A Night at the Farm

Over the weekend, we went to a wedding.  An outdoor wedding, at a pumpkin farm.  Unusual to say the least, and yet, full of exploration opportunities for Ava.  I'm not sure what we were thinking, bringing her to a wedding at almost 18 months??  Although she was invited, it would have been a better experience for us all if we would have gotten a baby-sitter :) Lesson learned.  Carter will soon be able to be taken anywhere, but Ava....not so much.  Unless it's totally acceptable for her to run, climb, chatter/yell, dance, and possibly undress herself.  Those are her new criteria for public outings. 
She did look totally adorable however and her sweet little face, more than made up for her wild behavior!  At least she's got that going for her...
We spent much of the evening, passing her back and forth, just trying to keep her clean and out of trouble!  Wood chips, animals, tables, benches, and stairs were working against us however.  It was not necessarily a "dress and tights" kinda place :) 
But not that she cared!  
She and her handsome Daddy were easy on my eyes :) 
She wore her new owl dress from Texie.  Isn't it cute??
She was apparently striking her "serious" pose here.  
Before the ceremony even began, Ava made it clear that she was not interested in being still or quiet.  Travis had a small part in the ceremony, so that meant that I got to be the babysitter.  I missed the entire wedding, but we spent lots of time watching these little goats and feeding them grass.  
I was dying from the standing/squatting required for an hour, while 9 months pregnant, but Ava was thrilled.  We saw goats, mini horses, sheep, and lots of farm cats.  We also played with mini pumpkins and listened to lots of scarecrows playing banjos and singing country music.  Odd, but totally fun for her.  She had the farm staff in stitches as she danced and grinned all by herself.  I was hoping to take lots of pictures of all of this, but I stupidly left my purse inside the barn with Travis, which also had my camera inside it.  Not to mention everything else that would have been helpful for an hour's worth of entertainment!  
Oh well, it was an interesting night to say the least!  We capped it off with a trip to Dairy Queen on the way home, which sort of made up for the fact that I missed the whole wedding :) 
I can't imagine trying to take 2 little ones to events in the future!  Right now this one is such a handful, she's about all we can sanely take!  It's a good thing the Lord gives them to us as tiny babies first...Or else you'd never survive!!  We love this little monkey so much, but my goodness she's in a stage that requires our complete attention and demands all of our energy and patience.  It's a full-time job just keeping her out of danger!
And she's going through it just in time for her baby brother to join us and add to the chaos :) 

Sigh...Is it any wonder I'm completely exhausted day and night now???
I think I've decided that parenthood (of toddlers) is not for wimps!!


This, That, and the Other

Sooooo, how about a wildly random post today??  Maybe even with bullet points???  And a few pictures thrown in for good measure??  Sound ok??

I thought so too.

After all, that is pretty much how my brain is functioning right now...very, very randomly.  I almost need to carry a notepad around with me because I keep having one important (although fleeting) thought after another.  I blame pregnancy for most of it, motherhood for some of it, and fatigue for the rest.  It's a miracle the bills are getting paid right now!  I keep remembering things just in the nick of time...

Ok, so here's a slice of what's on my mind this afternoon :)

  • Remember the CSN review I got chosen for a few weeks ago???  Well, I just ordered my product yesterday, after much deliberation, and now I'm waiting for it to be shipped.  LOVED the whole process.  In fact, loved it so much, that I've been asked to do it again!!!  Yay for me!!  If you don't remember what I'm talking about, they are an online company with a million (maybe not quite) stores and they have literally millions (this time I'm serious) of things.  For example, they have anything from....

Bed sets, like this amazing one that I've been drooling over....Seriously, how gorgeous is that???  Anyone in the market for a new bedroom set??  You should go here to check it out, plus hundreds of other sets that are available....and lots with free shipping!!!

Bed Sets
To light fixtures, isn't this one pretty???  I would LOVE that in my kitchen!!
To double strollers.  I know, I'm in the market.  I've been looking at so many double strollers my eyes are tired!!

Seriously, they have everything for everyone!  Check out their site ( you will find just about anything you are looking for.  I promise.  In true "parent" fashion, I hemmed and hawed for weeks over what cool thing to order for our house and then ended up ordering something for the kids.  Typical, right??  Still, it was what I wanted at a really good price, plus free shipping.  Gotta love that!!  

  • Went to my 37 week appt. today and Carter is doing great!  He's very, very low now and thus my back pain is very, very great.  He appears to be very comfortable where he's at, which means I've entered those weeks where in order to survive mentally, you have to prepare yourself every time I go for a check-up.  Plan for no progress, hope for some!!  Truthfully, I do want him to come closer to his due date.  I still have things I'd like to do, time I want to spend with Ava and of course, I want him to be as "fully cooked" as God planned for him to be!  It is very safe for him to come now, so if I would go into labor, they wouldn't stop it.  At least I have that to cling to :) I'm so grateful that we've made it through this pregnancy with no complications or problems.  I remember thinking after Ava was born, with all the potential for something to go wrong, it truly is a miracle of God every time a baby is born "normal" and without complications.  There is much to be thankful for in a slow and steady pregnancy...
  • One thing I do need to do this weekend, is pack our bags for the hospital!  I can't believe I've waited this long, considering I'm a total planner and over-packer, but I guess I have.  I've vowed to keep my packing much simpler this time around, but I did have the best time looking through Carter's clothes the other day and choosing the outfit I wanted him to wear home, as well as for the first day in the hospital, etc.  I also chose the same blanket we used for Ava and had so many pictures of her taken in.  It's so soft and gender neutral and I thought it would be fun to use it for each of our kids on those first days.  I know it's a shock, but I'm always looking for that sentimental angle....
  • Carter's crib skirt came in the mail and just as soon as I get a picture taken of it, I'll show you!!  I just LOVE it!!  His bedding came together so perfectly, which is amazing because I pieced it together from 3 different sources.  We need to raise the crib again, and then it will be all ready for him to come home to.  I am still sitting in his nursery a lot these days, rocking and thinking about all of those sweet "firsts" that we're about to experience with him.  Ava has totally floored us lately as she's now learned to say his name.  It's so sweet and if I'm lucky, I'll try to get her doing it on video to show you.  Yesterday, when I asked her what her baby brother's name was, she answered with "Carrrrrrrrrr-tuh!" every time.  Today, she's not been in the mood :) 
  • Speaking of Miss Ava, her are some funny pictures she and I took the other night, after we came home from Church on Wednesday night....
She let me put a little ponytail and a bow in her hair and it made her look so grown up!  
She also was clearly in the mood to take pictures with me!  Look at that cheese ball grin!!  
We had one of those nights where she was just in a great mood and so cooperative all night.  Our fall kick-off has started in junior high and she LOVES being around all the kids.  She happily sat and ate crackers with a bunch of girls, danced to the loud music, and ran around the room during worship :) We left shortly after that, but it was such a fun night for her and for us.  It's a blessing to see her growing and thriving.  She's definitely a little people person and very brave I think.  She doesn't get intimidated about being around so much craziness and she especially loves being up front with her Daddy!
These are fun days with Ava, although challenging.  But we are doing our best to soak them up and hang on to the memories of this season as best we can!  

  • Lastly, remember my dilemna last time Trav's Mom and my parents came to visit???  Remember the tale of all the junk food and how it temporarily took over my better judgement and my will power???  Well guess what.  It happened again.  Trav's Mom left us with Cheetoh puffs, THREE kinds of Lindt chocolate truffles, ice-cream toffee bars, and a variety of other sinful things, and guess who's been eating them ALL DAY LONG???  Oh it's so bad and yet, soooooo good.  Travis and I are like little kids at night, fighting over who gets what :) It's all fun and games now, but as the scale reminded me at my OB appt. today, it's got to come to end soon!!!   Otherwise I'll never recover!!  Just not yet...
Happy Weekend!!  
I hear my peanut singing in her bed, so I better go get her.  I hope you have a wonderful, if not random, weekend!  We will be all over the place in the next few days, but it should be lots of fun too!  Enjoy the last weekend of September!!!


She Likes to Move it, Move it...

We just got home from Tuesday morning Bible study and both Ava and I are now in bed!  Neither of us are sleeping (I can hear Ava playing in her bed) but hopefully in the next few minutes we'll both be out :)   I love Tuesday mornings because they are something for both of us to look forward to!  It's a blessing to  be in a Bible study with lots of women from our Church and I don't take it for granted because for many years I couldn't participate when I was working.  Driving home this afternoon made me grateful for this stage of life I'm in and for the privilege of being home.  It's tiring, challenging and not without sacrifice, but it's very rewarding and I do consider it a privilege.  I can't believe that in just a few more weeks or so, I'll be coming home from Tuesday morning with 2 kids in the back of my car!  How in the world did that happen??  

We are studying the book of John this year and already it's been a blessing to me.  We went through Chapter 1 last week and now we'll start Chapter 2.  By the time the year is over, we will have walked through the whole book, word for word, and that is something that is exciting to me!  The Word is so amazing and full of truth and application that is so relevant to our lives today.  I know that people think it is an old book full of old stories that were relevant "back then" but not today, but that is such a lie from the evil one!  It's incredibly timely and timeless and no matter how many times you read or study it, it comes alive every single time.  It is literally the Word of God, revealing His grace, truth and glory to us.

This past week, I was reminded of the truth that when Christ came to earth, from the Father's side in Heaven, to become flesh and live among us, He was entering human history and fulfilling the very covenant that God had made with his people.  To see the big picture of the Old Testament come alive through the incarnation of Jesus in the New Testament is to catch a glimpse of just how much the Lord loves his creation and went to great lengths to redeem us from the sin we were born into.   The "old way" of offering sacrifices again and again to cleanse oneself from sin, was forever answered in the bloodshed of Jesus on our behalf.  God promised and He delivered.  What a wonderful source of hope for us to cling to!  As I inch closer and closer to the uncertainties of life with 2 kids and wonder how on earth we'll do it,  I can cling to the same God whose Word is as true today as it was 2000 years ago.  I'm excited to see what God will show me in John this year!  I bet I always remember this year, due to the chaos I'm about to experience!!  

I took some funny pictures of Ava on Sunday that I thought you might enjoy!  I am definitely lacking in photos right now because Ava is in a stage in which she will not/can not/does not stay still!!  As Trav's poor Mom found out, it's next to impossible to get this girl to stop for 5 seconds for a picture :) 
Most of my latest pics, are of her on the move... me a great view of her head, her back, or her feet but not necessarily of her little face, which is the best part :) 
The other thing she is completely into is 'talking" on the phone.  She loves to play with an old phone of Trav's or just anything she can hold in her hand or up to her ear.  She walks all over the house, chatting and babbling to herself, complete with gestures and laughter!  It cracks us up and reminds me that she is watching EVERYTHING that I do...uh oh!!
Is this a glimpse into the future or what??
Check out that face!!
"Excuse me Mom, can I get a little privacy???  I'm on the phone!!"  
Texting her peeps or what??
Some conversations are not meant to be shared apparently :) 
Whoops, I thought I could hide behind these plants, in this corner, but Mom caught me!
You might think I don't hear or see everything you do Ava, but I've got news for you...When you were born, God gave me special Mom powers that allow me to know what you're up to, even when you think you're hiding!!  It's a special thing that God does for all Moms and we're not afraid to use it when we need to!
So, you can continue to seek out those small spaces and try to hide from me, but I'll always find you :)  A lesson you'd do well to understand sooner than later!  Moms can find you when you're little, but God can find you when you're little AND when you're big!! 
And if I don't find you quickly enough, Ryley will!!  He's my "insider" who's always ready to find me when he thinks you're in trouble!  Right now we have you outnumbered, but when your brother comes to join the mix, we're going to have to step up our patrol!!  That's when the special "Mom powers" will come in handy :) 

Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful, fall afternoon!  It's a gorgeous day in Minnesota and I'm about to enjoy it with a big nap.  We've got a soccer game to go to this afternoon, so this is my chance to rest and I'm going to take it.  Have a wonderful day!!  


5 Good Reasons

I know, it's shocking.  I'm actually blogging...

First of all, thank you all for the sweet comments on the new rooms for Carter and Ava!  I really appreciate all the kind words of encouragement you left for me, they each made my day as they came in.  We are grateful for the way the Lord has provided for us and for our kiddos and we're totally enjoying the new "look" around here!  Carter's pending arrival is definitely on our minds these days, I think before we know it he's going to be joining us and we can't wait.  I'm so behind on this blog and all of the ones I love to read, but the past week has been busy and I'm trying to be careful about using my "free time" to rest and not do much of anything that isn't necessary.

Anyway, I thought I'd play catch up a little bit, in the form of a list tonight.  Here are 5 good reasons I've been absent for the last few days...

1.  Trav's Mom is here!  On Wednesday, Texie flew in to see us and help for a few days.  It's been great to have her here and such a blessing to have an extra set of hands to do just about everything for me :)   We are blessed to have Grandparents galore who are always available to help us and support us and love our little Pagey!  Ava is in Heaven, with constant attention and new clothes and shoes to boot.  Texie has the spiritual gift of "shopping" (ha ha) and she always brings us lots of new treats to enjoy.  I think Ava may have inherited her love for shoes from Texie in fact!  Ava is a shoe horse, just like her Daddy and just like her Texie.  I can only imagine the damage they'll do someday when she's old enough to figure this out...

FYI, I'm making a mental note now to never let Travis and Ava go shoe shopping together.  I'm not sure who would lose control first!!!  Thank goodness I'm around to bring some restraint to the picture!!  Ha Ha Ha!!  He'll love that I just said that....
2.  Because Texie is here, Travis and I were able to go away on the Volunteer Staff Retreat this weekend.  It was a quick retreat, but lots of fun and more than anything, I think I enjoyed the car ride we got to share there and back!  It was fun to be alone and do some talking that we normally don't get to do without a little redhead interrupting us :) Praise the Lord that I managed to get some sleep while we were there too!  I wasn't banking on that, but God was good to me and let me rest!  I was thankful we didn't have to make any emergency trips to the hospital because I was in labor!  That would have been a story...
We had lots of time to participate in crazy games with our awesome leaders, like this one.  Which I believe is called "Bohemian Kickball"???  I'd never heard of it, but it was hilarious to watch and seemed like it was fun to play.  Even though we had no students with us, we had to incorporate games into the weekend!  If you volunteer to work with students, you're basically still a kid at heart, right???
But It wouldn't be a student ministries retreat without an injury!  One of our junior high volunteers broke his nose but thankfully wasn't hurt as badly as he could have been.  His nose was about an inch to the left of where it should have been and his eye was immediately black and blue, but no concussion and nothing life threatening, so he stayed for more fun!!  We are so blessed to have incredible leaders in junior high and high school who have committed their time and lives to loving Jesus and investing in students.  I think we had about 50 or so volunteers with us this weekend, but many more serve every week.  Travis and I are so grateful for this season of ministry here...

3.  Last Tuesday, I got a teary call from my Mom after she and my Dad had to put their little dog to sleep.  Very suddenly he had an enlarged heart and consequent heart failure that required a hard decision to be made.  It was a very sad week for our family and many tears were shed.  It's amazing how strong the bond between a pet and it's owner can be.  Tiggy was a part of our family for a little more than 7 years and was the source of lots of memories and laughter.  He was a birthday present for my youngest sister Jennie, but he was very attached to both of my sisters and especially my Mom.  Ava was totally entertained by him, I think she often thought he was a toy because he was so little!  And Ryley also loved him as they spent lots of time together over the years :) They looked like the odd couple but they grew to be a good pair.  We will miss Tigger and the joy he brought our family.  Losing him makes me very sad about the day we have to say good bye to our own first baby, Ryley.  Not only will Travis and I be sad, but so will Ava and soon Carter.  That will be a conversation I'm not looking forward to...
Tiggy chilling in the sunshine :) 
The odd couple!  We're pretty sure Ryley's head was bigger than Tiggy's entire body :) 

4.  One of the best distractions in our life right now, is Trav's soccer team!  He is coaching the varsity boys team at a local Christian school and it's been a great thing.  He loves doing it and Ava and I have been happy to attend as many games as possible.  Although it's fun, it has been a busy month.  We are averaging about 2 games a week and of course practice every day, so I've had to try and patiently deal with feeling like a single parent at times.  Some days I'm better at that than others, but really I am thankful he's been able to do this and happy that it's basically a short season!  The good news is that they are doing very, very well!  They are 5-1-1 right now and playing great!  It's been fun to cheer them on and to keep our schedule full during these weeks of waiting for Carter.  Ava is a hit on the sidelines!  She loves to cheer for the boys and often she trolls the crowd looking for cell phones she can steal and play with.  Seriously.  I have to keep my eyes on her like a hawk!  It's a good thing she's cute or it would be incredibly embarrassing!!  You know, the kind of "whose kid is that??" embarrassing :)    

5.  Finally, perhaps the best reason I haven't been blogging is that I'm pregnant.  Did you know that??    I'm 9 months pregnant to be exact :)  I'm officially tired all the time and so ready to be done with this part of pregnancy.  I'm not sleeping very well at all and I have a toddler who is non-stop action all day long.  More than ever before, I am trying to cut as many extra things out of my life as I can, so that I have time to rest and time to do what is most important.  I've been transitioning Ava from 2 naps to 1 and so my "free time" is a little less than it used to be, but I'm confident that it's a good decision for all of us and one that will pay off when Carter comes home!  Anyway, I hope to hop on here a little more this week and post some funny things that have been happening with Ava, but if I'm not as active as I used to be, now you know 5 good reasons why!  

Have a wonderful week!!  I can't believe we're marching into the end of September already, didn't school just start??  


Carter's Nursery Tour

When we found out we were having a boy in early June, the first thing that went through my mind was, "I have to re-do the nursery!"  As you may remember, it was very definitely "pink" and there was no way we were going to put a little guy in there!!  Travis made that clear up front, but I was in total agreement.  So, my wheels started spinning that day and I spent most of the summer searching and ordering things for "Carter's world."  It's been a fun hunt and I've found some great things that have made my heart happy.  I love to be in here and I often sit in the glider, praying and thinking about the little guy who is about to join his big sister in our family.  We are so excited to be welcoming a BOY very soon!!   

Now just so you know Carter, we're not to going to lie to you, your new "nursery" is in fact our former walk-in closet.  I'm sorry if that's a bummer to you someday, but I would love for you to know that we worked really hard to make it as cute as possible (not sure "cute" is reassuring) and to keep it from looking like a closet.  I do feel good about giving you your own space however, which wasn't an easy solution in a 2 bedroom home!  So, we hope you like it as much as we do and we hope it's the place where you spend many happy days and nights, dreaming away!  

Welcome to your nursery, Carter...
We chose the same color as Ava's room, because it's great for a boy and a girl, but mostly because it will be easier for re-sale purposes someday!  I wanted it to be consistent so these rooms flowed into one another and gave the illusion of more space.  My Mom found this darling little sign with those stars and it is the perfect welcome into Carter's room!
The view from Ava's room, through Carter's room and into the shared bathroom.
Only 1 month ago this was full of our clothes and shoes :)
Looking to the right at your sweet crib and at some of the glider.  Originally the door to this room opened into it and swung to the right, where the glider sits.  But, because we needed all the room we could get, we had someone come out and reverse it, swinging it out into Ava's room instead.  
The view looking to the left.
We converted the changing table from Ava's stuff to yours, Carter, and it fits perfectly into this little space.  Those drawers are brimming full of BOY clothes!!
I wanted to keep the shelves that were already in here, to help gain some storage space and also to be able to use them for some visual interest.  We've got your Halloween costume all ready for you and a couple of fleece snowsuits you've been given.  Since you're coming in the fall, it won't be long before you get to wear all of them!  
This is one of my favorite things in this room and I swear it was a gift sent from Heaven!!  Behind that curtain are 3 shelves and 2 rods, holding your clothes, Ava's dresses and lots of other baby things we need.  I hated having them exposed because it looked messy and way too busy, so I hung a tension rod and went on a looooong search for a drapery panel that would work.  God's favor was apparently with me when I walked into a Pier One store and discovered this chocolate silk panel, which was EXACTLY like the fabric we chose for your crib skirt!!  I could have cried it was so perfect.  And I was tired.  And slightly hormonal.  But it was just the finishing touch we needed and the same colors and size I was looking for.  We're still waiting on your crib skirt to be done, but I can't wait to see them together!!  What a sweet find for your Mommy's sanity!!
You are coming home to the world's most beautiful crib, each detail lovingly made by your Papa, for Ava and now you.  As soon as your crib skirt is on and we raise the mattress, I'll post more detailed pictures, but with the bumper and crib sheet already in there, I know I'm going to love it!!  Your chocolate and blue piped bumper was the starting point of this entire nursery.  I looked forever online and in stores and found this amazing deal at Restoration Hardware for Kids, for only $29.99 on clearance!!!  I'm sure I did a little dance when I found it :)  It's a soft, cuddle plush bumper and it's beautiful.  You're going to love snuggling up to it Carter!!  
Here is the glider that we used with Ava and LOVED!  
I can't wait to rock my baby boy in there very soon...Right now it's my prayer chair for you!
The shelf above your crib...
Your very own "name and birthday" plates, just like Ava's...Although we haven't filled in your exact birthday yet because we don't know it!!  Since you're due in the middle of October, BY FAITH, I'm assuming you'll have an October birthday.  Fortunately with my handy, dandy chalk pen, I can erase it and re-write it, should you decided to come early :)  We aren't even going to entertain the thought of November...
This was a verse I prayed for you, before we ever knew you were a boy!  I read it the day we found out we were expecting you and your Dad and I thanked the Lord for another arrow in our hands.
Here are 3 frames just waiting to be filled with pictures of our sweet Carter Travis Armstrong!
And another couple of verses that we already pray for you and hope to have you memorize someday with us.  No matter what you do or who you become Carter, nothing is more important to us than what you choose to believe about Jesus.  Because ultimately, it is your choice, not ours.  We pray that you and your big sister will trust in Him for salvation, at a very young age and we are committed to helping guide our little arrows at the right target, Jesus!
Your nursery opens up to a bathroom, that your Mommy is going to love when we spend lots of time nursing in your glider.  We haven't finished it yet, so I'll wait and post more pictures until we do!   Someday we'll put two little stools in here, for two little people to stand on and brush their teeth each day :)  I can't wait for that sight!

And finally, looking from the bathroom, back into your nursery and into Ava's room.  

It's almost ready for you Carter and we can't wait to have you in it!!  You are a special blessing to your Daddy and I and a joy already to our whole family!!  We love preparing and planning a place for you, just as you've carved a place in our hearts.  

Come and meet us soon Carter, we're ready for you sweet boy!!

We hope you love your nursery!!  

The Big Girl Suite!

It's been a looooong week over here, thus the silence on the blog!  Rather than dwell on the many frustrations of raising an almost 18 month old, I thought it would be wise to keep my thoughts to myself (i.e.-not say something I will regret later) and focus on the fun stuff instead.  The rewards of raising a little girl who has a healthy respect for her Mommy and Daddy, who is aware of necessary boundaries, and who understands our love always motivates our discipline, far outweigh the frustrations of today.  That's the goal anyway!  But oh the frustrations...I'm pretty sure I gained more than a few gray hairs this week and she's only 17 months (well almost 17 months).  But a few deep breaths later, many desperate conversations with the Lord, and a strong cup of coffee or two, have helped me realize that our little girl is only transitioning from one stage of dependence to another.  She needs our help figuring out what that means and how to function under our authority, so we are doing our best to help her understand.  I'm choosing to believe that our patience and diligence and her obedience will pay off later, but holy cow, parenting is not for wimps!!  I finally understand that saying...

Anyway, one of the most fun parts of the process has been the transition from her baby nursery to her own "big girl" bedroom!  She is so happy playing in her new room and that makes us feel like all the work was worth it.  We made the right decision to switch rooms and give her (and Carter) more space.  It's no secret that I LOVED designing her nursery and truth be told, I have LOVED designing her first bedroom even more!  I know you've been patiently waiting for the pictures, so here we go...
It's 99.9% done and I am ready to take you on the tour!!  
After searching for a long time online and in stores, this is the color scheme I settled on.  I scored her duvet, her duvet cover, and that pink quilted sham and quilt (not pictured yet) on Craig's list!  It was a Pottery Barn Kids set, from a model home, and it was perfect!  I found darling sheets and more pillows to coordinate at Target.  I didn't plan on doing blue and pink again for her, but I guess I can't help it, I love those colors together!  This time around, I did try to tone down the pink a little (at her Daddy's request) and we added some lime green too.
This is her new rug, which I found at Target, to perfectly coordinate with her new color scheme.
From her door, this is the view of her new room!  
The color on the walls is from the Ralph Lauren Collection at Home Depot.  We used it in her nursery and loved it so much that we carried it through the rest of the bedrooms.  It's called "Cairo Brown" and I learned that they no longer carry Ralph Lauren paints at Home Depot, so they looked up the code and were able to match it with their Behr line of paints.  It's exactly the same and we love it!
Here's another view of the room.  We are so thrilled with all the floor space that Ava inherited, which will be great for Carter too.  Usually this floor is covered with toys and books and pop-up tents :)  As you can see, I haven't hung any window treatments and I'm kind of hoping to keep it that way.  I love the big windows and all the light they bring in, plus we're happy with our wooden blinds.  The jury is still out about whether we'll keep it this way...
Antique dresser, which I kept the same accessories on.
Big girl dresser!  We moved all of Ava's clothes from the changing table to this, so Carter could have that in his nursery.  We're missing a knob, but I'm hoping to switch these all out for something cuter, so I haven't replaced it yet!  
Details make a room!  Here's a good example of some of the lime green I pulled into the room, as well as a sneak peak into our newest "theme"... Retro looking owls!!  So fun!!
Our little snuggle corner :) 
That chaise has always been there, in our master bedroom, but it was too big to move with us and I really wanted a chair for us to read to her in, so it stayed!  It gained a new owl pillow and some pink/green quilts, but I'm happy with how it looks.  Ava loves to sit in it and she can climb up in it all by herself...which is good and bad.  Since this picture has been taken, that kleenex box has been moved from the white table!  Too many shredded kleenexes later and we finally took the temptation away!  I do need to do something about my cord issue...don't like how visible they are :) 
At least once a day, all of those pictures end up in her hands as she oohs and ahhs over herself with both of us :) She loves that she can reach them and see them.  Again, good and bad...
Her daybed was also a score from Craig's list!  We picked up the frame and my parents let us use a mattress from their house, so it was better than we expected for our budget!  I couldn't help but keep those sweet letters above her bed, that was always one of my favorite parts of her nursery :) 
Here's what it looks like with the railing up.  After we pull the duvet back and line the bed with all those shams, it's really like a giant, padded crib and I think that's why she's stayed in it.  She's done great with it and often leans in our arms to get in it at night or for a nap.  Thank you Lord!!
Here is her little play corner, with all her books at her fingertips.  Several times a day, she empties all those bottom two shelves and sits there forever, flipping through book after book.  Thankfully, it doesn't bug me at all to have it all "undone."  I am a reader, but her Daddy is an avid reader, so I hope she inherits that habit.  Plus, 30 minutes of quiet is amazing...why would I interrupt that to make her pick it up??
Her verses from Psalm 121, that we chose for her before she was born.  Still love that promise that the Lord is watching over her with more care, love and wisdom than we could ever give her.  I'm hoping this is a promise we help her memorize and believe!
Toys, toys, toys!  We kept our baskets, which she still sits in all the time, but now we have more space to have other things out too!  Plus, I gained some serious storage room under her daybed, which has been wonderful.
One of my favorite things in her room, is this tree and the little woodland animals scattered throughout the room!  I bought these in a kit from Target (where else??) for $14.99 and NEVER thought they would be as cute or as easy as they claimed to be.  However, I am now a believer in vinyl decor!!  It was so easy, they peel off beautifully and can be moved over and over without losing their "cling."  I spent a couple of hours figuring out where everything would go and Ava was totally excited when she came in a saw all the new "friends" in her room!  The best part about it will be when we're sick of them.  They'll peel right off and we can forget they were ever there!
The birdie that lives under the window :) 
Wild mushrooms that grow on the other side of the window :) 
And a friendly squirrel (is there such a thing??) who lives behind the door.  
The view looking out towards the hallway.
Her shoe basket and coat rack, watched over by 1 of 3 faithful owls :) 
The magic door to Carter's nursery!!  
Don't worry, his tour is coming up next!!
Two fun plates, and the objects of my latest "crafty" phase! 
Because I'm always moving from one "crafty" thing to another...God bless my husband!! 

I've just got one wall to finish, the little wall that you see when you enter the room from the hall, but other than that, it's done!!  

Ava, I know you don't know or probably care about all the time that we poured into this room, but someday when you read this, hopefully you will enjoy knowing how much we love you and thought of you when we created a big girl room for you!  I'm sure you and I will do some debating over the years about your bedroom (and your clothes, and your hair, etc!) but I always want you to know that you have a spot in our hearts and in our home that belongs to you.  You are a gift that God gave us to start our family and no matter how many brothers or sisters He adds to the family, you will always get to be the trailblazer!  We're so thankful that you are growing and thriving into a sweet and spirited little girl, just as God created you to be.  We know you're going to be a wonderful big sister for Carter to know and love soon!!

Hope you enjoyed the "suite" tour...Ha Ha Ha!!  
Carter's nursery is up next, depending on how long Ava continues this great morning nap!!