Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Five Years of Blogging and a Giveaway

This little ol' blog has been around for five whole years! Can you believe it? Have you ever gone back and read my first post? Seems like forever ago!

What started out as a way to keep family up-to-date on our crazy "let's move to California" adventures, the ups and downs of being without work or home, and my spiritual journey depending on God to move some serious mountains is now well, much of the same! (But it looks so much better, right!?)
Not my first design, but one of the earlier versions
Although my desire to share our real lives and all the ups and downs is still very present, it now includes the dominating subject of my one-year old son and our life in the city (and the crafts I still try to find time for). Thankfully, we have jobs and a place to live now! If you've kept up with my blog/life at all, you know that is all thanks to my Father in Heaven. He is the giver of all good gifts -- and our wonderful provider of all we have.

In honor of this 5 year anniversary of over-sharing blogging I'd like to list a few things I am totally grateful for (and at the end, we'll talk about the promised giveaway!)
  • Our marriage. Five years. Everyday I am so thankful for this man who chose me for his bride. I can't say everyday is easy, but it's Good. 
  • Our jobs! (I have had one consistent job for 4 1/2 years! Chris has had a lot more, but we're still thankful for each and every one of them!)
  • Our one-bedroom apartment that we have lived in for almost 4 1/2 years. We love this little place and are so thankful it provided a space for us to host our (large) small group in for 3 years and a number of short and long term visitors.
  • My health. I had a lot if chronic pain in my back, hands and feet for over two years but thankfully I haven't had to see a doctor or physical therapist in over a year!
  • Our little boy. Somehow this little guy who takes up all of my time and energy is the very best part of my day (you know, after God and Husband). I really can't imagine life without him and I can't imagine not being a work-from-home mama. I love spending my days with him, no matter how hard they can be.
  • Community. We were so blessed to find a community so quickly after we moved here. Can you guys believe we've known you for almost five years!? That's longer than college! Our church, small group, and friendships have supported us through ups and downs and prayed with us through it all. Thanks guys!
And now on to the giveaway details!
Using the Rafflecopter app below, enter for up to 10 chances to win a set of 6 handmade cards. Something like this, although it may vary. On November 15, I will announce the winner (selected by Rafflecopter). The winner will be announced on my blog, so make sure you check back on the 15th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, October 26, 2014

APC Walk For Life 2014 Completed!

Yesterday, October 25 was the Alpha Pregnancy Center's Annual Walk for Life event. It rained the night before into the early morning and we were all praying it would let up in time for the walk. And it did! As I walked up to the registration table, umbrella in hand, the sun started peaking through the clouds and the rain stopped! Thank you Lord!

Another answer to prayer was the number of participants. A week prior to the event, the director informed me that we needed 72 more people to walk in order for each team to be filled and the gifts delivered successfully. Well, on Saturday morning, she had her number and then some! Thank you Lord for making this the largest walk in over a decade! There were over 175 people participating!

Our team found the gifts we would be delivering. Can I just say they were the most adorable gifts! Check out this tiny rocking horse! And yes, one of my teammates gladly carried it for over a mile through the city!

And when we handed it to the almost-four-year-old-boy, he exclaimed "Yeah! From Chastidy!" (the director of the organization!) His smile could not have been bigger! His twin sister was eagerly as excited for the marker and paper set!

I gathered our team up, we grabbed those delightful packages, prayed and started our walk. Our team walked a total of 3.3 miles and actually got to walk through my own neighborhood. It was really a blessing to meet a family just a few streets away that has been helped by this organization!

This is happening!

After we delivered the gifts and prayed for the family, we head uphill to John McLaren Park for a celebration picnic. All the teams gathered and several families that received gifts joined us as we ate, played games, and had our faces painted.

At the end, Chastidy, the director gave out a few prizes and shared an update about their work. They are expanding their office to another location in the city and need more volunteers to help make it happen. Please pray that they would get the ten people they need trained and ready for this amazing and much needed work.

It was a great day and a great walk! By the time I got home I had walked six miles (walking back from the park!) and was exhausted! But so happy to have been a part of the event again this year.

Thank you to those of you who sponsored my walk. We raised $785 for the pregnancy center! Although I didn't meet my goal, it was still more than I've raised for past events and I am so thankful and grateful for your donations! You are giving families hope for their future!
Thank you!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Photography Biz

I'm so excited to finally announce that my photography gallery/website is online! This year, I've had more opportunities to take photographs (thanks friends!) and with the encouragement from my husband, the courage to actually put my work online.

So, without further ado, here is Emily Babiak Photography!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

To the Zoo and Back

Last weekend, Chris's parents came to San Francisco for a visit. They arrived on William's birthday and was able to see him briefly before they headed up to wine country for a couple of days. (One of the perks of coming to visit! hint, hint)

They came back to the city on Friday afternoon and entertained William while I finished up work and made dinner. William took to Nana fairly quickly, although a little slower than I had expected. It took him quite a while to warm up to Papa though! He doesn't hear too many deep voices around here.

On Saturday morning, after William's nap, we all went to the zoo. We had never been to the SF Zoo before and I was really excited to introduce William to the animals he had only read about in his books.

We headed to the Children's area first as I wanted to see how he'd like the petting zoo. There were goats and sheep roaming around and ducks in the pond. William was so interested in the ducks and we just couldn't get close enough (he would have gone in the water if I would have let him!)

Then we saw the gorillas, lions, and monkeys before having a little snack. We had just enough time to fit in a peak at the penguins before having to head back home for nap number two. (Outings with this toddler are very short still.)

We borrowed a hiking carrier which made him as tall as dad. He loved his new view! Chris's parents got William an annual pass to the zoo for his birthday, so although this trip was short, it won't be the last! I'm hoping we can make it one of our regular family outings this year.

Sunday after church was a relaxing day at home; we played games during William's afternoon nap and then had a little birthday gift opening party when he woke up. He looked pretty out of it in the photos as he had just woken up and was a little fussy from teething, but he has been enjoying his truck, books and puzzles everyday since!

We are so grateful that Nana and Papa could come out for William's 1st Birthday and experience his first time at the zoo with us! He may not remember it, but Chris and I certainly will!


Friday, October 3, 2014

Baby B: Twelve Months

My little baby is a growing one-year-old boy. No longer content sitting still or cuddling for longer than a few minutes, and gone are the days of sleeping in my arms. Thankfully, story time still means lap time!

Everyday he is discovering something new! 
  • He knows that everything can be a drum and he likes to make noise! 
  • Dad showed him how to put his toys in the basket and it's now a little game to take them out and put them back in! 
  • He figured out how to make his pop-up toy work and grins every time!
  • William can throw his ball all over the room (and other toys too, watch out!)
  • He's known how to clap for a while, but now he can make mom clap by moving her hands.
  • He's figuring out how spoons and forks work, but so far his hands are much more accurate.
  • Another new favorite game is opening and closing a door (which I turn into a peek-a-boo game). Just a few more inches taller and he'll be able to turn the door knob himself!
William is measuring 31" now and weighs just under 20 pounds (19 lbs 12.5 oz).

 When he was nine months old and cruising around the furniture I thought he'd be running by now; thankfully that was not the case and he slowed down a bit. He's standing for a full minute at a time and seems more steady on his feet, and as of YESTERDAY, October 2, William is a walker!!

Just one day after his birthday he took four steps in a row! Twice! I wish I would have recorded it, it was the sweetest thing! Both hands raised high up in the air and mouth wide open as if he knew he was the victor!

This photo shoot (taken before he became a walker) was the hardest one yet. . . the only way to get him to stay in one spot?

Laundry Basket!

We go to the park a couple of times a week, and his favorite thing to do is watch the older kids. I can tell he is eager to join them. We swing for a while and play in the sand, but this boy just wants to run and chase and play like a two year old.

This month he started drinking water from his sippy cup with his meals (without complaining) and is almost done with baby food. A few things still need to be mashed/pureed but he likes the things he can handle himself best.

His nap schedule has started to change over the past couple of weeks too. Up until September, he had been taking three long naps each day (which was great for me working from home)! Now, he's dropped the third nap. We're in the process of shifting them a little and keeping him awake longer before his second nap. So far, it seems to be working well. 

Bed time is still 6:45 and wake up time is still 5 a.m. Not sure what else we can do to extend his sleep or help him learn to wait quietly until 6. After a year of living on less sleep, you would think one would get used to it, but I have to say, neither Chris nor I are used to less than 8 hours yet. 

William hasn't started to say any real words yet, but is constantly singing and squealing gibberish. He is really fun to interact with and I can't wait to understand what he's telling me!

**The quilt used in the background was made by Chris's Grandma Arlene and given to us for our wedding!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Confessions of Motherhood

There are things that surprised me about motherhood. Things that I never really considered or thought about before William was born but became my everyday very shortly after his birth. I don't think these things are spoken of out in public because, well, they aren't flattering to mothers and we do our best not to dissuade others from joining us in parenthood "club." (Or maybe it's that I am the only one...)

But, I want to confess a few things to you. Whether you are a mom who can "amen to that" or someone considering starting a family who can exclaim "are you kidding me?!" Whoever you are, I hope you'll laugh and cry along with me!
  • There are 365 days in a year and I didn't shower on more than half of them. If I don't sneak my shower in before 7 a.m. (Baby is up at 5 a.m. most days) then it won't happen. I feel there are four hygiene steps that could possibly suffer on any give day: showering, washing my face, brushing my teeth, and deodorant. On a good day I get 2 out of 4 completed. Honest.
  • I can remember six occasions where I left my house wearing slippers or had my clothes on inside out or backwards. No one ever says anything, but I feel like a total fool when I realize it 10 hours later!
  • I take William on a walk every day. Most mornings, I think "I'll have to comb my hair before we leave," or "remember to change your shirt before you go outside today." But I always forget. In the hustle of feeding, changing, and dressing William, packing the diaper bag and carrying the stroller downstairs, I always forget to "look presentable." It isn't until we are back home when I glance in the mirror that I realize there are reasons I can't make friends. Hair disheveled, food on my clothes, grimy glasses, no make-up or matching clothes. This is my life! (I see other moms in the park that look totally normal, not sure what I'm missing!)
  • For a while I got  I get really mad at anyone who slams the entry way door of our building, shouts on the sidewalk or plays loud music while driving by. I never knew I had such rage in me, but it comes out anytime I think what you are doing will wake up my baby.
  • When we came home from the hospital, Chris started making me little snack plates with carrots, dried fruit, celery sticks, nuts and an apple or pear. That way I could eat while I nursed baby (all day long). He has made this plate for me every single day since! Sometimes it is the only thing I get to eat all day. (So very thankful!)
  • Chris and I are usually in bed by 9:30 and have never gotten used to waking up before 6 a.m. but it happens every day.
  • Every night after I put William to bed, I start dinner and pick up all of his toys and try to make it look like "nothing happened."
  • I love crawling on the floor with my son; playing "chase" gets the best kind of giggles. 
Being a mother is full of surprises -- some embarrassing, some hard, some amazing. 
Do you have any motherhood confessions? Share if you dare!