Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bring the Rain

I have been having a rough go lately with work - much more than I want to disclose on a public blog - but it's been getting to me, little by little, until today I just lost it. I was a crumpled, crying mess full of self-doubt and frustration and fear. It's so hard sometimes, knowing you are accountable for decisions that are made of which you have no control. It makes me wonder: am I capable of cleaning up the mess that's left behind? Am I strong enough to take the mental and emotional beating that I'm about to receive? Was I made for a time such as this? Lord, send me a sign!

And then... the rain came.

I am listening to the sound of the rain hitting my chimney vent - that glorious sound. We've had only 8 inches of rain this year, and it decides to rain now...

Sweet providence.

Okay, Lord. I'm listening. I can do all things through You.

"Bring me joy, bring me peace,
bring the chance to be free,
bring me anything that brings You glory.
Cause I know there'll be days
when this life brings me pain
but if that's what it takes to praise You,
Jesus, bring the rain." ~ MercyMe

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My Precious...

I received my Kim Hargreaves Precious pattern book in the mail yesterday and I am seriously drooling. I love almost every pattern in this book, and can't wait to make a run to the yarn store today to load up! While Lauren is my favorite, I'm not sure if I'm ready to jump back into something that tedious, so I'm going to start with Jen, a cropped cardigan - and then go from there. One of my fave KH patterns, Fay, is also included in this book, so yay!!

Time to load up the girls for a trip to the Yarn Barn!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Stay At Home Envy

Do any of you working moms out there ever wish you could be a stay at home mom?

I do.

I know my perception is probably far from reality, but sometimes it seems like such a better situation. There's no hurry up and rush in the morning to get the kids to daycare so you can get to work - work all day then hurry to daycare to get the kids before they close - then head home to figure out something quick to cook for dinner and feed the kids - then clean up the kitchen before it's time for baths and bed - then try to pick up the house your children destroyed in the fifteen minutes you weren't looking - then sit down and discuss your day (work) with the hubby since you don't have any friends that are interested in listening - then finally plop down in bed so completely exhausted from the day when (oh you can't be serious) dh starts rubbing up against you.

All to get up at 5am - okay, 520am after I hit snooze twice - to do it over again the next day.

I'm envious of the girls I know that stay at home, who get to meet up at 10am to do Bible Studies or get the kids together for playdates at the morning library story time. I'm jealous of Mother's Day Out. I'm envious of naptime, when I notice they get time to post comments on blogs or on Facebook or have time to clean the house since the kids are sleeping. I wish I too could go to the gym every morning after breakfast rather than once every couple of weeks. I'm jealous that they get to drive the SUVs my dh won't let me have. I'm jealous that I'm not part of their close-knit circle of SAHM friends, since us working moms don't fit in that group sometimes. I wish, at the end of day, I'd still have enough energy to play with my kids rather than falling asleep while they watch Dora, and I wouldn't have the guilt I feel when they ask me why I can't stay home with them.

From the outside looking in, the view looks so much better some days...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - 8.19.09

No matter how old you are... this is always funny.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I've been watching my children this week and their response to recent changes in their childcare environment, and I am so amazed. Here are these little people whose lives and routines are being turned upside-down; new classrooms, new teachers, new friends... and they are adapting so easily.

Their mama, on the other hand, is facing a new employer, new boss (mine resigned last week), new co-workers... and I'm a wreck. My mind races from the second I get up in the morning until it finally poops out at the end of the day. My anxiety level is cuh-razy. I only wish I could mirror my daughters' way of taking things in stride and learn to embrace the excitement of new people, new opportunities, and new challenges as only a child can.

Thank goodness for moments like this to remind me how much fun learning new things can be:(from a girl who said "I don't wanna do ballet!! I wanna be a chee-leader!")

Maybe the best change in store for me is that of my perspective.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Knitting Fever

Although it's still well over 100 degrees every stinkin day, I can tell there is a change in the air that symbolizes the approaching fall. Just the thought of turning leaves and cooler weather has me itching to get my fingers wrapped around some yarn on a new project. I've been perusing patterns and struggling with which one I want to try - I'm going all out and making myself a nice cardigan this year, so I want to make it one that's worth the fiber and time investment!

I'm loving the new Kim Hargreaves pattern book, Precious - it's wonderful! I adore Lauren, a blouson-type cardigan...

photo credit: Kim Hargreaves

I'm also contemplating making the Debbie Bliss cabled jacket from the cashmere collection.

photo credit: Debbie Bliss
Now... off to decision-making!

Quotable Sunday - 8.16.09

Time to join Toni again for another Quotable Sunday!

Today, I'm reflecting on Sunday, one of my favorite days of the week, a day where you can forget all the "stuff" hanging around from last week and be ready to start anew...

"There's somethin' bout a Sunday mornin' breeze
Church bells ringin', "bringin' in the sheaves"
And the smell of supper, simmerin' on the stove
A little bit of both's sure good for the soul
Sittin' on the swing with her head on my chest
Givin' any worries one day's rest
Suddenly everything's gonna be okay
There's somethin' 'bout a Sunday" - Michael Peterson

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Etsy Halloween Eye Candy - 8.15.09

With the fall fast approaching, I can't help but start looking for great ways to decorate for Halloween, and as always, Etsy doesn't disappoint! Check these out--

from WillowCreekSparrow

from aprilfoss

Let the spooking begin!

Breast Milk. Every Ounce Counts!

This past week was World Breastfeeding Week, and from my own experiences breastfeeding I can attest that it is not something that comes naturally nor is it easy. I know I wore out my copy of La Leche Leagues's The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and spent lots of time in forums, asking questions of other women experiencing my same struggles.

A great new resource for Texas moms and moms of all states is the website Breast Milk Counts, from the Texas Department of State Health Services. It has great tips for new moms and those experienced with breastfeeding, as well as tips to help working moms continue to nurse after returning to their 9-to-5 schedules. I only wish this had been around when I was nursing my little ones.
Check it out - every ounce counts!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Yesterday was my 32nd birthday. It's funny how strange the thirties decade is to me. I guess because so many milestones typically happen while you're in your twenties that you don't have time to let it sink in that you're getting older. Then all of a sudden, you're 30, and it's like whoa. Hold up here. When did that happen? When did I fall into that category that is addressed in magazines as the beginning of fighting the aging process and the time to start dressing like a grown up? When did I become so old?


Guess I should enjoy while I can. Otherwise, I'll be up and over the next hill - 40. At least I'm still on the 30 end of this decade!

Monday, August 10, 2009

M-I-S-S You Much

So after my weekend time by myself, I had high expectations of the events surrounding the time when I picked up my children from my sister. In my mind, there was symphonic music playing in the background and everything was in slow-motion as my children ran toward me, arms opened, smiles of sheer joy on their faces as if they hadn't seen their mama in months...

Instead I got this:
"I don't want to go home! I want my TTeeeeeee!!!!"
"Turn back - turn back! No, No, No, Noooooo! I want to go to TT's house!"
"I don't like my house! I don't like my toys! TTEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"
"Turn ba-a-a- (yawn) - ack...."
Isn't it good to be loved?

Sunday, August 9, 2009


My sister has a great vintage collection of Fiesta dinnerware, and after living with my Target rooster plates for nearly six years, I've finally decided what I want to replace them with in my cabinets... yup, Fiesta!

I want to have multiple colors, and they're not cheap, so I figure I'll save up for a color at a time and eventually have a full set. The colors I want? Sunflower, Scarlet, Peacock, and Shamrock. Ack! I'm excited just blogging about it. And since I've successfully completed my Target fast - I'm ready to shop!!

Woman First, Mother Always

I read a book by a similar title a few years back, after I had my first child and was beginning to feel the not-so-joyful side of motherhood. I couldn't understand how I could not want to be with my child every second of the day when I loved her so incredibly much, and I felt terrible guilt because of it. Then I read this book and it was all very clear.

When I became a mother, my identity became wrapped up in the arms of mom as well. I was no longer this confident, spontaneous, funny girl - I was a worn-out, washed-up version of myself and I allowed every plan in my life to be led by a baby girl who wouldn't sleep, wouldn't eat, and who sometimes wouldn't stop crying. I flaked out on opportunities to be with others, secondary to the fact that I didn't want to "throw her off her schedule". But in reality, I threw my life off schedule. I completely took myself out of my life, and I began to suffer for it.

Just when I was adjusting to building up myself and my life again, I decided I wanted another baby. (Go figure). Again, the same pattern took ahold and I pretty much became a hermit in my own home, surrounded by a screaming two-year old and a newborn who spent her entire day upchucking her stomach contents.

The Joy of Motherhood, my ass.

It is only recently that I've decided to try again to break out of this cycle and nurture the part of me that was there long before the diapers and formula and potty-training. I've learned to ask for time "off", time away, to regain the much-needed time to remember that while being a mother is wonderful and one of the best things I've ever done, it's not everything I am nor the only role I'll every play.

I was a woman first and will be a mother always.

This weekend, my sister and brother-in-law took my girls away for the weekend, and it was such a change to not have my little offspring running around the house. I slept in until *gasp* 8:00 yesterday morning, was able to finish my coffee while it was still hot, enjoyed privacy in the bathroom for a change, had a leisurely lunch with a girlfriend, saw a matinee... it was wonderful. It was quiet. It was lonely.

I took time to put myself as a woman first and in the process, learned to appreciate myself more as a mother.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Holy Sheet!!

If you remember, I was selected as one of Purex's Insiders earlier this year and was able to try their new 3-in-1 product firsthand. I can honestly say that I loved it the first time I tried it and that I now have the one sheet that does it all in my laundry cabinet. Have you tried it yet??
You'll be sure to say "This Sheet Really Does Work!"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Don't Know Just What to Do with Myself

This evening, my sister will be whisking away my children for a fun-filled weekend with Aunt TT and Uncle Duwa. So I wouldn't have to hear all week "when's TT coming?", I hadn't even mentioned it to the girls until yesterday. At this point, I'm not sure what I will do with the free time. Dh will be working so I'll be flying solo... what to do?!

The opportunities are mind-boggling!

One thing I will be doing for certain... is missing my girls and freaking out a little while they're not under my watchful eye (or roof). It's a mom thing.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

This Ain't Yo Momma's Playhouse...

Welcome to my girls' new playhouse - won't you come on in?!

Sorry for the lighting - I finished it this evening and couldn't wait to take pictures!! Maybe tomorrow I can get some with better lighting and with the girls.
Okay, details. I used this tutorial from Sew Much Ado on how to measure for the sides and "roof". After that, I sketched my ideas for each panel and went to work! The green body fabric is chino curtain material from Walmart (it saved time not having to sew a hem). The rest of the fabric and felt was from my stash, except for the vinyl - oh, the vinyl. We'll talk more about that in a bit.
For the front panel, I cut out a door and sewed pink binding for the doorframe. Then I added a felt mailbox and light and a fabric applique bush.
The back panel is a fabric applique tree with fabric/felt birdies that can be velcroed to the tree when the girls are playing.
One side window panel has a round cut-out window with pink binding and is flanked by fabric applique and felt topiaries.
The other side panel has a vinyl window with a fabric applique windowbox and hand-sewn felt flowers. Now, the vinyl. Hmmm, where do I begin? First of all, I have never sewn with vinyl, so that should have been my first clue. Secondly, I didn't research sewing with vinyl (as I normally would have any other day...)! Let's just say that many ripped seams and curse words later, the window is done, with ribbon on the outside covering the awful sewing job hiding underneath. Thank goodness for fabric glue.
I absolutely love how it turned out, and I think the girls will enjoy it. I may still modify it some by adding some more details on the outside (maybe some bird nests for the tree?), a name plate above the door, and maybe add a fabric door that can be rolled to open and close. We'll see.
I used my new serger on the interior seams, and I think I'm in love. Is there much better than an overlocking seam? I think not!
Curtains: $16.00
Vinyl: $7.00
Stash fabric: Free (essentially)
Making an adorable playhouse (and learning how not to sew vinyl): Priceless!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Off the Clock

Do you ever have one of those days where you just want to be able to "clock out" of motherhood for a little while? To just have a moment when you're not responsible for anything or anyone, where you can clear your head and leave your mom worries behind... where no one asks you to wipe their hiney or tells you they won't eat the "disgusting" meal you've prepared and where the air is so silent you can hear your own heartbeat?

I do, and contrary to what some people may think, it has nothing to do with me being selfish, me not having my priorities right, or me thinking my children are a burden. If anything, it's the exact opposite. It's because I want to give of myself completely to my baby girls when I'm with them, but sometimes mommy can't because she's just so exhausted she can't see straight to help put the puzzle together or to read Pinkalicious just one more time...

Today I left work, wishing I could have just a moment to catch my breath, but knowing I had to hurry to get the girls, get them home and fed and clean and ready for bed. With a pounding headache and an impending ulcer, all I wanted to do was just lay on the couch for five minutes and not listen to them fight over putting together a Little Mermaid puzzle.

I was ready to be off the clock, if only for a moment.

*sigh* It appears this parenting job, though, is a 24/7 gig, and down time is nearly impossible. Thank goodness the benefits are incredible:

Monday, August 3, 2009

Pickin' and Grinnin'

You know that moment when you're driving along, gazing adoringly at your sweet two year-old in the backseat who's yelling out "haybales!" and "cows!" and "o-sies!" as you drive home... and you see her finger make its way from her nose to her, you got it, her mouth.

Yeah. I wouldn't know anything about that.

*** The playhouse is turning out adorable and I'm almost done - the serger popped a thread and I didn't feel like rethreading last night so it's waiting until I get my patience back. Three more inner seams and it'll be ready for a photo op!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What's for Dinner?

In the crazy busy world we live in, I find it very hard to put together a dinner for my kids/family that doesn't involve something frozen or pre-cooked. Needless to say, my choices aren't always the most healthy options... so I'm turning to you, dear reader, to help me out here!

I need ideas for healthy, quick recipes that my kids will eat. Can you help?!

My family... and my waistline... thanks you!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Finally - a Twirly Skirt for Mom!

I finally got around to getting the right size elastic for my circle skirt and I finished it off so I could wear it today... and I totally dig it.

Pretty, right? I used Amy Butler fabrics from the Midwest Modern 2 line. The skirt is Orange Dahlia in ivory/poppies and the waistband (which you can't see :() is blush/martini. After making some of the girls' skirts from Walmart fabric, it was nice working with great material. There is such a huge difference in the way it feels and the way it comes together!

The pattern was easy to follow and this skirt was cut and pieced together in an afternoon. Love it! I can already tell there will be more of these poppin' up in my closet... And just for my girls, I had to test out the Twirl Factor...

I think it meets the standard, don't you?!

Oh... I almost forgot! Dh surprised me with an early birthday present today - a serger! Now - off to figure out how to use it!