Amy Beth

April 3, 2015

These Days // 13

This has been a week, you guys.

Normally, my Friday posts are a time to talk about the more trivial things in life. A listing of the positives and the celebrations. But this week it’s been more about the feelings. So let’s talk about it.


feeling: sad

My Aunt Barbara passed away last Thursday morning. It happened so quickly, it’s still hard to believe. Just three weeks earlier she had gone into the hospital with some swelling and difficulty breathing only to learn that she had stage 4 cancer. At first it sounded like we only had a year or two left with her. Then she developed an infection and it was a matter of days, then hours, and then she was gone. My heart aches every time I think of it.

feeling: exhausted

The funerals (there were two) were in Kansas City and her hometown of Warrensburg, MO. Getting out there is about a 9 hour drive on a good day. Add in a detour to drop off a three year old at the in-laws house, and continue on with a 3 month old that needs diaper changes and nursing breaks every couple of hours, and you’ve got yourself a really long trip. We’re still recovering.

feeling: amazed

At just how much Aunt Barbara loved us. I had always known that my sisters and I were important and special to her. I didn’t realize how much she loved to brag on us to her many friends. There were so many people that we met at the funeral who felt that they had watched us grow up through the eyes of Aunt Barbara. Even though we only got to see Aunt Barbara and Uncle Vernon a few times a year, they thought about us and talked about us and cared about us every day in between.

feeling: grateful

That we were able to have so much time with family in the time leading up to and during the funerals. If only Aunt Barbara had been there it would have been a truly joyous occasion. My parents and sisters were all there – a feat in and of itself. We spent lots of time with Uncle Vernon. We got to visit with cousins I haven’t seen in years, and I even met some family members for the first time. And I can honestly say that they are all really great people. I wish it hadn’t taken such a sad event to get us all together.

feeling: inspired

By the life my Aunt Barbara led. At first glance, it doesn’t seem that impressive. She wasn’t an influential leader. She didn’t own her own business, or start her own charity, or live some kind of high profile life. But she made an impact on so many people. Enough to fill two separate funeral homes. All these people came simply because they were loved by her. Her life is a testament to the power and impact a person can have by simply caring for the people you meet along the way – your neighbors. My Aunt Barbara lived in the same house, worked in the same company, attended the same tiny church, and went to the same high school reunions and retiree functions and volunteer opportunities for as long as I knew her and longer. But even though it seemed that nothing much changed in her life, it’s obvious to me now that she changed the lives of the people around her. I’m certain when she met Jesus face to face he said, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

feeling: comforted

In the promise of heaven. I don’t know how people who don’t have a relationship with God and the reality of heaven to look forward to can handle the death of a loved one. As much as I miss Aunt Barbara now, I am comforted in the fact that I will see her again. I’m pretty sure she’s in one of those many rooms organizing her supplies in the most space efficient way possible, making friends with everyone she meets, and preparing a plate of the best chocolate chip cookies in the world to greet us with when we all go to join her.

March 13, 2015

These Days // 12

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It’s another Friday! Here’s what’s been happening these days:

loving: the first signs of spring! I went outside without a coat today. There are tiny green shoots sticking out of the dirt. The snow has finally melted away. And the daylight has been saved. I really hope spring sticks around.

bouncing: my baby on my knee. She loves it and it makes her smile.

celebrating: Charlie’s birthday. Still! We had family in last weekend for a little birthday party. I love seeing how much Charlie is loved by his family.

making: more pages in my photo album. Be looking for more posts about that soon.

thanking: God for the wonderful community of support we have around us. We had Charlie and Penelope dedicated in church on Sunday and it was such a reminder of how much God has blessed us with friends and family to help our children realize the full and wonderful life God has for them.

Enjoy your weekend! Hopefully it acts spring-like for you too!

March 6, 2015

These Days // 11

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Hello, hello! It’s almost another weekend! I hope you’ve been enjoying the “these days” posts as much as I’ve enjoyed writing them. I find it’s a nice way to look back on the week and acknowledge the good things that have happened. It’s all too easy to live these little moments and then forget they ever happened to you. I hope that by having a record here on the blog that I will remember the little, everyday moments that make up my week.

So these days we have been:

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making: granny squares. I’ve been spending several evenings this week binge watching The Mindy Project while crocheting little granny squares. I love how quick and easy they come together. I have grand plans of someday turning a bunch of granny squares made from scrap yarn into a big cozy blanket.

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celebrating: Charlie’s third birthday. We kept the celebration pretty simple here at home. Charlie went with me to the store to pick out some cookies which we then made for lunch. Complete with candles.

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And then he got his very own camera as his present! It’s been a fairly regular thing for him to pretend to take pictures, so we figured he would enjoy getting to do it for real! He was so surprised and I think a little in awe when he opened it up. Which was pretty much the cutest thing ever.

planning: a trains birthday party. His actual birthday may have been a simple affair, but this weekend a bunch of family are coming in town for a slightly bigger celebration. This year’s theme is trains because I couldn’t bring myself to do cars again. The boy is nothing if not consistent in his love of transportation vehicles.

wanting: some new art supplies. I have dreams of someday knowing how to paint. But that takes practice. And some paints and brushes to practice with. Maybe someday I’ll get around to getting those things.

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playing: in more snow! After getting over a foot a couple weeks ago, which just so happened to be the most snow our area has seen in years – or rather, decades – we got another foot and a half this week! Which breaks the all time record for snowfall in a single storm. When it rains, it pours. In it’s frozen form, apparently.

Just for fun: here’s a link to the biggest snowfalls on record in Kentucky (as of last winter. It doesn’t include this past month’s craziness). I remember playing in the snow as a kid in ’94 and ’98, which got 10″ and 11″ in a day respectively. Those are some of my best winter memories. The two snows we’ve gotten in the past month both beat those. I hope we don’t have to go another 15 years before Charlie sees another big snow.

Enjoy your weekend!

Coffee with Caitlin

February 27, 2015

These Days // 10

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This post is brought to you by a couple of hours by myself in a coffee shop. Glory! It’s amazing how quiet a very busy and loud restaurant can seem when you are a mother. I think it’s just the fact that none of the noise is anything I have to pay attention to.

Here’s what we’ve been doing these days:

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sprouting: potatoes. I went to throw some potatoes in a crock pot this week and found that they had started to sprout and go soft. So we turned them into a science experiment instead. I have no idea if anything interesting will happen. Maybe they’ll grow some fun stems and roots. Maybe they’ll rot. Maybe they’ll just sit there until I give up and throw them out.

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Related: sticking toothpicks in a bunch of potatoes is fun! Charlie made a “town.” Can you see it?

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learning: letters. We’ve done a few letter A activities this week that have gone over pretty well. If we continue to have success with a few more letters I’ll be sure to share what we’ve been doing here on the blog soon.

enjoying: time at home with my kids. I feel like this week has finally started to look a bit more like what I hope to get out of my days as a stay at home mom. I’ve stayed more or less on top of some basic housekeeping and still managed to get in some fun playtime and actives with Charlie. And I’m getting a few moments to myself too! We still have a ways to go in terms of establishing a constant routine, and someday I need to work up the courage to get the kids out of the house, but we’re making progress and I don’t feel like I’m going insane.

organizing: the pantry and kitchen cabinets. We got some new dishes and packed up some old ones to pass along to my sister. Now I feel like our kitchen has a bit more breathing room. Thank goodness.

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graduating: speech therapy! Charlie has aged out of the early intervention program in our state and has made so much progress that he no longer qualifies for services. We’re so proud of him and the progress he’s made. And so thankful to Ms. Z who has been coming to our home each week for the past 8 months to help him. We’re going to miss her!

Enjoy your weekend!

Coffee with Caitlin

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.

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!

October 23, 2014

These Days // 4

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These days we are:

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Finding: all sorts of odd things as we try to clean out our backyard shed.

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Fighting: cold after cold after cold. At least it’s fun to drink chicken noodle soup from a tiny mug.

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Trying: dress up! It didn’t stay on for long. I guess I should just wait for my girl to come.

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Dealing: with a picky eater. We’re having to develop some meal time rules to keep from wasting enormous amounts of food. Surely it’s just a phase…

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Growing…well, just growing. It’s getting harder and harder to do things like bend over and put on shoes and feel comfortable in regular chairs. Oh well, I guess that just means we’re getting closer!