So the light is horrible, but here are a couple of before pictures of the master bathroom that I am very slowly remodeling…
And after finally painting the cabinet doors, swapping a mirror and painting the walls; here is where we are now
Although I’ve hit a snag. I didn’t prep the doors correctly I guess because hit it the wrong way and the paint just picks right off (big boo!) and I can’t seem to find drawer pulls that are the right measurement too. But I really don’t care about either because I absolutely love how it turned out!
And I don’t have any before pics of the shower are, but here is the after. The quilt top is one given to me and made by a great, great Aunt.
We still have one more big project: the floor. Which originally I was going to paint, but it looks like we will be refinishing the floors in our master bedroom so we are just going to do the bathroom floors the same. Then a new (not blue) toilet, a curtain for the window and a new shower bar and we are pretty much complete!
I am a list person. I mean I have a whole page on the blog dedicated to lists. I write the lists to clear my head and to make sure I do things and as a way to make goals and plan. While lists can be good and necessary things, they can also be conforming. There are some things that just cannot be held down to a list. There are some things in life that it would be so nice to just have a checklist (do A and B will be sure to happen), like motherhood. But you know what, there isn’t one.
If there is anything that has driven me crazy lately as a mother in the blogger world, it’s the lists that share do these (and don’t do these) and your children will grow up loving the Lord and desiring nothing more than to be a mother (or father).
I want my kids to know that I’m the best mother I can be. I am sinful. I am fallen. I do and say more stupid things in a day to my kids than I ever should. I can make a list, fill my house with lists for me and for them, but not one of those things is going to make me a perfect mother or guarantee my children won’t ever get into trouble. We have boundaries in our house, there are tv shows, music, movies and many other things that we don’t allow into our house. We talk to our children all the time about good choices and to be careful of the things we put into our hearts and minds. We open up our house to others with the hope of sharing Jesus.
But none of those things is every going to make them perfect…this side of heaven.
So this is my list for making it as a mother:
teach your children God’s word, teach them how to flush out the foolishness in their hearts (and mine), be honest with them, be real to them and with them
but more than anything…pray and teach them to pray.
You see that? It’s pure joy and abandon. It’s a fear my baby has overcome this summer and even though my heart still jumps a little when she jumps, I smile wide every time.
But then last time we were there, she asked to try the medium height board and I totally discouraged her. Why? Because I was afraid.
Today she asked again and was up on that board with her brother before I could jump up and try and stop her.
And then she stood on the end of that board for.ev.er. Her little legs were shaking and her momma’s heart was shaking and oh man I wanted to tell her to get off there so bad. After at least her fourth trip to stand at the end of the board, other people started hollering at her with us… sweetly encouraging her. Reminding her that she would float up with her vest on, telling her how fun it was etc. And the whole time my heart is beating so fast. But I had to let her do it. All I could do was yell how proud I was and how great she was doing and on and on. All those things to help her overcome her fear and her risk…the whole time she was overcoming mine too.
Then she jumped. And she jumped again and again and it was such joy.
And for me, it was a picture of risk. As a mom, as a wife, as a friend, as a daughter…as anything in life. You have to jump in. You may need to stand there for a while and your knees might knock and you might chew your nails, but oh the joy when you hit the water.
This book, One Yard Wonders, is another book I’ve had on my bookshelf for a while. I made a dress a while back from it and was less than satisfied with the process (you can notice that from the not so nice words in the first line of my post!) But, I’ve been dying for a new purse for months and months and this one was the one I picked to try. It seemed simple enough and I’ve made enough bags lately that I thought if the instructions went a little hairy I had enough know-how to figure it out.
The first error I encountered was with the pattern itself. The words on the pattern are printed upside down, so if you are using a fabric that has a one way up then you would be screwed if you didn’t notice it (thankfully I did…one of those rare occurrences where I didn’t cut something wrong way up!) or you could think to read through all the errata (of which there is a fair amount) prior to starting the pattern.
But to be honest, once I got past that initial issue with the pattern, it came together really quickly and easily. Until I reached the directions for attaching that top band. The book has you attach it by this wacko (and way too time consuming) pressing of 1/4 inch down and then top stitching it to the top. I opted to match up the right sides, stitch it and then top stitch (um…the normal way?) The only reason why I would think that the author suggested doing it their way was the preserve the curve. Oh well, maybe I’m just too lazy when I sew.
Despite my negative words, this is a great pattern and I would totally make another one of these bags. It came together really easily and I absolutely love the way it looks and carries. And in case you are wondering, the fabric is from my stash and I’m pretty sure it’s Alexander Henry. I have a fabric road trip in my near future so I’m in a big race to actually make something from all the yards I bought last year!
Back in April when I had some birthday money I bought up a bunch of books that had been on my list for a while. Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe was one of them. I have read Sally Clarkson on and off for years and honestly have been mostly fascinated with her life. Her personality and approach to life is so opposite my nature; yet how I would long to be (gentle, quiet, kind, creating a beautiful house with flowers and tea parties, etc). Sarah Mae was new to me. In a few words this book baffles me and I’m not really sure how I feel about it.
The book is set up this way: Each chapter begins with a letter from each of them to each other. Then the chapters are essentially an expansion of those letters; one section written by Sarah and one by Sally. Part of what made this book different for me is the reality of the stage of parenting I am in. At the time of writing, Sarah had 3 children under 6. Although I refuse to accept it, my children are nearly 10 and 6. I am truly in a different stage of mothering. My daily struggles with my children and my approach to them are so different than someone walking through life with little people.
But that said, I did walk away with some encouragement. Mainly to accept who our family is and who my children are. I quote Sally:
“I would like to encourage you to find freedom and grace to live within the limitations of your own family puzzle in such a way that cooperates with your personality and with the gifts God has given you. There is no one “right way” or formula to follow for every family, mother or child. Live in the freedom of faith and the abundant life Jesus came to provide.“
Despite the stage of my mothering, I have to be who I am and who God is molding me into being. I can’t depend on others that I “meet” online or on books that I’ve read to give me a list of characteristics that I can tick off and say “I’ve achieved a good motherhood!” It comes from being in God’s word, surrounding myself with other mothering friends (those younger and older) and prayer. If there is anything that I’m learning on this journey of sanctification called motherhood is that I can’t do this without prayer.
Overall, this book was an easy read. There were some parts of it I kind of wanted to roll my eyes at as it seemed a little hokey. But it is filled with good scripture and asks some good probing questions for journaling at the end of each chapter. There are also QR codes at the back of each chapter you can scan (??) to watch a short video clip of Sarah and Sally. I do think the beginning section was the best for me as it talked about removing the image of what a “perfect mother” really is and being who you are…sin and all.
It’s funny how we’ve tried so hard to create traditions for Advent, Christmas, Easter, birthdays etc in our family, but have done next to nothing for days like today. Today is Memorial Day and both sides of our families have a rich history of serving in the armed forces. I think because it never really effected our lives growing up or our lives right now, we tend to forget how many of our family members fought for our country; some of them even giving their lives.
This Memorial Day we decided to change that. We woke up early and drove the drive out to my father-in-laws grave and had the kids plant flags at his graveside. We met up with an uncle that we never see and realized how precious time is and how much we take it for granted. We were reminded how there is family out there that we don’t pursue and family out there that we don’t share with our children for all sorts of reasons.
My father-in-law never knew his son and obviously will never know me or our children, but his service to our country and his giving of his life is an important lesson that we need to celebrate and teach our children to respect and honor.
So for him, for all our uncles and for my dad I say “we celebrate you” and the service you gave.
I’ve had this book, Simple Sewing, by Lotta Jansdotter for a while now and haven’t done more than look through it. While sitting out in the sun the other day, I realized that this might be the summer to invest in some kind of hat. I remembered seeing a pattern for it in this book and thought it was high time to make something out of it.
The pattern is pretty straight forward and simple and you can easily make this with about 1/2 yard of fabric for each the outside and the lining. This fabric is Aneela Hoey’s Little Apples that I had leftover from this outfit that my darling daughter refuses to wear. The inside is some Riley Blake leftover from her Easter dress last year (that she also refuses to wear…do you see a trend?)
Overall this hat came together really easily. The brim was a little monotonous to sew line after line, but I love how it looks and feels now that it’s done. I did have a few snafus matching up the brim to the top and the lining didn’t go in well either. I don’t know if this is something I did wrong (more than likely) or if my seam allowances didn’t all match or what.
One change was that I did not hand stitch the lining in. I serged it because I can and because I am too lazy to sit and sew something like that. I think if I make another hat, I will put the outside and the lining together first and baste them, then serge them both to the brim at the same time. There is a lot of bunchiness on the top which I think would be alleviated by doing it that way.
This is a great book though. It has some really cute (and simple…tee hee) pattern ideas inside it and the directions are well written even for a fairly novice sewer.
One of the things I love most about what I do is custom orders. Some of my favorite ideas have come from people asking me to do something specifically. From embroideries to capes. This superhero cape order for two brothers is probably one of my favorites to date.
Apparently the youngest child is nicknamed “little monkey” and so the parents asked me to do a cape with a monkey face on it. Then they asked if I could do a starburst design behind the monkey, instead of just a plain circle. Honestly, this is what made this cape just pop.
The second one was for the older brother and they asked for a large lightning bolt behind the letter. I love how this one turned out too.