Monday, November 30, 2015

Taking a Break...

Hello! We just got home from a nice Thanksgiving trip in Nebraska. Now we are back and the Christmas decorations are up and we are attempting to observe Advent. (Even though yesterday it was 75 degrees, JM went out today without pants, and there are still mosquitoes out biting.. it's so weird!) Within in the next six weeks we will travel to New Orleans, Minneapolis, Nebraska, Kansas City, and Dallas. AHH! Sometimes I think we are crazy... but somehow we manage and it normally goes very smoothly. We are really getting the hang of traveling and packing well.

That being said... I have decided to take a little blogging break. We have two weeks left of the semester and so much ahead. This year I really want to work on slowing down and using Advent for what it's for. I am also trying to find the balance for our family. Our tree is up and we are listening to Christmas music, but I want to use this time to pray more and prepare for the season. I have loved having this blog as a little hobby and something fun to do with Megan, but within these six weeks I will be with probably 90% of my blog readers. So instead of spending time posting, I will spend time with my family.

I did have lots of things I wanted to write about.... so here are a few pictures of what has been going on.


Visiting Drew's parents home is always interesting! (I had never been on a farm until meeting Drew.)

M's hair was sticking up all day. 

Cousin time

He LOVED this bean bag/chair

This is a whole other story..... but to make it short, last year we found out we had mold under our carpet. It wasn't that surprising because there were HUGE dark stains from the previous tenants. They brought in an ozone machine to kill everything and cleaned the carpet. However, this year the thought of JM spending most of his time on the floor was a bit unsettling. After about 10 phone calls to our property manager, a mold test (that came back clear), and another carpet cleaning, I FINALLY convinced the owner of our apartment to get us new flooring. It has made a HUGE difference! (but also such a transition with JM pulling himself up on everything and then falling over on the hard floor.) I wish I had pictures of the stains before... I am pretty proud that my persistence paid off.

I also finally convinced Drew to put the rocking chair in JM's room. It had become Drew's favorite seat. 

JM has really been changing so much! He loves eating baby food, crawling much faster, pulling himself up on everything, can sit up on his own, and loves to walk with our help. He also has been expressing himself a lot more.... as in screaming and crying when he isn't happy. I hope I don't jinx anything, but he has been sleeping through the night again (like for 12-13 hours.... crazy!) And we have realized the hard way, we really cannot walk away from him. He beelines towards anything dangerous and falls A LOT. How do people manage this stage??? I feel like I will never get anything done again until he is sturdier. Help!!

(don't worry we have lowered his mattress now)

I cleaned out half of my closet. I doubt I will get around to doing a post on it like I planned, but I honestly gave away/sold half of my clothes. I have sent in 101 items to ThredUp. It feels great! Now I know what's in my closet, it all fits, and I like everything. It's surprising how freeing that is.

It's embarrassing I had this many clothes to get rid of and still have a full closet... yikes!

Last night I made my Grandma's spaghetti and meatballs for the first time!

Also, this is me and six months. I totally see JM!

Alright that's it for now. Enjoy Advent and Christmas and the New Year. I'll be back soon!


Ps. Any suggestions for pretty nativity scenes that don't cost $$$$$??


  1. Love the new floor! Does it go up into your bedrooms or just in living and dining area? I lol'ed at JM standing in his crib!!! What a little stinker! James has just started to push up onto his knees and swivel around places- i have no idea how to begin to baby proof our home! One more question: What are JM's favorite food?! :) Happy Advent, Hines family!!!

    1. Thanks!! It was such a relief to loose that carpet! We started doing a little baby led weaning so JM tried a bunch of stuff but I have decided to do more baby food. Right now he only eats carrots! We tried to do pears this week and he is still warming up to them :) Is James eating anything else yet??

  2. The floor looks fantastic - good for you for persevering and getting the new stuff! That stage of baby is hard to manage. We ended up blocking Kate off from lots of parts of our house with baby gates, furniture, closed doors, etc. so I wouldn't have to worry about her exploring so much, and kind of let her "fall" a lot until she grew past it - so far no lasting damage. ;) We also had a specific area for her toys and stuffed animals, which seemed to keep her occupied in one area a lot. Do you guys have an Exersaucer or a doorway bouncer? I LOVED mine for keeping Kate in one place while I was working or cooking and keeping her not fussy.

    Also, I wish I knew a cute Nativity scene that wasn't a gazillion dollars...they don't seem to exist! I love the Fontanini series but they are super expensive. Unless you buy one piece a year, I guess!

    1. Those are great tips! We have a bouncer but he hasn't figured out how to jump in it yet so he isn't too interested haha I ended up bring his pack n play into our kitchen and he does surprisingly well playing in it!

      That is exactly the kind of Nativity I want! It seems like a hard thing to spend money on, but I loved the one my parents have and have such great memories (mostly fighting about) setting it up every year. It really will be worth it!

  3. That was a fun post to read :) Love the new floor!! And kudos for you for tackling that much traveling with a babe... Just driving 2 hours to visit my grandma always seems so overwhelming to me! Also... I laughed at the picture of your reject clothes; mine looked the same way!

    1. Isn't it the best feeling?? And sometimes it doesn't matter how far you go or how long you stay... you still need a bunch of crap with you and a lot of planning!

  4. Also- I love our Willow Tree nativity set. We have Mary and company and then th three wisemen. If you split it up or ask for half for Christmas- they are reasonably priced! I've included a link :) we got ours as a wedding gift!

    1. What a great wedding gift!! Willow Tree stuff is so pretty! Definitely keeping my eye on this.

  5. I miss your posts! I can't wait to see you soon!