Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mama's t-shirt, Baby's romper

I was pleasantly surprised today with a project.

I was feeling really tired and lethargic today.

Lucy however, was not.

In days bygone, my remedy would have been to curl up with my latest book or have a favorite movie marathon.

Lucy however, isn't too keen on that idea.

So then I thought that maybe if I just throw myself into a project, then between that, doing laps with Lucy around the house and making 17 trips outside to the yard, I would be too busy to remember I was tired.

I have a stack of clothes that I was getting ready to donate.  I pulled out an old t-shirt.  It was one of those super soft, worn in t-shirts, and I thought what a perfect summer fabric.

I accidentally deleted the before and during pictures.  But basically I laid one of her little shirts on top and cut out the arm holes and then sewed up the sides.  Then I cut down the middle and sewed pants legs.  Then I hemmed over the neck line and pulled some string through, so that when it's slack Lucy can step through and then we can cinch it around her neck and tie a bow.

I know this is a lot of pictures.  But look at the kid!  How would you narrow it down?


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Our evenings...

Evenings should be like this.

Sitting in his and her chairs, but not facing a TV.

Out on the back porch.

Lit by a string of lights.

Just enough to read his newest issue of Mother Earth News, and me to scribble down some thoughts.

The sun has only been gone for a little while.  We watch as the back yard darkens and the only thing visible past the slanted tin roof overhead is the dangling limbs of our cherry blossom, heavy with blooms.

We read, we talk, we discuss...we dream.

From something I just read:

Fear and despair creep their way into everyone's life.  They overtake our daily decisions without our even noticing, smothering our imagination...unless we take the time to dream.  Dreaming about what we truly want for our homes, for our families, for our land and communities, and for our time is the best antidote I know for fear and despair.  Each time we reflect on what we most want in our lives, we are pushed to examine the barriers that are keeping us from our dreams.  And each time we examine and express them, the barriers grow a tiny bit weaker, the dreams grow a tiny bit more clear. ~Shannon Hayes

Steven and I are so different in so many ways.  But as far as what we want for our future and our family, we are on the same page.  That is something I treasure, and do not want to ever take for granted.  We love to dream.  Yes we dream differently, we approach those dreams differently, we express them differently.  Steven dreams, and get out of his way!  He's on the move.  I dream, and I write a really long journal entry about it, take a hundred pictures of the process, and then imagine what my kids and grandkids will think about it when they read it in 50 years :)

Different, yes.  But oh we have dreams.  Great dreams.  And spending the time talking about them sends such joyful, electric energy through me.  Such a beautiful picture is painted.

Looking out our back porch, into the future, we both see land; fields, old trees, some sort of water.  We see a small chicken coop.  We see a goat, some lambs, maybe some horses one day.  We see a little studio shed for me.  A work shed for him.  Our vegetable garden is bigger.  I have an area of nothing but wild flowers and anything that strikes my fancy, fenced for protection from our four-legged children.  Land that will be explored by our children, lots of children, living out a Huck Finn childhood. Land walked a million times by our family.  A home that while not huge, will be filled with character and love and simplicity.  A place where we will be able to give back, however that may be.  We see it.  We're not afraid of our hands getting dirty and our backs being sore, or even learning to remain joyful while discouraged.  We see it.

Here's the best part of that dream.  There's not a rushed sense of urgency.  There's this peace with this dream of ours.

My husband.  He's been putting the 'do' behind my dreams since we met.  He's amazing.  It flows out of him so naturally, this ability to turn a dream into motion.  Into achievable steps, into action.  So there's no sense of longing that usually comes with something you know you'll never get.

I know we'll get there.

There's so much peace that comes with that.  And that allows me the freedom to fully embrace and love where we are. 

I believe God has given us our desires and our dreams.  I look forward to achieving them for His glory.  To see what He teaches us, how we grow, how we can give back to Him.

But I also believe God uses every season of our lives and I don't want to miss out on the lessons and joy a part of this one.

I have never felt more child-like in front of God, than after the birth of my own child.  I have stayed at His feet, wanting to learn, to grow, to be comforted, to be groomed, to be loved.  I already know I will always look back at this time with great affection.  A time of complete vulnerability, humility, and faith.  So many things have shifted in my heart and my perception of who I am in God's eyes.  He is molding me.  He is challenging me.  He is strengthening me.  Because He loves me, more deeply than I can truly comprehend and He wants my life filled with genuine joy and peace.

So I've mentioned I've married a doer.  An organized productive, efficient doer.  I'm not sure any of those adjectives would be used to define me.  So it's been a challenge for me to bring my head knowledge and heart's passion of wanting to be this Radical Homemaker into fruition.  One evening I found myself in a tearful discussion of how I want to do so much more for our house and as a wife and as a mother but I just keep seeming to miss the mark.  Then I basically continued on with a list of excuses.  Here's what my husband said to me, "Having a lot of land and having a lot of kids is going to be a lot of work.  So now is the time to figure it out."

It wasn't critical, it wasn't mean, it wasn't judgemental.  It was wise.

So yes, we have a beautiful, exciting, challenging dream.  A dream that will be achieved.  But until then I will squeeze every drop of love, joy, and lessons from where we are now.

Praise God for His wisdom and His timing.  May I never lose sight of the ultimate goal.  To glorify God in all that I do.  To walk the path He has chosen for me.  To seek Him above all.  No dream, no desire is possible without Him.  Without Him, there is no life.

Thank you Lord for the view from our back porch.  Our little back yard that we groomed as newlyweds.  The backyard where we planted our first garden.  The first backyard our little girl gets to explore.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The birthDAY!

I figure that since it's still Lucy's birth month, I can post one more thing related to her birthday.

We could have had her party on her actual birthday.  But I had decided I'd rather do it the week before.  I liked the idea of spending her birthday with just the three of us.  A simple day, doing our favorite things, together as our family of three.

Balloons, a bike ride (on her birthday present), birthday cake, and more balloons...


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring has sprung

Springtime is the land awakening.  The March winds are the morning yawn.
~Lewis Grizzard

I guess Lucy is not a morning person.  This is what we've had around the house the last couple of days :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Snot and Flowers

How do you recharge after several days of having a teething, cold fighting 1 year old permanently attached to you during all waking hours leaving your entire wardrobe stiff with dried drool and snot?

You plan a daddy/daughter day and go spend the afternoon with a friend creating fabric covered pots and planting flowers.

Or at least that's what worked for me. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Party!

I am a slow and steady kind of person. Always have been and probably always will be. I do not like to be rushed.  And even if I am rushed, it usually doesn't do much to improve my speed.

I knew that if I wanted Lucy's first birthday party to be what I wanted it to be...I'd have better get to it!

And so I did.

Back in January.

I loosely based my inspiration on things I could collect in our yard {sticks, pine cones, etc.} and 4 fat quarters of fabric that I had found.  I emailed my mom, queen/goddess/party planner extraordinaire, and sent her pictures of the fabric and what I had collected so far and then described the overall feel I wanted.

The next weekend she arrived at my house with the remaining pieces of the party puzzle.  She brought several more fabric fat quarters that fit perfectly, some beautiful pots and containers that come from years of hosting fabulous parties, and a plethora of nature bits.

And we started sewing.

From those 10-12 small pieces of fabric, we made Lucy's bird wings, the hanging bird ornaments, the fabric and ribbon banner, and the party favor hair clips and bow ties.

For 2 months I collected and gathered and created.  There was no pressure, no stress, no rushing.  I actually enjoyed preparing for this party!

Of course it didn't hurt that the weekend of the party I had my Mama AND my organized, creative, cheerful sis-in-law Amanda come and help.  They cleaned, decorated, cooked, and baked all weekend!  (I do have to include that my husband and brother did make the sausage balls.)

I tend to over-simplify, so even with all my pre-planning I would have overlooked a TON of the details if it hadn't been for those ladies helping me out.

Will I be doing a party like this every year?  Heck no!  :)  But I wanted to do this first one right.  We had a lot to celebrate.  And it turned out better than I had imagined.

 Mama made Lucy's birthday cake!

Party favors!  I used our left over fabric to make hair clips for the girls, bow ties for the boys.

 The Table.  

Table decorations designed and created by my Mama.

Lucy brought some toys from home so her friends could play.

Oh, and that ridiculously sweet dress she's wearing??  My Mama made that too!


As happy as I was with the decorations and all the little details that went into it, something struck me after looking through all the pictures.

My favorite part of Lucy's party was the community that surrounded her.  I became acutely aware of these people that gathered to celebrate my little girl.  Friends, neighbors, family.  People that have already been a part of her life and will continue to be.

And that is the greatest birthday present she could ask for!  Even if she doesn't even know it yet.