Connecticut

Like many of you, I have sat and watched in horror as detail after detail has been uncovered about the recent shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. And, like many of you, I have debated about whether or not to add my “two cents” to the conversation (which, in my opinion, should not be about mental health or gun control but about something far greater) and especially whether or not here on the POSH Blog was the appropriate place to do so. After all is said and done, here are two truths I know for sure. 1) There is not a single syllable I could write that would in any way take away the pain the victims’ family and friends must be feeling, or take away this tragic event altogether which are the two things I wish I could do most 2) Sadly, something like this will inevitably happen again and it will again happen in the least likely of places to the least likely of people. Why? Because we live in a broken, broken world that has a hurt that cannot be healed this side of heaven.

To say anything seems trite. To say nothing seems insensitive.

So here I sit. Typing and retyping my confused, trivial thoughts. Here is what I’m left with:

About a week before the shooting, we dedicated Warner at church. Unofficially, that means we got all gussied up and stood before our church family and promised them and God that we would do our best not to screw him up.  Officially, it means is that we know we have merely been graced with the chance to be in Warner’s life and that he ultimately belongs to God. We, recognizing our own brokenness, committed his sweet little soul back to his real Father in hopes that one day, he too, would put his faith in Christ. We asked God to bestow in us all the wisdom possible to raise Warner to be a man after God’s own heart. We prayed and smiled and took pictures and ate a big lunch. It was quite a lovely day.

That Friday, as I sat shell-shocked on the couch, drowning in a barrage of media coverage, our lovely day was about the furthest thing from my mind. That is until, I clicked off the TV when I heard Warner stirring from his peaceful nap. Baby boy must’ve been very hungry because he was crying a bit when I came in. I peered over the crib and into his dark, soulful eyes. I wiped his sweet chubby cheeks wet from tears, scooped him up and started to say to him as I often do when he cries, “No tears baby boy. Your mama will always come for you.” My words caught in my throat.

Warner is not mine.

He was not mine the day I found out I was pregnant. He was not mine the entire nine months (to the day!) that I carried him, and he was not mine when the nurse laid his tiny, swaddled body in my arms. He is not mine, he is God’s. Today, tomorrow and always. I would step in front of a train for my son in a heartbeat but there will come a day that I can’t come for my sweet prince. A day that I can’t wipe his tears or scoop him up in my arms. A day that I can’t be enough for my precious son.

But God can and always will be enough.

I had often heard, and can now attest to the adage that, “having a baby is like wearing your heart on the outside of your body.” Boy, ain’t that the truth. I want to protect Warner from every hurt, every scrape, every possible danger and yet my ability to do so is mediocre at best. What hurts me the most when thinking about the shooting at Sandy Hook is how terribly guilty the parents must’ve felt about not being there with their children in their last moments. To hold them, to comfort them, to wipe their tears and scoop them up in their arms.

“No tears baby boy. Your mama will always come for you.”

I can’t ease the loss anyone must be feeling and I can’t protect Warner from every hurt of this world. But God can. And He will. He is enough. And in the midst of this horrific tragedy and really every day forth as a mommy, I find solace in and thank Him for that. I thank Him for being all that I’m not and more.

In the end, maybe I am writing purely for selfish reasons–to try to make sense of another senseless act of this mixed up crazy world– but I am writing nonetheless because I am imperfect, broken and hurting, as is every soul that is part of the human condition.

My deepest, humblest and most sincere condolences, prayers and love to the victims, their families, the community of Newtown and all those affected by this terrible tragedy.

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Ephesians 3:17-19

A few bits I have found particularly healing hereherehere, here, here and here.

 

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Styled: Bebe Warner’s (Literal) Crib

Hello POSHees! Well…I am in the throes of mommyhood and loving every minute (even the 3 am ones because Warner J.’s face is quite precious in the moonlight.)

Anyway, as I said here, we were done with the nursery the week before the fire but I hadn’t quite gotten around to taking pictures so you’re just now seeing a glimpse of my little one’s digs. We didn’t opt to paint again because after all the hard work this summer, being tossed out of our house and the baby due any minute, we found ourselves quite taxed. And frankly, sometimes there are just more important things (a lesson I am getting kicked in the booty with repeatedly now that I’m a mommy.)

The inspiration was to blend a little bit of me (chic) with a little bit of the Mr. (outdoorsy). I originally found the idea on Pinterest then just ran with it. The result was a sweet, modern nursery with all the proper country trimmings. For little Warner J., it felt absolutely perfect.

{Color Palette}

I’ve never been one for super frilly decor or pastels for that matter. With a baby boy on the way, it gave me a chance to really think outside the blue box. The orange and grey felt playful yet sophisticated.

 

{Warner’s Digs}

It can be tricky when you’ve purchased everything for another space to find a new spot for it in a different room but overall, I was really pleased with how it turned out.

 

{Tiny Hands}

A little touch I added afterwards, I hung “small” (you know my kid was 9 lb 13 oz right?)  hand and foot prints using these kits.

 

{Baby’s First Bike}

I know it’ll be awhile before he can ride like the wind but I couldn’t resist this adorable tricycle in just the right colors.

 

{A Few Personal Touches}

I stocked his bookshelf with lots of love and lots of fun little surprises.

 

{Something to Grow On}

This little treat came from one of my baby showers thrown by my besties Ash and Kristen. I think it’s a great reminder to always be growing and challenging yourself.

 

{A Little Love Diddy}

Ken actually sang me this song on my 30th birthday. I included it in the nursery because it says a little about raising your kids right and it has such a special place in my heart. My boy is sure to have his daddy’s love for music.

 

{Bookworm}

One of my favorite memories as a child is going with my mom to the library and letting me pick out stacks and stacks of books. Warner and I have already started to read together. I can’t wait to enjoy all the old classics with him in my lap.

 

{Baa}

I snagged this little guy from Homegoods. The minute I saw him, I knew I needed to take him home. Not only does he match perfectly but he’s a good reminder of the Shepherd who cares for each and every one of his flock.

 

{Lighting the Way}

This used to belong to Tim’s father. Tim was Ken’s brother-in-law and passed away from cancer in 2008. He and Ken were very close. This is a small token of the power of friendship.

 

{Words to Live By}

I came across this little box at Homegoods as well…I knew it would be a perfect place in which to tuck away some of Ken and I’s favorite verses. We read them to our little man from time to time in hopes he’ll one day write them on his heart.

 

{‘After’ Family Photo}

The frame for this picture we got from our dear friends, Mike and Lori. They sent it in a care package after the fire and we were so touched, I had to include it in the nursery. The picture as you can see is from our recent family photo shoot.

 

{Hoot Hoot}

These little fellas are just another beautiful addition. They are gifts from my sister (the little owl) and my cousin and his wife (the big owl). I think it’s just amazing that they both got Warner little owls and they just happen to match the nursery perfectly. Bliss.

{Pillow Talk}

 

I picked up this on one of those beautiful and whimsical days in the summer. I was walking around downtown with frozen yogurt taking a break from work and happened upon it in a little boutique in Kirkland. Again, I saw it and knew it would be perfect instantly. Don’t you love finds like that?

 

{Ch-ch-ch-changes}

 

God bless IKEA. I got this beauty there, picked up some handles and chalk paint at Home Depot and voila! We keep a pad on the top for changing and all this diaper necessities right there in the handy tin.

 

{The Hunted}

While KP was holding out for a real deer head, I stuck to my guns and opted for this Restoration Hardware version covered in French dictionary pages.

 

{Rock-a-Bye Baby}

 

{Through the Barn Doors}

 

{Furry Friends}

Ah, one of my favorite parts of the nursery! The headboard and crib. KP fashioned the headboard with the help of one Mr. Crozier and the crib I ordered here. The crib skirt I found on Etsy.

 

{Cozy Carpet}

For one more touch of the outdoors, I brought in a sheepskin rug. It is the softest thing I’ve ever felt and I’m pretty sure the pups think I bought it just for them because they’ve taken a liking to it as well.

 

{‘Before’ Family Photo}

And here is where it all began. A snapshot of our family of three-to-be.

 

“First we had each other and then we had you and now we have everything.” XX

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Getting Schooled in Mommy-hood

First of all…I was going to title this post “What I Learned My First Week of Mommyhood” but left to your own devices to do the math, I knew you’d realize that Warner J. is actually  three weeks old today and that I really meant to write and post this almost two weeks ago <sheepish grin>. Perfect segue way to my list of what mommydom has taught me so far…

1) Give yourself grace. Learn to be happy accomplishing two things on your to-do list instead of twelve.

2) Pray. Pray hard. Pray often.

3) Hope and dream but when the rubber meets the road, you have to let go of all expectations–about labor, about birth, about breastfeeding, about parenthood. I truly thought I had done that. I hadn’t. That’s the thing about the unexpected; if it’s entered your mind long enough for you to let go of it, it’s not unexpected anymore.

4) There is no room for, “I did it last time, it’s your turn.” Enough said.

5) Priorities=God-first, spouse-second, kids-third. Period. End of story.

6) Listen to your gut. When trouble arises, often the solution ends up being the first thing you think of to try. Trust yourself.

7) Savor every moment you can. Look at your little baby and let yourself be so captivated by them you can’t breathe.

8) A searing hot shower and a little Pandora can do wonders for your mood. Take that time for yourself. It’s so worth if you come out of the steam a little more patient.

9) Be intentional with most of what you do…with everything from your “I love yous” to your nap times.

10) Having a baby is a little like having your heart broken and put back together on the outside of your body…painful yet beautiful. Painful because as much as you want to, you can’t protect them from everything and beautiful because it’s hard to imagine doing anything more worth it. XX

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Dear Baby

Oh sweet friends.  The time is nearly here for this POSH Mama-to-be to become a full-fledged POSH Mama. I cannot believe it’s already September. There is a chill in the air and I’m not sure much more baby can fit inside my tummy. Our lives have been turned upside down over the last few weeks but one thing is certain–God has used this experience to break our hearts and reshape them all over again. I have yet to surrender total control but I am trying. When I do finally get a taste of grace, boy is it sweet.

As I sat down to write to you today, I thought about sharing pictures from my baby showers or telling you a bit about my favorite POSH Picks for pregnancy but once again, something different tugged at my heart. I was thinking about all my fears about becoming a mama, when we finally announced the big news and now, as Bebe P.’s big debut draws near, it seems only right to share a few words for our son. I wrote this letter to our baby just before we got pregnant. As we wait ever so patiently to meet our handsome son, these words have a whole new meaning. Please get here soon baby, we can’t wait to meet you. XX

Dearest Baby,

Hi sweet baby! Well, it’s Christmas morning 2011. We’re in Colorado visiting your Grandma and Grandpa Powell and Auntie Janie and Uncle John who just had a baby a couple of days ago. There is lots of excitement in the air with it being Christmas and a new baby in the world. In a few days, we’ll go visit more of your family; Grandma Donna, Auntie Tarryn, and your great Grandma and Grandpa Rohret.

It was an absolute miracle that we made it in time to be here for your cousin’s arrival! We were so worried we’d miss it so we prayed and prayed all week. As it turned out, God blessed us with sunny skies, dry roads and speedy travel. As you’ll come to find out, He can gift you in even the smallest ways if you ask Him with all your heart. We got here a little over an hour before he arrived and he was a whopper at 9 lbs! His name is Ian and he is so beautiful! Your papa is just smitten over him. I can only imagine how excited he’ll be when you get here. You’re really going to love all your family. They’re all a bit quirky but sure do have big hearts and lots of funny stories.

With the birth of your Savior, Jesus and what that means for the world and the birth of your cousin, Ian and what that means for our family, it only seems right to write you and tell you how excited we are to meet you. Now, you’re aren’t even in my tummy yet and we haven’t told anyone about our hopes to start a family soon, but over the last few months your daddy and I have been talking a lot about you. That’s just how thrilled we are to meet you. It’s like our own special secret that we share just between the two of us. I love it. We talk about what you might look like, what sports you might want to play, what subjects you’ll like in school. It sure is fun to dream about you. Last night, your daddy lit a candle for you at Christmas Eve service. I just thought he was being silly and stealing a second candle to hold but he leaned over and whispered, “This one is for our baby.”

It’s probably a good time to tell you that your dad is one of the most incredible people I know. He is kind and fair and generous. And he can make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Not many people can do that for your mama. He has such a big heart sometimes it takes my breath away. It’s because of these things that I already know what a great father he will be. He’ll hold you the day you’re born, look at you with his beautiful blue eyes (which I hope you’ll get!) and love you so much you can barely stand it. One day he’ll teach you to ride your bike in the driveway, and if you’re a handsome son, fix cars and shoot guns—hopefully in that order. If you’re a beautiful daughter, well let’s just say I’ll start praying for your future boyfriends now. You did see that part about shooting guns didn’t you?

We’re not sure when you’ll get here but until then, we’ll keep dreaming about what you might look like, what sports you might like to play and what subjects you might like in school. We’ll dream about teaching you to ride your bike in the driveway (I’ll let your dad dream about fixing cars and shooting guns). We’ll also be dreaming about how to be the best parents we can be. We’re scared that we’ll mess up (at least your mama is, your daddy is pretty brave) but we know, and as we’ll teach you, all things are possible with God. We love you to bits and can’t wait for the day we find out you’re on your way and even more so, when we’ll finally get to hold you in our arms.
                                      
Love,
Mumsey

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So What Does it All Mean?

Hi friends. How are you?

I’m writing today just to write. There’s a lot on my mind and while as cute as cute gets, Foxy just doesn’t seem to be getting what I’m trying to say. She is, however, my ever-faithful companion, following me from room to room and never leaving my side (including now as we talk), which makes me think that she definitely gets she’s about to be a big sister. Today I’m reaching out to you (literally) as my arms stretch Gumby style past my quickly growing belly. I can barely reach the third row of keys on the keyboard as I peek at you over my tummy. How very different and real life is about to get is both breathing down my neck and straining to catch a glimpse of me like a distant, blurry mirage all at the same time. The recent fire has both sped time up and slowed it down. And if you want the truth, this is perhaps the strangest holding pattern I’ve ever been in.

So what does it all mean?

Well for the immediate future, it means I can’t exactly blog about all the things I had planned to during my time off before bebe…the vanity KP worked so hard on, the final reveal of our finished bedroom, and the sweet, sweet nursery. While all those things were done, I hadn’t yet snapped a single shot of anything. It was on my list of to-dos for the following week–the week we’d end up being told to find a new place to live and all our belongings would either be covered in soot or hauled off to be cleaned. For the immediate future it also means stubbing my toe repeatedly on an unfamiliar couch, still not knowing how to work the TV and visiting the neighborhood DQ no less than twice a week. I can tell you there were no DQs and no Oreo Blizzards with extra Oreo near our last apartment. I know the last one doesn’t seem so bad but trust me, you in fact CAN have too much of a good thing. Ask my doctor who weighs me once a week.

But long term? Long term, I’m not really sure what it all means. Sure there’s the obvious one like I MAJORLY needed to learn how to CHILL OUT. I have a few other ideas too but nothing I’m ready to frame and hang on the wall yet. With nothing to do now but wait…wait to get our stuff back, wait to move into our new place and wait for Bebe P…I’ve spent countless minutes, sometimes hours, of every day grappling with what I think God wants me to get out of all of this. I think His power and might and even just His sheer presence have been made abundantly clear as I’ve shared over the last couple of weeks. And our faithful God continues to show up for us daily as we still experience miracles in the midst of this madness. One miracle of mention was KP saying aloud one night at the dinner table, “Man, that thousand dollar deductible really hurts. I know we’ve been so blessed but…” I finished his sentence with a nod and, “…but cash is cash and now it’s cash we don’t have.” Before eating we prayed and asked God to remove that burden from our hearts so we could stay focused on the prize. The next day we finally received our rent refund and security deposit checks in the mail from our landlord. Remove our burden indeed. We were slack-jawed surprised to see the checks were written for $700 more than we had originally anticipated. We had plum forgotten about the deposit for the dogs and the cleaning fee we had paid. The same day we also got a beautiful gift from family that put us over the thousand dollar mark and then included as they say a “pinch to grow an inch” on.  See, He’s not finished with us yet.

So, in the midst of such great testament, why did I still find myself crippled below the weight of this all and sobbing on the bathroom floor last week? I’ll tell you why. Because nothing meaningful ever comes without pain. I read a book once that gave the illustration of a woodsman trying to free a bear from a trap. The woodsman, being smarter and of great power knows he is only trying to set the bear free. The bear, unable to grasp the mind and intentions of the woodsmen struggles to get free and with each twist and turn only causes himself more pain. Instead of trusting the woodsman to help, the bear writhes in agony fighting with only his instincts, all he knows how to do. Last week I was the bear in a trap on the bathroom floor.

I think often times, after going through a major life change or crisis, we’re too quick to wrap a neat bow around it and move on to the next thing. (Especially me considering how much I like to wrap presents.) But last week, as I sat on the floor, barely able to see through my tears, it occurred to me that I was still fighting with all I knew how to do–control, plan, prepare; my instincts to take care of myself. As people often do when faced with tragedy, the Mr. and I have spent many hours talking about the “takeaway”…the “aha moment” …the prize in the Crackerjack box of all of this. While I don’t have an answer, I can tell you this. The Sunday after the fire (another bear in a trap day) we were driving back from church and when we passed our normal turn to “go home” I fell apart. It happened slowly at first, a tear sliding out from underneath my sunglasses. A sniffle. Pretty soon my shoulders began to shake and I was overtaken with grief. I choked on my tears.

“I just want to know WHY. WHY now? WHY us? It just hurts so bad. We worked so hard on everything and it’s not like we weren’t grateful for it all. We were. I’d feel better if I just knew what this all meant. I just want to get IT.”

To this, my husband, ever of sound mind replied softly, “I know baby but don’t you think that trying to find meaning is still trying to control the situation?”

Damn that man is smart.

If I was 100% truthful with you now, I would tell you that yes, I was extremely grateful for it all. For the energy, the money, the time to get all our pre-baby and final house prep done. But was I also leaning a bit too comfortably on my own haunches? Yes. Was I taking a little too much credit for making it all happen? Yes. Was I finding peace and contentment in stuff rather than God? Yes. And I think it took me soaking a bathmat with tears to admit that. The point is, if it were easy, we probably wouldn’t have had the valley placed in our path in the first place. The WHYS and ITS are not found on the mountain top, they are found in the darkness. This whole experience has been filled with ups and downs. The ups are great but the downs? The downs are where ITS at. Crouched on the floor letting the tears fall is where WHY is at.

So I will not wrap a bow on this. Maybe someday but not now. And rather than stamp my feet and force the WHY and the IT, I will let them stop by whenever they wish, like an old friend popping in for coffee. When they do come, I won’t question why they were so hard to get ahold of or why they stayed away so long, I’ll just hug them and be happy they came at all.

And maybe, just maybe I wasn’t meant to write to you about the vanity or baby things as beautiful as they all were. Maybe I was simply meant to write to you about my heart–because a heart, both broken and healing all at the same time–is the most beautiful thing of all.

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Getting By on Pizza and a Prayer Pt. 3

After the initial shock of the fire, the Powells had to get their game-faces on. After all, that’s what Powells do–they strategize. You’d think we’d learn our plans didn’t matter much after we watched our house go up in flames but it quickly became clear that while we’d continue to make futile attempts to get behind the wheel again and again, this was much bigger than us. This, as we would see, was ordained and orchestrated by a sovereign God as the ashes from the fire barely had time to cool before blessings began to rise from the blaze.

After crashing for a couple of days at our dear friend’s house, we called on some other friends for a place to stay. They were, as life would have it, traveling in Europe for two months leaving their beautiful three-bedroom condo right near Ken’s work vacant. They answered our email with a resounding “YES! OF COURSE! Stay at our house!” (Miracle #4).

(Miracle Recap: #1 KP woke up out of a dead sleep and saw the fire in the first place, #2 He thought to shut the sliding glass door before we ran out and in the process likely saved nearly all of our belongings, #3 Everyone in the building made it out without a scratch.***)

That Sunday we had the chance to share with our Sunday School class exactly what we’d been through in the preceding 48 hours. We found the experience to be both humbling and healing. While it felt as though we were babbling erratically, we hoped that in some way, our experience touched those around us and God was able to use us whether it be to merely spark a conversation about having a fire safety plan (even though ours went out the window before you could say “Smokey the Bear” we did have one and now know to add “get a bigger extinguisher and a rope ladder” to the plan) or something more precious like giving the little ones an extra squeeze before bedtime, we were honored to speak about what was on our hearts. Let’s go ahead and call this Miracle #5. Having beautiful friends to pray over you and practically give their right arm to help you (or in our case a crib) is hardly anything less. Oh yeah, Miracle #6, our friends are having babies left and right leaving a slew of onesies, bassinets, swings and blankets in their wake.

Monday we did a walk through with Service Masters, a restoration company that State Farm set us up with (Miracle #7, #8 and #9…thank the GOOD LORD we had renters insurance, KP had upped the policy recently with the addition of baby loot and our SF claim guy rocks socks). We would learn that only a few of our belongings would need to be completely replaced and the rest could likely be restored after being treated for smoke damage, Miracle #10. The process would start as early as the next day with Amanda from FirstTeam Fabric Restoration coming to pick up all of our soft goods. Amanda turned out to be as warm and kind as the day is long. As we tossed piles and piles of clothes in bags, we chatted about pregnancy and babies and jobs…she was an angel and even thought to use hypoallergenic soap on all the baby items, Miracle #11. The rest of the week Service Masters themselves would pack up all of our other belongings to be cleaned and “ozone-chambered” (don’t look at me…I have not a clue how it works other than it just does.) They, too, were a pleasure to work with and BOTH companies were very sympathetic to our situation and didn’t hesitate to “rush” crucial items for us including all the stuff in the nursery and our bed so we’d get them back the first week of September, Miracle #12.

That brings us to Thursday. Thursday was sorta sucky. That is, until a perfect stranger who isn’t even from around here prayed over Ken and I in the middle of MOD Pizza. That’s right. We had just gone to look at an apartment that was a total dud and feeling utterly discouraged and exhausted at just the thought of finding a new place to live, we decided to drown our sorrows in Barq’s and Pepperoni. As I walked in, a woman eating with her daughter gestured toward my giant belly and commented on how beautiful she thought I looked. I could’ve kissed her right there but exercising self-control, I smiled and uttered a quiet, “Aw, thank you.”

After dinner I grabbed a to-go box and suddenly felt compelled to give the woman a more proper thank you. It was, after all, one of the hardest weeks of my life and her kind words did not fall on deaf ears. I approached her and told her as much to which she quickly replied, “I’m so sorry to hear that. May I pray for you?” You could’ve knocked me over with a feather. Like a wilting flower dying for a drink, she could barely finish her question before I ran over, grabbed KP by the hand and scurried back to tell her the whole story. What followed was something right out of Psalms and one of the most beautiful prayers I’d ever heard. She’d even taken the time to place her hand over my tummy and pray for our little boy. It brought tears to my eyes and so much peace and comfort to my heart, I could barely stand it. As quickly as we had said our hellos (her name was Shannon) we had to say our goodbyes. But we left feeling a million times better, Miracle #13.

Friday morning we got an email from a good friend from church who said he’d hook us up with an old real estate pal of his to help us find a place. He didn’t normally do rentals but he was willing to help us out and was happy to send along some options, Miracle #14.

I am skipping the rest of Friday because my heart can’t bear it. Friday night we had to say goodbye to our apartment and lock up for the last time. Like an old friend being ripped from my arms mid-hug, It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do and I wouldn’t wish something like that on my worst enemy.

Early Saturday morning we reviewed the listings, Dustin, the agent had sent over. My heart skipped a beat. There it was, Miracle #15. A beautiful, brand new, never been lived in condo for rent in a complex we had nearly bought at a few years back. We loved the property but held off on buying to pay off debt. (That, too, was a miracle because the market crashed shortly after that.) It was renting for the same price as our other place but had a washer and dryer and garage parking–two things our last apartment lacked and were desperately wanted by this mommy-to-be. We arranged to look at it later that day. (We’d come to learn that this would be the one and only listing we’d see with Dustin but without him, we wouldn’t have been able to see it at all because it was listed privately, Miracle #16)  It was exactly how we remembered it–modern yet inviting, open yet quaint, chic yet homey. It was perfect for our little family. Ken and I exchanged glances, clearly both smitten kittens. Careful not to get too excited, we asked about the pet policy. “Oh you guys have dogs? Hmm…they probably aren’t going to go for that. It says no pets in the listing.” I slowly made my way from room to room, still envisioning where all our furniture would go.  I stopped in the nursery and imagined Ken and I laying our son in his crib. “You can definitely call them and ask anyway.”

And call I did. I left a message with Tony, the agent, and heard back shortly after. “Put together an email pleading your case.  Include pictures of the dogs and anything else you think will help your story. We could’ve rented it a hundred times by now but no one has good enough credit. Maybe they’ll make an exception on the dogs.” At that point, I opened a new email and proceeded to play all the cards I could…our house burned down…I’m three weeks away from giving birth…our dogs are little and nice (the nice part was a bit of a stretch for Bear but I went with it anyway.) All Saturday night and Sunday morning I kept checking my email. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Sunday morning we shared the update with our Sunday School class saying that so many things had fallen into place and all we needed now was a new place to live. As we were leaving church, I saw that I had missed a call and voicemail:

“Hi Lacie, this is Tony with Windemere, I forwarded your email to the owners and I just heard back this morning. They said that yes, they would consider your application. Congrats, you are the first ones they’ve let apply with pets (Miracle #17) so they must just be ready to rent it. Oh and…um…we were all kind of curious…they actually live on Market Street (Miracle #18) and I’m near there too and we all saw what we’re guessing is your building…the one Gibralter owns…I actually knew Gabe your landlord and know his brother Jerry (Miracle #19)…we were wondering if that was your place? I’m guessing it was most likely was…we’re so, so sorry. Anyway the next step is to submit…”

That my friends, brings us to today, Monday. We submitted our application, have been approved and are leaving in a few minutes to go and sign a one-year lease for a place we love, Miracle #20. Just ten days after the fire we will have a place to call our own and bring our baby son home to. And, hopefully by the time he’s born, we’ll have returned to us his tiny crib and soft jammies to put him in at bedtime. Then, after the Mr. and I toast with champagne, we will be able to slip into our own bed and drift off to sleep, only now we’ll probably snuggle a little closer together.  God is not just good, HE IS GREAT. And with Him ALL things ARE possible. A few weeks ago, we were asked in Sunday School, “How would you do if everything was stripped away?” Ken and I both remember thinking, “Not well, not well at all.” And don’t misunderstand me, we are both completely aware that “everything” is a relative term and things could’ve been much, much worse. Grateful is not word enough to describe our feeling that it wasn’t. The fact that this completely rocked our world says a lot about the size of our world to begin with. We are working on that. We know this isn’t the end of His story or work but for now, the Powells could not be happier and we have written on our hearts this verse:

But he said to me, “My GRACE is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me. -2 Cor 12:9

***All these miracles don’t even include the “gift with purchase” miracles…a.k.a. the mini-miracles and joys that we got with the bigger ones that have just plain made this more bearable; officially meeting and bonding with neighbors that we walked by dozens of times before without much more than a “hello,” finally having use of a washer and dryer that doesn’t require us to get a roll of quarters at QFC, spending more time with friends through numerous invites to dinners and coffees to get the latest scoop, the several empty boxes we got from a friend that we didn’t think we’d need but actually turned out to REALLY need, a lease ending next September putting us in a better place financially to finally buy a house than a lease ending in June like we had at our old place, we can move without actually having to MOVE because both companies we’re working with will deliver all of our things to our new house…and finally one of my favorites of all…our nearest and dearest and even those we rarely get to see or talk to offering to do ALL they can to help. Our cups runneth over sweet friends. We love you all very, very much.

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Getting By on Pizza and a Prayer Pt. 2

So there we were, a modern day Mary and Joe, expecting a wee one in just four short weeks with no room at the inn. And, at least for the time being, no swaddling clothes to speak of as all of our stuff was being held hostage at our house.

Our. House. Our. HOME.

With a baby on the way and my Type A/OCD ways that I’ve openly admitted to, I probably don’t need to go to great lengths to tell you what the Mr. and I had been doing the last several months, but allow me to paint you a picture anyway.  As soon as I quit feeling like I was going to toss my cookies, I was a woman on a mission. I had often joked with friends shortly after finding out I was pregnant that I would take nesting to the Nth degree. And I did. Nearly all of our spare time over the last five months have been spent, as you’ve heard me call it, squirreling.

I worked my way through the house starting in our room with a closet makeover getting rid of a ton of clothes and re-folding and re-hanging everything to make room for Ken. Then we bought and assembled all new bedding and furniture and finally hung our beloved headboard that we spent hours making over a year ago.

After that, I made my way through the kitchen methodically going through each and every cabinet and drawer donating stuff we never use and non–perishables. The living room got a few updates as well. I also went through and organized our entire linen closet full of towels and sheets.

Last but not least, we turned the guest room into a nursery. We sold all the existing furniture, painted and then bought all the trappings for baby. We purchased a new dresser, a crib and mattress, a bookshelf, and all kinds of cute bins to organize the closet and that, thanks to our many sweet, sweet friends, we promptly filled with oodles of baby goodies. We hung on the wall behind the crib gorgeous mock barn doors that my husband lovingly made with his future son in mind. We went store to store on errands picking up a package of nails at Home Depot or exchanging the 5 oz bottles for the 9 oz bottles at Babies R Us. It was a lot of hard work but man did we have fun. We’d laugh and eat popsicles as we looked at the IKEA directions for putting together our bookshelf and daydreaming about what our baby would be like. It was a truly precious, precious time that I will never forget.

Nearly every day for the last few weeks I had waddled down the stairs and spent time in the nursery. I washed all the tiny onesies and hung them by size in the closet. I filled an adorable rustic bit with neatly rolled blankets fresh out of the dryer. I carefully arranged diapers and wipes in the drawer so they’d be easily accessible late at night. I filled the bookshelf with some of my favorite childhood stories and often times would doze off while reading to the baby in the rocking chair.

About a week before the fire we had all but finished our squirreling. The last pair of tiny mittens our son would soon wear were put away and all that was left was to do was get the dogs groomed and have the house and carpets cleaned. We were thrilled to be DONE. And in time! I could, as I had so diligently planned, take the last month off to relax in our freshly primped home, read books on becoming the best mom possible and put my feet up during the hottest time of the year. I had even planned on getting back to blogging for a bit before the baby came. I was thrilled to share all our latest redecorating projects like the bedroom and nursery with my POSHees.

God had, unbeknownst to me, other plans in store.

(Again, more to come. The next installment won’t be so depressing, I promise.)

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Getting By on Pizza and a Prayer Pt. 1

One week ago today, Chateau Powell literally went up in flames.

I still can’t believe it. In fact, as I type this, I want to scream at myself, “Liar! Liar! Pants on fire!” Then I hear the word “fire” and suddenly it’s as real as real can be.

Last Thursday, KP and I went to bed around 11 having no clue that it would be our last night ever in our sweet little house. Shortly after 3:30 am the Mr. awoke suddenly (we still aren’t sure why…on second thought maybe we are) and got out of bed. I awoke at his high-jump maneuver. We both noticed our normally white bedroom door appeared to be glowing a faint orange. We knew something wasn’t right. He peered around the corner to see huge flames coming over our balcony. He yelled, “What the hell?!” (I swear it was in a southern accent but he’s not so sure) and ran downstairs thinking perhaps we had been pranked. I, too, arose from bed to see what was the matter, as quickly as someone eight months pregnant can anyway. I saw the flames and was instantly paralyzed. Surely this was just another one of those crazy pregnancy dreams right–except, where was Donald Trump??

Thinking quickly my husband, the rockstar that he is, grabbed our kitchen fire extinguisher and attempted to put the fire out. In a pathetic five-second spritz, it became clear we were passed that now. Ken tossed the fire extinguisher aside, threw the sliding door closed and yelled at me to call the police. He leapt upstairs in one bound. We must’ve been quite the sight…I’m going to pause a moment here to tell you that it had been hovering around 90 degrees all week and we were in the middle of having some work done around the house so we were in our skivvies and we had crap EVERYWHERE (except it seemed, clothes anywhere in our bedroom) We were running around bumping into each other trying to make ourselves decent. Meanwhile the dogs were barking frantically and I was struggling to hear the 9-1-1 operator. We began to hear sirens and police pounding on the door so I hung up the phone. (Sorry 9-1-1 lady.) We finally got dressed and ran downstairs, each with a dog under our arm.

We sprinted across the street and gathered with neighbors. I looked back to see giant flames climbing up the west side of our building. Time had both stopped and sped up in an instant. Why were the firemen taking so long? And how were the flames billowing bigger so quickly? I turned and buried my face in Ken’s sleeve. I began to sob. We were ok. We were all ok.

And then the shock and panic began to set in. I started to lose feeling in my hands and feet. We sat down on the sidewalk that still felt warm from the day’s sun. Stunned, we watched as the fireman pulled alongside the building and cranked a long ladder out from the truck. It looked like a giant straw poking out of a milkshake. It seemed to take forever for them to reach the apartments and even longer for the water to begin to quench the flames. The next three hours went by in a daze. We sashayed back and forth between joking quietly with our neighbors to stave off the sadness to standing stiffly neck-deep in bewilderment. We were all interviewed by the fire inspector one at a time and I (unknowingly) almost made my TV news debut. Thank goodness for my 6 ‘ 7 ”  agent who interceded with a swift, “No comment.” Now I get why everyone interviewed on the news sounds so stupid. It’s because THEY DON’T KNOW THEY’RE ON TV.

Finally at around 6:30 am we were escorted back inside. We were told to pack a bag for the weekend and await further instruction from our landlord. We called some friends who were out of town to see if we could use their shower and try to get our bearings at their house over the next couple of days. We were so thankful for their place and just thankful to be alive after everything that had happened. I fell asleep Friday night wrapped tightly around Ken and so grateful to be sleeping in a bed and even more so, a Queen rather  than our Cal King we’re used to because it gave us the chance to snuggle that much closer together. Half the time at home I wasn’t even sure if KP was in bed with me. The next couple of days went by in a blur as we began to share the news with family and friends and exchanged phone calls with our landlord and insurance agent.  We soon learned that while the cause of the fire was still being investigated, it was clear that due to massive damages, we would not be allowed to move back in.

We were homeless.

(More to come soon. As you can imagine, this has been quite the shock and a lot to process. And well… it’s a long frippin’ story.)

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Hello Friends

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POSHees!!!!! How are you?! Well I hope. No, I hope you’re freaking fantastic! I, myself, have been busier than a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest. No. Joke. (I think our little boy takes after his mama because I tell you what, he moves NON-STOP.) But I have missed you to smithereens and couldn’t wait one more day to pop in and say hello.

Well..where to begin? First things first. POSH news! As you can see, I’m in the process of making some tweaks to the blog so don’t you worry about emailing me to say, “LACIE! I can’t read the new font.” I know, it’s the pits and we’re working on it. On top of that I’ve been working on adding a couple of new pages to the website too! Do me a favor and don’t peek yet though because that’s still being tweaked too. (Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain…)

In other news…who am I kidding? There is only one headline on my newspaper lately and it reads:

BEBE POWELL ROLL OUT SEPTEMBER 18TH
MAMA AND PAPA SCRAMBLING TO READY THEMSELVES FOR DELIVERY

It’s been so hard not to blog every day but I’m trying to take advantage of every moment I’m still able to shop, return, shop again, assemble, wash, organize, hang, arrange…and well frankly, just plain get off the couch.

The good news is, all this “nose to the grindstone” time means very shortly, when I’m super swollen and ginormous, I can prop my feet up and spend some long-overdue time with you. I can’t wait to fill you in on everything that’s been happening. Our bedroom is finally decorated and I just love it. It feels modern, chic, un-fussy (if that’s a word) and just “us”. It is perfect. I’m also thisclose to finishing the nursery and can’t wait to show you pictures of that as well. I want to spill all about it now but I’ll restrain myself! I also have some great posts lined up…some about being POSH Pregnant and some about my usual favorite topics–fashion, home and events!

For now I have to get back to work but it will be so fun to catch you up on all the excitement in a few weeks. I hope you’ll join me then! XX

(I just adore this picture of Foxy and I taking a midday break. I think she thinks she’s babysitting. My sweet girl follows me everywhere I go to keep an eye on me. I know we’ll soon have a baby that will capture our hearts like nothing we’ve ever experienced but this little fur baby will ALWAYS have her own special place in our hearts too.)

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