Author: Becca Eby

The Advent Season

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is celebrating Advent. I love the anticipation that comes new every year as we await the coming of Jesus, God with us. I love looking at Nativity scenes and thinking about that little family. The scene above is exactly like my favorite nativity scene of my mom’s. We loved it growing up and tried desperately not to break it. This year my bible study group is doing a book called “Preparing My Heart for Advent” by Ann Marie Stewart. We started it late, not realizing that she had a lesson for every day in November as well as December. Now we are doing each November day with the corresponding December day. I love it and am getting so much out of it. She speaks to my heart, and the study has really helped me to focus on Jesus and not get Christmas stressed. The study has taken us all over the new and old testaments, looking into the people of the Messianic family tree. I love the Christmas story as told by Matthew and Luke, but getting the bigger picture has been amazing. Here is my favorite quote from the study so far:

“Nothing will be perfect except the child in the manger. Keep your eyes on Him, and you will not be disappointed. “

How do I keep my eyes on Jesus and not on my shopping list or my to-do list or my to-visit list?
I’m hoping that staying in the Word every day with this study will help. I think back to Christmases past when the day came and went in a blur because my busyness controlled my life. I hope to slow down this year and enjoy time with family and time with Jesus.
What distracts you from the Savior during the Christmas season?

Our Handmade Felt Christmas Stockings

I am loving the fireplace at our new rent house. It makes us feel so cozy and at home, and it has been trying to decorate it for Christmas. We had some fancy velvet stockings that didn’t really go with our style or decor so I decided to make some felt ones that were much more us. As many of you know, I don’t own a sewing machine (though it is one my Christmas list) and don’t really know how to sew. I definitely prefer glue to a needle and thread, so I used it heavily in this project, with a little needle and embroidery floss thrown in for good measure. This project started at my friend Betsy’s Christmas craft night a few weeks ago. She had a bunch of inspirational ideas cut out of magazines for us to check out. I loved an idea from Land of Nod that I’ve attached at the bottom of this post, and it inspired me to make these stockings with a few touches of my own.
Here are our stockings. I think they are super cute. I cut them out of thick felt, on the fold so that the bottom would be reinforced.

I embroidered our names on white felt and then stitched them onto the top of the stockings.
I cut out the circles of many different colors of felt using pinking shears for a unique look. I made them three different sizes for variety. The color schemes are different for each stocking, but with a few repetitive colors. I glued the dots to the stockings using 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue. Then I glued thick ric rac over the dots.
After the glue dried, I hand stitched around each stocking with the embroidery floss that matched the name stitching. Hopefully they will hold up when filled with goodness.
The last step was attaching polka dot grosgrain ribbon with both glue and a few stitches to the top right corner of each stocking to hang them by the chimney with care.
Here are the finished products above, along with Jackson’s stocking that I featured earlier this week. I need another stocking holder but I don’t mind sharing with the pup.

Here is the inspiration stocking from Land of Nod. They have such fun stuff, but it is mostly out of the budget. I saved about $50 dollars by making the stockings myself, though it did take a LOT of time. At one point I almost decided to just finish one this year, but decided to go for it. Next year I’ll need to make one for our little Bun that is baking in my oven.
What is inspiring you this Christmas season?
I’m linking up to some great parties. Check them out on my sidebar and join the fun.

Every Dog Needs a Cute Stocking

I bought this stocking for Jackson at an after Christmas sale last year. He did have a stocking for the first 9 years of his life, but I didn’t like it at all. This one came with a gold glitter paint pen to write his name on the felt. I’ve used said pen before while decorating stockings for my parents’ pets, and it is really difficult to use on the felt. I decided to hand stitch his name onto the stocking for a personal touch, and so it would go well with the stockings I’m making for Jed and me. This turned out to be far more difficult than I thought. I didn’t have felt to match the white on the stocking, so I had to stitch through the stocking itself. This was not super fun. The stocking is really thick and didn’t want to cooperate. It took so long that I had to rewrite his name in disappearing ink over 10 times. I persevered and I think the finished product was worth the effort.
Now I just have to finish our stockings so I can hang them on the mantle. Hopefully I’ll have them to show you soon.
Do your pets have stockings hung by the chimney with care? If so, does Santa bring them treats to fill their stockings?

I’m sharing my little project at some great parties. Check them out on my sidebar and join the fun.

Young Life Ministry and Wrestling with Life Change

Lately my life has been consumed with work and pregnancy and moving, with little time for breathing or anything else. I wanted to show you a glimpse of the job that I love but that really runs my life. I work for Young Life, and am the area director (in charge person) for a small area in the middle of Dallas. Jed volunteers with the high school ministry and we have a lot of fun doing ministry together. Pictured above are our high school friends at Young Life club, which happens every Monday night. We have a great group of kids that come, and we are always meeting new kids. The ministry is fun, heartbreaking, amazing, exhausting, and an incredible thing to be a part of. I love seeing the volunteers I work with build relationships with kids and share the Gospel with them through those friendships. I didn’t realize how difficult the job I’ve loved for 10 years would be become while pregnant. My first trimester was really hard, not as hard as others I’m sure, but difficult all the same. I am so thankful for the child growing in my body and the ministry that the Lord has called me to, but the combination of the 2 has been life changing.
WyldLife is the middle school portion of the ministry, and that club meets every 3 weeks on Friday nights. It is wild and high energy and perfect for middle schoolers. The photo above is from the WyldLife Bus Tour this year. Bus Tour was a rude awakening for me. It is an all night middle school adventure that takes bus loads of us all over Dallas to a Mavs game, and many other events. It goes from 6 pm to 6 am, and ours happened to take place on the night of the time change. Yikes. I really thought I could make it through the event even though I was about 11 weeks pregnant and sick 24/7. I had Jed on call in case I needed to be rescued. I thought I might make it to 2 am. Nope. I made it to 11 pm, barely. I spent the whole 4th quarter in the bathroom vomiting. Good times. I thought I could tough it out, but the baby said, “No way, Mama.” The trickiest part of the whole night is getting our group (50 kids) from one of the American Airlines Center to the other through the massive crowd, down to the court to shoot free throws, and then out to the bus. I forced myself to make it through that part, and then had Jed pick me up at our next stop. Thankfully I had awesome volunteer leaders with me to take over. It was really hard for me to realize that I couldn’t do everything I used to do. I know my life will change a million times more once the baby arrives, but it has already changed more than I ever imagined.
YoungLives is for pregnant and parenting teen girls. These are some of our lovely girls and their babies. We pair them with mentors who hang out with them and walk through life with them. It is a new and growing part of Young Life worldwide, as we figure out how to reach out to parenting teens. Over the last year this special ministry has grown really close to my heart. I don’t know if the Lord is working me because of the way my life is changing. I know He is changing my heart as He changes my body and makes me ready for motherhood. I am wrestling with how to balance my job and my family. I’ll be thinking and praying about this a lot over the next few months. I hope that the Lord will give me a clear picture of what He wants me to do. If that means working full time and figuring out day care, or working part time, or staying home full time, I hope that He gives me clarity and peace about it.

How did you decide to keep working or stay at home? If you don’t have kids, what do you think you will do when the time comes and why?

Verse of the Week – 1 Chronicles 16:34

“Give thanks to God—he is good

and his love never quits.”

– 1 Chronicles 16:34 (The Message)

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays because it serves to remind us of what we should be doing all year round – thanking God for our lives and all that is good in them. Every year I make a list of things I’m thankful for with my Young Life girls, and it is so fun to find those lists years later and be reminded of how the Lord has worked in my life. I’ve made my list for the year and will share it later on this week.
What are you thanking the Lord for this year?

Moving While Pregnant

You might think that moving while pregnant would be a terrible ordeal. Turns out it isn’t so bad. I’ve felt so crummy the last few weeks that I really escaped all manual labor involved in the move and mostly just directed traffic. Jed did all the work and was such a trooper. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful husband. Some of his Young Life guys came to help him, and they knocked it out. We are officially in our new house (YAY!) even though we had to pay rent on the old one for an extra 2 weeks (BOO!). Thanks jerkface landlady.

This has been the most drawn out move I’ve ever experienced. We moved .9 miles away from our old house, and our new (awesome) landlord let us move in for 3 weeks that weren’t paying rent. How generous is that?! I think the time frame made us a little lazy and disorganized, but we still made it happen. There are a few things left at the old house, but all the big stuff is here. Most of my clothes are still in the old closet, but they don’t exactly fit right now so it doesn’t really matter. I guess the good thing about paying rent through the end of the month is that we have a long time to clean up so we can hopefully get our deposit back. Oh, the joys of renting!
Our living room is set up for the most part, so I have a place to sit/blog, and we are slowly working through the rest of it. My goal tomorrow is to get my craft table set up. I haven’t been able to make anything for over a month, and I have so many ideas in my head. I’m so ready to have a space to create that doesn’t make my living room look like a hoarder house. We now have have a great back bedroom that will double as a guest room and baby’s room. The guest room part is all set up, and I can’t wait to get the baby’s room set up. I don’t really have anything yet, just a few cloth diapers and a bouncer I’ve won through other blogs. I’m sure I will start buying/making things soon. I have to get that craft table set up…
I was thinking about how many times I’ve moved over the years, and am a little shocked by the numbers. I moved once as a child, but since age 18 I have moved 14 times, 3 times since I married Jed (2.7 years ago). Yikes. That is out of control. Hopefully we can stay settled here for a while.
How many times have you moved over the years?

Just like Newlyweds…

I saw this Newly Wed game on Miss Madison’s Charmed Life. I thought it would be fun to get Jed involved with the blog action. I had him answer all the questions about me, without asking me for help. He did pretty well.

His answers are first, with my follow up in red.

1. She’s sitting in front of the TV, what is on the screen?
Project Runway or Say Yes to the Dress

Probably true. I’ve given up Law and Order for the most part because it started giving me nightmares.

2. You’re out to eat, what kind of dressing does she get on her salad?
Light Italian
Not so much. I love balsamic vinaigrette and honey mustard.
3. What’s one food she doesn’t like?
So true. Not sure why.
4. You go out to eat and have a drink, what does she order?
Diet Coke
or water… depending on my mood.

5. What shirt size does she wear?
The baby may change this, we’ll have to wait and see.

6. What shoe size does she wear?
or 8.5, but pretty close.

7. What’s her favorite type of sandwich?

Yummy! + avocado

8. What would she eat everyday if she could?


9. What is her favorite cereal?
Special K

I’m so glad he thinks so well of me. My secret fav is Lucky Charms.

10. What would she never wear?

It is just mean, can’t do it.

11. What is her favorite sports team?
Arkansas Razorbacks

Go Hogs!

14. What is something she does that you wish she wouldn’t do?
Put her freezing cold hands on me when she is cold.

He really hates it, but is also a human space heater. What would you do?

15. What is her heritage?

also English and Scandinavian

16. You bake her a cake, what kind of cake?
Cupcakes. Red velvet with cream cheese icing

Yes, please!
17. Did she play sports in high school?
So she claims…
He may not believe me, but I played soccer and softball, danced, and was the captain of the canoe racing team. In your face, Jed.

18. What could she spend hours doing?


19. What is the unique talent that she has?
Loving the unlovable

So sweet…

20. What is her type of coffee?

Dunkin Donuts with a little hazelnut or french vanilla cream, no sugar.
So good…

It was fun to see how he answered all the questions. How would your significant other do?

Adventures in Baby Growing – The First Weeks

I’m pregnant, and I couldn’t be happier. We were trying for 3 months, and are so thrilled that it didn’t take very long. We’re having a baby in May or early June! During my pregnancy, I’ll be blogging about my adventures in baby growing. Join the adventure!
These first weeks have been crazy and difficult. I can’t believe how quickly my body started acting differently. Almost immediately my stomach rebelled against me, and continues to stage a rebellion. I haven’t been throwing up, but am nauseous ALL DAY LONG. The whole “morning sickness” description is a total misnomer. After 5 or 6 weeks of nausea, I finally had my first doctor’s appointment and was given a prescription for Zofran. It has been a miracle drug. I feel like I have my life back for the most part.
My other major symptom has been tiredness. I feel like I’m in a waking coma. At the same time, I have trouble sleeping. What the what?! It makes no sense at all. I won a $70 giftcard from CSN from Candace Rose. She has another CSN giveaway running right now, so go enter! Anyway, I used the giftcard to buy a super awesome Snoozer Body Pillow that was $71.99 with free shipping. I got it in the mail last week and it is helping me sleep more comfortably. I love free stuff!
People keep asking if I’ve had any cravings yet, and I don’t really think I have. My sister-in-law is convinced that if I crave sweet, it is a girl, if salty, a boy. Who knows? If a craving comes along, maybe we’ll start the guessing.
These first weeks have been exciting, keeping our secret from the world and slowly telling family and friends before announcing it last week. I love that as each weeks passes, my baby is growing and is more secure in my womb. I feel more pregnant as each week passes. It feels a little like an alien has taken over my body, but at least it is a cute little alien.
What were your early pregnancy symptoms? How did you deal with them?
Come back next week for an awesome giveaway – a 9 month supply of Nature Made Prenatal vitamins with DHA (worth $144)!

Frugal Friday – Pregnancy Tips Part I

This whole pregnancy thing is so new to me, and I have been getting tons of great advice from friends, online friends, and total strangers. I’m a member of the Frugal Living community on Blog Frog, so asked those fun folks for their best frugal pregnancy tips to share with y’all. They came up with some great stuff! I’ll share all of the tips with you over the next few weeks.

Frugal Pregnancy tips:


Have a friend who was just pregnant? Talk to them about maternity clothes. Maybe they’ll let you borrow some shirts.

You don’t have to have every cool thing they make for babies. I’d splurge on a cradle swing even before a crib.

Talk to friends and neighbors who are all done having kids – esp if they just had their last kid. They’re dying to get rid of their old stuff. Check for safety issues.

Make sure your car seat is less than 3 yrs old.

Don’t pay any medical bill that hasn’t been through your insurance. I overpaid the doctor’s office because they insisted on a certain amount that *they* expected. It took a WHOLE YEAR to get my refund check.”

– from Heart Baby Home

“This may sound silly to you but I just had a baby and this my personal experience. With my first, I craved taco bell like no tomorrow. And I ate it all the time. And whatever else I craved. With the baby I just had I craved pizza all the time. Instead of ordering out for it, we did homemade pizza and almost always had some in the fridge. When I was hungry but didn’t know what I wanted I would eat cereal. I had a ton in my stockpile and after awhile that’s what I craved. Those two things helped me save money on my cravings while pregnant!”

– from Fabulessly Frugal

“Always try the cheaper brands first. My babies all did fine with the off brand diapers and I saved nearly $10 on a big box (buy the big box) each time. This is the same for wipes, food, bottles, etc.

Breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, but if you can, it’s the way to go. There are so many benefits for mom and baby, but it is a big money saver. Formula is about $22 a box and will probably get you through a week. Do that for a year and then move into sippy cups when baby can have cow’s milk.

Also, get items that grow with the baby: a crib that turns into a twin bed, a car seat that grows with baby,

And, don’t buy what the baby doesn’t absolutely need. Unless the baby really needs it, don’t introduce the pacifier, or the bottle, etc. Once you buy one of those, you will buy 40!

Our baby started eating the same things we were eating as soon as he could have solid foods. A $6 mini food processor makes your meal edible for the baby. Since we get vegetables from the garden and meat from the farm, we know the baby isn’t getting overly-processed foods either.”

– from Keeping Up with the Joneses

“These are all great ideas. “Don’t buy what you don’t need”…I agree. I never had a changing table and I never missed out. I know several of my friends that said that was a useless item. If you feel you must have one buy one that grows with them like Kimberly said. In this case get a dresser with a changing pad on top.

I would not forget about thrift stores and yard sales too. You can find really awesome clothes for you and your baby all up until they are about 3-4 years old. Most people have too much stuff for their baby that is never used or maybe used only once and that includes clothes, and bedding.”

– from Saving Your Green

“And all you need is sleepers and onesies for the first few months. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive.

Somewhere for them to sleep, if even a pack&play next to your bed or cradle/basinet/baby moses basket for first couple of months too.”

– from 3 Boys and Adoption ?!?

I would love to hear all of your Frugal Pregnancy tips as well. Share them with me in the comment section!

Adventures in Baby Growing – Finding Out!

We have been trying for a baby for three months now, and this time around I was sure we were pregnant. Jed asked me to wait until I was 3 days late to test. We took the test that night, and it was a bit inconclusive. It was the kind with the plus and minus signs, but the cross bar on the plus sign was VERY light. I didn’t know what to think. The test instructions stated that even a faint cross bar was a positive, but we just weren’t totally sure. We prayed that night for our future child, as we had been praying for three months.

The next day I drove to Walgreen’s and bought the digital test, the one that reads – pregnant or not pregnant. I figured I couldn’t screw that up, right? I took the test while Jed was still at work (I work from home a lot) because I couldn’t wait. It said with certainty – PREGNANT! I immediately called and texted Jed, telling him to call me asap but that everything was ok. I’m sure he knew immediately that we were pregnant. He called me after school and was so excited.

That night he took me out to dinner at Tillman’s Roadhouse, a cool restaurant in the Bishop Arts District. It is fancier than our normal fare, and felt like a real celebration. I’ll feature it in a post later. The coolest thing about finding out we are having a baby is that we both have a total feeling of peace about it.

How did you celebrate finding out for your first pregnancy?
Or, if you are trying… How do you plan to celebrate?