Welcome to the Hickstionary, a landing spot for all things H family.
I'm Heidi. He's Rusty. And together we have our beautiful babe, Beckett and a furry menace, Dakota.
I mostly use this space to brag about how awesome the kid is, whine about how naughty the dog is & share an occasional deep thought.
Thanks for hanging out with us as we figure out this [blessed] life!

If you are looking for my photography blog (where words don't tend to fall out of my mouth nearly as freely), visit {captured by} heidi.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Decorating on the Cheap.

Emphasis on the cheap.

I hate spending money on home decor. Especially since I typically get bored with it but can't justify switching it out if I've spent any money on it.

I've never taken the time to figure out what exactly in our house we've spent money on but I do know it's not much. I can count the pieces of furniture we've purchased on one hand. I've been known to pull furniture off of curbs as close as next door neighbors. No shame.

Nearly everything in our house is someone else's junk (and some of it literally from the dump) so I always (always) laugh when someone says our house looks cute. I laugh extra hard when they ask for help decorating.

I would be horrible at helping you decorate.

To prove that point, here are my biggest decorating tips:

1.) Stay alert while driving. 

Yes, it's important to stay alert to watch for deer and other crazy drivers but I'm actually talking about keeping your eyes peeled to the curb. Some of my favorite pieces are off other people's curbs. I get slightly nervous when someone new (usually a photog client I don't know very well) compliments a curb piece as I'm hoping it wasn't off their curb. When I met my SIL's SIL and she told me where she lived I about died of embarrassment because I had recently snagged a couple end tables off her curb. Since getting over that incident, I've taken on a little Garth Brook's attitude (Shameless…) and will go right up to the neighbor's house and grab their good junk before trash day. One neighbor was in our house and complimented a piece I had snagged off her curb. She didn't even recognize it anymore. No shame.

2.) Gladly accept junk with gratitude.

My uncle is a trash man (among other titles he carries in my small hometown). Once in awhile he will bring my mom straight up trash. I questioned her reasoning behind accepting all of it and she said you never turn down the true junk because they might stop bringing you the good stuff. Words to live by my friends. When people know you love junk, people love to unload their junk on you. Sometimes, it might actually be junk. A few times I've gladly accepted pieces I thought I could work with only to have them sit in project purgatory with no plan working out for them. They ended up on my curb. But you never turn down the junk (even if it really is junk) cause they might stop giving you the good stuff. Along those same lines, I've accepted pieces I had no clue what to do with and those have ended up being some of my fave projects. (Some friends gave us some HUGE windows when they replaced theirs. I had no clue what to do with them so they sat in our basement for years. When I finally had an idea to use them, I was so glad I hadn't gotten rid of them!) We've been blessed with the best junk from people!! I swear nearly everything we get a compliment on in our house is a hand me down from someone else! (Thanks junk suppliers- you're the best!!) :)

3.) Hoard craft supplies.

Some of mine is 10+ years old but still works great. Save those little scraps. Save the ribbons off cute packages (especially the Lisa Leonard ones). Heck, I even save the brown packing paper that comes in the mail. You can use all of it! I swear! (Even though it may take a decade or so to come up with a plan for it.) ;)

4.) Know your limits and stick to 'em.

I have lots of rules on how much I'll spend (or rather, won't spend) on items. My favorite price is free. My second favorite is clearance. I'm not likely to spend more than that unless it's something I really want. If I'm on the hunt for something I come up with a price in my mind that I'm willing to spend on it and I won't go over that price. (That is if I've absolutely exhausted all my sources for finding it free.)

5.) If possible, marry a patient man and move to a house with plenty of storage.

Okay, this one might be too late for some of you but my biggest assets in DIYing on the fly are having a (very) patient man and a (very patient) storage room. DIYing with junk takes time and patience. Time to find the right pieces, time to figure out what the heck the plan is, time to finish (or you know, start) the projects. Time. And lots of it. I wasn't kidding when I said finding the mini trees was like winning a treasure hunt for me. I've been searching for them literally two years. I'm currently on the hunt for Christmassy scarves. If you have some you want to unload and want to save me the two year hunt, I'll gladly accept them with gratitude. ;)

So those are my best decorating tips. Maybe not what you were expecting but definitely rules to live by if you don't mind living in a house full of other people's trash discarded treasures. :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

decking the halls

It's currently in the single digit(s?) here and we have a whole lotta white stuff in the yard. I've heard rumors it's supposed to be cold pretty much forever (or at least until the end of March). Which seems like a long time to hate the cold and snow. We never (seriously, ever… except last year) decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving but the gentle snow fall last Saturday made it pretty hard not to! (Other factors… R has basketball pretty much every day for the rest of our lives…. Or at least it feels like it! And once I took B's birthday party decor down, I wasn't going to put fall decor out again for just a couple weeks.)

So Decking the Halls '14 began!

Our upstairs is mostly finished… I added several crafty projects and moved some stuff around so it looks quite a bit different than it has in years past but the grand total spent on the changes: $2.50! (I bought some mini trees for the table/mantel at Overflow Thrift Store.) We haven't touched the basement yet and we've only added one tree outside (because the tin it's in appropriately says, 'baby it's cold outside!)* so we still have a ways to go but the upstairs is putting us all in the Christmas cheer! (We've had hot cocoa or egg nog every night since and B even busted out his new Christmas jammies from Aunt Kerry tonight!)

My fave Christmas decorating tool this year is the Silhouette! I had a bunch of vinyl on hand so it didn't cost me anything to add a whole ton of Christmas goodness to stuff around the house. Some of my faves:

The 'Happy Holidays' sign (middle picture) was a gift from Ali at What's Your Sign Designs. She has the CUTEST Christmas stuff in her shop if you aren't feeling crafty this year! If you are feeling crafty, you should totally buy a share to the community silhouette and come craft with me! :)

Other crafting: a few book page trees (Once Was and Junk Refunkery had the cutest ones at Junk Jubilee this year so I tried to make my own version of those) and I added those thrift store trees to the mix (total treasure hunt score- I've looked for them the last two Christmases and never lucked out). We stuck our wedding tree in a tin (I think it came from my mom's house? Or my uncle found it in the trash? Or something like that?) and stuck a whole bunch of pallet boards around the house. Quite a bit of change for a total of $2.50!

So what about your house? Have you busted out the Christmas music and twinkle lights yet?!


*R may have also put the lights up and turned them on. It was kind of a joke with him and one of the neighbors and I'm pretty sure he thought I would protest but B loves it so who am I to be a scrooge? :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

An Airplane Party Fit For An (Almost) Three Year Old

As of today, I still have a two year old (thank goodness!) but Mr. B had a big celebration today cause he's getting super excited to turn THREE soon… (tear… ). 

He chose an airplane theme- which I was super excited for since it was his original choice last year before switching to trucks and also because his room is filled with great plan decor. It made party prep super easy. Other than food, we spent $1 on paper straws and $2 on scrapbook paper. His own airplane garb made up the rest of the party scene. We asked him what he wanted for food… cake, cookies and alligator (gatorade). He couldn't decide on food so we went with pizza again cause we're super lazy resourceful. He called Uncle Doyle this week and asked for ice cream and Uncle Doyle obliged. Once again making it super easy party prep for this little guy. He picked out his cake mix (blue suede… it was supposed to taste like blueberries?) and did nearly all the work on the cake- He gathered ingredients, ran the mixer (with help) and poured batter into pans. He mixed up the frosting (with help) and taste tested it as it was going on the cake.* He helped cut clouds out of fondant and stuck everything together (full disclosure, his clouds actually ended up looking better than mine but I had already stuck mine to the front.. bummer). 

As I looked at our wonky, leaning creation, I wondered if he would ever look back at party pictures and wonder why all his friends had store bought wedding birthday cakes for their parties while he didn't. But I kinda love the memories we make working in the kitchen together too so I'm hoping he'll be cool with that instead. He will. Right? (Right?!) (For the record… no judgement from me on the fancy cakes. I think they're awesome. I'm just too cheap to pay someone to make a cake for me!) ;)

*Funny story…. I told him no more licks cause he would get a tummy ache. He stole two more licks before grinning at me and said, "As it turns out, I DIDN'T get a tummy ache." I was laughing too hard to care about the stolen frosting. I love this age!

Other party prep included B calling everyone he knows and making sure they were coming to his party. He called one grandma several times to check and even asked if we could call the tickle monster to make sure he could make it. He helped me make the birthday banner (anyone having a plane party and want it?) and helped gather plane garb. He then was the official greeter and hugger of the day and had a blast playing with everyone. ….And he also enjoyed eating cake and ice cream and opening presents too…  ;) 

Big thanks to everyone that loves on our little guy. He is super spoiled by all of you and we are thankful for each and every one of you guys! I think all the toys he got today should keep him busy for the next 16 years. :)

P.S. Be sure to check out one of my fave pics below… the cousins on the couch pic. It's a tradition so we're probably gonna have to keep the couch forever. Just kidding. Kind of.

Turkey Trot '14

B's Birthday Party was today! (More on that in a little bit…) We started the morning out with a brisk (umm... 30/40s and WINDY) little run. By 'we' I mean B and the Carson cousins. (The adults were too turkey to run in the cold…)

B & Brenny P were both in the two year old race. B was a little excited and took off as soon as daddy set him on the line. Unfortunately, after he got scolded and set back to the starting line he was a little gun shy for the real race and wasn't sure if he should go or not. He eventually ended up chasing BP and giggling the whole way. Neither of our boys won but they looked like they thought it was awesome anyway. :)

Colson won his age group.. he kinda smoked the other kids… and won a turkey out of the deal! They also drew names for more turkeys at the end and he and R both waited patiently while they called out the raffle numbers. Eventually they made their way back to the car with three more turkeys.. that's FOUR turkeys for our four runners. Four free turkeys… Not bad a bad way to start the holiday season. :)

(One more that I borrowed from my friend's Facebook page.) :) 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

thinking about making a to do list

Almost everyday over the last week or so, at least one person a day has asked me if we just about have everything ready to go for baby. The first couple times it was all I could do to not laugh- cause I totally thought they were joking. They weren't.

A list of what we have ready for baby:

-A storage room full of B's baby gear to sort through then clean and reassemble. (Maybe this doesn't go on the 'ready' list.) ;) Everything (except clothes) is gender neutral so I can't think of any big items we'll need.

-A bedroom with potential to be turned into a nursery. It currently doesn't have any flooring in it (long story short we ripped the carpet up a long time ago and never got around to replacing it). It needs painted (badly). And curtains. And a closet organizer (yep- doesn't even have a closet rod). But the space is there. ;)

-A Christmas stocking for her first Christmas (WAY ahead of the game on this so that gets me points somewhere, right? don't worry about the fact that we only buy Christmas stockings to solidify the name choice. you say it's dumb, i say it's tradition).

-A going home outfit. I ended up at Baby Gap to exchange a pair of shoes for B. They don't sell him in his size so I had some store credit to use and very carefully approached the baby girl clearance rack. I found one outfit and got out while I still could. Entering the girl section should not be taken lightly and without a plan. One clearance outfit later, I chalked my first (and only) girl section venture as a success.

-A 3-pack of bandana bibs. B never used bibs but the ones I did have for him were ones I made and the button snaps didn't last one washing. Swell Shop for Baby was one of the stops on DMMB Mom's Night Out and I couldn't resist taking advantage of their awesome sale for the moms that night (thus the bib purchase). Also, they were super awesome with their giveaways and I felt like we all needed to support them so I was just doing my part. (P.S. I WON a pack of their blankets so my tiny investment totally ended up being worth it. I also won a baby seat thinger(?)- I don't know… we didn't have this stuff with B.) ;)

So overall. No. We haven't done much of anything to prepare for baby but I think that's okay? Maybe? I don't feel like our list should be long but maybe that's cause I haven't given it much thought yet. We (mostly R) keep thinking that 2nd trimester energy thing will kick in this time but so far no luck. (My thyroid is completely out of whack so most days I can't hold my head up straight and other days I'm up til midnight blogging random thoughts.. ahem.)

If I were to make a to do list… here's what it would look like:

-Convince R to paint baby's room, dresser (we're using the one from B's nursery) and book shelves. Talk him into laying flooring, installing a closet and hanging curtains.

-Convince R to help me dig out B's baby gear from the storage room and clean it.

-Dig through my friends' hand me downs. Buy hangers to put it all on.

-Purchase (online of course because you know I don't have the time or energy to face an actual store these days) a working video monitor, and a few things I want her to have all of her own (amber necklace, aden and anais swaddling blankets (like these) oh and diapers- those are probably good to have new, right?). ;)  We're also thinking she'll need her own iPod dock (anyone have an old iPod we could buy?)- B still uses his daily/nightly. I also need to find out if my insurance covers a new pump. If not, I need to buy some parts for the old one (and make sure it still works).

-Round up every baby thing we've loaned out over the last couple years. (I take back what I said about that storage room full of baby stuff… most of it isn't actually in our storage room… oops.)

-If I'm feeling really crafty…. make her a mobile and have B help make some other decor items I have in mind for her room.

-Then avoid window shopping online because gah! the little girl stuff is so stinkin' cute and somehow since B was born a mere three years ago, they've come out with a million more awesome baby things. I need to avoid it all like the plague. Like this portable baby nest, these adorable headbands, these shoes I've always crushed on, and a million other super adorable girl and baby things.

Did you feel like you had much prep to do with baby #2? Am I going to be in a huge surprise when I realize maybe we do need to start doing something?! ;)

Friday, October 31, 2014

no tricks, just treats

We're big fans of beggar's night. B started planning this year's costume months in advance, telling everyone he was going to be 'tic toc croc.' Ten minutes before it was time to put the costume on he decides he wants to be Jake (from the Neverland Pirates) instead and definitely doesn't want to wear the croc head. What the what!? It didn't take long to convince him trick or treating = a tic toc croc costume and the hat could be optional. You'll be able to tell below, he (mostly) opted out of it. Even though I took him out for real pics (thankfully) before actual trick or treat night, I tried to get a couple before heading down the street. I asked him to stand nicely and he turned his (Easter basket/Halloween) bucket upside down and started singing 'Happy Birthday.' He also wore it as a hat and danced around the yard laughing at himself before I could finally convince him to give me a shot so we could leave. We love that the firefighters hang out in the neighborhood passing out glow bracelets. They started at our house this year and B couldn't have been more thrilled! (Fun fact about the fireman giving B his bracelet…. I had him as a middle schooler back in 04-05 and he's related to cousin Mo.) (04-04? Again. What the what?!) B carefully chose the houses he wanted to go to. First stop was his little buddy that he misses! Once he got the hang of it, he was toolin' down the street ready to roll! The houses he picked to stop at was a short list. Five houses later and we were home (to hand out our own treats) with a nearly full bucket of candy (and crackers, fruit snacks, markers, stickers, play dough, bracelets, etc.). He was super spoiled. I'd say he chose the right five stops. :) He also got a super special goodie bag from one awesome neighbor and then when 8pm rolled around (the official end time), we crashed one more house where we got honey crisps and more awesome treats. Best stop yet. ;) 

Random Facts:
B was most guessed as: a dragon.
Most popular girls costume we saw: Elsa (of course)
Most popular boys costume we saw: Uhhhhh bloody, crazy, weird people(?)
Other popular costumes we saw: Monsters, bumble bees, bow bearing characters (Katniss, Robin Hood, etc.)
(My) Favorite kids costume: Toaster Strudel Boy or League of Their Own player
(My) Favorite adult costume we saw: Dan Wardell (I think it's his twin!) ;)
B's Favorite Treat: Play doh (and the glow bracelet- that one wins every year)
% of Thank Yous: I didn't keep track this year but it was high. Way higher than most years.
% of Middle Schoolers not wearing costumes but trick or treating anyway: Way lower than most years (maybe why the thank you % was higher?). (I'm all for middle school kids being kids and enjoying beggars night but for the love of candy… at least make an effort for a costume). ;)
What I Miss Most about 'My' Halloweens: Grandma's popcorn balls

All in all, another beggars night approved by the H family. 

Real (who am I kidding… the ones seen here are most definitely the more 'real' of the bunch…) costume pics posting to the cbh page shortly. :)

Happy Halloween! 

Friday, October 17, 2014

the hardest thing

Recently, while talking to a friend about pregnancy after loss, she asked, 'what is the hardest thing?'

The hardest thing.

The hardest thing was the fear that gripped me two minutes after the positive pregnancy test.

The hardest thing was learning to trust God. Again.

The hardest thing was not even being able to bring myself to look at baby girl's first and second set of ultrasound pictures. And having no idea where they are now.

The hardest thing was telling people.

The hardest thing was being labeled 'high risk- multi miscarriages + 2nd tri miscarriage.'

The hardest thing is watching people I love lose their precious babies. And knowing.

The hardest thing is feeling betrayed by my own body and not trusting it. To not marvel at the miracle it is working right now.

The hardest thing is sitting in the OB waiting room surrounded by happy pregnant people with no worry about what their appointment might bring. Every time.

The hardest thing is listening to people due around the same time as me make plans and talk about the future…. while I'm too afraid to.

The hardest thing is the guilt I feel about not planning for her future or not being excited or enjoying every moment of my pregnancy with her.

The hardest thing is watching a two year old boy grow closer and closer to his sister every day, already loving and protecting her fiercely, and just begging God to let him meet her.

The hardest thing is the battle of faith and fear inside my heart.

The hardest thing is learning to trust God. Again.

And again.

Learning to trust that all He has for me is good. Even when it hurts, even when it's ugly, even when it doesn't look good at all- ALL He has for me is good.

He's been working this lesson in my heart for some time now and reminding me to lean into Him when I can't do it on my own.

He teaches us that all our days our numbered. Whether we get to keep our babies just 16 weeks in our womb, just a few short years this side of heaven, or if we get to watch them grow up and grow old- all of our days are numbered. No matter how long or short that number, as much as I love my sweet babies, He loves them even more.

When my now two year old was a newborn, I worried so much, so much, about SIDS. We had waited so long for that sweet boy and I had a hard time trusting that God would let me keep him. One day I realized once I stopped worrying about SIDS, I would be worrying about furniture falling on him, a car running him over, middle schoolers hurting his feelings, him behind the steering wheel, him going off to college, etc, etc, etc. The list of worries never ends as our children grow older. We can add to them and multiply them times infinity if we want to. But the worry won't change the fact that God has got this. And God is trustworthy. And God is good.

The hardest thing… no…. the thing is, I'm learning to let go of the fear and learning to trust God. Again.

'Faith is not about what I believe God is going to do for me to change my circumstances. It is about what I believe about God, in spite of my circumstances.' God is good. When He gave us our precious son, He was good. When He cares for our babies in Heaven, He is good. When He gifted us with hope again in our sweet baby girl, He is good.

The hardest thing…. The thing is…. I'm putting my faith and trust in Him.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


We've been running around like crazy for the last (I lost track of how many...) days. We just got home from a long weekend. The two year old is checking the dog's teeth, declaring them to be stinky. And I have a ton of stuff I should be doing. But I'd really like to just put my feet up. That said. If I don't post these pics now, I'm not sure when I'll get to it. Thus the 'awesome' post coming your way. A weekend full of cousins is always a good weekend. Happy (what day is it again?) Sunday?

It's all boy cousins on daddy's side. These cool dudes were all dressed up for papa's wedding. (Yep, we totally forgot to get B's haircut for the occasion. We're awesome like that.)

B has a new baby girl cousin on mommy's side. He was pretty smitten with Clara. His aunt tried to ask him what his sisters name was and I told him to say it's a secret. When we got home he wanted to know if her name was still (fill in the blank with her name) or if it was 'Secret.' Poor kid was so confused. :) He declared Baby Clara was a very nice baby and he really, really liked her. He also noted she just went like this (pretend sleeping). He thought that was pretty okay. ;) 

Cousins pic. The girls are outnumbering the boys.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Late night random thoughts

B is at the most fun age right now. He says the most hilarious things and cracks us up several times a day. As silly as he is, he's also a thinker. As active as he is, he's also an observer. As wild as he is, he's also the sweetest, most tender hearted boy I know. Every day I wonder how we could possibly love him more and the next day we just do.

He's super into trains, trucks, planes, cars and Toy Story of Terror! (We've already watched it three times this week so we are well on our way to last years record of 1,392,673 times). We limit tv to before bedtime with daddy and sometimes before nap but a lot of days lately we've made it to the end of the day without a single screen time request (yay).

He loves to sing songs. His favorites are 'the spider song,' 'twinkle star song,' and 'little man song.' (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Zacheus was a Wee Little Man.) He's been counting slightly more often but still only on his own accord. While he was once able to name every letter with his magnet letters, we added in some flash card letters and other letter games and the new looks of the letters have him totally confused. Turns out we shouldn't have learned letters with bubble letter shaped magnets. ;)

He loves story time, seeing his church friends and going to the orchard. He's super close to 100 parks (90 and counting). And he talks about his baby sister all the time. Today he hid under the blanket with my belly whispering to her and did not want me in on the secret. That may not be a great sign of what's to come. ;) His name ideas are donuts, apple (usable these days for sure), Mickey Mouse hicks, Donald duck hicks, Stella (his friend's baby sister's name) and Kristyn (another friend's mom's name). He has two other ideas that are actually on the list which kind of surprised me. Usually if I mention a name he says that's a dog name. :)

Speaking of baby sister, according to the app she is 6.25" long and the size of a russet potato. It's so strange to me how they compare their size to food each week and it generally just makes me hungry for food we don't have in the house. Speaking of food, I've been feeling a lot better this week and able to eat more often so that has been great.

Physically things are starting to feel a lot better. Emotionally I still have a good number of hot mess moments. I still get nervous about each appointment they are checking things on me at. My next one is next Wed if you feel like praying. We are having a hard time getting my thyroid where it needs to be and they are following up on another possible issue with me. I think the worst thing about what we went through last time is not being worried if baby will be okay but not trusting that my body will take care of baby. I really felt betrayed by my body and fight those feelings still.

It seems the enemy has enjoyed filling me with feelings of betrayal and rejection lately.

But God has more in store for me than that. As much as I've been hurt lately, we've had so much more good to thank Him for. We have some great people in our corner that are praying for and encouraging us every single day. I'm so thankful for them.

12:34. B just noticed the numbers on the ceiling from our newish clock tonight. I'm noticing them now too and well aware morning will come too soon. I'll leave the proof reading on this one up to you. Coming from the iphone, there's probably lots of mistakes for you to fix. We'll blame auto correct. ;)


Sunday, September 21, 2014

It's a.....


Baby girl 'donuts' (one of big brother's current favorite names) is due in March and we're all super excited!

(Big thanks to Sara at Like A Fox Photography for the family shots!)


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