Friday, September 16, 2011

Generosity of Spirit

I've got some awesome new products in the works and I really could stand to blog about them.  But, I have another topic just bubbling up within me that makes it hard to focus on my creativity at the moment.  And that topic is generosity of spirit. 
8x10 Art Print from Pennywishes

It may be the crisp, fresh air that is all around me.  Or it may be that a part of me feels the gearing up for the holiday season.  It could even be that I've been fleshing out kindness as a concept in many parts of my life lately.  

No matter, generosity of spirit is in the air all around me and I'm becoming obsessed with it.  I want to bake people cookies and leave them on their doorstep anonymously.  I have an absolute itch to encourage people to the degree that they want to run right out and conquer the world.  I crave heartfelt, joy moments in relationships with those that I appreciate, the kind that are featured at the crescendo of a great movie.  

I also want to keep myself thankful.  In a time where gut wrenching things are seen in the news and heart breaking things happen to those we know, I want exude a spirit of appreciation for those things that are good all around me.  And it is my experience that thankfulness is a very powerful tool in our everyday lives.  It doesn't ward off bad things from happening to you, but it secures your ability to be get up and keep going when they do.  Because your heart is generous in it's appreciation, you know how truly blessed you are.  And that revelation can carry you through anything that life could hurl your way...

Monday, September 05, 2011

Grace = New Inspiration

Even before Grace was born, I began dreaming up my own take of whimsical baby clothes, toys, gear, and decor.  Now that she is here, there is very little time to create such things.  Three months after she was born, I finally got around to making her ribbon mobile that hangs above her crib.  And really, I can mostly thank my mom for the hard labor she donated on the project once the design was finalized by yours truly.  

So here is my newest inspiration: baby mobiles!  The ones shown here are 6.5" in diameter and they are going to be the minis.  As you can see, it is perfect over the changing table to keep curious little eyes busy while momma refreshes baby's bottom.  

What's the location in your nursery that poses the biggest challenge for entertaining baby?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cloudy Sky Emotions

Its overcast and dreary outside today. Days like these are usually a refreshing change compared to overly sweltering late summer temperatures. But today, the reprieve is additionally welcome because I'm in a moment of self discovery that mirrors the somber state of the weather outside.

I'll be honest.  I'm feeling cloudy and even a touch misty eyed.  It seems that life has gone and gotten the best of me this foggy Monday.  I'm pretty confused and fairly unsure of how exactly to pick myself up again right now.  And yet, a flurry of hope wells up in my heart this morning.  I won't lie; a piece of me is quite annoyed by this ever-present comfort.  For I am disappointed and I am let down.  I want, in my frustration, to ignore that peace that sets a hurt heart at rest.

But as sure as the promise of the clouds eventually parting and the sun coming back out to shine its brightness, an overwhelming part of me cannot settle into disdain, distrust, and disregard for a higher truth.  Because the sun will come back out and bits of life will make sense again.  And except for the rare occasion, it usually takes a cloudy day to have access to the crisp smelling, refreshing rain...

The size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream and how you handle disappointment along the way.  ~ Robert Kiyosaki

Floating in the Clouds - 3D wall art from goshandgolly

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

All to myself

I've finally stolen away 30 minutes to sit and tap away at the keyboard.  Upon warming up my coffee for the umpteenth time in preparation of late afternoon blogging, I've been trying to decide what would be more therapeutic.  Should I simply ramble about the joys of the baby fashion show because Grace's diapers soaked through again?  Maybe I could use cyberspace as a platform to psyche myself up to create some new things for the first time in months...  Is 30 minutes anywhere near enough time to locate, dig up, and craft something truly meaningful and hugely profound in my awkward life right now? 

The latter would clearly be the best use of my time if I'm trying to maintain my sanity.  But, I don't know that I'm up for such a challenge.  Alas, that is the direction with which this blog entry is obviously veering.  That being said, ready... set... go!

In reflection of the many trials and tribulations that our family has had with that beautiful thing called breastfeeding, I've come to a conclusion or two about life in general.  First, I'm realizing more and more that the best thing for you is often nowhere near the easiest thing for you.  Breastfeeding is clearly the best thing for my baby as a myriad of studies have shown, but no one really lets a first time mom in on how truly trying its going to be.

Of course and like many other things in my life, had I known, I might not have possessed the courage to give it a whirl.  As if a whirl is really what I've given it.  That's not it at all.  Rather, I've given my commitment to it because I know the long term, big picture benefits.  As with much of life, we know the end result - a healthy, happy, person.  Still, the journey of infusing a high road concept into everyday life is also, in most cases, the road less traveled for a reason.

And with breastfeeding, I have witnessed the reasons.  There are plenty in my own life and I've heard many more come out of the mouths of friends, acquaintances, and strangers.  As not to delve too, too much into the intricacies of the female body, suffice it to say that it takes a strong family to stay committed to it.  I say family because the skill that is breastfeeding is a community effort if only within the community of one's home. 

And like life, I appreciate those around me that go before us.  I commend those that pass on both their defeats and their triumphs for the better good.  I thank those that see the everyday from a higher perspective, one that encourages and imparts the essence of life into others.

Because, really, those acts, those gestures, those people are the ones that make the journey worthwhile. 

Monday, May 09, 2011

When EVERYTHING goes wrong

You know the days I'm talking about.  Its the day that everything goes wrong.  Everything.  I'm on the front end of one of those days now.  It's only 10AM and an observer would probably be surprised about how much hasn't gone right in the mere 2 hours that I've been awake today. 

The internet won't work at our house the day I decide that I'm going to buckle down and spend a few hours on the work at home project I've been neglecting since basically November.  This may or may not be because we forgot to pay our wireless bill that was due yesterday.  That, of course, caused a little rift between me and my favorite husband but we'll leave the details out of that event.  So I decide to be full of perseverence and head to the neighborhood coffee shop.  After circling the block twice due to a strange and very unclearly marked maze of construction, I finally happen upon a parking space.  I get to the counter and realize that I forgot my stamp card that entitled me to my free tall coffee today.  That free coffee could have been the little thing that changed the course of my day for the better.  Alas, it will have to be the redemption of the day some other time.  Then after committing about 5 mintues to connecting, unconnecting, and restarting my laptop, I find out from the cashier that their internet isn't working either.  Must be a local thing. 

So here I am now.  Tapping away my thoughts because I'm tempted to either be really frustrated or really amused at my morning.  Husband and I have been talking for days about this Monday morning; starting freshly focused and fully organized in the way we spend our time.  So after much talk, this ironic crescendo is not quite what I was hoping for as the jumpstart of my week.  I was hoping that things would go according to plan and that I'd be hugely productive in the ways I'd intended on being. 

As fate would have it, my plan was derailed.  My day was detoured due to construction within the fibers of life.  I could be annoyed that I've wasted a perfectly good morning with a ton of almosts.  And honestly, part of me is tempted to do so.  But, I have a secret motive that is swaying my emotions otherwise.  In a very odd way, a piece of me revels in the absurdity of a typical Monday morning laying to waste. 

You see, the frustrations of life offer me a unique opportunity if I am prepared to acknowledge them without pretense.  In these moments, I have the chance to look beyond my own intents and see a larger picture within the world around me.  Because really, me not starting my work at 10am will not cause me to be unable to do so tomorrow.  Unless of course, I give in to the frustration of today and haphazardly deem what didn't work today as unworkable tomorrow as well.  Or if I settle into the half truth that says the longer it doesn't happen the more likely it will continue to not happen. 

But, I am a believer of second chances.  I am an acknowledger of new mercies every morning.  I am a fan of the idea that failures = practice and success is inevitable if you practice long enough.  I'll be honest though.  This concept isn't necessarily my credo.  It isn't always the norm for my everyday life.  I am not necessarily a natural at cheerfulness & unending good spirits.  This perspective is something I am working out in my life.  Its a tool that I sometimes choose to employ and other times stubbornly do not. 

I like to think about this optimism as a wave of goodness that washes over me.  When it does, I get to make a choice.  I can choose to embrace the joy of something bigger than me or I can default to irresponsibly and self indulgently pushing a moment aside that has the opportunity to change me and my character.  Because I have a very real responsibility to be a better person than I am and there is always something in me that can be purer than it is.  This responsibility, both to myself and to those around me, is a commission that lights up a dark world and brightens a stormy heart a bit at a time. 

The famous quote that says "be the change you want to see in the world" is so true.  If I can change a little bit of me, then it always surprises me how the things around me change.  All it takes is a choice...

Sunday, May 08, 2011


The past few months I've thought long and hard about combining my 2 blogs.  There has always been the blog that I write from the heart with and the blog that I nurture creativity with.  I've recently, however, been unable to shake the idea of merging to two. 

The idea probably stemmed from my intense need to simplify my life nowadays.  Daily life with 17 week old Grace Olivia has made me reconsider time my time and priorities in every crevice of my life.  Even still, I feel Blogger beckoning me.  No matter that I now average about 2 hours less sleep a night that 6 months ago.  Never mind that I can barely process through an entire idea much less put it to pen (or keyboard in this case).

Oh well.  Its too late now.  I've done it.  Tonight I imported my personal blog and uploaded it here onto my "business" blog.  No more separating church & state, fact & fiction, home & work.  We might as well just be honest now.

I am a stay at home mom that is lucky to get a shower some days.  I've not made anything new since this past fall for my shop.  The only way I got Grace's Easter hair bow done is because I somehow managed to balance her on the Boppy while I hand stitched the worst version of my Rose Garden Hair Snapper to date.

If you're still reading or following, you must either be a mom as well or have a sick sense of humor (no harm, no foul there!).  Stay tuned for what life looks like when everything is all mashed up together... 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Raw Milk

Tonight some friends brought over some raw milk.  Though I know some about the benefits of it, I'd not ever tasted it.  Talk about a beautiful moment for my taste buds.  Its everything good about milk, only better.  It was nothing short of bliss in a cup.  Seriously.  If you have any appreciation for milk, go find some (from a reputable source of course) and revel in the delight that is raw milk.  You'll thank me later.

Now on to what I'm thankful for:
  1. A clean house
  2. Fruit water
  3. Porch swings
  4. Vintage luggage
  5. Dusk
  6. Grace
  7. The promise of things to come
  8. Transparency 
  9. Cloth wipes
  10. Pizza bread
  11. Porch lights
  12. Stemless wine glasses
  13. Being on the same page as my husband
  14. Wooden toys
  15. 3/4 shirts
  16. Pedicures
  17. Generosity
  18. That all things work together for good
  19. Gmail
  20. Raw milk
  21. Friends that buy raw milk
  22. Long drives
  23. Comfort
  24. Truth in love
  25. A restful evening

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Leaving the house

Some days leaving the house are easier than others.  And some days, its not so much leaving the house as it is staying away from the house. 

I go to a mom group on Monday nights and I always look forward to it.  I've finally learned that I need to start getting ready to leave at 6:05 since the group starts at 6:30.  Mind you, it only takes about 5 minutes to get there.  Anyway, last night I arrived 5 minutes early (which I love!) and I was certain this would be an easy outing.  I'd fed Grace not long before we left and she seemed in good spirits. 

We got out of the car and I stuck her in the sling.  She often will crash out if I'm patting her butt rhythmically.  Instead, she got a little fussy so I took her out and stuck her on my lap.  We did peekaboo as I stayed engaged in the conversation.  I changed her diaper.  I bounced and patted.  I drank my coffee.  Then, she got grumpy... loud and grumpy. 

Now I understand that the moms are used to crying babies and I wholeheartedly appreciate that.  But I just feel more comfy heading to another room if Grace gets downright mad.  And mad she was.  I tried to nurse - no go.  I tried to swaddle & shush - not a chance.  I swirled around in circles - I think it distracted her but it eventually made me uber dizzy.  She started at it again.  I bee-lined for the restroom thinking I might have some luck with the exhaust fan.  The fan, however, was about as loud as a vibrating cell phone.  Sheesh.  We relocated to little spare bedroom across the hall from the restroom.  I tried all of the above tactics yet again in desperation.  Then, I faked a diaper change.  Grace began smiling and put her little happy face on.  Unfortunately, it vanished once play diaper change was over and red faced crying ensued.  I tried the trick again.  No luck this time. 

Eventually and after about 45 minutes of drama, I just cut my losses.  I propped screaming baby up on my shoulder, put on my "I know my baby is crying, see if you can calm her down yourself" face and packed up the diaper bag mid-conversation.  I briefly told a friend that I was done for the night and that I'd see her later.  I made my exit and, lo and behold, she took a few pauses to breathe once we got outside.  She screamed the whole way home then, miraculously and as if on cue, stopped as we pulled into the driveway. 

I learned two things from last night.  First and foremost, I learned that sometimes all you can do is cut your losses and move on.  I would have loved to get over the fuss hump and to have had a happy evening out.  But that plan wasn't working for me last night.  And like so many other things in life, my wanting it to work didn't make the experience go any more smoothly.  I can honestly say that I am living more and more with Romans 8:28 in mind - that God works all things together for good for those that love Him.  It's a good thing too... because I'd be pretty frazzled if progress solely rested on my efforts.  Whether it be to calm my baby or to pay a huge bill, I have the promise of redemption looming ahead of me always. 

The second thing I learned was that there are some things only Papas can make better...  Sometimes the only solution I can come up with is to snuggle in close to my protective and consoling Papa in heaven.  It would make sense then that Grace probably feels the same way about her Papa too.  He's bigger than her, he makes her smile with his silly songs, and he can lead her into good rest like nobody else. What's not to love about that?

And now on to the things I'm thankful for:
  1. The graphic design expertise of www.gracehesterdesigns.etsy.com (photo)
  2.  People that read my blog
  3. Cloth wipes made of soft flannel
  4. Muscle cars that sound mean
  5. When the trees start to bud in the spring
  6. The quaint neighborhood we reside in
  7. People that don't judge
  8. Prayer room webstream
  9. The furniture that someone let us borrow
  10. Heirlooms
  11. Sparkley pens
  12. Revelation brought by reflection
  13. That we get to co-labor with God
  14. Hope
  15. For each new day
  16. My personal testimonies of God's goodness
  17. Adan & Anais swaddlers
  18. Baby slings
  19. Dried fruit in oatmeal
  20. Brown sugar
  21. A diaper bag with loads of pockets custom designed for me
  22. The learning curve
  23. Giggling
  24. Singing made up songs that make Grace smile
  25. Grace

Monday, April 11, 2011

A day late & a dollar short....

Ok, maybe just a day late.  So the goal here is to list 25 things every single day for 40 days which inevitably leads me to establish a whopping 1000 things that I am thankful for.  I skipped yesterday.  I'll consider it because yesterday was my sabbath.  Yes, that will be the reason.  Ultimately, the reasons I skip days may be even more interesting than why I am thankful.  We'll see.

  1.  Trumpette socks for Grace - because they stay on her feet!
  2. My super duper pink Breakfast at Tiffany's mug
  3. French press coffee
  4. That my baby is healthy
  5. Fruit water
  6. That Grace got Danny's long eyelashes instead of my modest ones
  7. Snail mail
  8. Reusable shopping bags
  9. Freshly mowed lawns
  10. Monday night Breastfeeding Support Group
  11. Polka dots
  12. Green cleaners
  13. Gold glaze paint
  14. Sunshine
  15. Romans 8:28
  16. Naptime
  17. Vintage mod prints on a pillow - www.atomiclivinhome.etsy.com
  18. Keychains
  19. Coffee table books - they make a home look lived in
  20. Homeopathic treatments
  21. Tweetdeck for Twitter
  22. Debit cards
  23. Sonic ice
  24. Etsy.com
  25. A new friend

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Twice in a row!

We had a garage sale the last 2 days.  I was unpleasantly surprised how little traffic we had at our sale.  It was sort of lame, actually.  I guess I should be thankful that someone gave me money in exchange for the things that they did take away from our house.  There's one off the list!

This is day 2 of 1000 things to be thankful for.  The goal is 25 per day for 40 days.  Here goes:
  1. Chocolate sundaes
  2. Peekaboo game - Grace loves it!
  3. Tacos
  4. That I've never seen Love Story until today (and I could have done without it today)
  5. Sustainable farms
  6. A red velvet couch
  7. Baby giggles
  8. Ceiling fans
  9. My husband
  10. Coasters from www.redbirdink.etsy.com
  11. Monster Quest
  12. Porches
  13. Sunday paper
  14. Good coffee
  15. Wooden donut holes
  16. Selling things
  17. Breezes
  18. A sharp knife set
  19. A husband that likes to clean
  20. Gmail
  21. For the money we made today at our garage sale
  22. Other people's garage sales
  23. Greensprouts teether
  24. A cozy bed
  25. Spring

Friday, April 08, 2011

Back in the saddle again...

You heard that right.  I'm back in the saddle again... the blog saddle, that is.  I've been thinking for weeks about revisiting the joy of blogging.  I'm taking my first step with my personal blog.  I've chosen to not think about the jewelry blog that is just lounging around cyberspace untouched and unamused. 

And rather than fill in the last 6 months of life as to catch up for everything that I've not posted since last fall, I will just act like I've been blogging all along.  I'm taking this stance primarily in the attempt to not completely overwhelm myself.  After all, I now have an absolutely gorgeous 14 week old baby girl that is more than a handful for me. 

I cannot begin to express how utterly in love I am with this girl.  She, along with my perpetually amusing husband (thank God I married a man with a sense of humor!), is the sunshine in my day.  And thus begins the first 25 things that I am thankful for (as this begins a series of a grand total of 1000 things to be appreciative of).  So, here we go...
  1. Grace Olivia, my sweet daughter
  2. Chocolate chip cookies made by my husband
  3. A wooden tray with handles purchased for $7
  4. Large picture windows
  5. Brita water filter 
  6. Friends & family that sew
  7. Whole Foods
  8. The fact that I can (though I haven't had time to) cut my own hair
  9. My breastfeeding support group 
  10. Girls nights
  11. Jeans that still fit
  12. Mega green smoothies
  13. Magazine subscriptions
  14. IHOP special edition CDs
  15. Swaddling - baby calming secret weapon
  16. Carters pink elephant rattle blankie 
  17. Postal service carrier pickup
  18. Facebook
  19. Rainboots
  20. Holy Spirit
  21. Ipod dock remote control
  22. White noise website www.simplynoise.com
  23. Craigslist
  24. My black & white dishes
  25. Skype