversations and order food, deliver notebooks, and play baseball with each other. And today there were apparently a couple of invisible monkeys running around my house causing all sorts of trouble.

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So that’s what we’re up to these days. I’ll be taking a short break from blogging for the holidays, and then a longer break for having a baby! If you want to stay in the loop and make sure you get future posts (like a baby announcement!) you can always subscribe to get this blog through email (just sign up in the form at the very bottom of the page), or like the Facebook page.

Happy Holidays friends!

July 14, 2014

Long Time, No See


It’s been a while. I have several excuses. First were a few very busy weeks at work. I didn’t have time to be inspired to blog. Then there was vacation. I tried to unplug for the most part. Then came the complete and utter exhaustion that happens when you start growing a baby in your belly. Yep, that’s right. We’ll be welcoming a new little person into our family sometime near the year’s end. And it makes me tired. So, I pretty much just slept for a while.

I slept instead of blogging. I slept instead of doing dishes. I slept instead of vacuuming the floor, and cleaning out my purse, and hanging up my clothes in the closet. If anything, those weeks made it very clear to me that all the little tasks and chores I fill my life with actually do some good. Because when they don’t get done the whole house just turns into one giant pile of mess. Hooray for validation!

Thankfully I have a husband who finds me food and takes over child duty, a mom who can plow through household chores and still have time to play with her grandson, and a mother-in-law who reminds me that such a thing as paper plates exist (so brilliant!).

I feel like I’m slowly starting to rejoin the world, and hopefully our survival mode status can go on hold at least until this new baby is born. Maybe I’ll start to blog some more again. Maybe I’ll organize my closet to make space for my maternity clothes. At the very least I should probably do some dishes.

See you again soon! (I hope.)

P.S. You may have noticed that I moved to a new domain name and got a new design. This is largely thanks to my super talented husband. Who else can code up a functional custom WordPress theme in an afternoon?