I have differing reactions to being in the country at our new home. First, I have to say, I love the house. Although it isn't complete, I love it. The colors turned out great. The butter yellow kitchen is the best room of the house with stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and can lighting. I like the galley layout and the attached breakfast area is small and cozy. It is the perfect size for our little family.

The living room is also great. The walls are a muted blue creating a restful and soothing atmosphere. (The name of the blue is actually, Atmosphere!) The simple vaulted ceiling leads one's eyes to the Mission Style fan at the peak of the room. Our furniture works in the new house much better than it did in the previous one. The orange and khaki slipcovers blend into the color scheme with ease.

Even though I love the house, I don't feel at home yet. We've moved multiple times and this is the first time I haven't been able to settle into the new surrounding with ease. I have not slept well yet, and during the day I wander around the house as if it isn't my own. I am happy in the mornings, but by early afternoon, I begin to feel closed in and isolated. We're located 15 minutes from tiny Siloam and 25 minutes from beloved Fayetteville. Chad and I went to college in Siloam. I worked there for 4 years before Melody was born. To return now feels like taking a step backward. I often read magazines like Real Simple and daydream about big city living. Being in the country reinforces the fact that I'm far away from this big city dream.

I thought I was doing well hiding my slight misgivings about the country until yesterday when Chad said, "I feel like you don't want to be out here with me." He has intentionally included me in the house-building process. He said multiple times, "The inside of the house is yours. You can do whatever you want." He's given me this freedom so I will be happy living on his 22 acre dreamland. I am trying, but it is a fight.

There are things I love, though. The area surrounding the house is beautiful. Trees are all around, creating scattered sunlight and shade. Leaves continually fall in the autumn breeze. Am I crazy for feeling strange in such a pefect setting? I hope this new place feels like home soon.

duvet insanity solved

A couple days ago Laura walked into the house through the garage. She had a large, square, white item in her arms. I eyed her curiously with a question on my face. She smiled and said, "For you, Loca."

"What...huh?" My mind was occupied with moving plans.

"I read your blog. This was a wedding gift, but it's too hot for us so we can't use it. It's 86 x 86, just the size you need! It's yours."

How cool is that!!? The down comforter is fluffy, new, white, cloud-like, and the PERFECT size for my duvet cover. The first room I put together at our new house was the guest bedroom, because I was so excited to assemble the bed coverings. It looks awesome!

The walls are yellow. Two windows allow light to pour in, making the room bright and happy. Two bright blue-turquoise chair pads are tied to wooden chairs in the corner. On the bed, the fluffy comforter is smooth and inviting, with orange accent pillows piled atop the shams. The duvet is light blue with a mod orange pin-wheel pattern. A tan run sits askew on the rust concrete floor. It could be a beach house room.

Thanks Laura!

the move

We are in our new house. The move went remarkably smooth; we ended up with TONS of help. Three friends came from out of town and about 12 others from the area were present for the occasion. I was astounded at the turnout. Not only did they move all our boxes and furniture, they also cleaned the entire old house and unpacked most of the new one!

Laura and Sarah worked tirelessly on the new kitchen, unloading plates, appliances, cans, fridge food, etc. Brian put the crib and bed frames together. Todd packed and drove the Uhaul. Heather arranged the slipcovers superbly (a job I abhore). Liz put Melody's room together. (She is baby crazy these days.) Lauren dusted doors, mop board, and light fixtures at the old house. Traci cleaned the showers. Charlie moved the heavy, 20+ year old, orange, hide-a-bed for the 6th time. (He has helped us move every single time since we got married five years ago. This time he drove 7 hours from Nebraska!) Vance, Chris, Josh, Matt, Jared, Casey and Neil delivered boxes to assigned rooms until the truck was EMPTY.

Needless to say, I was dumbfounded by the help we received. I couldn't believe it. It was easy and fun with all of us together. By the end of the day we were exhausted. We sank onto couches, chairs, floor space and ate Eureka Pizza and drank Pale Ale and October Fest beer. I think I said Thank You over a hundred times. I had no idea it was even possible to accomplish so much in one day.


hello, my name is rebekah. i am a nag.

Being in a marriage relationship gets tricky sometimes. Recently, I saw myself in a new light. I am a nag. (Gasp.) This is something I have desperately tried NOT to be. Growing up, there was nagging in my home. I entered marriage thinking it an unnecessary form of communication. I likened it to yelling. If one resorts to yelling in order to get attention, then the opposing party will wait for yelling before he/she responds. Yada, yada, yada. This all made total sense in theory.

Chad and I started our relationship on strictly no nagging terms. I was careful to let him do what he pleased. This pertained to facial hair, clothing style, driving techniques, eating habits, and a myriad of other personal things. If we were talking in the car and his favorite song came on the radio, I'd carefully stop talking so he could listen to his song. Once it was over, we'd resume. He didn't require this behavior; but showed appreciation for it. I took pride in the fact that I was not one of "those" girlfriends. You know, the kind that are controlling and clingy. Looking back, I think much of this was a facade.

I was trying hard to be the right type of girlfriend. Maybe because I was insecure? Maybe because I hadn't dated anyone else? I think I just really really liked him, and I wanted him to like me, too.

Fastforward five years. We're married with a baby, building a house, and about to move. It's a Saturday morning. I'm running a garage sale in our driveway. Chad is bustling around, trying to get things together for a day of work at the new house. I remind Chad that he needs to put a For Rent sign in the front yard. He stops what he's doing and spends 15 or 20 minutes on the task. I am mildly aware of his actions. The next thing I know, there is a sign in the yard. Sticking out from underneath the small For Rent sign is a long narrow section of signage from a previous sign. It shows on either side of the Rent sign. It is visually distracting and ugly (to me).

"Baaabe... that's not going to work. It looks horrible. It's not readable. LOOK at it."

He squints at me from across garage, the morning sun in his eyes. Locals are rummaging through our junk in the driveway. He replies, "Well, that is the only way it'll stay stuck to the stake. Sorry." His tone indicates that he's finished working on it, despite my verdict of unacceptability. I push harder:

"Usually you come up with better solutions than that."

He remains silent and disappears into the house as I deal with a yard sale customer. The next thing I know, he briskly walks to his truck, which is parked at the curb. He gets in and speeds away. He's obviously angry. He never leaves without saying goodbye. I walk to the end of the driveway, watching in disbelief, wondering if he'll really leave the neighborhood. He's gone. I had no idea my words would have that kind of an effect. I began to replay them in my head. Oh no. I was horrible.

Less than five minutes later, Chad's black Tundra reappeard on our street. As he got our of the truck, I stood up from my camping chair station and took two little steps toward him. He walked the rest of the way to me, his eyes steady on mine. As he neared he said, "I don't want to be like that." I apologized for my harsh words. In the five minutes of his absense I had fixed the sign with a creative solution: I taped white index cards over the offending extra signage and drew large bold arrows pointing in toward the sign. It looked like a cute little custom sign.

After making up, we said goodbye and he left again. A few minutes later I came inside the house. My mom was here; I told her we had had a tiff. I said it was due to my nagging him. She paused and chose her words carefully. "Bekah, I've noticed that you nag Chad often. He takes it and says nothing." I gulped and asked for more details. She could not give me an example. She tried to be sweet and sensitive, but honest. My phone rang and I stumbled out of the half packed bedroom to get away, tears brimming in my eyes.

Once alone, I cried. I felt so blind. Why couldn't I see myself the way others did? I hated myself and the blindness. I closed the garage sale with tears spilling down my cheeks. Neighboors eyed me with curiousity. I shut the garage door, and went to my bathroom. As I stepped into the hot shower, I wondered, "Is Chad as happy as I am in our marriage?"

I spent the rest of the day thinking about us. I remembered the way I intentionally tried not to nag him in the early days of our relationship. What changed? Was it that I was secure and comfortable with us? Maybe. But I still want him to enjoy being around me. If we're going to spend the rest of our lives together, it should be pleasant for both of us.

By the end of the day, I was exhuasted from self-introspection. The following morning the three of us went out to breakfast. Melody was an angel and we were able to talk one-on-one. I told him about the day before. I apologized for being a Nag. We discussed how we felt. He told me that I'm unpleasant when in a bad mood. Other than that, he didn't have anything to complain about. Whew. I was relieved to hear he is still happy with us.

I want to be a good wife. I want to make him happy. I want to make him smile on a daily basis. In our wedding vows we spoke of making our home a place of refuge. A place of safety, warmth, and comfort. I want with all my heart for this to be the case. I am trying to remember to ask God for strength, sensitivity, grace, and self control. It is when I try to do these things myself that I fail. I need help.


duvet insanity

What's the deal with Duvet Covers? I recently bought one at Target. It is labeled as a size full/queen. It was on clearance for $15, so I purchased it for our guest room. After arriving home with it, I realized I don't have a comforter to put inside it. Argh. For the past few weeks I've been searching for an inexpensive comforter to use with the blasted duvet cover. Here's the catch... full/queen sizes differ! The duvet I have is 86 x 86. I have yet to find a comforter this exact size. What am I suppose to do?? Who thought of duvet covers anyway? It's like the equivalant to a slipcover. Everyone knows that for a slipcover to look GOOD, it costs as much as an actual couch. What's the point in that? Why not just buy a new couch?

Here's my question... can I make my own filler for this new duvet cover I have? If so, what should I use? The thing with going this route is, I know I'll end up spending more money on the insides than I did on the cover! Not to mention my time. Simple projects never turn out simple.

For instance, when I was pregnant I made a ribbon mobile for Melody's room. I saw the idea in a Martha Stewart Kids magazine (very cool publication, by the way). I bought a medium size embroidery hoop and tons of ribbon. I cut the ribbon into 20" strips. Then I draped the strips over the hoop, creating a ring of dangling colorful ribbon. I used double stick tape and glue to make it all stick together. I had to return to Hobby Lobby three times to buy more ribbon in order to make the thing look right. I ended up spending over $20 on it. Looking back, I don't regret it because it turned out really cool and Melody loves it. But when I started the project I thought it would be a fun way to make an inexpensive mobile. (My parents ended up getting her a Winnie the Pooh mobile, so the ribbon creation hangs over the changing table.)

With that said, are there any duvet suggestions for me? Thanks!


catch all

The move is looming. Six days. We have a rent sign in the front yard. So far, we've received two inquiring calls. We're nervous because we've never rented to anyone before. We thought about having a Property Management Service take care of it for the first year. They charge 10% of the rent price. We had two services come look at the house. Neither of them impressed us. After their visits we were left with the feeling, "We can do this ourselves." We hope to have the house occupied by November. Any advice?

The garage has turned into Box Land. One side is piled high with heavy, labeled, sealed boxes. The other side has lopsided stacks of empty boxes, waiting for me to get busy. Today I'm tackling the Laundry. We usually have a steady basket of dirties waiting. I am the type who does a load here and there, never getting to the bottom of the basket. (Proof that we have too many clothes.) Today I decided it would be nice to have everything clean for the move. That way I can forget about laundry for a couple weeks and focus on unpacking the new house. Do you see why the house is a backsliding scenerio for me?

In other news I'm now five little pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. For me, the saying will be more like, "Nine months on, 11 months off." I'm wearing my old clothes, which is awesome. They don't fit quite like they used to, but I'm happy nonetheless. I am delighted to not be wearing the DD bomb bras anymore.

Melody is nine and a half months old. She scurries around the house, crawling army-style. She proudly cruises alongside the couch and coffee table. I see lots of bumps and bruises in the immediate future. Each day she is stronger and more coordinated. She grabs handfulls of cheerios (3) with vigor instead of apprehension. I think she tries to say "bear" when holding her stuffed animals. Is sounds like, "Baaa." I've been video-taping her more lately.


thoughts on moving

We plan to move in 9 days. I am feeling overwhelmed. I'm at the point with packing where I've boxed up the easy stuff. Now I keep turning in circles, eyeing different objects, wondering if they should be boxed up yet. Linen closet? What about the people coming from out of town to help us move? They'll need towels. I've done about 3/4 of the kitchen.

Melody's room is untouched because I want to take pictures of it before dismantling everything. Her walls, furniture, and decor are the most intentional and finished of the whole house. Right now I have black and white film in my camera. I need to finish this roll before I'm able to take color photos of her bedroom. Such are the things on my mind.

I had planned to host playgroup at my house tomorrow. It felt nostalgic about this being the last opportunity to have Playgroup here. Turns out, there's just too much going on. I bailed and will skip the get-together. I'm desperately hoping my friends will make the 30+ minute drive to the now house. Perhaps the posibility of these friendships waning is the reason for my melancoly today.

I'm also a bit sad about leaving this house. We've been here for three years -- the longest place of residence in our 5 year marriage. Chad and I walked these sidewalks often during my pregnancy. Melody was born in this house. I always have trouble leaving things behind.


kitchen woes

We are moving in 12 short days and I'm feeling pressure to be organized. I've packed the spare bedroom (camping gear, books, computer stuff) and most of the kitchen. A fraction of our dishes, spices, canned food, and baking items is left. It feels good to have bare cabinets. Clean and simple. Usually I have to move multiple items to get to the flour or sugar.

Our new kitchen will be smaller than the current one. But it will have a pantry, which we don't have right now. So maybe it will even out? I would love to have completely bare countertops. I think that would look so nice. But I use the blender almost every day to make fruit smoothies for breakfast. The toaster oven is used once or twice a week. A utensil holder sits next to the stove, holding everyday spatulas, spoons, and such. Then there's the salt, pepper, jar of clothspins (used for keeping opened packages tightly closed), multi vitamin (that I won't take unless I SEE it everyday), coffee maker (used everyday), and two colorful fire king mugs (holding the silverware).

I use these things all the time. So how can I avoid keeping them on the countertop? I love pictures of Ikea kitchens; sparse with lots of flat shiny surfaces. Lately I've been reading quite a bit of the magazine, Real Simple. I like the photography in the publication; it puts a fire in me to have clean and simple rooms.

There is one thing on the kitchen counter that I love... that's my cobalt blue Kitchen Aid mixer. It's one of my favorite possessions. Chad surprised me with it for my birthday about a year ago. I like having it out in the open, because it reminds me that Chad loves me. Also, because it's so pretty.

Does anyone have any kitchen tips for me?