Wednesday, November 30, 2011

what makes you smile

The holiday season can be tough for allot of people.  For some, family or friends come out of the woodwork and create drama or stress, for others they are reminded that they don't have family or many friends or you find yourself  getting caught up on getting the best and most expensive gift for people and totally getting stressed out over it. The holidays tend to bring about allot of stress. But its also a time of great joy for people. After a particular rough start to this week I have been trying to focus on things that make me smile. Like this video of my son Judah. We taught him how to snort like a pig, to his piggy.

Or this mini photoshoot I did with him in our backyard today...seriously I was laughing till I cried. He looks so funny dressed up as a little man with a mustache.

waving at the birds, which made me smile

Oh and this video makes Judah smile, I have it saved on a Youtube playlist on my phone for him. Its the cutest thing watching his little fingers try to grab the little birdie flying around in the video.

So when ever I start feeling anxious, or stressed from the holiday/birthday season, or I catch myself feeling blue because I haven't seen enough of the sun during the day. I just think of my sweet son Judah. How I am so blessed to be his mommy. I think of his sweet smile, how his eyes crinkle up to half moons, his toothy grins, messy hair,  how he is always with a stuffed animal preferably one of his doggies. This little guy of mine loves to wake me up in the morning with smiles, who loves to snuggle and hug really tight, likes to crawl as fast as he can, or stand up and try to take steps when I am not looking, who loves to wave at the sun the birds the trees and the clouds in the sky. I think of him, I hug him, I put my face close to his face to make him laugh and then I completely forget about the stress of the world. 

what makes you smile

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handmade for the holidays

I really like the idea of "Handmade for the Holidays". There is just something about getting something that was handmade specifically for you or the person your giving the item to. This weekend I've been busy making some really cute handmade items for my shop. Owl and Mustache ear flap hats and flower headbands.

When I logged into Etsy today I noticed a bunch of "Treasury Shop Listings" for gift ideas. I decided to look around for my family and see if I can come up with any good ideas. I think I've found a few, not only for myself, but also for Judah and my husband. Seriously my husband is the hardest person in the world to shop for, but I came across allot of really unique and fun gift ideas that I think he would really love.  The best part about this list is that every item is either handmade or vintage, and I would be supporting a small business by purchasing a gift for my loved one.

Are you doing handmade for the holidays? What are you gift ideas?

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

three years ago today

I used to work next to a woman named Laura at McLean Bible Church and for about four years she would tell me about this "amazing hot worship leader guy" that she knows that I should meet. That he was one of her husbands best friends and that he worked with students like I did and he liked to pull pranks like I did. I didn't really want to meet anyone and was tired of my heart getting broken and to be honest all I wanted to do was work at my position at the church for a bit longer before I moved to a 3rd world country to dedicate my life to helping impoverish children. Since the Lord was already tugging at my heart when I went to Cairo and the Dominican Republic to work with children I decided that I didn't need to be married anymore and that working with them would be my life's work.

Laura at the time was pregnant with her first son Christopher (toph) and her and her husband Paul just bought this run down house in Fairfax, seriously it used to be a drug house, Paul even pulled out stolen guns from the inside of the dry wall when he tore the house up. Laura was due any day, the house had to be fixed up/painted ect and I was feeling really bad for them. So I said to Laura "tell me the dates and I can get a bunch of the interns to come over and paint, it will be fun". Little did I know that Laura and Paul convinced Scott to come over and help paint so we could meet. Scott will tell anyone, he hates painting and he almost cancelled that morning, but something told him that he better show up. I took the main level bathroom, was having fun painting it all by myself. My friend Natalie and Nicole took the bedrooms and Ryan and Nate took the living room. As I was painting the bathroom Laura runs in (9 months pregnant) and says "Jess!!! Come out and meet my friend Scott, he is this amazing hot christian worship leader!" I said "Laura you are pregnant and have to stay away from the paint fumes! Introduce him to Natalie or Nicole they are way prettier". Scott walked over a few mins later and waved at me and said hi, I laughed because he had that ridiculous painters outfit on. Yes I asked to take a picture of him.

Once I was finished painting the bathroom I walked into the kitchen where Scott was taking apart a stove. Right when I walked him he said "someone please help me" I guess the hood of the stove was still attached to some wires and he needed someone to hold up the hood of the stove. I walked in at just the right time and said I could help. The entire time Scott was joking around asking me which wire I think he should cut and it was honestly freaking me out. I didn't want to die. Scott told me later he was flirting. 

I guess it worked because I was so nervous I stepped in some paint and ruined my shoes. I did keep these shoes because I knew after meeting Scott that I was going to marry him.

 Scott and I ended up dating for real a few weeks later when Laura  and Paul invited us over to play Settlers of Catan. Found out that we are the biggest pranksters, love working with students, love helping other people out, having Thai food or Sushi, I can kick his but at Settlers of Catan and he makes me laugh. A year later we were engaged, a year after that we were married and expecting our first, and this year Judah took his first steps and we are going to celebrate our his first birthday in a few weeks. 

Things happened kinda fast for us. But I wouldn't change it for the world.

Plus we wouldn't have had this amazing little guy if it wasn't for our "painting set up".

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

our sunday

Since Judah has been teething super bad and woke up a few times last night screaming. We decided to start the morning off by getting the Christmas blend coffee from Starbucks. Scott put this reindeer hat on Judahs head and he didn't try taking it off. 

Walked over to Safeway to stock up on some cereal for the week. No kidding my husband eats like 3-4 boxes of cereal a week. I have no idea how many boxes of cereal we are going to go through a week once Judah becomes a teen.  

We also started discipline for Judah today, our what to expect the first year said to start when he is 11 months, so we are a little behind. He do. But up until this week we haven't had to really discipline him. If I tell him no (touching a cord or my phone) he typically stops what he is doing. This past week everything has changed, Judah not only has his teething scream, where he is inconsolable until I hold him, put hylands teething gel on him or press my finger down and massage his gums. He also has this "I will scream if I don't get my way scream". Let me tell you, that is the worst scream in the world, if you are tired from lack of sleep that scream will jolt you right up. He did one in starbucks today and everyone in starbucks stopped what they were doing and looked at him. I do not want Judah to get into the habit of throwing tantrums especially in public places, I know I can't control a cranky and or hungry child in public, but I will do my best to try to instill discipline in him. So I asked a bunch of my mama friends what to do and one friend of mine told me how she gave her son "time out" or "thinking time" and started doing this when he was around Judahs age. So when Judah throws a fit because I won't let him drink my coffee, hold my phone, or because he won't get his way, we take him to the corner and set a timer for a min on our phone and sit with him and let him know calmly that we do not scream when we want something. He thinks its a game, but hopefully we are instilling good behavior skills for the future, so he doesn't flip out and scream like he did at starbucks today. 

This afternoon after Judahs nap we went to Burke Lake Park. I've never been to the other side of the park that walks along the lake. We spent two hours just walking around. 

Scott was holding Judah and letting him try to stand on the rock/climb wall.

such a big boy, I think he was trying to show off with the other kids around. 

again trying to show off, or he noticed all the other kids running and wanted to try walking instead of Scott carrying him around. 

 So excited watching all the kids.

My favorite picture of the day. Judah giving thumbs up to the world as he stands.  

I love my son so much. 

Hopefully this week Judah and I can spend more time at some local parks, maybe finally do a mommy meet up, make some DIY handprint ornaments for Christmas gifts, also I am going to meet Scott up at the Dulles Town Center so Judah can get his first picture with Santa Clause! Maybe I can get him to ride the train with me around the mall as well. This is such a fun age to be around him.

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Santa Baby....

Judah is two weeks away from turning one...and his body is just turning into a toddler... a very tall, very active and very loud toddler. Yesterday even though it was Black Friday we had to go out to pick up some diapers, wipes and Tylenol. Judah was excited to get out of the house. 

We went to Target, the lines were not bad at all. Grabbed the diapers, wipes, Tylenol and some other things for the house. Looked around for any of the Black Friday deals. I was pretty disappointed with what they had. I was going to grab this one dogie for Judah (I can program it to say Judah's name) for his birthday because he flips out when he sees it every time we show it to him. But Scott thinks they will go on sale on cyber Monday, if we don't find it on sale then I am just going back to Target to get it for Judah.

Decided to stop by Wal-mart and check out their deals. They had more stuff for kids, unfortunately Judah is to young for most of the stuff, but I was able to snag a rocking horse from the Toy Story for Christmas for Judah. We thought it would be nice to have it under the tree for when he wakes up. Oh the excitement of having a child during Christmas morning. 

Got home to a birthday package for Judah from one of my sweet blogger mamas Shawntae. It was this CUTE Mr Mustache  shirt from H&M! I've been looking for it for months and was told it was only being sold on the West Coast.  She also sent him this adorable grandpa sweater from H&M. I can't believe how sweet Shawntae was thoughtful enough to send Judah a birthday package.  Judah is now blowing kisses and wanted to blow some to Miss  Navy James.

Thursday night we finally put up our Christmas tree. Judah can kinda say "tree". Its really cute how he is starting to mimic our words. 

Helping daddy put up the tree is pretty exhausting and he just wanted to cuddle and have some milk. 

Today I finished a hat I've been thinking of making for Judah. Its a "Mustache Hat". I'm almost finished with one more for the shop and will be updating hopefully by Monday.

Finally decorated our tree. Found one of Scotts Santa hats. My husband thinks Christmas is the greatest day in the world... he goes a little nuts and even plays Christmas music in July. I guess Judah is just like his daddy because they both love the Christmas tree and Judah loves wearing his daddies Santa hats.. 

He was sooo cute! Just wanted to sit in front of the tree with his mustache soldier ornament naked and stare at the lights. This year all the ornaments are either hand sewn or crochet. Also I do not have any hooks or glass ornaments. I am to paranoid that my soon to be walking little boy will try to eat a hook. 

Judah has been screaming non stop the past few days. If you happen to think about us this week please pray that Judah passes this phase soon and we are able to get some sleep. We are thinking its not just teething but tantrums. Tonight we were at our wits end and needed a break from the house so we went to McDonalds to get ice-cream. 

finally fell asleep. My ears are still ringing from three straight days of on and off screaming at the top of his lungs. But our tree is decorated, my family is healthy and safe and I know this is just a phase for Judah.  Even though this has been a rough week dealing with these screams. I'm still treasuring everyday because my sweet boy will be one soon.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

The Julia's Poppies Giveaway Winners Are.....

The Julias Poppies Giveaway Winners are....

Elizabeth & Barbara I.

please email me at jessica.a.west (at) to claim your prize, a beautiful Christmas Card Bow set designed by Jamie at Julia's Poppies.

winners were chosen by
thank you all who participated!

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankfulness and Thanksgiving

Last night as I crawled into bed, I ended up getting Judah from his crib and bringing him into our bed with us. It was a rare night where he actually fell asleep in his own crib, but I wanted Judah to wake up to his first Thanksgiving on this earth next to the two people that are most Thankful for him.

I was super cheesy today and had our whole family wear plaid. I am thankful that Scott and Judah let me sleep in for a little bit. I've been staying up super late for the past few weeks doing custom crochet orders for My Charming Colors. 

I'm thankful for my sons smile. It makes me smile. 

My sister Rhonda and brother in law Mark sent Judah a birthday gift the other day. I am thankful for the box it came in, it made a great turn table for DJ My Little Mustache. 

I'm thankful for a cooked turkey!!! This time it wasn't raw and I am happy to say we do not have food poisoning. 

Thankful for a simple meal, great sweet potato salad with pecans, can you believe I've never had pecans until I met Scott. They are absolutely heavenly. I am thankful that Scott and I were able to have Thanksgiving together as a family. 

Thankful that we were so excited for this little guy to get up from his nap to try out his first Thanksgiving dinner. I do admit we made it easy for him to get up by walking in the room and opening up some shades. He woke up with a smile on his face ready to feast. 

He wanted us to try his turkey. I'm thankful for Judahs sharing heart. 

We took Thanksgiving pictures outside. Judah wasn't really having it because his teeth started hurting really bad again. But I am thankful for our wonderful weather and the few pictures we have. 

I love being his mama. 

 Thankful for my guys.
 Thankful for sleep. This little guy screamed for almost three hours tonight. We were all worn out. Also thankful for finishing up this cute custom Owl Hat. 

I can't wait to see what everyone else did for Thanksgiving! Check back later today for the Julias Poppies Christmas Card giveaway. 

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