Thursday, June 28, 2012

craft rooms

The area I will miss the most in our current house is my craft room. When we found out we were expecting I had to relocate and downsize so that the baby's room could be on the same floor as ours. I went from having a whole room to store my craft stuff in to a much smaller, oddly shaped area at the top of the stairs. I love it though. I had to be very intentional about where I put things and what I decided to keep.

When you have a lot to put in a small space I found it worked best to hang as much stuff as possible to conserve floor space. I used a pegboard on the back wall to hang my baskets on and tried to keep like things together. 

Although I really loved this space I am already looking forward to all the possibilities the next craft area holds...

Friday, June 22, 2012

having my baby

Harper Louise Willison
Born 9:01 am June 9, 2012
Weighing in at 6lb. 6oz.

I started having contractions at 6 am the Friday morning before she was born. That means I was laboring for 27 hours total...most of which were spent at home, without drugs, without control of my fluids, and as a result my husband may look at me differently.  Throughout the day the pain continued to become more and more unbearable. I kept asking when I should go to the hospital and the common response was when I felt like I wanted to die then I would be ready to go. Ok, that's helpful. I thought that moment came around 2 am so I woke Joel up sure that we would be staying at the hospital that night. I was wrong. After waiting in Triage while still in pain and then finally being checked after another 15 minutes of waiting we were told I was still only 1 1/2cm dilated. I wasn't near death enough apparently because they sent me home. They did give me a pill that didn't help me sleep or cut the pain but did however make me feel groggy. So we went home to continue laboring. I don't remember much after this point but Joel said it was pretty rough and that he may look at me differently now. I didn't think it was possible but the contractions did get worse and I wanted to die even more so than the first time so by 7 am Saturday morning I told Joel I was going back to the hospital and staying whether they wanted me there or not. When they checked me this time I had progressed to 7cm and they could tell the baby was breech so I went directly in to surgery and the baby was out 2 hours later. I really don't think I would have been capable of a vaginal birth when it was all said and done. I was so ready to get my drugs and just lay there.
We are constantly in disbelief that she is ours. You just can't imagine the love that you will have for your child until you finally meet them. No matter how much sleep we lose or how many diapers we have to change it all is worth it and when I look at her little face I just can't imagine our lives without her in it now.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Someone's Mother

Any day now I will become a mom. Last month a couple of people wished me a happy Mother's Day and honestly it made me feel a little uneasy, for lack of a better word. Yes I know I am technically growing my daughter inside of me at the moment making me a mom to be but to say that I am one already is beyond strange. Do I know the first thing about being a good mom? What it will take day in and day out to raise her in the best way possible? It makes me nervous to think I don't. I want to think it's something you figure out as you go. I have to believe that my being scared I will fail somehow plays into the bigger picture. As much as I try to plan and prepare before her arrival there is no possible way for me to feel ready for something I have never experienced before. 
Growing up I don't remember critiquing my parents' parenting style. I remember my mom trying to make the small things seem so important and doing everything in her power to get me where I wanted to be including coming up with the money for church trips and college. It was never about getting my way, it was more about the support she gave us at any cost. The love that she had/has for her 3 very different daughters knows no bounds. I never doubted my mom's love for me. That is what I hope shines through when she's my age, covering over years of things I think I should've done differently...that Harper will never question the love I have for her, that although we may not do everything perfectly as her parents we tried to keep what was best for her in the any cost to us.  

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

we are not meant to live alone

"Share your life with the people you love, even if it means saving up for a ticket and going without a few things for a while to make it work. There are enough long lonely days of the same old thing, and if you let enough years pass, and if you let the routine steamroll your life, you'll wake up one day, isolated and weary, and wonder what happened to all those old friends. You'll wonder why all you share is Christmas cards, and why life feels lonely and bone-dry. We were made to live connected and close, as close as we all were for those few days in Alameda, holding one another's babies, taking turns stirring whatever's on the stove.
So walk across the street, or drive across town, or fly across the country, but don't let really intimate loving friendships become the last item on a long to-do list. Good friendships are like breakfast. You think you're too busy to eat breakfast, but then you find yourself exhausted and cranky halfway through the day, and discover that your attempt to save time totally backfired. In the same way, you can try to go it alone because you don't have time or because your house is too messy to have people over, or because making new friends is like the very worst parts of dating. But halfway through a hard day or a hard week, you'll realize in a flash that you're breathtakingly lonely, and that the Christmas cards aren't much company. Get up, make a phone call, buy a cheap ticket, open your front door.
Because there really is nothing like good friends, like the sounds of their laughter and the tones of their voices and the things they teach us in the quietest, smallest moments."
-Shauna Niequist

I love Shauna's books. You could read them every year and learn something new about life/yourself from the year before. I am definitely in a different place than I was the first time I read Bittersweet. I am pregnant and moving out of my first home, two huge life altering things and they are happening at the same time. Also, two things she has experienced and has written about. The excerpt above was a great reminder to me of why we are moving in the first place. We love the people God has brought into our lives so why wouldn't we want to be closer to them? To be able to walk to each others' house whenever we want. I don't take offense but I've come to realize when you live 20 minutes away from everyone you're not the first person they think about hanging out with. I know I've missed out on spontaneous girl time and Joel doesn't get to run with our guy friends as often as he'd like. These things may seem small but like Shauna writes, we are not meant to be alone and especially now I am realizing these men and women we have been blessed to meet are our family. They can't replace our actual relatives but for this short time in our lives we get to do life with them. How special is that? People that would not hesitate to stop what they are doing in a moments notice to help you. These kind of people are rare and if you get a chance to be near them, you take it.

Friday, June 1, 2012


This post may be more for me than anyone else. Like a "dear diary" entry. I just need to work out my thoughts somewhere. Change is inevitable but that doesn't make it easier to accept, especially when it involves giving up something you've invested so much time and love into. 

This journey officially started back in November. Joel and I had just found out we were pregnant, which meant we would be raising our baby in an area we haven't felt completely safe in. When Joel bought our house in college it was perfect for our needs. He could walk to work and it was affordable. He bought the house, gutted it, and I moved in a year later. Nearly 6 years have passed now, Joel has a new job, and we are very involved in our church. The problem is both are across town. I love this house. It's where we had our "where is this relationship going" talk while redoing the floors late at night. I wanted to know I'd be living here if I was investing my time into it. The house we were newlyweds in, bringing our separate lives together to figure out how to make it work as one unit. We made a baby here and it will be the first place she will live, although she will not have any recollection of it. The walls in each room have been painted at least 3 times, furniture has been switched out numerous times, and we have learned the definition of compromise in the process. This place has not just been a place to house our treasures but it has been a part of us since the beginning. How do you leave a place to begin a new chapter when this one feels so comfortable and complete?

That leads me to the biggest blessing and answer to prayer I've ever been a part of. Like I said this started in November when our friend Jason introduced us to a drinking buddy of his named Jack. A kind older man that owned a home on Jason's street. This was his childhood home where his sister continued to live up until she passed a couple of years ago. The house was never on the market and Jack was not in any rush to sell either. It was more important to him that he find an owner that would take care of and love the home as he did as opposed to flipping it for a profit. That's where we come in. We fit the profile so we met with Jack and did a walk through. It is a charming home and more importantly in the area we want to live, close to church and all of our friends. While houses are depreciating in value everywhere else, this house due to the area it's in will only increase in value over time. How is it that we could afford a home in another area let alone one worth way more than the asking price? Like I said Jack is not only kind but generous, very generous. He is basically giving us a house. Who does that? It's really the only way it would be possible for us to move. 

I truly believe timing is everything...
Joel seemed more than ready to get the ball rolling back in November when we first saw the house but I was still a little skeptical. Refer back to the second paragraph. Was I really ready to leave our first home? The home we gutted that was practically brand new to move to a home we would have to work on little by little as we had the money and all while figuring out how to raise a baby? I allowed time to pass to see if God would change my heart or possibly Joel's. When May rolled around I began to pray that he would make it more than obvious if moving was for sure the route we needed to pursue. God reminded me that no matter what house we live in can be made into a home. This house surely did not start out looking the way we wanted it to but to move to an area where we can walk our baby to a friend's house or a store and feel safe is what's more important to me. Also, how often do you meet someone that wants to sell you a house for half of what it's worth because you are the right people to own it? A home that he has been willing to hold out selling as long as you say your interested? That is not an opportunity you pass up. 

When I finally told Joel we needed to actively pursue buying the house he was shocked. He had been praying for an answer as well and this was it. To know that it was something I finally wanted too was the answer he needed. We put our house on the market the next week, a week after that someone came through to look at it, and it was a matter of days before they made an offer. If you know anything about the housing market or even the housing market particularly in the area we live in you know this doesn't happen EVER. I had no doubt that our house would show well. I love our house, but for someone to make an offer on it 9 days after you list is unheard of. God, all God! We are meant to live in Oakley.

The way the details have come together is what gets me through. Knowing we can walk to a friend's house or church is what I have to keep reminding myself. A house is a house and it is what you make of it. Although it will be hard to leave and think about someone else living in it I know it will come to mean as much to the new owner as it has us. Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us and that this would come together as God willed it to. I have no doubt he has been in every last detail and it will be the biggest blessing we will know. Please continue to pray that I can be positive about this and not become too overwhelmed by the timing of it all. We will be moving with a newborn and I don't deal well with stress.

On a lighter note...
I hope to blog more now that I am unemployed so as we renovate little by little I hope to document the process here. 
Stay tuned!

A Dad Bag

In the time that I have been pregnant it has not taken long for me to realize that showers and baby stuff, especially girly baby stuff is more for me than Joel. I didn't want him to start feeling neglected well before the baby was even born so I decided to put a bag together with some odds and ends that were just for him. I planned to give it to him at our 4th and final shower. His co-workers at the school he teaches at were throwing it for us so he had to attend this one...I even made him open all the gifts this time.

I wrapped the gifts up to resemble mail, mostly to introduce him to some of the new titles he may be referred to as...procreator, pappy, and patriarch.

He got a new gym bag for the hospital, some chips and candy, a magazine, t-shirt, and frame I etched "Daddy and Harper" onto.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to think to do this and I didn't put anything too exciting together, but I think it was special for Joel and a small way to let him know that having a baby isn't just about me and the baby. He has been so supportive and nurturing throughout this experience. Of course I am excited about having a precious daughter at the end of this, but when people ask what I'm most excited about I have to say it's seeing Joel as a dad. He is so good with toddlers but to see him with our little baby will be such a special day for me. I picked a good one.