Sunday, December 30, 2012


So it's all over.
Christmas has come and gone, and yes, I'm quite sad about it. 
It never lasts long enough. 
I think this year was especially different because our little boy spent the latter half of Christmas day with a fever. 
It made me really sad to see him not being able to enjoy Christmas because he didn't feel well.
AND we didn't even get a family picture.
Yes, I am sad about that too & yes, we will put on the same clothes we were wearing and recreate the night so we can get that picture...once the sickness has left our house.
Our poor boy is still fighting this nasty flu bug & it stinks!
He's never been sick before so this is new for us. 
We're just taking it day by day & praying that we don't get it! 
Good thing we didn't have big NYE plans! 

Enjoy 2 weeks worth of pics since last week I sort of fell asleep.

 1. Praising Jesus
2. She Reads Truth goodness
3. Visiting a horse
4. Kisses for Dink Dink
5. Socks & a diaper
6. Saving money on gas? Yes, please!
7. New scarf from a friend
8. Wrapping gifts
9. Double-fisting it

1. New game
2. Thinking I might get some quiet time before everyone wakes up....didn't happen
2. Valentine's already???? On Christmas EVE???
3. So much to do but so comfortable sitting right here
3. New traditions
4. Can you imagine this electric bill? 

Christmas morning 

Christmas evening

and pretty much the rest of the week.

 1. New purse (belated birthday gift)
2. Terrible decorations
3. Family white elephant
4. Proud new owner of Tickle Me Elmo gloves
5. Pillow hog
6. The one day we got dressed this week
7. The rest of the week looked like this

Looking forward to a New Year! 
2013, here we come!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Sharing Christmas

Tonight I'm linking up with Julie at Green Eggs & Hammes. 
She and some other gals are hosting a link up party: 

Friends, I love Christmas time.
I just love everything about it.
The decorating, the baking, the picking out of gifts, the making of gifts, the lights, the's just such a special time that I truly cherish. 
So, I thought it might be fun to join in the fun to share some of our Christmas with you & check out how others make Christmas special in their homes as well.

So this is about as festive as the outside of the house gets.
We don't have any electrical outlets outside which makes it pretty difficult to do anything really nice, so I just stick a wreath on the door & call it decorated.
{and yes, those pumpkins are still there....meshing of the holidays? i don't know!}
This year I switched it up a bit, & I decided to make this frame wreath I found on Pinterest.

I think it turned out pretty cute, but I just can't figure out how to get it to stay up!
Every few days after I fix it, I hear a crash at the front door & find it in shambles on the ground.
I'm on my second frame. The frame in this pic broke.
I will persist though!

Onto the entry way:
{not that people actually enter our house this way. if you came to our house, we'd totally invite you to use the back door just like everyone else!}

This year I wanted to get an Advent calendar & went with one from Naptime Diaries
We don't do a very good job of completing an Advent activity everyday, but it looks really pretty!

And here's a look at the living room:
{which is still not complete, so please ignore the blank walls & lack of curtains}

 {ooh sorry for the blurry pic}

 I got this little tree from a friend a couple of years ago & I really like it because the stars are magnets so I can change them around. This year Eli decorated this tree!

 I used to put all of the cards we got around a door frame, but this year I decided to use this planter I had as a card box instead.
{maybe you see yours in there?}

This year our tree came from the lovely tree farm found at Home Depot. We used to cut it down, but found it to be much cheaper {and easier} to just buy one with the work already done for us.
Our tree pretty much looks the same every year, but I really love it.  I have a thing for stars, so you'll find quite a few variety hanging on the tree. I also love the word "joy", especially at Christmas, so there are a few of those floating around as well.

The one thing I did differently on our tree this year was make a new garland.
At midnight. On a Saturday night.
It just had to be done then!

Here's a pic at night, when let's be honest, is the best time to gaze upon the tree.

I've done quite a bit of Christmas crafting in the last couple weeks:

I like how this garland frames the tree when you look at it through the doorway.
{and in this pic, the cute little one playing with the trashcan}

And a few other random decorations...things I've picked up over the years:
Even though we aren't going to "do" Santa with our kids, I really like the vintage look of this little guy. And if our kids ask, I'll call him St. Nicholas.

As far as traditions go, the biggest one is a big family breakfast on Christmas morning.
And because breakfast is my absolute favorite meal, this is one of my favorite traditions.
And with the invention of Pinterest, there are so many recipes I want try this year.
We also host Christmas for my mom's side of the family, so in the evening we'll have everyone here to eat dinner & exchange gifts.
Mike & I exchange one gift Christmas Eve and then do the rest before our families come over Christmas morning. 
I'm excited to see how Eli reacts to opening gifts this year. I'm sure the paper & boxes will be a huge hit, which is ok, because honestly, he's not getting a ton from us.  Between grandparents, aunts & uncles, I'm sure he'll get more than enough!

I'm sure there is more that I could share, but I feel as though this post might just be the longest post ever.
So, thanks for allowing me to share Christmas at the Rubin household with you.
May you be blessed this Christmas season & experience true Joy in the birthday celebration of our Savior!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Answer is Real.

My heart has been heavy the last 2 days, but probably not why you think.
What happened on Friday was an absolute senseless tragedy. I can't begin to even imagine what the community is feeling right now, however, that isn't what is weighing me down.

What's weighing me down is that people take a tragedy like this & begin to point fingers & place blame, but the reality is there is already an answer to the problem.
It's not a matter of gun control or second amendment rights or good parenting or too many violent video games or troubled childhoods.
The answer to the problem was given to us over 2000 years ago.
The answer to the problem has a name.
His name is Jesus.

My heart grieves because people ignore the answer to the problem.
My heart grieves because people pretend like He doesn't exist.
Last night I read a terrible article that proves it.
Have you seen this?

 THIS is what makes me grieve.
THIS is what hurts my heart.
Dump the MYTH?

In a time that families are searching for answers and crying out for comfort, a billboard is raised telling us to "Dump the MYTH".

JESUS is NOT a myth!
JESUS is so very, very real!
I'm so very positive that as Our Heavenly Father sent His Son to die a horrific death on a cross for every single person in this world, He most certainly would attest that it was not a myth.
When Jesus became sin and paid the penalty by enduring hell for us, I'm sure that separation from his Father was very real.
It was so very real.
The scars on his hands and feet and in his side are so very real.
His love that He pours out so lavishly is so very real.
The way He transforms lives is so very real.

If we want to see change in this world, we need to embrace the One who is able to bring change.
Because the reality is, senseless tragedies will happen again.
It doesn't matter what law is passed or how many safety precautions you put into place.
 There is an Enemy in this world that will use whatever it takes to deceive and destroy.
He doesn't play favorites, and he doesn't play nice.
Until Jesus comes back, we will continue to experience pain and heartache in this world.
But He offers us hope.
 He offers us peace.
He offers us comfort.
He offers us friendship like no other.
He offers us to make us whole.
He offers to take our burdens.
He offers us Life.
He offers us freedom.

How can He be a myth?
Love like this is not a myth.
It is so very real.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


this has been my excuse for everything lately.
forgetting to make phone calls.
forgetting to pay bills.
skipping workouts.
feeling slightly exhausted.
we've started the redo of our living room & this has consumed just about all of my free time the last couple of weeks.  
we're probably about halfway done & won't make our christmas deadline, but that's ok. 
i have discovered that while i love projects, i'm not quite cut out for full time interior design!
i am excited to share some of said projects with you in upcoming days, so stay tuned.
 for now it's time for:

1. cuddly kitty
2. cuddly puppy
3. rockin' daddy's hat
4. using mommy as a footrest

1. nervous about getting a haircut
2. unhappy about the haircut, hence a ponytail
3. "fixed" haircut that was not quite fixed

1. getting ready for a pinterest party
2. big boy helper
3. the original muppet movie
4. his & her hot chocolate
5. hot chocolate & pj's
5. handmade ornament

i'm hoping this week won't be quite so busy because i probably should do some christmas shopping for those things that i can't make. 
{i'm thinking my husband probably wouldn't really appreciate or have a use for felt ornaments or garland or felt flower pins.}

and i have tons of photos on my camera to upload to share!!
have a great week!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Mary said.

Now that the holidays are quickly approaching, you know you can't turn on the radio without hearing the most wonderful tunes of all. 
A little "Jingle Bell Rock", "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", "O Holy Night". 
Christmas music.  
I do love Christmas music, 
though I will share with you two songs that I CANNOT STAND:
Paul McCartney's "Wonderful Christmas Time"
"Christmas Wrapping" by the Waitresses
{totally had to look that up because I really had no idea who it was}

 Well, the other day I was in the car heading over to Lowe's to get paint & singing along to the tunes playing in the car when one song just hit me over the head.  
Did you ever have a moment like that when you hear something or even read something 1000 times & for some reason in that 1001 time, it just strikes you as something you've never heard of or thought about before?
Ok, well this was like that.

The song was "A Baby Changes Everything" by Faith Hill.
I've definitely heard this song countless times at Christmas, but for some reason, hearing it the other day really hit me & I was fighting the tears back.
{only because my dad was in the car with me & I just didn't feel like having to explain why heading to Lowe's was causing such an outpouring of emotion.}
I know I heard this song last year & Eli was 3 months old, but I think I was still too much in that "new baby" fog to really think about this song.
But on this day I started thinking about Mary & the implications of her pregnancy.
The thoughts that must have been running through her head. 
Humbled, honored, confused, scared, joyful, maybe even embarrassed. 
But she had to have known that this baby would be The One. 
This would be the Messiah they had been waiting for & she would've known what the Old Testament prophesied:

Jesus Christ would be hated without reason.
Jesus Christ would be rejected by the Jewish people.
Jesus Christ would be plotted against by Jewish people and the Gentiles together.
Jesus Christ would be betrayed by a friend.
Jesus Christ would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver.
Jesus Christ would be forsaken by His flock.
Jesus Christ the shepherd would be struck.
Jesus Christ would be spat on.
Jesus Christ would be mocked.
Jesus Christ would be beaten.
Jesus Christ would be executed by Crucifixion, having His hands and feet pierced.

 If you're a parent, if you're a mom, can you imagine?
Knowing you will be bringing a child into the world to face this.
As parents, it's our job to protect our kids, not lead them into the face of danger. 

But Mary, do you know what she said? 

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” 
{Luke 1:38}


“My soul glorifies the Lord 
     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 
 for he has been mindful
    of the humble state of his servant."
{Luke 1:47-48} 

I think my favorite part of this last statement is 
"for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant".   
She completely, 100%, without a shadow of a doubt, trusted His Sovereignty.
She knew she was just a nobody in the grand scheme of things, but trusted Him to do whatever He wanted with her because she loved Him.  
It didn't matter that she would have to go explain to her fiance, that she had not so much as touched, that she was going to be having a baby & she already had a name picked out.
It didn't matter that people would most definitely be pointing & talking behind her back. 
Not to mention she was young! Just a teenager.  

 But then she also knew that:

Jesus Christ's death would atone for the sins of mankind.
Jesus Christ would ascend to the right hand of God.
Jesus Christ would exercise His Priestly Office in Heaven.

And she would play a part in the greatest part of history ever. 
Until then, she would welcome a tiny baby into the world.
She would hold him, feed him, play with him, kiss his boo-boos, 
encourage him, teach him, scold him, nurture him, protect him, pray with him.
She would be there for every first moment and watch him grow 
until her baby became the man that would change everything.

{you knew i would share this, right??}


Sunday, November 25, 2012


no sooner do we put the dishes away from the thanksgiving feast do we break out the ornaments & christmas wreaths. 
don't get me wrong, i love christmas & all that comes with it.
i love the decorating, the music, the lights, the baking, the scents, the shopping & creating of gifts.
however, i feel like, for me, i have to let the thanksgiving meal digest before i get into the spirit. 
we have a tradition of getting our tree the first weekend of december & allowing all things christmas to invade our lives. 

and before that can happen,

starting the painting this week...ahhhh!!!

and now for the weekly edition of

1. long waits at the slowest bank in america
2. finishing up some painting in order to start more painting
3. my newest fashion accessory (face masks are sooo cool)
4. walks around the neighborhood
5. sensitive eyes
6. yummy food i can make when my hubs is working
5. after bath fun

1. birthday breakfast
2. thanksgiving treats
3. thanksgiving snoozes
3. naps with friends
4. nosey little ones
5. picking out paint
6. lazy, cozy sunday nights
7. sleepy cousins
8. "to him, about him" #shereadstruth
9. "the lyrics of truth" #shereadstruth
10. treasured moments

have a great week, everyone!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

just call me thrifty.

lately you will find me scouring blogs out there like the following:

plus others that i find via pinterest but forget to bookmark.
{and kick myself for later}

i've had the itch to redecorate for awhile now.
{anyone remember this post?}
 well, the time has come & i'm really excited about what's about to go down in our house!
i've taken a lot of mental notes,
i've taken a lot of mental pics,
and a vision has been born.

one of the things i've learned is how to shop at goodwill & other thrift stores to find treasures among the items that someone no longer wanted.
it's become my new favorite thing to do.
i go looking for items that i can do "projects" with.
i'm all about the homemade, diy, & thrifty projects i will be able to use to
decorate our "new" living room.
my husband just shakes his head at me because he'd probably call me addicted,
but i've always had the bug for making it my mission to get the best deal i possibly can.
{i once bought a brand new purse for 52 cents}

so for my birthday i requested a day spent antiquing & thrifting
& i'd love to share my wares with you!

{from top going clockwise}

~this crate was $1. yes, that's right.  i know, i was excited too! i'm not quite sure what i will use it for yet, but for a dollar, i will find a use!
~these vintage books were 25 cents a piece.  i love the idea of decorating with vintage books because 1) i love books & 2) they are always such great colors!

and real quick, can i give you a close up of the red one:
a vintage "my utmost for his highest" by oswald chambers.
probably one of the best devotionals i've ever read.
the inscription on the inside cover was a birthday message, so i felt like i was meant to have it.

ok back to the pics:
~this wooden structure { for lack of a better term} might appear to be quite ugly, but imagine with me a coat of spray paint, perhaps white or cream & now i have a cool new way to store my jewelry.
~i admit i do have a slight obsession with mason jars. and the blue ones are just so pretty!
~then there's this array of odds & ends like the orange candlestick {loved the color}, milk glass vase, glass jar, tin planters & a silver tray. 

all of this for less than $20.

i've got a few other "treasures" that i've already begun turning into little beauties that i will be posting about in the near future.
i hope that you'll join me on my newest journey & tell my husband it will all be worth it in the end when i've saved us tons of money with my crazy visions and daily projects!

 anyone else out there love to go thrifting?
ever created something awesome?
i'd love to see it!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

a very thankful birthday.

this is the number of years i have now inhabited this earth.
is it really possible i am entering my mid-30's???

recently we went to a field hockey game that mike was covering. 
he started asking me the rules of the game because i used to play.
my response was, "i don't know, that was 20 years ago."
i almost choked on the words!
20 years ago?
i was a freshman in high school 20.YEARS.AGO.
{imagine me looking at you with extremely large eyes}

my dad tells me that the only really important birthdays are the decade birthdays: 30, 40, 50, 60, etc.
everything in between, he tells me, is non-essential.
{or whatever word he makes up to mean non-essential}
i realize 34 is a completely random number.
have you ever known anyone to love the number 34?
well, i take that back.
it was charles barkley's number & you should know if you don't already, 
i do love me some sir charles.
aside from that, i guess it is a pretty unimportant age in the grand scheme of things. 

however, on my 34th birthday, being that it's so close to thanksgiving, i can reflect on the awesome blessings i've had since my last {non-essential} birthday.

  • i experience the love of my Heavenly Father on a daily basis & he takes me just as i am
  • God has blessed us by providing so that i can stay home with our son just as i had always dreamed
  • He's also provided a job that mike loves & does well
  • my husband works hard in order to support us
  • our marriage has been tested & grown by God's grace
  • i've learned so much since becoming a mom ~ love in its most beautiful form
  • we've witnessed the growth of eli in such remarkable ways: sitting, standing, walking, kissing, hugging, hi-fiving, knuckle-bumping, eating & eating & eating, mimicking, playing, loving, snuggling, & sleeping through the night :)
  • we got to create some memories with a few family trips
  •  i get to watch on as my parents experience grandparenthood for the first time ~ it brings me such joy
  • we are reaching people on a weekly basis by providing food through the food pantry
  • we serve on a weekly basis at our church that we love dearly
  • i participated in the beautiful wedding of one of my very best friends
  • God has kept us all healthy and sick-free
  • i'm learning to be more content with what i have & who i am
let's be honest, i could never contain my blessings list to one blog post.
big things, little things, there are far too many. 
but now i enter into another year of life looking forward to what's in store.
to see what's been written in this chapter of my life.
alright, 34, bring it on!

Monday, November 19, 2012


over the last year i've been asked the following questions {or ones very similar}:

will you teach eli "shoulders"?
will eli do "shoulders"?
when will eli start doing "shoulders"?

well, my friends, the time has come. 

if you are scratching your head wondering what in the world "shoulders" is, thinking maybe you have missed something vitally important, let me give you some background.

the only way to really do this is through video:

this is the original "shoulders 1.0" video shot 2 years ago.

and another, "shoulders: the wedding version":

a few days ago i began practicing with eli:

and now we have "shoulders: the breakfast version":

yes, we will continue to add to our repertoire & yes, i will be happy to post them for all of our fans!

Sunday, November 18, 2012


alright, can someone please tell me how it's possible that november is almost half over????
my birthday is next week. {insert big smile here}
thanksgiving is next week.
christmas decorations are popping up everywhere.
i mean, we are definitely having fun, but i feel like i must have missed a few weeks somewhere.
 good thing i'm an instagram addict!

i spent the beginning of this week visiting one of my favorite people, my bff, bethany.

here's eli & i setting out on our roadtrip

then we got stuck in traffic.
buzz kill.
but we made it, and we had a blast.
i love that though we don't get to see each other often, we just pick up where left off.
sure, we have things to catch up on, but we still laugh & laugh & reminisce about the crazy things we used to do. 
{of course post babies, it takes us a little longer to remember some of those things}
one purpose for our visit was to meet eli's future wife, baby izzy.  

 we decided that we needed pictures of them as babies together so that when they get married in 25 years we can break the pictures out at their wedding. 
we tried to get pictures of the boys {she also has an almost 2 year old, bauer}
but photographing two active boys: not so easy!
those pics are on the camera & someone borrowed our camera, 
so you'll just have to take my word for it.

we were very sad when it was time to come home. 
oh how i wished we lived closer! 

but it was good to get home to see daddy since last week he had been out of town for work.

lots of snuggling happening around here!

while we were at b's, eli had fallen down {what's new? #storyofhislittlelife} & on wednesday, he woke up with his very first shiner. 
one of my friends & followers on instagram threatened to call social services on me.
sometimes i wonder if i'll have one of those accident-prone kids.
be one of those moms that the nurses in the er have on the radar. 

so about every other week i contemplate getting rid of my facebook account for so many reasons, really, but i haven't brought myself to do it yet. 
and this week, i found one more reason to keep it.
i used it to my advantage to request the donation of old matchbox cars to my car-less son.
within minutes of hitting enter, i was hit up with numerous willing donors. 
would you believe that i searched yard sale after yard sale & found not one little car?

he was so excited! 
he loves them!

i haven't done a great job this week with keeping up with she reads truth, but here's a verse that spoke to me this week.

especially when one of my tasks this week was folding bulletins:
i really don't mind doing it; 
it's hard to imagine that folding paper could be something done "unto the lord". 
but it seems pretty clear: not some things or once in a while or half the time.
WHATEVER you do. 
makes you {me} think about how you {i} conduct yourself {myself} in all things!