vintage cribs.

I’ve been on the lookout for a homey crib.  Something motherly and quaint.  This is what I found.  I didn’t buy it, but isen’t it just the coolest crib ever?  With a little restoration-love, stability, a new stain, and some tightened screws, I think this crib could become a family heirloom.  Very cute.   


14 weeks!

Today I am 14 weeks!  My baby is the size of a lemon!

“This week’s big developments: Your baby can now squint, frown, grimace, pee, and possibly suck his thumb!  Thanks to brain impulses, his facial muscles are getting a workout as his tiny features form one expression after another.  He can grasp, too, and if you’re having an ultrasound now, you may even catch him sucking his thumb.”


baby smith handmade.

So now that I’m home and have tons of time on my hands until Baby Smith makes his/her arrival, I thought it would be cool to work on 9 handmade baby projects for the 9 months of pregnancy.  Consider it 9 unique gifts to Baby Smith from Mama Smith.  To name a few ideas… baby sweaters (delicate homespun cardigans in browns and naturals), vintage-styled quilts, whimsical clothes, organic blankets made on a hand loom, colorful bibs, stuffed animals from my imagination, and peculiar cloth shoes.

A part of me does not want our children to know that clothing stores and toy stores exist.  That way, they have to wear and play with what I make them.  It makes life easier because there are less options to choose from.  I think it also enables kids to think for themselves and design and create at an earlier age because they end up making their own toy creations and inventions.  Not to mention that it also makes life more interesting.  I’ve always wanted to churn my own butter…maybe someday I will.  : )

organization station.

I absolutely love this mix of organization and art.  Simple too.  Maybe when we move out of my parents house and into a place of our own, perhaps we can have a shared studio in our house where I can work on photos, sew, knit, quilt, and create, and where he can fix and restore things and make cool stuff out of wood.  Sounds like a plan to me.

See I have this thing for organization stations.  My brain is set to auto-pilot…it’s always thinking up ways to create stations that foster a safe and healthy environment for whatever the station was created for — be it a mail station, a craft station, or even a fruit station.  I think it helps me appreciate the small things even more.


brown paper + twine.

My bestest friend, Gifty, sent a package with my sister the other day.  I just love packages like these.  They remind me of men on horseback riding through wind, hail, and storm, to get an important letter to some person who lives in a log-cabin across the country.  It was such a fantastic package…I just knew something really good would be in it.  It looked like it could hold a very cute little cake.  But, it was actually much, much better than even a very cute little cake.


IMGP2191 IMGP2195IMGP2192IMGP2194IMGP2249IMGP2246I love packages wrapped in brown and tied with twine.  I love ethnic baby stuff.  I love hand-written letters.  Hmmm…this was a good day.  Thanks Gift, you are the bestest, love you lots.  ; )

In other news, happy anniversary to my parents, Raju + Valsa (aka Alex + Mary), who celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary today!  Thank you both so much for your godly example and your diligence to follow Christ at all costs.  And moreover, thank you for not compromising in rearing your wonderful and obedient children.  : )  No, really, in all seriousness, your walk with Christ is what influenced us and made us different from the rest of the world.  You gave us Jesus in the normal, everyday life.  And for this I wouldn’t trade you for any other parents in the world.  I love you both very much.


the tina quilt.

So we’re back, safe and sound, in Maryland.  So much to do organization-wise.  I feel like everything I own is in one mumble-jumbled mess in the basement.  This summer will be the time to organize to my heart’s content.  Maybe I’ll get rid of stuff.  Maybe I’ll even have a garage sale.  I’ve never had one of those, but they seem like a nice way to get the neighbors out and about.

Before Tina’s baby was born, Tina and I went to Hobby Lobby for a little gal’s outing.  (Sidenote: I absolutely LOVE Hobby Lobby!!!  I wish we had one here on the east coast!  It’s incredible because it has everything you could imagine related to all things crafty ALL under one roof.)  So while in the store, I surprised Tina with the idea for my baby shower gift to her — a baby quilt.  So we spent the afternoon picking out fabrics that we liked for her little baby boy.  And so, that is what inspired the Tina Quilt…


goodbye carbondale!

We are moving back to Maryland tomorrow.  Sigh.  It’s been such a wonderful season of our lives here in Carbondale.  I can’t even begin to explain the growth that took place here for the both of us.  For Greg first when he interned with Chi Alpha back in 2004, and now the both of us this past year.

For me, it’s been a year of God showing me what it means to live a surrendered life.  I am reminded of the verse in Luke 6:46 where Jesus says, “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not what I say?” It’s so amazing how we can call Jesus the Lord of our life, and not really make Him Lord; instead we are the Lord of our life…doing what we want, when we want, how we want, and whenever we want.  I’ve come to understand the blessedness of allowing Him to supernaturally control my life.  It’s so much better than me doing it on my own…and I know because I have a 27 year track record of being the boss of my own life.  The “surrendered life” is such an alien concept in modern America, but that does not mean it isen’t true.  To be honest, I witnessed more miracles occur in my life these past 10 months when I surrendered a decision or desire to Jesus.  You can call it coincidence, but it’s hard to believe in coincidence when your life is full of them.  Maybe more on this topic later…  : )

It seems not too long ago when we packed up our apartment in downtown Baltimore and moved to small-town Carbondale.  In the 1.5 years we’ve been married, we’ll have moved 3 times.  It’s been fun and interesting living in two totally different styles of housing…

Our Baltimore Apartment:

IMGP2160IMGP2155IMGP2157IMGP2159Our Carbondale Apartment:


blueberry hill.

Oilyn, the kids, and myself went to Blueberry Hill for some good old-fashioned blueberry picking.  The blueberries were actually not ready to be picked for another week (a great disappointment for the kids), so we went strawberry picking instead.  Too bad it was the tail end of strawberry season, because we got smaller berries — though, they were still tasty.  I picked about a pound of strawberries and purchased some pre-picked blueberries.

I loved how dedicated and excited the Juan kids were about berry picking.  They told me about all the various fruits they pick during the year — strawberries first, then blueberries, raspberries, and peaches.  After peaches, apples are next in line, but southern Illinois does not grow apples.  I think it’s definitely likely that my kids and I will be making field trips to local farms for fruit picking — a great springtime, summertime, and falltime activity for kids of all ages.  The kids also told me how they like putting their freshly picked blueberries in the freezer and having them frozen.  I tried this when I got home, and they were yummy.  Tasted like blueberry popsicles…only bitesized pieces of goodness.  : )



The ones below are some I picked up at the Carbondale Farmer’s Market.  They are the biggest blueberries I’ve ever seen.


end-time practical living.

We recently had an inland hurricane and tornado visit Southern Illinois.  It’s never happened before.  The whole ordeal was pretty disasterous — bringing down huge old trees, damaging property, and cutting the whole town’s power supply for at least a week.  Now when you are out of electricity, and your stove-top and microwave run off of electricity, you have to be creative with what you have in-house in order to eat a decent meal.  The following is something Greg rigged up.  We cooked baked beans on an oven rack, held up by 4 drinking glasses, and lit by 2 candles.  I think it’s a pretty great idea, especially if you need ideas for end-time living.


So the following photo displays what happens when you do have electricity, but you break your coffee karafe!  Glass jam jars work excellently.  It only makes one cup of coffee now, but oh well, at least there’s coffee!  Ingenious!


baby yohan.

I had a little photo session today with Baby Yohan and the parents.  This is a first time for me when it comes to photographing infants.  Yohan was a very pleasant subject for being such a little one — three weeks old.  My favorite part was wrapping him in cheese cloth.  Oh, the things you can do to babies for the sake of photography!  So cute!

Picnik collage