guest post

Parenting 101 {Guest post from crynfiction!}

5:37 PM

Hi! My name is Corynne, but most people pronounce my name "Cryn."  I have a little blog called "crynfiction"  which is actually a lot of nonfiction about my life, my kids, my thoughts, and ideas.  I'm married to an incredible man that I don't deserve and I have two crazy/awesome kids (a boy named Elliott who is 7, and girl named Caiden who is 4).

{Elliott and Caiden}

{Cryn and Dave}

Mallorie asked me to talk to you guys a little bit about parenting.  And since I've been a parent for a little over 7 years, I'm obviously going to be a pro, right?  Nope, not a chance!  My pride in that regard came crashing down as soon as my first kid was born.  You see, I grew up as the 3rd child in a family with 6 children.  So I had done a lot of "mini-parenting" as a youth.  I had been changing cloth diapers and doing the family's laundry since I was 7 years old.  By the time I got married at the ripe old age of 19, I was pretty sure I knew what I was doing.  I thought I had the whole parenting thing down cold.  But, it turns out, its a lot different when I am the one who is actually accountable and responsible for the children I am caring for.  The weight of responsibility actually exists when the child belongs to me.  Not only for the needs of the child, but also for the decisions I make regarding them, for discipling them, for the salvation of their souls!  From the littlest details up to the big ones--circumcision or not?  Breastfeeding or bottle? disposable diapers or cloth? Family bed or separate beds?... And on and on.

Once my son Elliott arrived on the scene, I felt panicked.  I drew a blank.  Suddenly, I felt as if I knew nothing about parenting or raising kids.  I began to wish this baby came with an exhaustive manual!

And now, 7 years and another kid later, I still desperately pray daily for God's wisdom to raise these kids that He entrusted me with.   Its an awesome privilege and responsibility.  I don't know what they need 100% of the time, but God does and it is upon Him that I rely.  Of course, I learned a lot of practical things from my upbringing and I learn all the time from watching other people parent their kids, but ultimately I need Jesus to be a good parent, to meet the needs of my kids.

The best part about being a parent, for me, has been God's overwhelming presence in it with me and the way I've clearly seen Him answer my prayers for wisdom in a more directly noticeable way than I had had the opportunity to experience before I had kids.

There will be times when I absolutely do not know what to do--I've got nothing--and then I cry out to God for wisdom, for help! and God's Spirit will quietly guide me with His wisdom and give me direction, or words, or the action I need to take.  And it is so obvious that it is Him speaking to me, because I know that I had no clue before.

Being a parent is scary and intimidating all of the time if my eyes are not firmly fixed on Jesus.  Its like when Peter gets out of the boat, in Matthew 14, to walk to Jesus on the water.  He starts walking, but then he notices the wind and the waves around him and he is afraid and starts sinking!  He cries out to Jesus, "Lord, save me!"  And immediately, Jesus reaches out His hand catches him.

Eyes on Jesus, everything is okay.  Eyes on the circumstances around me, down I go.

My advice to you as a parent is simply this, "Look to Jesus.  He has all the answers you need...  And pray, pray, pray!"  

"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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  2 Corinthians 12:9

May the power of Christ rest upon you!



{Bonus picture! Dave, Holland, and Caiden}


Life as of late {according to my cell phone pictures}

5:17 PM

Well guys, Holland's a big 9 day old now. Time flies..I feel like it went by so fast. I sort of wish he could be a newborn forever. The sweet newborn stretches, the little grunts, baby smell. I love it. And believe it or not, we aren't even too sleep deprived. A little yes, but nothing to complain about. We've been out and about and loving it. Will returned to work today, so it's just the boy and I now. Luckily, he works close and we get to meet him for his lunch break.

Anyhow, here's how the past days have looked according to our cell phones. Don't worry, we've been taking lots of photos with a real camera too. This guy has some major paparazzi following him around. ;) We've got to document it while we can, we know he will grow up all too fast.

How's your week been?

We enjoyed family galore, lots of visitors, delicious meals in prepared by friends, and delicious meals out. In fact Holland's first venture out was to sushi (excluding his doctor appointment). A few good outings downtown, walks with the pup, and lots of snuggles. Of course there has been laundry and all that good stuff too, but who cares about that stuff, right?


He's here!

4:28 PM

William Holland Cooper.
Born Wednesday, July 11th, 2012 at 6:51p.m.
8 pounds 10 ounces
21 inches long

If you notice it getting a little quiet around these parts, we are soaking up these precious moments with our boy (and trying to catch some zzz's along the way).  We are home now, and Holland is a healthy, happy boy. Truly a bundle of love, that we can only thank the Lord for entrusting us with. We are all doing great. We have an entire week together as a family. I am so excited for this time with my boys.

Stay tuned for regular blogging soon…but for now this mamma is soaking up her time with her loves.


Nursery revealed

1:41 PM

Welcome. Our little man may not be here yet, but his room is ready and waiting. For the nursery, we kept to budget decorating, and I think it was actually a lot more fun that way. A little bit eclectic, but filled with a whole lot of love. This room was a guest room before, so we actually kept the same curtains as well as the little desk, which became Holland's changing table. I'd be surprised if we spent much more than $200 total. What we did purchase, the EXPEDIT Shelving unit from Ikea, frames on sale for 50% off at Michaels, toy storage boxes (again at Michaels), the Wee Gallery Mobile from Amazon
 Amazon, change table pad and cover, one print from Berkley Illustration. We went with the giraffe with the tie. Cute and gentleman like, plus I kind of have a thing for giraffes. ;) We did splurge a little on the adorable toy solider rattle made by Maileg. I am hoping our son loves it. If not, oh well. It's still ridiculously cute in my opinion. Oh, and one hanging lamp from Cost Plus using their swag kit. The rest was thrifted very cheaply, or given to us, like Cost Plus rug  you see in the room. It retails for just under $400. Blessed, I know. We even ended up with a glider to rock the little guy in, which my husband has been itching to put to use.
I love that our little man's nursery and baby gear is from all those who already love him. It makes it that much more special. And, I'd much prefer that than a super matchy, expensive nursery. I like the character the room has already. And I'm sure a whole lot more will be added to it as our guy grows in it. 

Isn't this little guy cute?
And…every one should have a Sophie.
And a few blocks.

Nursery art.

Rainbow books.

Easy toy storage. Under the crib.

And now, we wait, to put this space to use. 


Yarn font

9:32 PM

Well…we are still waiting for our Holland around here. This boy is taking his time. Ok, maybe we are a little impatient. Technically he still has another day or so until his due date. ;) We are just eager first time parents. Anyhow, to keep ourselves myself busy around here I've been doing a bit of crafting. Perhaps nesting would describe it better.

Anyhow, here is a super easy craft for you. You need three things. Pipecleaners. Yarn scraps. Scissors. That's it. I actually used a combination of yarn and embroidery thread to make ours. It worked just as well. I didn't take photos of the process, but I think you will find it is pretty easy to figure out. If not, a better tutorial can be found here.

1. Form your letters for whatever word you will be spelling with your pipecleaners.
2. Twist them together forming your word. Cursive is a good font to go with. ;)
3. Gather your yarn scraps and start wrapping your pipecleaner. When your scrap piece is used up, simply tie it off and begin again until all of your pipecleaner is fully covered.
4. Adjust letters if need be. Once wrapped they hold shape even better.
5. Display.

Easy, cheap new home decor. How cute would these be tied to ribbon on the outside of a gift? If you've got school-aged children this would be a great activity for them as well, and a good way to practice letters with them.

Have fun with this one! We love our new quirky home decor.

Get creative.


Life as of late {not according to my cell phone photos}

9:13 PM

 -Waiting, waiting, waiting for our Holland. 39 weeks and counting believe it or not.

-Cleaning. I feel like the day I don't sweep or vacuum will of course be the day our son comes. It's driving me crazy. Do you mommas out there remember feeling that way? Really I should just let it go.

-Gardening. It's become an activity hubs and I really enjoy doing together. Sort of like our little hobby. Which is fantastic because we really haven't had one that we BOTH enjoy. We are hoping photography can become hobby #2 together.

-Soaking in the last few weeks pre-child. Movie date nights, long baths. Quiet time. City days.

 -Learning to use our new camera. This guy ----> has been our main focus. Do you think he knows there is a baby in there? I do.

-Snuggles and foot rubs. I love my husband. My puffy feet thank him too.

-Crafts! Perhaps it's nesting but this week has resulted in a new wreath for our front door, yarn scrap font decor, and a couple cute d.i.y. onesies. I'll work on getting those posts up.

-Long walks and too much pineapple. Apparently pineapple is suppose to make help you go into labor. Anyhow, it's a lie. I ate a whole one and got nothing but a sore mouth. And a really full belly. Wives tales are wives tales for a reason folks. ;)

Anyhow, that's how our time has been filled in a nutshell. I am trying to savor these last days of pregnancy. As eager as I am to meet our boy, I know I will probably miss his kicks from the inside and this ever growing belly of mine.

Oh, and Happy 4th of July. Eat, drink, fellowship and enjoy my friends. We will.


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