my window washer

I don't know what your husband does to keep your family's lights on, but mine washes windows. It's a job he wasn't looking for, when a boy I had grown up with called (rather randomly) and offered him a position. That same job transferred with us from Knoxville to Norfolk, securing the loan on our beautiful home and proving that God had handed us this opportunity.

You know the saying about cobblers whose children are shoeless? Well, we've lived in this home for almost two years, and these windows just got their first professional scrubbing. Matt and I have certainly been on the same page as to the priority of the windows; There were other things much higher in the queue, but when he finished our front windows, I realized just what a luxury people are paying for when they hire a window washer. They're paying for sunshine. They're paying to make their world bright and beautiful. They're paying for it to seem as if there are no walls on their home and bringing their flower beds and gardens, with all of their vibrant colors, inside.

It makes me want to tear off all of the blinds and shoo away all the children who dare to press their fingers (and noses) against my glass. I'm thankful for you, Matthew. I'm thankful that you work harder than you play.


baby registering: take two

We have the crib, dresser, high chair, and rocking chair. Honestly, there are only a couple of things we still need. We need a car seat and something for her to sleep in while she's staying in our room. I think having a baby bathtub and 100 more baby hangers to hang thrift store dresses on sounds marvelous. Really, I tried to show restraint in registering, but registering for baby girl's clothes makes it hard to show restraint. SO MUCH CUTENESS.

We registered at Babies R Us, Target, and Babylist. Target was between seasons on their clothes, so I really didn't register for as much there as I thought I would, but might add some more clothes once they put out their winter stuff. Babies R Us had a bunch of great stuff that I registered for and then deleted from my registry, because really? Who needs a $400 playpen? Or a playpen at all? I thought I might, but then I realized, I don't. Babylist is website that lets you register for multiple websites in the same place, so I can add things from Land of Nod and Etsy etc. I could also have merged my Target and Babies R Us registries, but if I put them on Babylist I would either get lots of doubles, or I would have to delete the in-store registries at Target and Babies R Us (to avoid getting double gifts) and then if you wanted to physically walk into a Target to buy a gift, there would be no registry there. So, I linked the other two registries to Babylist, but didn't merge them.

That all seems confusing. Anyways, there are three places we registered for Charlotte's baby girl stuff, and here are their pros.

Babies R Us: Huge selection of all season clothes so Charlotte can be warm coming home from the hospital and have little dresses to wear next summer. They had so much stuff that I don't need but really enjoyed looking at, and some stuff that I registered for because it wasn't crazy expensive.

Target: They have my carseat and they're also a great place to register because people actually shop in  Targets and don't (necessary) have to make an extra trip just for Charlotte. Target is always where I go to buy people baby stuff (or gifts in general).

Babylist: This is where we registered for our crib bedding (from Land of Nod), some cloth diapers, and some completely unnecessary, adorable things.

I know, we're only twenty-one weeks pregnant, and there's no need to order stuff for baby Charlotte yet, but I couldn't resist the urge to get started by registering, and I know some of you are just as excited about baby girl stuff as I am.


home study

There are still bits of trim work and painting to do on our front porch, but all-in-all, it's looking lovely. My husband built the railings and posts. He's amazing.

We had our home-study walk through last week, and she didn't give us any changes to make, which is a relief. We've already had one interview this week and next week we'll have two, so we're still in the thick of the process, but this is the part where she gets to know Matt and I and decides if she thinks we're a good fit for these boys, so it's mostly just "be yourself." What else can you do?

Now that we know that we're having a girl (!!!) I can't help but imagine our daughter in two different ways. Either she's the oldest child, smart and talkative, the center of attention, or she's the third, with two older brothers to learn from and grow with. Strange, isn't it, that she could be either?


gender announcement: baby number two

Our first baby, Christian, died, leaving a nursery full of clothes and blankets, bits of blue, plaid, and stripes. Today, after our ultrasound, I took all of those blue bits and put them into a container to go up to our attic and wait for a baby brother to fill them up. It was horribly sad, and still exactly what I needed. A new baby. A new gender. A fresh, happy beginning to our family. A daughter. A girl.

Charlotte Pear Nowak is our first daughter's name, and, trust me, this one's a girl. She's a perfect blend of feisty and shy, kicking like crazy, but also hiding her face from view with delicate hands.

We chose Charlotte together, for no sentimental reason, but purely because it's regal (and we had it picked last pregnancy, before Kate made it actually royal) and also adorable. We might call her Charlotte, Charlie, Charlie Pear, Lottie, Little Lottie, or Charper. Mostly, Charlotte. How can you possibly know before the wiggling baby sits in your arms?

Pear, is a weirder name, we know. Charlotte is old-fashioned and traditional. Pear sounds like we're trying to be celebrities, which we aren't. When we decided on Charlotte as a first name (and Charlie as a nick-name), we tried a variety of our other favorite girl's names after it, but came up undecided. My time in England gifted me a rather lovely teddy bear named Charlie Bear, so we kept calling our future daughter that. "Someday when we have Charlie Bear..." My maiden name is Pearson, the first half of that being Pear, and Matt fell in love with the idea of being able to call his daughter Charlie Pear.

They told us she's measuring bigger than last time and could come around December 19th (my Grandpa's birthday), but they didn't change our due date. So, we still have our Christmas baby, and now she has a name.


boy or girl?

At the end of this week, we're twenty weeks! Halfway! This weekend (if baby cooperates) we'll know if tiniest Nowak is a boy or a girl!

  • I'm carrying similarly to last time, which is low.
  • I'm craving bread and fruit.
  • Baby's heartbeat was 148 at last appointment.
  • My hair hasn't been as amazingly shiny this pregnancy.
  • I'm comfortable sleeping on my left side.

I'm excited to tell you on Saturday, complete with baby Nowak's full name.  I know it's basically a 50-50 shot, but I still think it's fun to guess. That way if you're right, you've said it out loud, so your guess counts. Baby has been moving a bunch lately. This is the fifth day in a row that I've felt him/her moving around, which is high on my list of favorite feelings.

So, do you think this baby Nowak is a girl or a boy?


Grandparents' 50th

My mom's parents have been married for fifty years. What a beautiful thing to be able to say. I know people who Matt and I have already outlasted, and it's heartbreaking sad.

We set up a little party for them, a chance for us to publicly celebrate the commitment they've made to each other. My mom (mostly) wrote a song for my siblings and I to sing to them, and we decorated a lake side club with little gold bits and black and white pictures. The day went beautifully, and I'm glad we had to opportunity to be there all together and recognize them.

Matt and I only have forty-six more years to go!

All of these pictures were taken by my friend Hannah over at: Photography by Hannah Grace. If you're local, she's the best!


in-home home study

I feel like we're still getting over vacation. Like, how come in real life I don't get to spend all day every day with my husband? If you're a fan of our Facebook page, you saw that last week we hit 100,000 views. That's a big number for a little blog, and I'm thankful to all of you who read, comment, like, and share. I believe God has given us words to encourage each other, and that's the goal of this diary, ultimately, to encourage you to love your spouse like crazy.

Matt and I have been dealing with this giant thing: adoption. Not everyone gets it, and it's not for everyone, so that's fine. Some of it still scares me, but I know that if God has this for our family, it'll be so crazy clear we won't be able to get around it. Next week we have the physical walk-through where a woman, armed with a clipboard and a camera, makes her way through our house to assess its safety for little people. So, we're working hard, trying to address the things that make sense to us before she arrives.

I find myself not shying away from bigger kid clothes at the thrift store, which will eventually be used even if we don't adopt these boys, but will be used much sooner if we do. It seems far away still, but approaching. Unlikely, but possible.

I'm thankful to have a husband who is open to God using whatever means He wants to expand our family. Also, he works crazy hard around the house to better our beautiful, little home, and I can't get over how incredibly good-looking he is.