Thursday, December 20, 2012

Holiday Cheer

Kayleigh found a gift bag that had been left out after a Christmas party the night before.

I love that she finds so much joy in things like playing with a sheet of tissue paper.  (I also love that she helps "Keen!" [clean] up after herself now, too!)

As special as it was to share her First Christmas with her, this Christmas is full of just as much joy--and this year, it's because she does not only simply give us joy by being in our lives (like last year), this year, she creates joy for herself and for us, too.  I love every stage this sweet girl has experienced.  She truly fills our home with joy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Return to Oak Glen

A trip to Oak Glen in the fall is one of our favorite traditions.  Jesse and I have been going since we were first married, and last year, it was so special to be able to take Kayleigh for her first trip, too.

Isn't it incredible how much a person can change in one year?

Last year, we just tried to get her to smile for pictures...
...this year, we just tried to get her to stay still!

It was another perfect afternoon.

(Kayleigh's beautiful bow was created by the talented Jenn of Bowdacious Designs.  I just love it!)

Another favorite moment of the day was Kayleigh's 1st pickle.
Who would have known?  Lol!

Monday, December 17, 2012


We celebrate Thanksgiving this year at my Ami's (grandmother) new house.  So many prayers, so much work, and so much love went into bringing Ami to live two doors down from my parents.  It was a happy thing to celebrate with thanksgiving in our hearts!

Kayleigh got to sit in the highchair that her mom, uncle, and aunties used as kids

(she also got to show family her "prayer hands")

In the evening, Kayleigh played with Aunt Megan in a box...

...tried to wiggle out of family pictures...

...made silly Uncle Jon Jon sing Hickory Dickory Dock...

...and cuddled with Ami.

Surely though, the best part of the night was when we received a call from Romania.  It had been two months since any of us had heard my sister Kate's voice, and joy and love overflowed in the room that night.  

Grownup Thanksgivings are certainly different from childhood ones.  I don't know if I'll ever get used to not having all of my loved ones under one roof during favorite holidays, but I'm thankful for technology and the fact that both of my sisters were able to call home that day.  It truly completed Thanksgiving for us this year!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Miss You

I realized something last month.

I'm not omnipotent.

God gives us so much on this earth to do and love and be...and sometimes I think David's phrase, my cup overflows translates to daily life, too.  Too much goodness to fit in one day.

I love my family, I love being home.  I love crafting, I love teaching.  I love you.  

I love this beautiful blogging community that has developed on Happy Homemaker Me over the years.  I love the sisterhood, the support, the I've-been-there's, the lols.

You may have noticed something...I have, too.  I can only fit so many things in my cup.

My days are filled with tickling a toddler, reading her stories, singing "Itsy Bitsy Spider," picking broccoli up off the floor, and wondering where she learned to apply lipstick and bat her eyes.

I've also added a new little joy to our days by taking care of 3 month old Sabine, the daughter of some of our dearest friends.  

Since it's always been my goal to have the computer put away while Kayleigh is awake and focus solely on her, "me time" on the computer has been pretty small lately.  When Kayleigh and Sabine are both napping, or Bine (her nickname, pronounced "Beena") is home with her mom and dad and Kayleigh is asleep for the nigh is the only time that I bring out the computer and work (and by work, I mean grade essays from the two online ESL writing courses I'm teaching).  And then Jesse comes home, and I only want to be with him.  Blog time has been pushed out the window lately.

But--all for good reasons!  I'm so thankful for our place in life right now.  I'm thankful that by teaching and watching our little baby-friend, I'm back to being able to contribute to our family.  I'm thankful for the work that my husband does outside of the home, and I'm glad to have a way to help again.  I'm excited that we're on the road to banishing debt, looking forward to buying a family car within the next year, and able to spend time together.  Last summer, Jesse tried to carry two jobs to support us, and we never saw him.  This is such a healthier alternative!  God is good.

I'm not saying goodbye to this blog.  I'm just letting you know what life looks like right now.  It's crazy--in the most beautiful way possible.  Some days, I still feel stressed and wonder how I'm going to do it all, but most days I'm just thankful that I can.  

Things are slow here on HHM right now, but I'll still be around.  It just might mean that I'm posting less tutorials and series, and sharing more pictures of my lil cutie pie and moments from our daily life.  She is the joy of our lives, and certainly the bright spot in every day!

p.s. Kayleigh's shirt in this post was made by my friend Stacey (Bine's mommy!) only a few weeks after we found out that we were pregnant last year.  It's been sitting in my hope chest waiting for the special day our little Brubaby (nickname for the Brubaker Baby) could wear it :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Kayleigh and Emily

Kayleigh and her little BFF Emily go to the same Mommy and Me class.  They have an absolute blast there, and Kayse and I love watching their little friendship grow.

This week, they got to dress up in Halloween attire :)  Just had to share some pictures of our little cuties!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Kayleigh's 1st Birthday

Kayleigh's 1st birthday was a very special day.

Our original plan was to spend the day at the zoo, since animals are just about her favorite thing ever.  But then it turned out that it was going to be over 100* inland, so we decided to head toward the coast and celebrate Kayleigh's birthday at the Aquarium.  We had a wonderful day!

Two birthday girls ready to party!

Kayleigh loved her birthday "boon" :)

And her adorable birthday shirt, custom made by The Sassy Squirrel

Once we were inside, we were happy to see that Kayleigh's enthusiasm for animals carried right over into excitement for fish, too.  Basically, this kid loves anything that moves (plants included!)


The highlight of the day was definitely when a scuba diver descended right in front of Kayleigh.  He waved and smiled, blew bubbles, and clapped his hands for her.  Kayleigh was entranced.

After watching and taking pictures for a few minutes, we realized, "Why aren't we getting this on video!?"  So we grabbed the Flip quickly and caught the rest of their cute interaction.

After saying goodbye to our scuba friend, we headed outside to play in the fountains.  My goodness, did Kayleigh love that!

It was a truly wonderful way to celebrate our sweet girl!