Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Bennett Turns One!

Our little boy has officially been in our lives (out of the womb) for over a year now. He has been quite the adventure, definitely our greatest adventure, but not always the easiest adventure.

Since his birthday was the day before Mother's Day, I decided to combine his party with the Mother's Day celebration, and host both at once.

Bennett on his birthday. It was a "stay-in-jammies-all-morning" type of day.

Bennett has quite the obsession with balls. For his birthday we got him this kiddie pool with several balls, and he loves it. Never enough balls for this boy!

I cannot say that I have been to a Mother's Day meal, where the theme was surrounded by foxes. Nobody seemed to mind, I think the kids may have actually enjoyed it for a change.

This fox cake was much easier to make than I expected. My brother-in-law walked into the house, took a look at it, and commented on what a cute kitty cat the cake was. I do admit, that it has a striking resemblance to Garfield, but nonetheless, I was going for a fox.

We played a few games with the kids.

Bennett enjoyed all the action going on. Usually his house is not near this exciting.

It was special to have both Nate's mom, and mine at the party.

As I suspected, Bennett did not want much to do with his cake. That is just fine. He will probably make up for that in the years to come.

The crazy coup was his gift from Grandma and Grandpa Z. It has been a hit!

He even shared it with his friend Kaylee the other day.

He also spends much time in his swing from Grandma and Grandpa F. 
What a well-loved little fella!

Bennett Clay, I could go on and on and write about how special you are to your Mommy and Daddy. We cherish you as our little son, and love you more than words can describe. We pray that you will grow up and make Jesus proud. You are our sweet gift from heaven, and we thank God for the gift He has given us in you. We are unworthy to be your parents, and we do not take the responsibility lightly. May we strive to be the best examples for you. Thanks for putting up with us, because many days we have absolutely no clue what we are doing. You are our greatest adventure!!
We love you sweet boy!!

Hard to believe we have a one-year-old.
Happy Birthday Bennett!!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Getting Settled

We have been moved for two months now. While there are many things I miss about Ohio (mainly the people), Indiana has been good to us. It has been a busy couple of months, but we would have it no other way.

Many have asked us if there was much that needed done on our new house. It was just fine as it was, but we wanted to customize it a bit more to our style and preference.

My dad assisted Nate with replacing the front door. It was one of those projects that ended up being a bit trickier than expected. The joys of a century-old home=)

Top photos- Before
Bottom photos- After
We had so many who were eager and willing to help us with moving, painting, meals, and the list goes on. The support was overwhelming, and we could not have gotten to this point without our loved ones.

New paint, new lighting, and new flooring were the main items on our agenda.

Nate did an excellent job putting up this faux beam in our living room. It adds an element of warmth to the space.

New lighting in the dining room area!

Below is a video of our Kitchen/Living Room Makeover. It goes into a bit more detail if you are interested.

We celebrated four year of marriage this past week. I thank God for my loving husband, who I call my Steady Eddie. He is perfect for me!

Bennett Clay is six days away from turning a year. What a year it has been, a year filled with much change. Benny is our sweet little boy, who we cannot seem to get enough of. He brings us endless joy, yet irritates us at the same time. How is that even possible?

Nonetheless, we thank God for the little miracle He blessed us with twelve months ago. We truly have so much to be thankful for, and I hope all of you feel the exact same way.

Blessing to you all!

Friday, January 26, 2018

It Is Getting Real

As I held my sleeping baby and rocked him back and forth, it was as if a wave of thought and emotion came out of nowhere. The wave swept me up and there was little I could do about it.

My thoughts were directed to the past four years, spent here in Ohio. 

I thought of those first few weeks as a new bride, here in Paulding county, not many familiar faces around. I would count down the minutes until Nate arrived home from work, because in a sense, it truly was the two of us.

I thought about my interview at the hospital, soon after being married, and how I was thankful for a job so close by. The relationships formed were special and I felt a sense of belonging in this new community.

I remembered how thrilled we were to buy our first house together and make it our own, and now here we were, knowing that there was an offer on the table, and that we may soon be handing over the keys.

Thinking about the heartache we endured, in these very walls, when we realized that we would not be starting a family quite as soon as we had hoped.

Wondering how many countless times we had walked around the block, in this sweet neighborhood, and how many hours I had spent staring out the front window, watching the neighborhood kids run around.

I thought about the friendships that God had brought along, and how I could barely stand the thought of saying "goodbye."

I marveled at how I quickly fell in love with our church family, and how they have continually wrapped their arms around us and supported us beyond belief. 

I remembered back to the day when we brought our baby boy home from the hospital and introduced him to his new home.

I think about the many loved ones who have walked through our front door. Some from other parts of the world, and I am grateful that we could open our home and hearts to them.

I think about the day when we will drive away from this house for the very last time. Have our last Sunday at the church that has become so near and dear to us. Bid farewell to the borders of Ohio.

Will there be some sadness? Definitely

I have not written these words with dry eyes whatsoever.

But we know that there is joy awaiting too. We know that there is a new normal to be had. Change is not always meant to be easy. I am thankful that this transition is not easy, for it means that we have invested our hearts, time, and love into the place in which God has meant for such a time.

Thankful for these verses which God gave me this morning.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world....And the world passeth away, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. ~1 John 2:15 & 17

What a good reminder to not place so much value in our earthly possessions or circumstances. As the title states, "It Is Getting Real," and that is the truth. We are getting closer and closer to our move date. What a privilege for Nate and I to look back, at our first four years of marriage, with such fondness. We will miss so much about this place, but we know that God has great things in store.

Monday, December 18, 2017

A Year Of Change

Do you ever feel like God is silent when you are most hoping for a change to come about? Once you let go of that desire and decide to wait upon Him, and for me (even forget that I had a desire for such a thing in the first place), all of a sudden He brings it out of nowhere.

Once you realize it could turn into a reality, you begin to fight it because you have become quite comfortable and content in the place where you are. Maybe I am the only one who has experienced this situation, but I sort of doubt it.

While adding Bennett to our twosome, has been quite an adjustment in itself this year, that is not the change of which I am speaking.

We have felt the Lord opening the doors and leading us to relocate to my hometown in Indiana. Seriously...I can honestly say that I never would have predicted this happening. We knew that someday, we may want to move closer to some family. Once we were expecting Bennett, the thought entered our mind again. Thinking about our little boy never growing up near grandparents, cousin, aunts, and uncles made us a little sad, especially since that was something special to both Nate and I.

When we first got married and thought about the future, we figured that we may not always living in Paulding, Ohio. It seems like people do not stay in this town unless they have a family connection of some type. Indiana is close enough that Nate will continue at his current place of employment.

It will be bittersweet to say goodbye to our church family, close friends, and the first house we have owned together, but we also know that there is beauty in change too.

I have mentioned it before, but it has been a blessing to depend upon each other as husband and wife, especially when you start out in an area with no immediate family nor friends to speak of. Those friendships have come though, we have grown in getting to know this community, and we have loved our little neighborhood. There were definitely seasons when I wondered if God was planning to have us in this area of Ohio forever and always, and I could have been alright with that.

Our church family has been very understanding. They realize the importance of family, as most of them are surrounded by their relatives. They wish us the best, and that sincerely means so much to us.

We made this decision this past August, and we do not plan to move until Spring of next year. It still seems like a ways off, but I realize that the year is just about over, and March will be here before we know it.

It may sound like I am switching subjects, but bare with me. Being the youngest in the family, there are certain hand-me-downs that get passed along from sibling to sibling. During my younger years, I would come to gain my brother's old bike or roller blades which he outgrew. As we have aged, it has become buy-me-downs. I purchased his SUV a few years back and now we are purchasing his house. Apparently I agree with his taste or something, as does Nate in the house category.

Life takes interesting twists and turns. When I married my sweet, Ohio-resident husband, never did I think that I would ever live closer than 30 minutes to my parents. Try walking distance!! That is right!! We will be neighbors!!

Switching communities, churches, and friend groups will take time, and we are just fine with that. We have grown accustomed to stretching ourselves and making an effort when it comes to building new relationships and finding our place. We have each other and most importantly we have the LORD by our side. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. What a true comfort!

Four houses in less than four years of marriage. This will be the biggest move yet, not only in distance but also as far as the amount of stuff.

House #1 (rental)- We were barely here two weeks after being married, but it still counts.

House #2 (rental)- We rented this house for almost a year before taking the plunge to buy our own.

House #3 (current home)- This has been a good house for us, and we have enjoyed making it our own. Let us know if you know of anybody interested in this updated ranch in a perfect, quiet housing addition. (look at me sounding all real estate agent like=)

House #4 (future home)- We look forward to being in the country, and so much more about this house.

This is sure to be an adventure. Hoosier state here we come!!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Christmas Decor Takes Over The Zollinger House

We cannot deny that the Christmas season is quickly approaching. I have been much more motivated to decorate our home this year, especially compared to last year. During this time last year, I was just thankful to be feeling well, seeing that I was half-way along in my pregnancy.

For a couple years now, I have been wanting to make a "JOY" sign for our front porch (if you can call it a porch?) I whipped this up one evening and called it good enough. A leftover piece of wood, some paint, a piece of sandpaper, and here you have it.

Lately, I have been trying to use the items I have around and incorporate those into my decorating, instead of buying new. I have these rustic frames that I like to change out from season to season. You can find all types of free printables online and customize frames to go along with whatever the season may be.

How can I write a blog post without previewing my little helper. I am so excited to celebrate this Christmas season with Bennett in our lives. He is a bit young to get excited about all that is going on, but he does seem a bit intrigued with the Christmas tree.

This year we placed our tree in the front living room. Since this is where we spend the majority of our time, we have had a greater chance to enjoy it.

I do not always get around to changing my chalkboards to Christmas sayings, and although I wish I would have written this phrase a bit larger, it is still a good reminder as to the true meaning of Christmas. "Joy to the world, the LORD has come!"

I placed some leftover items on our table. These little glass medicine bottles came from my grandma, which is special. I snipped off some remnants from our Christmas tree to add a little greenery.

You might notice that I am very much into the macrame/chenille texture. I think it adds a neat element. I am not sure what possessed me to wrap a gift in leftover chenille scraps, but I guess it blended in with the rest of the decor.

That is all for now. I enjoy putting my stamp on our home and making it feel cozy. I will enjoy the decorations "staying put" as long as Bennett is still in the rolling phase. Like I posted on Instagram...next year may be a whole different story. I will keep you posted=)