Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Kayleigh in Grammy's Baptism Gown

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,

for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

Matthew 19:14

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

With a Thankful Heart

Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
  For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
  Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
   for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Psalm 95:1-7

Dear Heavenly Father,

What a year it has been!  So many changes, and all of them wonderful.  I praise You for leading us through and providing for us all the way.  I've been thinking all day about the theme of thankfulness, and while there are many things I'm thankful for, these are the ones on my heart.

Thank You, God, for bringing Kayleigh into our life.  She's only two months old, but her smiles and interactions with us melt my heart.  Thank you for the joy that she is to us, for her safe delivery, and that she is growing healthy and strong.  Part of me wishes I could freeze her this way and keep her tiny always, but the other part of me is excited to see the girl you created her to be.  Please guard her and keep her safe always, Lord.  It may be only a short time that she's been with us, but I can't imagine life without her.  Thank you for entrusting her precious heart to us!

Thank You, Lord, for my Handsome Man.  Our love for each other deepened this year as we prepared for the birth of our little one.  The way that he cared for me while I carried Kayleigh made me feel so loved, and the way he coached me and cheered me on during Kayleigh's birth made me realize even more that You chose the perfect teammate for me.  Seeing him with Kayleigh fills my heart with love to the bursting point.  He is such a wonderful dad!  What a blessing he is to me.  Thank You for the 5 years that we have loved each other, and for the 3.5 that I have been his wife.  It's a wonderful life!

God, I'm so thankful for family.  Thank You for the family that I grew up in, for the family I married into, and for the additions to our family this year.  I love seeing Kayleigh with her grandparents, uncle and aunts.  They adore her so much, and it makes me so thankful that she is surrounded by so much love!  Thank You also for the addition of Megan, my brother's beautiful bride of three weeks.  We have all loved her ever since the first time Jon brought her home to meet us, and we praise You for finding the perfect helpmeet for him!  Thank You for my newest sister.  She is a blessing to us!

Thank you, God, for our new home, and the friends that it brings us closer to.  It was really hard to leave the beautiful yellow house that Jesse and I lived in for the past three years, and even though it's been a challenge to go from such a big house of blessings to an apartment that is half the size and twice the price, we know You've worked wonderful things through that change.  Thank You for the blessing that house was for our first three years of marriage.  Thank You for the friends who provided it for us, and for all of the memories Jesse and I cherish from our days of living there.  But thank You, also, for giving us the ability to move closer to our church, and for the fact that Jesse can ride his bike to work and come home for lunch sometimes.  We are so happy to be so close, and have been so blessed to be closer to our friends!  Thank You SO much for having Tyler and Stacey, and Jon and Kayse within walking distance of our home, and for having Chris and Jenny, Emanuel and Cassandra, and Matt and Emily all within a five minute drive.  It's so wonderful to be able to call them up and have them over any night of the week instead of having to factor in the 30 minute commute to our old house.

You are always so good to us, God, even when we don't deserve it.  Thank You for providing for us, for keeping us safe, and for surrounding us with so much love.  We praise You for it!

Your child,

Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to everyone who participated in my 3rd Blogging Anniversary giveaway!  I'm looking forward to having more giveaways in the coming months.   Keep an eye out for them!

Since people participated in the giveaway both here and on Happy Homemaker Me's Facebook page, I couldn't use an app to do a randomly generated number.  Instead, I did it old school and wrote everyone's names and entries on pieces of paper and had my Handsome Man draw the winner out of a hat.  Yeah, that's right!

The winner is...

***drum roll***


Congratulations to Anya of Anya's Green Baby!  I'll be sending the festive Christmas scarf to you as soon as I contact you for your address :)


Blessings to everyone this Thanksgiving Eve!

Happy Homemaking!


Kayleigh at the Park

Yesterday, on the walk home from an afternoon spent crafting at my friend Kayse's, I stopped at the park with Kayleigh to snap some pictures in the afternoon light.




Tuckered out and ready to go home!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Toddle Along Tuesday: Thankfulness

***Looking for my 3rd Blogging Anniversary Giveaway?  Scroll down or click Here!***


Today I'm linking up with Growing up Geeky to share thoughts of thankfulness.

It's a common theme around here.

God is so faithful, so good--how can I not be thankful?

I shared a post that I wrote this year about how thankful I am for my Handsome Man.  He is such a blessing to me!

And then as I thought about it more, I went back through my blog to find other posts on thankfulness.  I can't link them all up with Growing Up Geeky, but I can share them here!

November 2010--Thankfulness for My Family

November 2009--50 Things to be Thankful For

Later this week, I'm planning to write share a post about the things I'm thankful for this year.  But for now, the thoughts on these posts are filling my heart.  (And, I have a wonderfully busy day ahead of me, so I'd better get to it!)

What are you thankful for this year?

Please share with me!  I'd love to hear :)




Monday, November 21, 2011

5 Things I Learned This Weekend


***Looking for my 3rd Blogging Anniversary Giveaway?  Click Here!***


I'm pretty sure I'm in line for the Super Mom award.  Either that, or 200 high school youth should be rising up and calling me blessed.  What did I do this weekend?  I joined my husband at the LCMS District Youth Gathering in San Diego with 200 high school kids and their youth ministry leaders.

AND this little tyke.

Yup.  I was in charge of a room of high school girls and a seven week old baby.  We had a blast, though!  I'm really glad that I went.  I'm sure it's the last DYG I'll be going to for a long time (while it's one thing to bring a newborn to the Hilton for a weekend of noisy high schoolers, bright lights, live band worship, and seminars, it's  a completely different thing to bring a toddler!).  Anyway, it was a good weekend of growth.  Here are some things that I learned:

1.  Babies pack more than high school girls.  Every year, I laugh at the girls and the huge suitcases they bring.  They need 2-3 changes of clothes at the most, and yet they look like they're ready to join Taylor Swift on her world tour.  Babies, on the other hand, take up half of the station wagon.  Between Kayleigh's car seat, stroller, play yard, diapers, burp cloths, extra clothes, and heaps of blankets, Handsome Man and I were shaking our heads and wondering why we don't own a minivan.

2. Kayleigh can sleep through anything.  We had several people question our baby's hearing when they saw her sound asleep against my chest in the middle of a live band performance.  Yup, she'll sleep through the loudest thing you can send our way...but why is it that as soon as her swing turns off, she wakes up?

3. Never put a recently fed baby in a Moby without burping her first.  Warm, gooey spit up straight down your front (bonus points if it makes it inside your shirt!) while your baby is strapped to you.  Need I say more?

4. You can't be a germaphobe when you're spending the weekend with 200 high schoolers.  Everyone wants to hold that sweet little baby's hands and kiss those chubby cheeks!

5.  It's really heartwarming to watch the girls from our church interact with our sweet Kayleigh Grace.  Seeing their expressions as they talked to Kayleigh, and the way they lit up when she smiled at them made my weekend.  I'm glad that they enjoyed their time with her, and didn't complain about having a baby along for the ride.  Luckily, a 7 weeker can't really cramp your style :)

And one bonus bit of advice:

6.  Never stay at the Mission Bay Hilton on the 3rd weekend of November.  If you're going to pay for a nice time at the Hilton, be sure you won't be competing with groups of high schoolers who think it's a blast to race each other to the top floor on the only two elevators in the building!  (We did our best to keep the craziness to a minimum, folks, I promise!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Oak Glen in the Fall

Looking for my 3rd Blogging Anniversary Giveaway?  Scroll down, or click here! {closed}

Jesse has been going to Oak Glen since he was a little boy.  I was only introduced to it a few years ago.  But now, it's a special place to both of us--and this year, we got to bring our munchkin with us!

We had a wonderful time.  The weather was just perfect.  Crisp and windy, and completely Autumn.

We stopped at Riley's Farm, where they were doing a Colonial reenactment with school kids.  Very cute!

Handsome Man stayed with Kayleigh while I ventured off toward the restroom.

Is this not the cutest outdoor restroom you've ever seen?  I could easily renovate it and move in!

After that, we drove to our favorite spot in Oak Glen--Los Rios Rancho.  They have the cutest little store.  We bought a jug of fresh apple cider, a jar of apple butter, and a handful of different flavored honey straws.  We love that quaint little place!

After gathering our goodies, we took Kayleigh up the hill for some pictures.

This precious baby has won our hearts!

After a perfect time of enjoying the golden sunset, rustic fences, and fiery leaves, we headed over to Apple Annie's to finish off our time in Oak Glen with some amazing dessert.

Oh, yumm...

Remind me why it's our tradition to go only once a year?!?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

3rd Blog Anniversary and a GIVEAWAY!

While poking around on my blog last night, I decided to look up my very first blog post on Happy Homemaker Me.  To my surprise, I realized that the first post was written exactly three years ago today!  So, I decided this is cause for a celebration.  Three years of sharing my thoughts with you, three years of recipes, craft tutorials, trusting in the Lord, three years of adventures with my husband, picture posts, and silly tidbits from my students.

Some of you have followed all along the way, and some of you have joined my adventures recently.  Thank you for your part in my life!  It is so much fun to come home and see comments from you and to get to share in life together.

As a way of thanking you, I'd like to have a giveaway!


One Happy Homemaker Me follower will receive this beautiful Christmas Sparkle Scarf.

To enter, simply become a follower of Happy Homemaker Me and leave a comment below telling me:  What inspired you to begin blogging?  What do you enjoy blogging about?

Optional additional entries:

+1 entry: become a fan of Happy Homemaker Me's Facebook page

+1 entry: blog about my giveaway on your blog

+1 entry: share about Happy Homemaker Me's Etsy shop either on your blog or on facebook

+1 entry: follow @HappyHomemakerB on Twitter

+1 entry: add Happy Homemaker Me's Etsy shop to your favorites on Etsy

Leave a comment below for each entry you make.

Giveaway ends on Wednesday, November 23rd, at 10:00pm.

Back in Business

My, what a year it's been!

I opened my Etsy shop last November, so excited and full of hope.  I envisioned a booming crafting business where I spent all of my free time crocheting and keeping shop.

And then in January, my life turned upside down.

In the mostbeautiful, wonderful way imaginable.

I spent the first half of my pregnancy unable to focus my eyes on handiwork without getting queasy, and then the second half rapidly making things for my own little one.

My Etsy shop fell by the wayside.

But now, with this precious little girl by my side (and the opportunity to stay at home with her) I am able to get back to creating things I love.

Enter Happy Homemaker Me's Shop!

There are only a few things in it right now, but I'll be happily adding more in the coming weeks.  I'm once again excited and full of hope.  I'm dedicated to keeping the shop going, and hoping that selling things online will not only fuel my passion for creating handmade items, but that it can also give me a way to help my little family financially while staying at home with our little girl.

Looking for a fun and festive Christmas scarf?  Is there a baby in your life who needs a pretty little hat to keep her head warm?  Please stop by!  I'm looking forward to adding more hats and scarves to the shop, as well as pacifier clips with matching headbands, pretty hair things, and Christmas decorations.  It's all coming soon!




Surrounded by Love

What a life, huh?

My mom and grandmother came over yesterday to visit.  It was the first time Ami (our name for "Grandma") had come to our new home.  What a treat to have them both here!

I wanted to take them to the sweet, Christian tea room in town, but I goofed and didn't realized that it's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.


Oh well.  We still had a lovely time, and Kayleigh loved being the center of so much love.

(She's wearing a sweet little crocheted pinafore made by her Aunt Megan)

Oh, to be seven weeks old again!

Monday, November 14, 2011

This Little Piggy

Who would have guessed that toes could be so wonderful?


Sigh...I'm in love!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Awkward Moment at Goodwill

On Wednesday, I headed over to the new Goodwill in town to see if they might have a jelly roll pan.  I needed one to make pumpkin cream cheese rolls (amazing!  I'll try to do a post with pictures next time I make them).  Stores were selling them for around $15 a piece, and with our new itty bitty budget, I knew that I couldn't do that.

I tucked my sleepy Kayleigh into the Moby and headed in.  This guy was stocking the shoe shelf and said hi to me when I walked in.  I said hi back and proceeded to the kitchen section.  I felt a little uneasy when he followed after me, but was completely confused when he pointed to Kayleigh, who had fallen asleep as soon as I put her in the Moby, and said,

"He's an angry baby, isn't he?"

I looked down at my sweet little rosebud, who was smiling in her sleep, and assumed he must be attempting sarcasm.

"Ohh," I said with a smile, "She's a good girl, and I'm thankful for that."

"Well, he's waking me up in the mornings with his crying," He went on.

I stepped back, confused.  "Whaaat?"

"You live at _____, right?  I'm your neighbor.  Apartment #4."


I stammered that I was sorry that she was waking him up, that she's been sick this week, and that I do my best to keep her quiet.  The worst part?  Our apartment is a stand-alone unit.  It doesn't share walls with anyone.  AND, #4 is across the walkway from us!  These are old buildings, and the walls are very thin.

But, whoever mistakes this little sweetheart for an "angry baby" is incredibly off base.

Smiley Girl  (video of some of Kayleigh's first smiles!)


p.s. I found my jelly roll pan!  Less than 2 bucks.  Yay for thrift stores!  But...umm, maybe I'll go to Salvation Army next time.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Family Moments {Jon and Megan's Wedding}

While Laura, Mom, and I put the finishing touches on the corsages and boutonnieres on the morning of the wedding...

Jon and Kayleigh took a pre-wedding snooze.

Once we arrived at the church, we realized that we got there before anyone who had church keys!  So the guys did their ties using windows as mirrors.

And Kayleigh melted our hearts with her sleepy cuteness in her matching outfit.

Mom made all of our bridesmaid dresses.  I'm so excited to own an infinity dress, now!

Megan was such a gorgeous bride.  Those two are going to have beautiful children!

(I love that Jon's wedding present to Megan was a string of pearls.  It's a tradition that my Papa Chuck, my dad, and Jesse have all given their brides pearls.  Now Megan is officially part of the club!)

Laura and me

I wish I had a good picture of all three of us sisters, but it's too hard to get the camera away from Kate :-)

The union of the Jackson and Mueller families means that I now have six sisters!

(left to right, Laura M, Melissa J, Kate M, Amanda J, me, and Emily J.)

My dad married away his second child that day

Kate, Ami, Jesse and me

I love my handsome man!

Such a happy group of siblings!

I love my little family, too!

Welcome to the family, Mrs. Megan Mueller!  We love you!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wedding Preparatons

The day before Jon and Megan's wedding was a blur of flowers.

We had a lot of fun assembling the pumpkin centerpieces.

24 pumpkins to hollow out...

And fill with eucalyptus, heather, and lisianthus...

Aren't they pretty? :)

(p.s. I'm happy with very few of the photos we took of Jon and Megan's wedding weekend.  We brought our new point and shoot camera instead of our Nikon D3000...and will be returning it this week because we are not pleased with it!)

My sister Laura and I made the aisle bows with burlap and heather

My mom was a happy camper

And so was our sweet Kayleigh--especially when she was getting some good ol' one-on-one with Uncle Jon!

I love coming together as a family and helping out.

We had a lot of fun!