Thursday, December 17, 2009

Beautiful Giving

Do I feel this way every christmas?

This frustration about christmas shopping- not my shopping.

OTHER peoples shopping, they wait to the last minute, get frustrated, or better yet use THE LINE on me.

THE LINE: "It's not really about the giving- it's just being together that matters"

Ok- of course it's the being together- but come on. Once a year you buy presents for your family and friends.

Christmas is the SAME day every year. Your family stays the same or similar from one year to the next- why not plan for it.

I mean budget in the summer and set some money aside.

Christmas DOES NOT have to break the bank.

And really a GREAT gift- doesn't mean you spend $25, $50 or even $100 on it.

I look for clearance things in the fall and set aside things that are beautiful. That's it- things that are beautiful-giving them to people who are special in your life.

Which reminds me: isn't Jesus our perfect GIFT.

Don't we exchange gifts in remembrance of him?

I guess maybe I need to just let it go... some people don't find gifts important, the planning important or the giving important.

I LOVE it all. I day dream about what would be perfect and beautiful for that person.

I have more fun making, looking and planning for others then any gift I get.

I think I have my dad to thank for that- he is the most generous person I know.

He gives and gives and gives.

I guess what I'm trying to say- is stop and reflect on the beauty of giving.

Monday, November 2, 2009

50 books in 2009

I am currently getting a little nervous about my reading goal. I wanted to read 10,000 pages and 50 books this year and I think I'm only at 39 books so far. Here is what I read in October:
-3 Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
-Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
-The Summer I turned Pretty by Jenny Han
-The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
-The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
-Birches by Robert Frost

I'm also about 150 pages into "The Time Traveler's Wife" which I am really liking and am glad I didn't see the movie first!

I'm also catching up on my Bible reading (1400 pages so far and on October 17th) which is why I'm not worried about reading my 10,000 page goal.

I've requested some easy and short books from the library for november, so I guess I shouldn't be too nervous. I have what 8 weeks left of 2009? wish me luck!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


15 months into it and each day I'm still trying to figure out how to be a great mom. I know a part of it is these little silly moments that no one would think is a big deal: like watering the garden, putting diapers on each others head, reading, trying to cuddle, exploring our neighbors yards and doing fish face all day long. I just hope I'm doing the best I can do, because my little man deserves the best. I can't explain how much I love him. Being a mother is indescribable.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A couple of day ago, I had an amazing thing happen. I was asked to meet with a buyer from a little boutique in our local mall, and show her my Lizzy Brookes collection. She loved the pieces I showed her and made a LARGE order on the spot. Then she told me her ideas of using my pieces as a store front window display, encouraging buyers to support local designers. ME- a a local designer in the mall! I never would have thought 5 months ago when I started my little etsy shop that I would soon be in stores at the mall. I feel so blessed to have been selected and it feels like my hard work is really paying off. So many mornings of setting up the ironing board in the kitchen so I have some workspace, packing up my supplies into the garage everyday.... and here I am: a real clothes designer? I feel MUCH more comfortable with the word- artist instead. But Chris said they are the same thing. Here are some of the pieces the boutique ordered.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

That Weird Feeling to Create

I've been crafting, sewing, making things whatever you want to call it... and I get this weird feeling in my stomach until I finish the project! Weird like- nerves or butterflies? It's something I don't like but then again I also feel like I'm in an adrenal rush when I'm creating. I get tunnel vision and all I can think about is the next step, envisioning the finished product and then how I will photograph, title and price it. It's a whirl of activity in my mind and then when I finish. I finish.
I pack up my materials (by the way- I've been feeling real sad that I don't have a studio/work space to create in... I'm trying to get past that) like I said, I pack up my materials and throw away scraps- then that's it. I'm done. Until another wild idea comes that I have to follow!

Friday, May 1, 2009

reflects of my husband's lay off

Usually my son is an amazing sleeper... not tonight. He got up twice with a dirty and a bad diaper rash- which required screaming at the top of his lungs. To say the least- I've been trying to get back to sleep for an hour now.
I etsied, face-booked, caught up on blogs and now have a moment to add to my own.

My husband was laid off of work in February. It's May- he's still at home looking for a job and so close to landing this amazing job at a creative firm- the best part: it's a job he gets excited about. But even with the anticipation of a job so close- I do get nervous. I was laying in bed tonight thinking how we should both start donating plasma and other crazy things.  I want to & do trust the Lord that he is in control. It's scary at times. I want life to get in a groove again- I don't want to feel guilty for buying something or shopping etc. I also want that uncertainty for Chris to go away. He has a look on his face every now and then... one that says "when will a job for me come? will I love it?" 

I absolutely know I will miss him tons and the past weeks have been an INCREDIBLE bonding experience for Chris and Brooklyn. It's just been hard be in limbo. I haven't wanted to see or talk with many friends... because it's been embarrassing to have your husband at home and not at work. I hate even admitted that- I don't want to be embarrassed.  I'm proud of Chris for holding out and not just taking anything. I want him to LOVE his job- to be excited. But the most important thing I've learned through all of this: you aren't your job.  I'm not just a mother, I wasn't just a teacher, or artist. Chris is not a career- he's a husband, dad, son and brother. There are so many aspects and facets to our lives sometimes it's so easy to get wrapped up in our career and see that as who we are in life.

I want to look back and have fond memories of this time at home with my husband- and really haven't I been asking for more quality time? :)

Friday, January 30, 2009


Sometimes I get so frustrated with my cluttered life. I started a sewing project today- (a shirt & dress for my 4-year old niece Nora) and as I was using my sewing I got into a little snag and looked for my machine and manual and couldn't find it anywhere. Now to most people this would not be a big deal, but today I was in the perfect mood for a project and everything was laid out, had been cut and was ready to sew. 
 It all started when I wrote down my goals for 2009; I wanted a year of change. A year that was simplified, de-cluttered and cleared out! So I cleared out our attic (still a ways to go) cleaned out all the kitchen cabinets, my closet, Brooklyn's closet, the garage. The great thing about clutter is you know where everything is... when everything's put away- it's a new spot and who knows where that new spot it? I don't. But all's well that ends well (is that the saying?) because a few hours later, as I was polishing the glass on my new car- I spotted all my sewing machine stuff! It was all thrown on my husband's work bench- a perfect spot for a craft box.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

things that change

So as I sit in my house... for the third day in a row (from an ice storm) a friend suggests I start a blog. A blog about my thoughts about being a mom etc.- what's funny is I never thought I was good at writing- my english teacher said you must read twice as much as you write (so I assumed I would never be able to read enough to write) I know her comment wasn't to deter me from writing... it's just a comment that sticks out in my mind, you know?
What's different now... my life is totally different. It's weird even seeing those words typed and knowing how insignificant they seem in comparison to what lies behind them. Change. My "word theme" for 2009; already I've sold my first car (My silver Jetta) I've had for 10-years and got a "mom car" or what some people call an SUV. Ok, it's an Acura MDX  and for the record, it's amazing! Actually a dream car. I have wanted one since I drove my mom's back in college.

Last year I was an art teacher, around 100+ people a day. Thriving, creating. laughing, sighing, working, grading, dreaming and gone all day. Now I wake up excited that I got a handful of hours back-to-back, hoping my baby will sleep late so I can have some alone time, then feeling guilty for wanting alone time, then seeing him and forgetting the later. I see him- his smile, the one that changes me. Like my husbands did long ago- now our child. His every little accomplishment I play over and over in my mind- unbelieving that this little baby I gave birth to can crawl, stand in his crib and is cutting a tooth. Never have these little growing pains excited me so much. 

Now he cries- not wanting to surrender to sleep... and me wishing he would quickly. Some weeks I do nothing but take care of my house, my husband and our baby. No "productive" things from the outside, no salary, no time-card, no bonuses, no reviews- just getting up and taking care of everything.  Honestly, deep-down inside there is no where else I would rather be... but some days it's very hard. I get lonely, restless and feel overwhelmed. My baby who I know so intimately can't communicate through words and this is very hard. I wish he could understand: sleep is good, you'll feel better and act better after it. And so will mom!  

A lot of the time, I sit and think I wish Brooklyn would "get this" and then I realize it's a life lesson-  a lesson I could also use.  Patience, understanding, doing what's hard- even though it's right, consistency- Love. The true meaning of it, not what my married-version of it was. True love- when you're tired, exhausted and at your last end- the caring and understanding needed for a child. The care and understanding my heavenly Father shows me.  I'm His child. That's still amazing to me- I'm the child who cries out, who doesn't understand, who wants her own way and who pushed when she knows she should trust. 

Quiet now. Here's a mom-decision. Do something productive: look at my to-do list, do the dishes, laundry, return calls, make bed, make dinner, vacuum.... or do something just for me. Something that helps me recoup, re-energize and feel like more then a mom. More then a Chore-doer & a Baby-care-taker. What's so amazing about being a mom is that it's SO MUCH harder then working- about 1,000 times. I used to think moms who work, had it harder- NO. They get out of being with their kids all day, that's where the badge is earned. The day in and
day out care for a child.  

My husband and I have made many sacrifices for me to stay home with our son and future children- but sacrifices that are all worth it.   For years we have paid off debt, saved, lived below our means, kept older cars, kept a smaller house, eaten at home, gone to $1 movies... all of these things add up to living in a strict budget. Living then like few- so I could raise our son at home. 

I was trying to think of a comparison for someone who hasn't had children yet. Here you go: You when you write something good? Something you LOVE and read over and over again? Then you read something someone else writes and you like it, but you don't get it like you get your own writing, you don't personalize with every bit of your own writing and then you find more in each sentence after you read it again, then you see yourself in the whole thing... well that's a little bit like how it is when you have a child. You feel different toward your child, because it literally came out from you- like when you write something great.