I’m really thankful I had President’s Day off because I’ve had a very full weekend. It started on Tuesday night when we started watching our friend’s 15 month old son Jaron for 2 nights and 2 days. When he left to spend the weekend with his aunt and uncle, Jason was already gone to Orlando and I got hit with a cold. Ali and I had a couple low-key days and then Jason and Jaron came back on Sunday. Little J is heading home this morning with his parents. Yay for him, and for them…and for us! We joked about how it was a trial run with having 2 kids (since we’ll be reopening our home as foster parents soon) but, boy, we really did learn a lot.

I’ll be back soon to reflect on what I learned, as well as share a ton of cute pictures of these two little buddies. I also have a bunch of photos to share of our house that I was finally able to upload but haven’t edited yet. I need a little time to play catch-up and today I’m back to work. Bear with me. I’ll be back soon!

I leave you with this one picture for now. One of the few times we braved leaving the house with two kids was to go to Lowes to get mulch. They did awesome! Having two adults helped a lot! I pushed the car cart with the munchkins while Jason pushed the big flat cart with the mulch.

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er… catch up. It’s amazing how a couple of days without blogging gets me out of the groove and I don’t know where to start again. So how about a little bit or this and that.

Last week was miserably busy at work for me—the worst deadline week I’ve had in as long as I can remember. Long, tiring days in my cubicle, away from my husband and sweet baby girl. Jason was home for the week but we hardly crossed paths. It feels silly to even articulate those complaints because all I have to do is shift my perspective a little bit and I realize how much I have to be thankful for. I have a job. I have an awesome husband. We have a sweet baby girl.

The week was topped off with a weekend full of packing and moving. Mostly packing. We even skipped Super Bowl parties to work. Looking at the calendar with Jason’s tour schedule between now and the closing on March 1st and we realized we better get going on this moving out of our house business. Five years is long enough to forget how much work it is to move. And goodness, how did we end up with so much stuff?! It’s amazing how it multiplies when it starts getting put into boxes.

We have officially moved into my parents’ house and are getting settled in comfortably there. Our belongings will rest in storage until the new house is completed. As I mentioned before, leaving our mid-century ranch has been extremely bittersweet. We really love that place and planned to never move. Funny how dreams and goals can change so drastically in a short period of time. If we hadn’t felt called to become foster parents last spring, and to continue fostering after we complete our adoption of Precious, I really don’t think we’d be moving right now.

But again, a simple shift of perspective and I realize how much we have to be thankful for. We’re building a house—a dream we’ve always had but figured was a long way off. We have a great relationship with my parents and a place to stay right down the street from our new house. And the new house is going to be great—and most importantly have room for our family to grow.

As we were packing on Saturday Jason’s mom, Grandma K, spotted Precious’ first tooth finally poking through. She’s been working on that for a long time. Three days later my mom, Grandma L, spotted her second tooth coming through. I finally got a picture of them yesterday. Speaking of pictures, here are a bunch of random ones from the past few days:

I’m doing the February Photo A Day challenge on Instragram (#febphotoaday … I’m @mahlbrandt if you want to follow me). The one above was “your view today,” my cubicle…ugh! And below was day 2, “words.”

On Thursday night Jason played an industry showcase with Michael Dean Church at The Rutledge. It ended up being a fun double date night out with our friends Jeremy (who played drums) and Leila—without our babies for a change! We had dinner afterwards at a new burger place in East Nashville called The Pharmacy.

My first (unsuccessful) attempt at baby tooth photography.

Kitchen configuration… whatever spare creative juice I have has been going here lately…

Teeth! Caught them on camera with the help of Grandma L who got her smiling.



I have been struggling to keep up with blogging the past week or so. I think this happens to every blogger from time to time. Real life takes priority, but I also aspire to keep up with documenting and sharing. Here’s a little bit of what’s been going on lately:

• Jason finished recording his lullabies album last week. I’ve been working on the album design. We had a little photo session yesterday with Precious, Jason and his guitar. Hopefully I captured something that will work with what’s in my head.

• After being home for a solid month, Jason’s tour schedule starts back up this week. It’s been so great to have him home. But I’m also incredibly thankful that he’ll be back to work soon because he loves it and it’s how he makes a living. That makes us both very happy.

• This month the guys are going on a Florida Snowbird Tour and Precious and I are going to join them in the Tampa area for a few days. I am  SO EXCITED about this mini-vacation that I’m willing to fly with a 6 month old, pick up bags and rent a car all by myself. I’m a little nervous but it’ll be oh-so-worth-it. I flew alone with Ladybug once and it was OK. The first flight was great and the second flight was mix of bad and torture. (It started out with her smacking me in the face when I tried to contain her on my lap after the last passenger to board the plane took the last available seat next to the lady flying alone with a toddler—me—and said “Oh no, this is going to be a long flight!” I wanted to spit back, “You have no idea what this child has been through! We’ve only known each other for 2 weeks!” But I kept my mouth shut. The flight ended with a screaming tantrum. Thanks for the curse, mean old lady sitting next to us…ANYWAY…I’m sure these flights are going to be great because Precious is the most easy-going baby in the world.)

• Our house has been on the market about 6 weeks and we’ve had around 20 showings. Nuts! Showing a house when you have a baby and a dog is not easy and I’m not a fan of the one-hour-notice showings. What the heck, people?! It’s all good though. We pull it off with smiles on our faces and we’re praying for an offer soon. It’s nice to not have any rush, we’re just excited to move forward on our new construction. We’re hoping for breaking ground in March and moving in by the end of summer or early fall but it’s impossible to say at this point.

• On Saturday Jason and I stopped by a new string of shops in East Nashville called the Idea Hatchery. It’s a bunch of small studios for start-up and small businesses with more affordable leases, funded by the art gallery next door called Garage Majal. Cute little area. (Pictures above and below.)