Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mantle Makeover

A few months back, a friend posted pictures of her baby nursery on Facebook. She had incorporated an old fireplace mantle into the design and positioned the changing table in front of it and put a cute lamp and picture frames on top. I thought it was a really unique idea and added a lot of interest to the room. So, naturally, I wanted to find a mantle for Natalie's room, but I wanted it be turned into a bookcase. One of my mom's friends happened to have one that she was selling, so we snagged it and hauled it home.

My father-in-law is quite handy and was looking for a project to work on, so he offered to work on the transformation for us. He stripped off three layers of old paint and sanded it smooth until voila!

At my request, he also added some shelves in the back on both sides for extra storage to make use of every possible nook and cranny:

I love to just go into the nursery and stare at it. Is that weird? Natalie has quite a nice book collection already and I've been looking forward to rocking her and reading the Bearenstain Bears and Clifford. The "It's a Girl" banner was made by a friend for our baby shower and looks perfect hanging there. Stay tuned for the final "Man Cave Makeover" post with more nursery pictures (they're already on Facebook, if you want to peek)!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for Answered Prayers

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope that you all enjoyed precious time with family and friends! I have so many things to be thankful for. Just yesterday, I saw the hand of God at work in our lives and it feels so amazing (more about that in a sec)! God cares about the little things. He loves the details. Why else would He have created a world with such a beautiful array of colors and creatures? He could have made everything in black and white, you know? Or He could have just made maple trees. Instead, He made about 100,000 different types of trees (just a random fact I Googled).

I've been listening to a sermon about why God created America and our history as a Christian nation. Some of the names were familiar from history class, but I had so quickly forgotten the details. The Pilgrims literally risked everything to gain religious freedom, but I'm too afraid to tell my family about Christ for fear of rejection and "feeling uncomfortable". I have so far to grow.

Despite my shortcomings, God loved me enough to save me and be in a personal relationship with me. He heard my prayers and recently brought Alex the opportunity to start a new position at work. My prayer had been that Alex would enjoy his work and would find favor with management. He has had favor in several situations over the four and a half years that he has worked for his company, but had become burned out from his current responsibilities. After growing up watching my dad work at jobs that he hated, that exhausted him physically, mentally and emotionally, I didn't want that for my husband or our family. My dad is an incredible man for sticking with it through the hard times and doing whatever it took to provide for us and I am so thankful for his sacrifice. He is a wonderful example to me. I was concerned for Alex because, #1: I wanted him to enjoy work and not dread going in every day and #2: I knew that the added pressure of being the sole financial supporter of our family once Natalie is born would only be magnified if he wasn't happy at work. Thank God that He provided this new opportunity! I'm so excited for Alex and can already see that he is happier.

Our second answered prayer was regarding me leaving my job at the bank to stay at home after Natalie is born. Some policy changes were recently made that would prevent me for getting paid for time that I've earned this year. I was anticipating the extra income to put into our emergency fund to give us some more financial security, but was told that the money wouldn't be coming after all. I prayed that God would work in my favor, but the decision was made and I had to live with it. Ok, no big deal. It would all work out. God would provide for our finances. Then, yesterday my boss told me that something else had worked out and that I would get paid after all! What a blessing! Thank you, Lord, for providing for us in Your perfect timing and for hearing our prayers! Finding our that we would be parents this year was an amazing gift and now my due date is less than five weeks away. What a blessing it is to anticipate her arrival and know that God is working out all the details so that it comes together just like He planned :)