Readers are Leaders Print
One of the things I enjoyed doing most when creating our nursery was creating printable art for our little one’s book shelves and walls. I’m certainly not a designer by trade, but I do find a lot of joy in the creative process and have just enough knowledge and experience with InDesign and Photoshop to be dangerous and waste a lot of time!

My little sister Ashley is going to be a teacher when she graduates in May, and one of her favorite things to say is “Readers are leaders!” She has said the phrase so many times that I made a promise that I would put up a little bit of artwork in Baby H’s room to serve as a reminder of Aunt Ashley. In return, Ashley agreed to keep our baby stocked with good books to read! (Side note: After some research, I guess the original phrase is actually Leaders are Readers but I think I like Ashley’s version better!)

I made and printed this little printable and framed it in a 5×7-inch frame for the bookcase in our nursery. (I just used Target Photo for ease and price) In case it would be of any interest to you, I am linking below so you can print it off for your own use!

READERS ARE LEADERS PRINTABLE

Madison

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It was so wonderful to head home last weekend and spend a little time celebrating Baby Hofmeyer at our first baby shower! My mom’s amazing friends hosted the shower at my mom’s house and a handful of my good friends from high school were also there to celebrate. I can’t believe that we’re past the 32 week mark and that little one will be here so soon. To be surrounded by so many people who have prayed for our baby for the past 8 months was humbling, and a few tears may have been shed.

Although our nursery is practically complete, I was feeling a little nervous about the lack of baby items we had, like diapers, wipes, bottles, pacis and the like. I’m feeling much more prepared now that we were showered with so many generous (and practical!) gifts.

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Thank you a thousand times over to the women who hosted the shower and for everyone who came to celebrate together. I felt so undeserving of the attention and the love, but so blessed by everyone at the same time!

Madison

 

Nursery 10

Happy New Year, friends! I’m kicking off 2015 with a tour of my new favorite room in our house, Baby Hofmeyer’s nursery! It’s been so fun to put together this nursery piece by piece, and seeing it finally come together just 8 weeks shy of baby’s arrival makes the whole thing even more real. I’m finding it hard to believe that we’re really going to be a family of 3 pretty soon.

I’ve never been great at taking photos of rooms in our house. It’s a skill I have yet to really acquire, but I’m working on it. So please forgive the fact that some of these photos are less than stellar. Let’s take a tour, shall we?

Nursery 1
We decided on the paint color as the first order of business when deciding on decor. The paint color is Sherman Williams Worldly Gray. I love how the color changes throughout the day; sometimes it looks like it has a lot of brown tones and other times it looks totally gray. The color comes off warm and happy, which is hard to come by in gray paint colors. 

Pictured in the first photo is the floating ledge that a family friend made for us years ago. It was black until a few months ago when we painted it white to match the nursery decor. The fabric pennant banner is from our wedding and made from my grandmother’s childhood dresses. We decided on a mix of blue and pink/purple fabric patterns to work with a boy or girl. On top of the ledge is a print that I made myself in InDesign (you can buy something similar from Naptime Diaries Shop) along with a giraffe I found at Homegoods and a little old-fashioned clock from Pottery Barn.

Nursery 3The bookshelf pictured above is the Midcentury Modern Horizontal Bookcase from Target.  We loved that the bookshelf fit with the time period our house was built and had adjustable shelves. Since they didn’t have this bookcase in white we decided to buy it and paint it white to match the room’s decor. The books are a mix of old a new, including some books I loved as a little kid. The globe is a vintage Rand McNally globe my mom found for $3 at a thrift store. Joe really wanted a map of some sort in the room so this how we incorporated one.

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The crib was a gift from my parents. It’s the Babyletto Hudson Crib in grey that also converts to a toddler bed when our little one gets bigger. I debated going with white, but since we already had a lot of white in the room I wanted to ground the room a little with a piece of furniture that was a different, darker color.

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My mom found this adorable little chair (pictured above) at a second hand store and painted it grey and gold to match the room’s decor. And the little teddy bear on the chair? It was mine as a little girl. Pippa insists on pulling the teddy bear off the chair a few times a day and dragging it around the house.

I think my favorite element of the room is the dresser below! My mom found it for $35 at a second hand store and I think it might be the deal of the year. We ended up re-finishing it and painting it white. It’s a midcentury modern style dresser that we’ll eventually put our changing pad on top of, and the lamp is from Homegoods as well. Before baby arrives we plan on filling the organizer to the right with diapers, wipes, diaper cream, pacifiers, etc. And we found it, as you might guess, at Homegoods!

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I think that’s it! We still have a few odds and ends to purchase before baby arrives, but I’m totally thrilled with how the room turned out. We were going for something that was gender-neutral and would work for a boy or girl (since we decorated before finding out if we were having a boy or girl) and I think the room fits the bill!

Madison

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I probably could have alternately titled this post, “Thank heavens 2014 is in the books! I’m glad to see it go.” But I’ve decided that it’s best to look forward to the year ahead rather than focus on the year that is now (almost) behind us. I’ve mentioned this before but last January I felt God saying to me that 2014 was going to be the year of waiting. I had no idea what he meant by that but I’ll be the first to admit that the idea was a little unsettling to me. I, like many others, do not like to wait.

When we found out we were pregnant with our second baby (that I would later miscarry) in February, I thought that perhaps what God meant by “a year of waiting” was that I would spend most of the year pregnant and would be waiting for a child to be born. “What a joyful way to wait! This isn’t going to be so bad after all!” I thought to myself. but when we found out we miscarried at our 12 week appointment at the end of April, I realized that the year of waiting I had hoped God had planned for me wasn’t really the type of waiting He had in mind.

I picked the words DISCIPLINE and PATIENCE to guide my year. Oh, how I’m thankful that I did because without those two words in the back of my mind, I’m not sure I would have had the fortitude or strength to see what else God had planned for the remainder of 2014.

I asked myself in the weeks after our second miscarriage if I had the strength to move forward and continue to try to have a biological child of our very own. The physical and emotional pain felt like too much on my worst days and the idea of doing it all over again, risking experiencing another miscarriage, seemed like more than I could handle. I debated throwing in the towel and giving up on that dream, pursuing other methods of starting a family. I asked questions like, “If I never have a child of my own, is God still enough for me?” I wrestled and grew and heard the voice of God telling me that it was too soon to give up on that dream.

We moved along in the year to find out in June that we were expecting another baby. I’ve documented our miraculous journey on this blog and been blessed by your prayers in so many ways. I listened to doctors tell me my baby wasn’t actually a baby at all and that I should schedule a surgery to remove it. Against all medical odds, I prayed (and you prayed!) for a miracle and God showed up in the most amazing way, blessing us with a healthy baby that defied all medical explanation.

For the first 20 weeks I lived in constant fear and anxiety that our little one would be taken away from us, like our other two babies had. I prayed and avoided Google and trusted that God knew what he was doing. At 19 weeks we were told our little one had an umbilical cord issue that perhaps and issue with his/her heart. Fear gripped me again as we waited to see a specialist and find out if our little one was healthy. We praised God yet again after we found out that our precious baby was as healthy as could be and that their heart was functioning normally. Once again, God showed up even when I doubted.

In September we found out that my company, under pressure from a lagging economy, was going to lay off 800 people in our corporate headquarters. My goodness, the number and magnitude took us all by surprise. We waited for weeks upon weeks to find out about our individual job statuses, and at the beginning of December, just after Thanksgiving, I found out that my job, along with almost all of my co-worker’s jobs, was eliminated. At 30 weeks pregnant I struggled to think of worse timing to get such news, but I am once again putting my trust in God’s timing and plan for my life.

So I sit here on December 31st, thankful that 2014 is coming to a close but amazed at the ways that I can see and sense I’ve grown throughout this year. I can safely say that 2014 was, indeed, a year of waiting, and I have more questions at the end of 2014 than I did at the beginning. I’m bringing my questions, my uncertainty, my fears to the feet of our sweet Jesus, asking him to reveal himself to me in the year to come. Already I’ve felt God saying to me that 2015 would be the year I see the Lord. As with the year of waiting, I don’t entirely know what that means but I’m so ready to move into a new season.

Madison

Nutella Blossoms | Espresso and Cream

 

This year I’m entirely behind my baking game. By this point in the month on most typical years I’ve already managed to bake through my standard rotation of Christmas goodies, but this year I’ve just started baking a few days before Christmas. I’m finding this to be a very smart way to get around my lack of willpower. At least I only have a few days to indulge rather than an entire month!

My family from Idaho is coming to visit for the week starting tomorrow, so the last handful of days have been devoted to preparing the house, grocery shopping and getting ready for their arrival. Although I didn’t get all the baking done that I would have liked, I did manage to make a few of our favorite family recipes as well as a few new recipes, like these Nutella Blossoms.

Joe requested the traditional peanut butter blossoms, but when I saw that jar of Nutella in my pantry I knew it needed to be put to use. Although I can’t say these cookies are better than the original (that’s setting the bar pretty high!) they do make a fun new addition to the holiday cookie tray. So for all you other baking procrastinators out there, if you’re looking for a new cookie recipe to try I would highly suggest these little gems!

Nutella Blossoms | Espresso and Cream (1)

Nutella Blossoms
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Snack
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Additional sugar for rolling cookies
  • 24 Hershey's kisses
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 375F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the Nutella and shortening until well-combined. Add in the sugar and beat 1 to 2 minutes more until fluffy and combined. Add in the egg and vanilla, beating until just combined.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the flour, salt and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until combined.
  4. Roll heaping tablespoons of the dough in between your hands to form balls. Roll balls in sugar and place 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are set and cookies are puffy. Immediately place one Hershey's kiss in the center of each cookie. Cool 3 minutes on baking sheets. Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely.

 

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