Life Stages

Looks who’s back! I took a [not so] brief hiatus from blogging and now I’m back and hoping to be much more consistent in my posts. As many of you may know, we recently welcomed a precious baby boy into the world. I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed nearly every minute of the two months since he’s arrived.

Although there are a thousand things I want to write about when it comes to this new adventure of motherhood, there is one thought that has been especially on my mind in recent months. I think it’s because time seems to be going by faster than it ever did before. If that’s even possible!

It’s this idea of life stages. You know what I’m talking about. There’s high school, college, jobs, dating, engagement, marriage, babies, retirement, grandchildren, you name it. Now, as I look back at the life stages I’ve been through so far, I realize just how much I wished each stage away.

When I was in college, especially toward the end, I just wished that I could find a boyfriend. Life’s biggest and most prevalent question mark (in my mind) would be answered. I’d just be so much happier if I didn’t have to worry about whether or not I’d ever meet my future husband…

When I was just getting to know Seth, I wished that he’d just ask me out already! I could stop guessing at what his true feelings were. Did he really like me or was this just a one-sided thing? I’d just be so much happier if I just knew for sure that he liked me…

Seth finally asked me out and pretty soon I started wishing for marriage. I could plan the wedding of my dreams! I’d be so much happier if I just knew for sure I was going to marry him…

Not too long after we got married, I wished for babies. I couldn’t wait to be a mommy and I knew I wanted to start a family sooner rather than later. I’d be so much happier if we could start trying to have a baby…

When we began trying to have babies, I couldn’t wait to actually be pregnant.  I feared how long it would take and how many months were going to go by before I saw that plus sign on a pregnancy test. I’d be so much happier if I could just know a baby was growing inside me…

When we found out we were expecting, I couldn’t wait until I was far enough along to tell people. If I could just get to twelve weeks, I’d be so much happier knowing that my baby was healthy and made it through the most crucial trimester…

Twelve weeks came and went, and I just wished my baby’s due date would hurry up and get here! I was tired of worrying about the health of my unborn baby. I’d be so much happier if I could just hold a healthy baby boy in my arms…

And that brings us to now. And although it’s not quite as tempting to wish away this stage of my life, it brings a whole new level of worry. I worry about decisions, about his health and wellbeing. Is this normal? Am I doing this right? Will I be a good mom to a little boy?

And did you notice something in each of those scenarios? Each stage of life brought with it something new to worry about. I really wasn’t happier in the next stage. The worry I thought I’d be so happy to be rid of was just replaced by something else! And what did I miss in each of those stages because I was too busy waiting for the next one?

I didn’t understand that my college years were some of the most precious years with my family and friends. Since I commuted to college and didn’t have a boyfriend, I was able to spend lots of quality time with my grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends. Now I can look back and thank God for those extra years I had to enjoy spending so much undistracted time with the people that meant the most to me.

I didn’t realize that the giddy excitement of just starting to get to know Seth would soon pass, never to come back again. The way my heart jumped at just a text or a look from him. The excitement over seeing him for even five minutes.

I didn’t think about the fact that the dating stage is so short and so special. You can go out, have fun, spend money, and enjoy each other without any of the added pressures of life. Soon we were engaged and we had to think about finances, buying a house, the wedding. We had to make so many decisions in such a short amount of time! The biggest decision we had to make when we were dating was where we wanted to eat for dinner.

I didn’t notice how precious the first few years of marriage are. After kids, you can’t just sit down in the evening and have an uninterrupted netflix marathon. You can’t make dinner and sit down in peace without worrying about a crying baby or about feeding someone else. You can’t have date nights on the spur of the moment. The freedom of the first years of marriage is something we’ll never get back.

I think this theme plays itself out in all the stages of life. Don’t wish them away! Enjoy the stage you’re in, whatever it may be. Know that God has you there for a very specific reason. Yes, each stage brings its own worries. But each stage also brings something special that you’ll never get back once you move onto the next one. Look for that special thing. Ask God to help you focus on that and leave the worries in His hands! It’s hard, trust me. I’m (slowly) learning to let God have the worries and just enjoy each stage. These days with my baby boy are going by so fast. I don’t want to miss what’s special about them because I’m too busy worrying and wishing for the next thing.

As usual, the Bible sums it up best:

“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:33-34

Give your worries to Him and go look for the special!

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welcome fall {free printable}

October has arrived and with it the promise of all things fall. The promise of colder weather and a reason to wear the boots, comfy sweaters, and hoodies that have been hiding all summer. The promise of longer, darker evenings perfect for snuggling on the couch with a hot drink and a good book or old movie. The promise of leaves turning from green into a beautiful rainbow of red, yellow, and orange. The promise of the Christmas season just around the corner.

This is my favorite time of the year. I love the beautiful weather and look forward each year to trading in my shorts and t-shirts for jeans and sweaters. I love baking delicious pumpkin goodies and smelling the fall spices waft through my kitchen. I love the campfires, the pumpkin-picking, the football, the beautiful transformation it brings to the world around us. There’s just something about this month and the warm feelings and happy times it promises to bring with it.

Please enjoy this free printable. It’s a quote by L.M. Montgomery from her book (one of my favorites), Anne of Green Gables. It expresses my sentiment perfectly. as her writing often does. I hope it brings a little fall happiness into your home! Just click on the print below.

Happy October!

octoberprint

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introducing bella paper co.

Good afternoon!

I thought I’d take some time today to introduce you all to my newest little venture- also known as Bella Paper Co.

Before I got married last June, I scoured Etsy for the perfect invitation. After some serious searching, I found a design that I thought fit our wedding’s theme perfectly. The shop owner customized it for me and then sent me the digital copy. As my wedding date approached, I began thinking about all the other printed items I would need for my wedding. I wanted everything to match and also tie in with our invitations. (a little OCD, I won’t deny it) So what to do? I returned to Etsy but found it difficult to find what I wanted. I couldn’t find anything in our colors or something that coordinated with our invitations and I quickly learned that a custom design far exceeded what was left of my wedding budget. So, for lack of a better option, I decided I’d try and create something myself. I downloaded the trial version of the most popular design program and set to work.

I was able to create everything I wanted for my wedding in coordinating colors and design and it even matched my invitations…score! And so my wedding came and went, and I started designing some invitations for friends and family every so often. Then I created some designs for another wedding. As I practiced, I really started to enjoy it. And so with a little encouragement from my mom, I decided to try to make a little business out of it. And that’s how Bella Paper Co. was born!

Please take a few minutes to stop by my Etsy shop. There’s lots of customizable designs on there but I also love to do custom work! If you find yourself in the position I was in before my wedding – wanting something very specific with no luck in finding it – then look no further! I’d be glad to create something that matches your vision perfectly.

Scroll down for a few examples of the work I’ve done for weddings. Visit my Etsy shop to scroll through my other designs! Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

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the beginning: our wedding day

Hello and welcome! I’m just beginning this whole blog thing and I’m hoping to share with you this new journey I began (almost) one year ago. You’re welcome to follow along as I write about being a wife, a Christ-follower, a family, a homemaker, and (hopefully someday!) a mom.  I’ll be posting recipes, design and DIY ideas, photographs, insights, and anything else I feel like writing about. But really, it’s just a blog about life. It’s about finding the beauty in the ordinary moments. In the everyday. Because, after all, the ordinary makes up the majority of our lives.

“Enjoy the little things in life, because one day you’ll back and realize they were the big things.”

And so the name Our Beautiful Life (or Our Bella Vida as my friends in Costa Rica would say) seems to fit perfectly. Follow along with me on the journey of little things & the big things…Our Bella Vida.

It seems only appropriate that I start at the very beginning of this journey. One of those not-so-ordinary, big life moments. Our wedding day. This Sunday marks our one (!!!) year anniversary. It was June 28th…an absolutely beautiful and dreamlike summer day. It was the fastest day of my life and I found myself wishing I could just freeze the moments as they flew by. I had been planning my wedding day since elementary school (no joke!) and how amazing it was to finally live it. Our love has only grown since that day one year ago, and I’m looking forward to celebrating many more anniversaries with my favorite man.

Below you’ll find a few snapshots of our day.

Photo Credit: Melania Marta Photography – melaniamphotography.com

 

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