May 26, 2017

Favorite Board Books | Around the House

Our little guy has started to show more interest in books and it has been so much fun to read with him.  We have a few favorites to read that are also super cute and look great around the house.  Win win for mom and baby!

Like the toys, we have books scattered around the house in baskets or bins in each room.  I like to have access to a few things at all times.  Plus varying what we play with in each room seems to keep our son's interest.  Every few weeks I gather the toys and switch them up in each room.

We have quite a few books and only read certain ones at this point so they usually stay in the same place.  I have incorporated the books into our shelf decor both in our living room and our son's bedroom.  The ones that fit in with my neutral with hints of blue color palette get corralled in our living room space.  These wire baskets are also perfect for being able to see what is in each basket while still looking stylish (please excuse my TJ-Maxx price tag still on one!).  I use the white bins and wicker baskets for hiding not as pretty toys.

I don't love having toys and books spread out all over the place.  But if I am going to have to look at it all day, they might as well be cute.  I am a sucker for anything bright and cheerful.  They add a sweet pop of color to our fairly neutral house and nursery.

So here is a list of some of our favorite board books:

Travel Books:
I love picking up children's books as a souvenir when we travel.  The simple text and pictures take me back to our favorite places.

Paris: A Book of Shapes (Hello, World)
All Aboard! Paris: A French Primer 
All Aboard! California: A Landscape Primer
All Aboard! New York City: A City Primer
New York: A Book of Colors (Hello, World)
San Francisco: A Book of Numbers (Hello, World)
London: A Book of Opposites (Hello, World)

Interactive Board Books:
We don't have a ton of these but the few we do enjoy are great for helping him interact with reading.

Peekaboo! A Fun Mirror Game (couldn't find a link to this one)
Baby Touch and Feel: Farm
Baby Touch and Feel: Tractor

Usborne Books:
Such beautiful, well made, and a variety of age appropriate books.  Many of these are my son's favorites.

123 Counting
Baby's Very First Black and White Library
Colors (Very First Words)
Nursery Rhymes (Very First)
On the Farm
Very First ABC

Usborne books can be ordered through an independent consultant.  If you do not know of one, I highly recommend my sister in law.  She is a mom and teacher and is happy to help you find the right books for any age group.

Katie Vogt with Usborne Books & More
Shopping Site:
Facebook: The Book Nook

Books with meaning:
Sweet books that display love or faith for little ones.

My Dad is the Best Playground
God Knows All About Me
Baby's First Bible
You Are My Cupcake

Books on my wish list:

Hello, World! Solar System
All Aboard! Pacific Northwest: A Recreation Primer
All Aboard! Washington D.C.: A Capitol Primer
In The Beginning
Hello, Animals!

// Do you have any favorite board books?  I would love to hear which ones!

May 8, 2017

Listening To Dreams

I was recently thinking about dreams and how they are portrayed in reality.  The thought made me realize that where we are living out in Virginia has actually fulfilled quite a few dreams that I have had for my life:

A wrap around porch.

A beautiful farmhouse in the country.

A small town where children get picked up on their street by the school bus.

Time away from it all where we can just focus on our little family.

A child of my own.

A caring husband.

And yet in reality there have been times where I have felt the opposite:

Isolation.  Loneliness.  Stress.  Anxiety.  Busyness.

And I had to stop myself and remember that many of my dreams that I have had for years are being lived out right now.  They just aren't necessarily how I imagined it would be.

And so it got me thinking about dreams.  Why we have them and why they are important.

I realized that without any dreams this whole scenario of moving could be really sad and disappointing.  But it has been in realizing and acknowledging that some of my dreams are unfolding that help make this transition bearable...and maybe even joyful.

I feel like too often we are afraid to dream.  As if we are fearful that if we put it out there, we will only be disappointed if it doesn't happen.

A couple of years ago my husband and I wrote out some of our dreams.  No limits.  But they were realistic in the sense that they were things we truly wanted - like taking a trip to Paris versus winning the lottery.  We have some control over the opportunity to travel versus the luck of winning a bunch of money.

And while what we wrote on that list is not exact, I see our current life being portrayed in some of those things that we had hoped for.  It just has come packaged differently that we probably hoped or imagined.

So it got me thinking - maybe our dreams are put on our hearts for a reason.  Maybe God gave me these dreams as a gift.  He knew that this move would be hard but these gifts of dreams fulfilled were almost like a lifeline.  Something to get me through the day.  Something to find joy in the transition.

And I wondered how much harder things might have been if I didn't allow myself to dream a little.  Curious of the disservice we are doing to ourselves by being overwhelmed by our circumstances when we have small little nuggets of hope and joy right in front of us.

So I am going to keep on dreaming.  Not because I want it all.  But because I want to be true to my heart's desires.  I want to acknowledge how I am wired, what brings me happiness, and how I was designed to live.  

May 4, 2017

Spring At The Farmhouse

Spring has been popping up around our little farmhouse over the last month or so and I cannot help but try to catch every little leaf, bloom, and butterfly that I can find.  These photos, just taken a few weeks ago, are already changing right before my eyes.  If I am not fast enough to catch it I may just miss it! 

Spring has always been such a wonderful season to me and being in a different home and climate this year is such a treat to see what is popping up all around me.  Nature is pretty amazing.

I don't think I have shown pictures of the back of our house yet so I took the opportunity to snap a few pictures to share the back of our tri-level home.  I have never really liked the look of these type of homes in real estate photos but I will have to say ours is fairly photogenic for a multi-level.  I think the landscaping and porch really help.  Still I wish builders would put molding around windows on the backside of homes!

No chickens yet but the trees around the coop are starting to grow leaves again.

Our first spring in Virginia and it has been treating us pretty well so far.  Our house is almost completely finished and my heart has had time to settle in to our new home - just in time for us to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather!

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