Tuesday, December 25, 2012

In Spite Of Me

Today, Christmas Eve, started out rough. It was raining, the boys were bored, and I fought an ugly battle with worthlessness... my old, familiar enemy that always seems to launch a surprise attack when it's time for me to step up and do something important. Today's task was to salvage what was left of this holiday season and make one last hail mary attempt at creating some Christmas magic for my family.

I seemed to fail at every turn. I slept late. I cried. The house was a mess. The trip with the boys to buy their daddy's gift was far removed from any Hallmark commercial I've ever seen. But in the end, it was they who brought the magic to me.

A jog at the park with my husband, after which he insisted on making his homemade jumbalaya.

My older son making sure that reading the Christmas story was on tomorrow's agenda, before opening gifts.

My younger son's beyond-precious letter to Santa letting him know that he'll be grateful for whatever he gets.

And my little sister's text telling me how much she loves and appreciates me.

How nice that Christmas came this year in spite of me, and without my help.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Zombies, Run! And so do I...

Apparently, the only thing that gets my booty into a good exercise routine is having a husband who is into one and shaming - I mean inspiring - me to tag along. And, as it turns out, the only thing that gets HIM up and moving is a hungry zombie horde hot on his heels.

No, the zombie apocolypse is not yet upon us (much to his dismay). But there is an iPhone app called Zombies, Run! that gets you in shape as you run errands and gather supplies for the compound, all while evading zombies who chase you at unexpected times. There are actually two apps - the training program to start getting you in shape, and then the actual game that turns you into a runner. We are doing the training program first. Not much story to go along with it, but still interesting enough to get you excited about the upcoming game. And trick you into thinking that you're "Runner #5" in the post-apocolyptic Abel Township where survival is your main objective, rather than the horribly unfit, if-I-had-to-actually-run-for-my-life-I-would-totally-die person that you really are.

Zombiesrungame.com. Cute and motivating husband not included.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Where Are You, Christmas?

I went to bed three hours ago in hopes of getting a good night's rest for an early start at the bakery tomorrow. But I was simply too upset. I'm filled with anxiety and panic. Not one to over-extend myself or allow a stressful lifestyle, I am just overwhelmed by things that seem to be beyond my control. I felt like I could just crawl out of my skin or run ten miles, barefoot and night-gowned.

Unable to sleep, I made myself some chamomile tea and am now sitting on the couch in the soft glow of our little Christmas tree. There is an owl hooting away outside in the most soothing tone. I am feeling much calmer.

I think this is the first time in my life I've ever wished that Christmas would just hurry up and be over. I adore Christmas, always have. But so far, the magic is just missing this year. And yes, I know it is supposed to come from within and all that. But I just feel too spent. I am a firm believer that we, for the most part, create our own happiness - and I have been hard at work doing so, with great results. But I am, and forever will be, my own worst enemy, sabatoging my best efforts like a boss. I am too embarrassed to admit on here what my biggest issue is, although if you know me well, then you know. And I am in bondage, my heart and soul imprisoned and enslaved inside my own body.

With every fiber of my being, I believe that God created me to need Him. I believe that He holds me in His everlasting arms and has freely given me the key to every lock that holds me captive. I believe that key is total dependancy on Him. I let go, He handles everything, I am free. It's so simple!


Then why am I still here, tied up and gagged on this stinking prison floor behind bars? I don't know. I beg God for understanding. I don't know how to properly and effectively use the key. And I am robbed of joy and peace this Christmas season.

And then I feel guilt for being so wrapped up in myself when little children are being murdered by madmen in Connecticut. How many of those parents - and countless others across the globe - would gladly trade my frustrations for their own devastating heartbreak???

Christmas Bells

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1863

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I finally got the house in order for our guests. I didn't finish everything on my list - like getting the rest of the trim painted and finally putting the light switch plates back on, which have been off since we moved in in August. We just ran out of time because, frankly, I dragged my feet this week. Oh well. It was still a very nice Thanksgiving Day and now my house is clean enough to start decorating for Christmas.

Well, ok, I'm not gonna lie. I still haven't washed all the dishes or picked up after yesterday. I woke up this morning and my cold had gotten worse, my voice is completely gone. So I've been taking it easy in Dreamland. But as soon as I feel a bit better, I'll catch back up and then we'll be set to decorate:)

Although I want to be positive and discreet, I have no desire to sugar-coat my life on this blog. Yesterday was not perfect. There are a couple of very painful things going on that sort of loomed over our heads and threatened to steal my joy, as they do almost every day. I was thinking this morning about how the Holidays just get more and more difficult every year as life continues to throw things our way and bury us deeper and deeper in stress and grief. It seems that every year there is one more person missing, or one more person hurting, or one more thing to worry about. But I guess the key is to stay focused on the good and choose to be grateful for all the beauty, love, laughter, and blessings that are all around us. The negative things cannot be ignored, we are human and real life is hard. But I think the bad can at least be balanced out with the good if we choose it.

And, come on, how could one NOT smile all day with this fuzzy-headed little nephew to hold and squeeze and kiss?!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Did I Volunteer To Host Thanksgiving?

I believe I did. And this is a small glimpse of the mess that is my dining/office/sewing room.

T-minus 3.5 days. Not good.

Some of the mess on the table in the foreground is what I pulled out of my cabinet today in order to reorganize. But most of it is due to that work in progress I have going on in the background. Those star blocks will be a quilt for my little sister someday.

But now... back to work.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Um, Yeah...

Did NOT mean to take a seven month break from this blog:/ Shortly after my last post, my life took another drastic turn, but this time for the best:) To summarize, my husband and I are back together. And happier than ever before.

Aside from being extremely busy reintegrating our lives, setting up house again, and settling down, I've been without internet almost this entire time. But I finally decided I just couldn't wait anymore so I'm trying a post from my phone. Hope it turns out looking okay on your computer. Be back soon with some quilty pics and more melodrama, Mandy-style;)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Well, after my last post, I thought things were going to calm down a bit around here. Ha! It has poured rain this week, figuratively. One bad thing after another, from tooth aches to both vehicles breaking down and in the shop at the same time to no money to pay for the repairs.

Oh, and we've run out of toilet paper.

But when the sky pours rain, there is usually a rainbow to be found. And if not, then you can always make one. 

There's nothing quite like a 100% cotton rainbow to chase the clouds away. ;)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Break Fun, Easter Fail

For Spring Break, I took the boys down to Florida to visit my sister in law and her family, and we got to meet its newest member, Sally.

The boys loved her...

especially this one.

When we got back home, I put a little baby shower together for my other sister in law whose little Liam is still cooking. I'd never made a diaper cake before and was surprised at how easy and fun it was!

You might be the mother of boys if... a snake skin is the favorite find of an egg hunt.

"Eggs rock." (My husband's initial reaction to this little set-up.)

It's been a busy couple of weeks. Lots of sewing, crafting, shopping, traveling, fast food (ugh), family, fun, messes, drama, chaos, a few all-nighters, and two terrible sunburns. And it all ended with me completely dropping the ball on Easter Sunday. I needed to keep up the pace for one more day to pull off a good Easter celebration with my boys by taking them to church to worship our risen Savior, the very reason for the holiday and all of its festivities. But... I crashed. It was an epic mommy fail. I shouldn't be so hard on myself, though... the boys enjoyed a day with their daddy, who gave them their Easter baskets, while I replenished the grocery supply and caught up on all of my lost sleep. C'est la vie.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Side of Ketchup

I finished this quilt last March. It turned out to be one of those "Oh well..." quilts. I love the colors, but it just didn't come out quite like I envisioned. Of course, my quilts rarely do, but I was pretty disappointed with this one. Like I said - oh well.


But because I loved the color scheme, I tried it out on this baby quilt for my new cousin shortly after. I like it much better.

I decided to try a wider binding. Starting out with a 6" strip yielded a 1" binding. I absolutely love it! 

So I used it on this next baby quilt, as well. This one was for my good friend's fourth baby.

  I love pretty much everything about this quilt, especially that 1" wide stripey binding!

 Here's to photographic proof that not all of 2011 was a bust. =)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Thank you all so much for welcoming me back with such kind and encouraging words! I appreciate it more than you know. This past year has been an absolute hurricane for me, so please bear with me as I use this blog to help regain my footing. I love to write and I always walk away feeling more solid... so I think it should be integral to the rebuilding of my life. And it certainly helps to have a cheering section!

Enough seriousness. I made myself a red and white polka dotted swag this week and it couldn't be more perfect for me.

I have OPDD, in case you didn't know. That's Obsessive Polka Dot Disorder. A very real mental disorder that causes grown women to use polka dots in their living room decor.

More advanced cases may involve squealing at the sight of them.

Don't wait. Talk to your doctor about OPDD today.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Still Me

I first started this blog in 2008. A little over a year ago in 2011, my life-long identity crisis came to a head and I decided that the only solution was to delete my blog.


I suppose it was the most extreme way I could think of to express my dissatisfaction with myself. Sort of like deleting myself, maybe? (No shortage of melodrama around here, folks.) I did love blogging and hoped that one day I would make a comeback as a different person - all grown up and able to poignantly express my beautifully wisened self through words and pictures.

Well, I'm back, and let me tell you... I'm still me. And I'm still in full-blown identity crisis mode that I've come to realize is just part of who I am. Insecure and always hoping that my white swan transformation is right around the corner.

But these days, I'm finding myself okay with that. Shortly after my no-more-blogging tantrum last year, my life changed drastically. External circumstances bulldozed through my little world and altered its landscape forever, along with my perception of myself and so many other things. And now, the most heroic thing I can do on any given day is just to laugh... forget trying to be a better mother, housekeeper, blogger, quilter, etc.

So here I am - leaving behind the soul-wrenching angst at the thought of my 17 followers skimming through my text just to glance at my pictures - and fully embracing my ridiculous mediocrity, knowing that it has the power to make me smile like nothing else.

Made in September 2011 for my new little cousin, Charlie. =)