Author: Becca Eby

**UPDATE** Our Homemade Baby Book – With Free Printables


**Update** I’ve added a free printables tab to the top menu of the blog (under crafts/diy).  Click there to find all the baby book pages to print for free in either PDF or Publisher (so you can edit) files!  Enjoy. They are free for personal use only.  I just ask that you share the love on Pinterest and follow my blog through Bloglovin’ or social media.

My quest for the perfect baby book began back in the fall when we first discovered that I was pregnant.  I found so many cute ones for boys and for girls, but NOTHING cute for those of us who don’t find out the gender until the birth.  I did find one gender neutral book at a boutique here in town, but it was $70.  Are you kidding me?  For a baby book?  Come on now, people.

So, I decided the search was over and I would create my own.  I found a couple of great coupons for Hobby Lobby and bought an 8 1/2×11 chocolate brown scrapbook and a big package of bright primary colored cardstock.  You can also find a great deal on 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock and scrapbook albums on Amazon. I decided to go with the primary and bright colors instead of traditional pastels, because they seemed more fun.
I found a great gender neutral and baby book appropriate font called Drummon here.  It reminds me of printed handwriting with cute dots on each letter.  I love the simplicity of it.
I printed out each page on a different bright color of scrapbook quality paper.  The pages are red, blue, orange, yellow, and green.  Hopefully using the high quality paper will prevent fading or bleeding over time.
I’ve already filled out all of the pages that I can, and will continue as the baby is born and begins to grow.  Now I’m adding some fun stickers and more personal touches.  So far, this project has cost me about $17.  I probably could have found a lame baby book for less than that, but I love how personal this one is, and how I can continue to make it more so.
There is a page for my side of the family, too.
Please feel free to download them for any time from my “free printables” page.  They are for personal use only.  I just ask that you share the love by pinning this page and following my blog through Bloglovin or social media.  Thanks! I’d love some feed back about what pages I should add.  The problem with not having an actual baby book to work from is that I don’t know what I’m missing.
What pages should I add?

Things Are Swell(ing) Around Here.

Everyone’s favorite 3rd trimester pregnancy symptom, swelling (or edema if you want to get technical) has reared its ugly head at my house.  Or more specifically on my feet.  I’m basically down to flip flops at this point, which is fine because I love them and it’s warm outside.  On our babymoon we did a little hiking at Dinosaur Valley State Park, so I wore athletic socks and my hiking shoes.  As you can see above, my tootsies did a little swelling during the hike and the socks had a pattern.  That pattern became magically indented into my feet.  Awesome.  I had never experienced anything like this before, so I felt the need to document the occasion for your enjoyment.  I’m sure you have many more puffy feet and cankle pics to look forward to.  Get excited, people.  Please know that I’m not really complaining, but more laughing at myself and my puffy feet.  A girl has to keep herself entertained somehow.

Pregnancy Update – 28 Weeks and Complications

I am now 28 weeks along in my pregnancy, which means I have about 12 weeks to go.  I went to the lab yesterday for my 1 hour glucose tolerance test, and I tested very high.  I had an appointment with my OB today, and she ordered a 3 hour glucose test for later on this week.  She thinks that I have gestational diabetes because of the high test result and my massive weight gain during the last month.  I will not be at all surprised if the test show that I do have GD.  I’ve felt that something wasn’t right with my body, and that I was gaining too much weight despite trying to eat healthy and walking more.  After the test yesterday I felt like I’d been run over by a truck, and couldn’t get out of bed the rest of the day.  I am so not looking forward to the longer test on Friday.  My doctor told me to go ahead and start eating like I do have it, until we can get the test results and know for sure.  She instructed me to cut out carbs and concentrate on lean protein, fresh vegetables, and fruit.  Hopefully I can regulate my diet and exercise more and get this thing under control.

I hate having complications with this pregnancy.  Worry can consume me so easily.  I’ve had a few other complications so far, as I’m Rh Negative and have a fast growing fibroid tumor on my left ovary.  The good news is that my body hasn’t started producing antibodies towards a Rh positive baby.  I was able to get the shot today to prevent any issues arising there.  I’ll just have to get one more shot after the birth, no big deal.

The fibroid tumor is fast growing, but isn’t causing any issues right now.  Its placement is such that it is out of the way for the delivery and not causing problems with the uterus.  It is growing rapidly.  At 12 weeks it was the size of a plum, and by 20 weeks it had reached the size of a grapefruit.  We will see how much it has grown again at 32 weeks.      

On a more positive note, Jed took these pictures of me and Baby Bun at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose.  I don’t love them, but I don’t completely hate them either.  Which effect do you like best?  We had a lovely baby moon in Glen Rose that I’ll tell you about later.  I hope that I’ll have good news to tell you next week about the 3 hour glucose tolerance test.  Please pray with me that the test will come back negative for gestational diabetes, and that I can be diligent about controlling my diet and exercise.    

Verse of the Week – Ephesians 5:1-2

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”   Ephesians 5:1-2

Instead of the million other things I try to do and to be, this is what I’m going for this week (and hopefully many more weeks).  Forget the rest.  I want to live as a dearly love child of God who tries her best to love like Jesus and live like her Father wants her to.  Simple, incredibly difficult, and humbling words are all wrapped in one little sentence, and the directive is so clear.  Help me Lord, to be more like you want me to be, to love people like you do, and to live as your child.

Frugal Friday – Budget Busting Temptation

Everyone has a weakness, something that tempts you no matter the consequences.  When you are trying to stay on a budget, temptation seems to pop up everywhere.  Lately I’ve been tempted to spend all over the place.  Cute maternity clothes call to me from the racks saying, “You need cute clothes, buy me!”  And there’s the baby stuff.  Oh, the baby stuff.  It calls to me from the stores and my inbox saying, “Doesn’t your baby deserve the best? If you want to be a good mom you’ll buy me.  Aren’t I the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?”  We also get tempted by budget busters like vacations and dining out, things we “deserve” because we have been so frugal.

How do we deal with all of this spending temptation when we are trying to save for our first house and baby?
We do our best to stay on budget, and we keep our budget flexible adding and changing things when needed.  We are going on an overnight getaway soon, a little babymoon, so we budgeted for it over several months so we don’t have to stress about the expense.  I got a little extra clothing money last month so I could buy more maternity clothes.  We are putting off as much baby spending as possible until after our baby showers, and budgeting some each month so that when we need to buy stuff we will have the cash ready.  We struggle daily with the temptation to forget our budget and spend whatever we want, because we do have a big savings fund.  Sometimes it is hard to not spend because we worked so hard to save up that money and be debt free.  I think what really keeps us grounded is that we are on the same page with money all the time, and make sure to work through it if a conflict arises.  This has been the best thing ever for our marriage and our finances.

What are your budget busting temptations?  How do you avoid giving in?  

Glimpses of a Winter Wedding

Weddings are one of my favorite social events, because they are such a celebration of love and lives to be shared.  Recently I served as a bridesmaid for my friend Marci’s wedding in Arkansas.  She decided on a winter woodland wonderland theme, and I posted about her inspiration here.

There were so many frugal, creative, and handmade touches throughout the reception.  Matches and sparklers awaited the departure of the bride and groom.  Painted branches hung with white lights and origami birds greeted guests as they entered.

The bride looked radiant in her 3/4 sleeve beaded gown.  She had each bridesmaid pick her own dress with a color guideline of pale to slate blue.  We looked everywhere for a maternity dress in those colors for me, but finally found one in the regular section at the Gap.  They basically only make maternity dresses in dark monochrome or giant crazy patterns.

This earthy monogram decorated the front door of the reception venue.  

Matt and Crystal with their cute boys

Each centerpiece was unique and handmade.  They made the room look really lovely and fit the winter woodland theme perfectly.

The soft glow of white candles set the romantic mood in the room.  Mirrors reflected the light throughout the room.  

The wedding and reception were so lovely and different, and really fit the personalities of the couple.  My favorite weddings are those that make you think, “This fits them so well.”  Every touch was thought through and so many were both frugal and handmade, which makes them dear to my heart.  I’m so thankful I got to be a part of Marci and Scott’s special day.

What unique idea did you have at your wedding, or see at a wedding you attended?

Verse of the Week – John 15:5

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I am the vine and you are the branches.  If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.     
John 15:5

This morning one of the pastors at our church shared about the difference between trying to make a name for ourselves, and God making a name for us.  He shared the passages in Genesis 11 and 12 that showed the fate of the builders of the tower of Babel as apposed to that of Abram/Abraham.  The builders tried to reach God through their own work, while Abram believed God and trusted Him.  How different those 2 approaches to life are, but they make all the difference.  I think I struggle between the 2 on a daily basis.  I really want to trust God with my whole life, but sometimes it is so hard to get over the fact that I don’t know best and what I think is good for me is not the BEST that God has for me.  I’ve learned that the good I want for my self  is often the enemy that gets in the way of the best that God has planned.  
Do you struggle with trusting God with anything in your life?   

Wiener Dog Wednesday – Snow Day

Please note that Jackson is not normally allowed on the furniture at our house. Up until we got married, he had free run of the house/couch/bed under my watch. Jed put a stop to that and went all Cesar the Dog Whisperer on him. He is much better behaved now. I’m not the world’s best disciplinarian. Despite all of this progress, it has been so cold that we took pity on the wiener and allowed him back on the couch. He promptly settled the pillow to his liking and snuggled under a blanket. He has a tough life. Before you think that we normally force him to lay on the cold, hard, wood floor, I should tell you that he has cushy beds in both the living room and master bedroom. Yep, it is a tough life he leads.

A Rustic Bachelorette Weekend

Last week I told you about the simple and artistic bridal brunch for my friend who recently got married. After the brunch all of the bride’s friends whisked her away to the Red River near Heber Springs, Arkansas, for a rustic, laid back, and super fun bachelorette weekend.

I found the cabin on the Vacation Rentals By Owner site. It was pretty affordable when we split it among all the friends attending. We brought our own food and drinks and saved a ton not going out on the town. The bride just wanted to get away, so it was a perfect place to make that happen.
The cabin overlooked the river and though the scenery was not in the prime season, it was still lovely. The living room had an awesome fireplace that provided the perfect gathering place for our time together. I made baked brie and tomato soup that we enjoyed all evening, and my friend Crystal made an amazing cake.
It was an amazing weekend that made the bride feel loved and cared for before her big day. The photo above shows the bride (in orange) with some of us. This was the crew that hung around as long as possible enjoying the peace of the woods.

How have you celebrated bachelorette parties?

Verse of the Week – 1 Peter 1:18-19

We sang this hymn at church this morning, and it made me think about what my salvation was worth to God. I’m so thankful that He brought me out of the pit that I had dug for myself and gave me a whole new life, made me a new creation.

How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He would give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure

How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the chosen One
Bring many sons to glory

Behold the Man upon a cross
My guilt upon His shoulders
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers

It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished
His dying breath has brought me life
I know that it is finished

I will not boast in anything
No gifts, no powr’s, no wisdom
But I will boast in Jesus Christ
His death and resurrection

Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer
But this I know with all my heart
His wounds have paid my ransom

“For you know it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.” 1 Peter 1:18-19