i wanted to pay a tribute to our marley, on who we certainly did practice parenthood before having isaac. she's been super great with isaac since he's been born and has been the source of our entertainment and humor. she's the best at playing hide-and-seek or giving you a high five. we don't ever go a day without feeling loved by our girl when she wiggles between the two of us in the bed in the mornings or wags her tail so hard from excitement to see you that she can't even stand up. she's a good big sister and i feel like she needed to be recognized!
okay, crafty friends. i love this idea and would like to have one for myself, but i'm not up for paying $41.00 for it. anyone up for seeing if they can make it themselves and send me directions/pattern? i'm not sure where to even start since it would need buckles for the chairs and need to be safe, etc. let me know if you're up to the challenge.
i apologize for the delay in new posts...a pet peeve of mine, i'll admit. i faithfully check to see if anyone has updated, and now i join the guilty party.
tim, isaac and i have been visiting family in virginia since thursday. we've partied hard, celebrating my dad's birthday and throwing my sister a wedding shower. of course, introducing isaac to "my world" has been an ongoing event all weekend. he's on major people overload and really only found comfort with people he knew well and weren't shrieking over how much he looks like his daddy. gosh, if i had a dollar for each time i heard, "oh my gosh, he IS tim." tim spent most of the weekend bouncing around with nick and his brother helping out with the meal packaging for haiti that was going on at northside (my home church) and showing off his look-alike son. i was busy getting last minute shower plans together, giggling with lindsay, chopping fruit for our chocolate fondue, and sneaking katie's homemade marshmallows when no one was looking. we skyped with the grandparents (isaac's great gparents) and then let isaac take a 25 minute bath in the sink which resulted in a very pruny (but happy) boy and water eeeverywhere.
i also had a chance to use mom's sewing machine to finish the previous onesies for isaac that i appliqued. they turned out SO cute and i was proud of my tiny step towards a sewing habit. i'll post those pics soon as well. my only regret- i should've finished more at home so i could have more to finish while i was here.
we're getting ready to head back to the airport in about 45 mins, so i really got on here to check flight status...oops. lindsay stopped by on her way to work this morning, starbucks in hand...God bless her. it was good for the soul to be back in the marshlands and refresh myself with the best church family and friends there ever was. the next time we fly into norfolk, it'll be days away from my baby sister gettin' herself a husband and a fun beach week with the family.
i didn't take a whole lot of pictures this weekend, so i'm going to have to wait for mom to share hers. i'm sure i'll share when we have some. adios.
first off, i apologize for all of you out there with nice cameras who are shuddering at my photography...i hate having to find my camera cord and upload, blah blah..and since my phone is usually close by, i just use that. tim has a nice camera, so maybe from now on i'll have him take any pics for me.
these are the first few attempts at onesies i'm making for isaac. i love unique designs and that he will be the only little boy with these shirts! i still don't have my own sewing machine yet, so this isn't the final FINAL product. i'm going to get them all ready to finish and take them with me to virginia to use my mom's machine to sew around the edges. then they'll really be cute! i just wanted to share.
i know everyone usually gets excited about spring, but i am especially this year. not only are we getting into a really fun age with isaac, but just having him in general makes each season feel like a "first" even though i've seen twenty some-odd springs myself. we will be going to watch tim play church softball (a big deal up here)and walk in the park with Marley.
most importantly, we'll be simplifying our life in new ways. tim and i are always looking for ways to do this, because we're ones to easily get caught up in over-cluttering and over-scheduling ourselves. we also get used to nice things very quickly, which leads to a standard of living that i don't want to feel like i have to have. especially if i don't go back to work next fall, we'll have to get used to that without a choice. i have always gotten a unique satisfaction out of trying to figure out a life of simple pleasures.
our new rental house, which is downtown by the way, doesn't have central air. these 2 things alone have changed our lifestyle drastically. we went from a nice full acre of yard to....an alley for parking behind the house with about five cubic feet of "grass" if you pick up all the trash first. needless to say, our neighbors are not people we're used to being around and it's not the cutest house i'd pick to live in. when we had 2 weeks to find a house to rent, we didn't really care about the "no ac" thing...this summer, that may change. 2 advantages - the constant whirring of box fans reminds me of being a kid at my grandparents and our electric bills will be lean! :)
the biggest thing i'm excited about (and will probably need your help with) is splitting a share at a local CSA. in short, it's a local farm where you can pay for a season at a time to get a weekly box of whatever produce is currently growing. you can read more about it here. i love this for many reasons. one, we are supporting a local farm. two, we will be eating healthy things and know exactly where they came from. three, i'll get to live out my dream of having a garden to eat from. this works out great for us as we're renting and have zero land (or knowledge)to even begin a garden. finally, i'll have to use all the vegetables and create new things to eat. this will be a challenge for me, but more for my non-vegetable eating husband. so, if you have any recipes that would be helpful..send 'em my way! i think the first vegetables we're getting are spinach, radishes, red leaf and romaine lettuce, bok choi, parsley, arugula, and baby carrots.
i've tried growing herbs in a box on our deck one year and i remember getting a lot of cilantro and not much else. another thing tim doesn't like...lots of lonely salsa for me that year. any suggestions on plants that grow great in window boxes or pots?
check out www.localharvest.org to see if you have any CSA's near you!
now that he's smiling and laughing at us, this exact expression has become our goal. it's past the point of smiling so much that he just opens his mouth and usually squeals afterward. we both agree it's the best thing ever.
as you can see, we're working on sitting up. he still needs a helping hand, if only for moral support. he's concentrating very hard. or maybe he's really considering how he's going to make a difference in the world, like his shirt says:)
Josh Dorfman, author of The Lazy Environmentalist: Your Guide to Easy, Stylish, Green Living says this about IKEA:
"It’s better to shop at Ikea than a lot of other furniture stores. Ikea works closely with the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure that it sources its wood for its furniture from responsibly managed forests. For a huge company, Ikea is a leader in environmentally responsible practices. There’s still room for improvement but I wouldn’t feel bad about shopping there.Also, I think Ikea’s solid wood cribs and other items are good picks for young parents because they don’t contain nasty chemicals like formaldehyde which can unfortunately be found in other baby furniture lines made of composite wood like particle board."
tonight was the first night our new small group got into the Word and started discussing the book of Acts. there was some great discussion of chapter 1 and a lot of sharing about why we were even wanting to be a part of the group in general. we have quite a mix of personalities in the group, which is exciting. one of the biggest questions asked was, "What is church to you?". we all know the sunday school answer, but when we really stopped to answer it honestly it was kind of a reality check.
on a different note, i stumbled upon a pretty neat little book while i was in one of our favorite used bookstores in knoxville a few weekends ago. it goes along with the book "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv, a book i completely am on board with. it's premise is about how a lot of the problems with kids these days (physically, emotionally, behaviorally) has a lot to do with the fact that kids don't just play outside anymore. when i was a kid, that's all i wanted to do. by no means was i a tomboy, but i LOVED to play outside. i collected snails, built forts, rode bikes, caught frogs in the creek, ran around barefoot,climbed trees,played on the swings, ran through the sprinkler and all that good kid stuff. i will do everything possible to raise my children with a love of the outdoors. mom never allowed us to have video games as kids, and i thank her up and down for sticking to her guns. i think my imagination and kid-like spirit has something to do with playing outside and just imagining. it also promotes a sense of wonder in kids to just ask questions and want to know about the world around them.
i also strongly believe that the earth (just plain dirt) is spiritual. "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. -Psalm 139:7" We are connected to the earth, live off the earth, and will one day return to the earth when our bodies decay six feet under as mentioned in Ecclesiastes 3:20 (only physically, of course). After all, Adam was created from the dust of the earth ( Genesis 2:7 -the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being). Anyone who has farmed or gardened will probably tell you there's just some sense of satisfaction when you work in the ground. i believe that the greatest testament to God's awesomeness can be found in anyone's backyard. i want my children to learn that peace comes from watching a river roll by or be reminded of God's promises when they see a rainbow. i want them to learn to love and protect the world God gave us and be good stewards of it. (insert hippie green tangent here.)
point is, i could go on and on about why i think it's important for kids to grow up outdoors. also, my teachery side comes out in just wanting to know the answers to silly questions that a kid may just ask you one day:
Q: Why are so many plants green? A: The green color found in leaves helps plants get energy from the sun. All living things need energy. Plants use energy they get from the sun to make oxygen for us.
think about it...the world started in a garden. point blank, that's where we were created to spend our time - outside, playing in the dirt:)
i went yesterday to JoAnn Fabrics and picked out several yummy yards of material that would make really good projects. i also picked up some basics to get me started on my new simple sewing endeavor like scissors, a seam ripper, pins, measuring tape, etc. all i need now is a sewing machine - haha. i'm in the process of looking around and researching what's out there, possibly scoring a great deal on craigslist or finding a great sale in the store. we're also waiting for our tax refund so i can actually go get it...and our new washer/dryer!! (oh, mama's happy.)
this is a picture of a book that i think would fit me perfectly. most of the fabric i bought was in one yard pieces, since i'm not trying to make anything too big, and most patterns have a patchwork-y type of look. i'm still running into the dilemma of every store having WAY too many cute baby girl prints and not very many cute baby boy prints...i'm just not feelin' the spiderman and sponge bob. blech.
i wrote down several books at B&N while i was there to hunt for on amazon.com, so we'll see what i come up with! plus, if i'm going homemade then it will be fun to have someone else's used books.
*if you feel inclined to send this book my way, i wouldn't argue. :)
i bought a fun baby bargain book today at B&N with my gift card, and since i love people sharing tips, i will share as well. i just opened the book somewhere towards the middle, and it's perfect - i have been needing an inexpensive solution for my own diaper changing pad that just doesn't look as "fresh" as it once did.
Rather than spending money on disposable changing pads, make your own out of a vinyl tablecloth. They can be cut into generous-sized rectangles and folded to fit in your diaper bag.
genius! i suppose you could always back it with a contrasting color or pattern, hem up the sides and you're good to go!
i feel like i've always been somewhat of a creative and crafty person. i know i get that from my mother, who has the talent of an excellent seamstress and graphic designer. she can make beautiful quilts, costumes, stockings, alter a high school banquet dress and create amazing designs using programs on a computer i won't even dare to try and use. she's also quite musical, however unsuccessful she was forcing me to take piano lessons and play saxophone in elementary school.
my favorite class was always art, i doodled like you wouldn't believe on school notebooks and posters, and had quite an impressive wall to wall collage of a certain celebrity heart throb, who for the sake of parties involved will remain nameless. my aunt introduced me to beading years ago, and i would whip up earrings pretty quickly. mom taught me to crochet, and i'm not sure if i ever made anything, but i sure remember doing it alot. i'm now the token christmas cookie baker for my dad, whose fondest childhood memories were of the deep freezer stocked with any cookie you could think of. (i intend to fill those shoes one day.)
i debated going to college to study interior design, but God led me to JBC to study education, a job just as equally creative. i was introduced to Tim, who bought me an art easel for my birthday one year and at one point, owned a few pieces i actually got around to painting. i served on a retreat committee for several years at JBC and worked to design the advertising, decorate the stage, and create interesting aspects of worship. i even asked for a nice camera for christmas and spent a year trying to take some cool photos. stained glass has even made the list.
i've dabbled in a few things here and there, but never really found "my thing" that i do, ya know? i felt like everyone had a "thing". i was alright at a few different things, and i definitely enjoyed all of it. i never really took off with any of it, though. i don't know if it had to do with my incredibly NON-overachiever personality, lack of consistency, or just lack of passion. it's always bothered me, though. why did i find interest in a hobby or creative outlet, and then just...stop?
i've never been someone interested in a career. yes, i have a graduate degree and have been working full time since college, but it's just not my thing. i don't go in early or stay late, and i don't ever really bring anything home unless painstakingly necessary. i'd like to say my priorities are just so in check that i naturally put family and things first, but that's ridiculous. my dad raised us with the idea that "a job is what you do, not who you are." some would highly disagree with that statement, but for my sisters and mom and I, it meant that he would do anything for us, no matter the financial cost or risk of losing a job. he's still being tested on that today.
now that i've had a taste of being a stay-at-home mom, i feel like i finally have time to figure out who i really am, what i like, and what i'm good at. it's definitely been a slow start, just recovering from everything, but my attitude has changed and my mind's been racing with the possibilities of what i can focus on now instead of work. in some weird way, i feel like having children has given me the assignment of finding out how to make things myself and find ways to make life easier, simpler and more healthy for me and my family. this has dangerously sparked my interest on the creative side of my brain. there are endless ways to be creative and domestic, two things i think i could be really good at if i dedicated myself to it. i'm addicted to websites and blogs of moms who have successfully lived that lifestyle of the cleaner, greener, and super artsy. i have ideas that pop in and out of my brain, just dying for me to get up and get going.
i'm ready to have something in my life that i'm willing to dedicate my all to. i believe with all my heart that the Lord we love and serve has planted every single creative seed in me for a reason. after all, who better to imitate in life than the Master Creator? tim always tells his students "Be Jesus." i'm ready to give life to the ideas and passions in my head and truly, TRULY enjoy what i'm doing with my time. my Jesus and my marriage have set the stage for a very creative version of me that i'm excited to get to know. i want to be Jesus, and that means finding the paint brushes, making a trip to JoAnn fabrics after i make a batch of organic muffins and researching which vegetables grow best in pots.
here's to staying focused and exploring who God made me to be in this world.