DIY, $10, Chalkboard Pumpkin

 

One pass through our home and you’ll know I love chalkboard art. <3 What’s not to love about erasable, easy to make, adorable, shabby chic, farmhouse chalk art? Because I am DIY-challenged I like projects that require minimum amounts of money and even less amounts of technical skill because … I still don’t own a hammer (but I do have a very well-used rock that works just as well). Thankfully, chalkpaint is super DIY-friendly.

I started craving a fall-themed chalkboard Uriah and I could use weekly as Autumn progressed. This is Uriah’s first fall and I want to create memories and traditions for our family of three. What better way than us finding things we are thankful for, me giving a mini lesson, and him babbling away in agreement?  Babies make everything more fun. 🙂

This easy, DIY chalkboard pumpkin turned out even cuter than I imagined. I started with a $9.99 wooden cutout from Hobby Lobby (and then I used my RetailMeNot app to get a 40% off coupon). I used two coats of chalkboard paint and tadaa!

I love that it’s large and fills the space above my stove. Now, once a week, Uriah and I change the theme of what we are thankful for. It’s an excellent teaching tool that will be more useful the older he gets. Until then, I get to enjoy the daily reminder and the daily does of cuteness it brings.

How do you practice being thankful? Do you have a favorite fall time craft? I know I’m currently loving Leah’s Thanksgiving Tree @ Grace Lee Cottage.  Share you ideas (or favorite Pinterest crafting board) in a comment below — I love hearing from you! 

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

My Favorite, Non-Fancy Coffee

It’s an understatement, I know, but I really enjoy coffee. I love everything about it … the warmth, smell, and the taste. For me, I especially drink coffee because it’s what my family has always done and I love partaking in the same special routine I grew up doing and know my parents and siblings are probably doing at the same moment I am. We start in the morning with a few good cups before the day starts, enjoy an afternoon tea cup of joe, and then end the evening with one more cup while we visit or watch our favorite shows. It has always been this way and I love knowing that it’s something that, no matter the timezone or differing locations, we keep doing.

As much as I love coffee I love that I’m not that big of a coffee snob. Unless I’m at a coffee shop (when I’ll get a vanilla latte) I like my coffee fresh, hot, and black. Pretty simple, right? 😉

My current favorites are 8 O’Clocks original mild flavor and Starbuck’s Cinnamon Dolce. YUM. There’s nothing better than starting out the day with my Keurig humming in the background as I quietly open the blinds (so not wake Uriah) or brew a second cup when he and I sit down for a diaper change and reading books. 🙂

What is your favorite coffee or tea? Do you consider yourself a coffee snob or are you pretty easy going in the joe department? Comment below — I love to hear your thoughts! 

With love, blessings, and OF COURSE coffee,

Frannie

Lovely Motherhood Quote

Motherhood really is a privilege. Enjoy this wise, in-depth quote from one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Prentiss, and her book Stepping Heavenward. (I feel a special kinship, kindred spirit with the key character Katy).

And enjoy this free 8.5 x 11 inch printable at this Dropbox link. 

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Free Printables for Private Home Nursing Binders

Having medically complex kiddos is an amazing, unique responsibility that has ordinary parents thinking about and doing un-ordinary things. One of those unique aspects is private, home nursing.

Good, bad, or indifferent, home nursing is tricky business. I created these free Nursing Communication Book labels to help families communicate and interact better with the nurses working in their home. Each file has nine 8.5 x 11 inch pages that you can print, three-hole punch, and place in a binder. Then, get creative by making your binder unique to your family by writing or typing your family’s specific information.

 

Having home nursing can be a huge blessing but it can also be a huge burden. I believe having a Nursing Communication Book is a simple, easy way to keep everyone on the same page. Have a single spot for house rules, emergency plans, and contact information will eliminate confusion and excuses for irresponsible behavior.

Want your relationship with your nursing staff to be excellent? I highly recommend reading Charrisse Montgomery’s book Home Care CEO. I read this quick, easy-to-read book while we were still in the NICU and got so many excellent ideas for managing the medical side of my son’s home care.

For the blue file click on this Dropbox link and download it. For the purple file follow this Dropbox link. 🙂 Please comment below if you have any questions. I’m sorry I cannot currently write the specifics behind each label; it would be impossible to write a welcome page or a list of house rules that each family could use. But hopefully, these simple labels will inspire you and bring you one step closer to a respectful, productive relationship with the nursing staff working in your home.

This is an example of my notebook. 🙂 (Click on the pictures for a larger view).

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Dear Husband, Thank You for Loving Me. Signed, Your Tired Wife

Parenthood is so much more than I ever imagined. The joy, exhaustion, fun, and worry take turns overwhelming mother’s heart; I never knew motherhood could be so much.

And in the midst of it is my marriage — this loving bond that gave me my motherhood in the first place. And, sweet readers, it’s this special friendship and union that needs, more than ever, dedication and attention. I now know what every married mother tried to tell me … parenting is exhausting. Mom life is an amazing privilege and with it comes great responsibility. I’m literally at the beck-and-call of every moment of every day.

Sometimes, in my exhaustion, I am too tired to think about encouraging and pursuing the husband who I love so very much.

So, dear husband, thank you for loving me.

Thank you, to all the husbands out there, who love the women who are now mothers of your brood. I know feminists will gush a hearty but of course he should help; it’s his child too. Not me. I take notice and appreciate men who are not only great fathers but great givers and lovers to tired mothers.

Thank you, husband, for finding big and little ways to make motherhood an easier transition for me. He has inspired this list because he has done each of these caring, nurturing, loving things! 🙂

5 Ways to Care for the Tired Mom in Your Life: 

  • Making us breakfast (complete with coffee!) 
  • Loving delivery pizza as much as we do (at least once a week)
  • Sending us to bed or Hobby Lobby or anywhere where we can be responsibility free for a time 
  • Giving genuine compliments when postpartum and pumping hormones have us feeling ick
  • Pursuing romance and snuggles … because we really do want to be more than just milk machines and diaper-changing lady bosses 

 To sum it up, thank you for nurturing us while we nurture your children.

Moms or future moms, take a few moments during your next coveted coffee or Netflix or bath break to come up with some ways to say thank you to the men in your lives who are doing so much. For me, blessing Dalton is as easy as offering a massage, preparing a yummy meal, and just enjoying him.

I can’t tell you how refreshed my hubby is when I take a break from being mom and simply be his friend and enjoy his company. Laugh genuinely at his jokes, listen to his stories, or pursue his heart; imagine, husbands who enjoy being enjoyed? 😉

With love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie