Monday, November 30, 2009

I heart Faces (and tooshies!)

This weeks theme cracks me up! I didn't think I had any "tooshie" pictures, but I did come across this one that I just love.  This is Reagan, at almost a year old.  She loved to be outside so when she wasn't able to go out, she would just stand at the back door and look.  My favorite part is that she pulled up so fast, she usually crawled her little legs right out of her jammies! Enjoy!

Head on over to I Heart Faces and see everyone else's (totally appropriate and clothed) tooshies!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I heart Faces Sun Flare Challenge

I am so excited about this week's theme over at "I Heart Faces"! I actually read the "sun flare" tutorial before taking my girls' Christmas pictures, so when I placed them on the bridge and saw that the sun was behind them, I tried every which way to get some "flare" into my photos.  Of course I was shooting with a Canon so according to the Boybarian Dad, (author of the sun flare tutorial, and owner of a Nikon), these are not nearly as good as they could have been.  :D This is one of my favorites from that day.  I love that Bailey has her little hands in her pockets (she was not even posed to do that!).  Their expressions are just natural because daddy was being silly behind me.  I even ordered a few of these prints with the caption "May your Days be Merry and Bright!" on them.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm not perfect

I know. Shocking. But it's true.

There's a song by Laurie Berkner (who just happens to also be my favorite children's musician), that has a pretty catchy tune. It goes something like this:

I'm not perfect
no I'm not
I'm not perfect but I've got what I've got
I do my very best, do my very best, do my very best each day
but I'm not perfect, and I hope you like me that way.

You're not perfect,
no you're not.
You're not perfect, but you've got what you've got.
You do your very best, do your very best, do your very best each day.
But you're not perfect, and you know I love you that way.

(Or you can click here to hear it yourself)

How nice that children can learn at such an early age that no one is perfect. Nothing is perfect. I've been trying to change my use of the words "that's perfect" around the girls as well.  I realized I was saying it too much when I started hearing THEM say it.  Reagan likes things "just so" and can often be heard telling Skylar that she's not doing something right because it's not perfect.  I'm now trying to teach them that NO ONE is perfect.  Well, except for ONE person, but we'll get back to that.

I've struggled for years with perfection. Even as a child, I wanted things "just so." Now, one of my favorite songs that plays on my playlist is Francesca Battistelli's "Free to be Me." My favorite line is when she says, "Perfection is my enemy." Isn't that the truth?! Perfection IS my enemy. I will never achieve it, so it becomes a vice that destroys me.

When we moved into this house I wanted things "just so" but when my mom had her brain aneurysm and subsequent surgery, my plans took a back seat. So the house wasn't finished when we moved in. I tried to quickly get things in order but it felt like each step I took, I had to take two more backwards. I painted the cabinets. Then the paint peeled. So I painted them again. After sanding and priming again of course. We had a leak in our drain pipe in the garage. So after getting it repaired it took our home warranty company over a month to get someone to come out and seal up the drywall where they had cut into the wall to get to the pipe. Of course in that time, our little mice friends had moved in. So then we had to get rid of those icky creatures. It seems like projects get started but not finished. My bathroom still has wallpaper that I hate (and lots of spots where I got sloppy with the paint). My pantry has new contact paper in it, but it has bubbles in it. And only half of the cabinets have been contact papered at that. My sink has dried paint in it. I haven't cleaned a single window. The girls don't have curtains or pictures on their walls.  My dust ruffle on my bed is torn and 6 inches too short.  I could go on and on.

I found that when people were coming over, I was making excuses about why my house looked the way it did...unfinished. "It's still a work in progress" I would say.

Aren't we all?

I like to do lots of things, but I don't think I'm terribly great at any of them.  Far from an expert, and certainly not perfect.  I was beginning to start each day, feeling defeated.  I would exercise and eat right, but the scale wouldn't move.  I would pick up and pick up and pick up but the house would still look like 3 little girls live here.  I would attempt a new recipe only to have my girls make icky faces and I would end up making quesadillas for everyone.

Then I was driving and a song came on the radio that released me from my drive to perfection (probably not once and for all, but at least for now). I've loaded it to my playlist but wanted to give you the words also.

Natalie Grant-Perfect People

Never let Him see you when you're breaking
Never let Him see you when you fall
That's how we live
and that's how we try

Tell the world you've got it all together
And never let them see what's underneath
You cover it up, with a crooked smile
but it only lasts
for a little while

There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are
Broken and scarred
Lift up your heart
and be amazed, be changed
by a Perfect God.

Suddenly it's like a weight is lifted
When you hear the words that you are loved
He knows where you are, and He knows where you've been
and you never have to go there again.

There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are
Broken and scarred
Lift up your heart
and be amazed, be changed
by a Perfect God.

Who lived and died to give you life
to heal our imperfections
so look up
and see love
and let grace be enough

There's no such thing as perfect people
There's no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are
Broken and scarred
Lift up your heart
and be amazed, be changed
by a Perfect God.

Thank goodness I'm not expected to be perfect.  I'm so thankful for a husband that knows my imperfections and loves me in spite of them; children that know I'm not perfect, but still love me "to the moon and back"; and a God that created me to be imperfect so that I could find perfect peace in His grace and a promise of a perfect eternity in heaven.

Monday, November 16, 2009

I heart faces Autumn Beauty

This weeks theme over at "I heart faces" is "Autumn Beauty."  I don't normally participate because I'm so new to this photography thing, but the theme this week made me think of our pumpkin patch pictures, so I'm diving in! It was hard choosing just one photo, but this one is just a favorite.  Enjoy!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Merry Christmas Makeover!

I know, I's not even Thanksgiving yet, but I just LOVE Christmas! I'm ready to start decorating now! Since we are not having Thanksgiving at our house this year, I don't feel a need to keep the Fall decorations up.  It may have something to do with the Christmas stuff that has popped up in every store I visit.  Or the fact that we took our Christmas card photos this past weekend.  Or maybe it's just because I love Christmas and want to make it last as long as I can!

Whatever it is, I'm ready to put on the Christmas tunes, sit with my peppermint mocha by a roaring fire, and enjoy the sparkle of a tree.

40 days to go!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Another Fix-it Friday Foto

Here's another attempt at playing with pictures thanks to the folks at I heart Faces.  I have Photoshop Elements 8, but I think my iphoto program works just as well for my needs.

Here is the original:

"Fixed" with Photoshop

"Fixed" with iphoto (I love my Mac!)

Wish I had more time to "play" today.  I know he has shadows under his eyes and some crazy color cast on his face, but maybe next week when I have more than three minutes. :D
I hope everyone has a blessed day (and weekend!).  I'm hoping to take our Christmas card photos this weekend (a girl can dream, right?).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lessons Learned

Just a few tidbits I learned over the last week or so:

1. Designers on HGTV that say "A master bedroom should be a retreat, free of children's item" do NOT live at my house.  Nor do I think they have children.  My master bedroom usually has children AND their items in it.  They like my bathtub too.

2.  Never question a 3 year old when she says she is telling the truth.  Skylar commented on a child wearing a blue shirt and blue pants last week.  She said, "that girl is in all blue."  I replied "and you are in all pink!" She said, "Not ALL pink." I pointed out her pink pants, pink shirt, and pink shoes.  In my mind...all pink.  "No mommy, I'm NOT all pink, see?" She then proceeded to pull her pants down in the school parking lot to show me that her panties were indeed NOT pink.  I shouldn't have argued.

3.  Craigslist brings out the flakiest people!

4.  A good church service is like food to a famished body!

5.  My baby turned 20 months old yesterday.  I don't know why I continue to use months or when I will stop, but there is just such a major difference between 18 and 20 months.  Maybe next month I will start saying "She will be 2 in March" and let others do the math.  Maybe.

6.  I need to just get over the last ten pounds and buy new jeans so I can be comfortable. :)

7. We got rid of our highchair because Bailey kept standing up in it and I thought it was unsafe.  She figured out how to unbuckle herself and the tray didn't sit close enough to keep her in.  She wanted to be AT the table like her sisters, so we bought her a booster seat with a tray (and a buckle of course).  It's working beautifully.

See? She stays put nicely now.  Or not.

When you have monkeys for kids, you can't confine them.  No matter how hard you try.

8.  My kids are the target audience for EVERY commercial during the holidays.

9.  The best "gatherings" are sometimes the ones without much planning.

10.  Probably most importantly, no matter what the "odds" are according to man, God is still 100% on the throne and in the miracle business!  If you don't believe me, check out Mckmama's blog about her precious boy!

Hope you had a good week last week too! On to another busy week for us!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We have a Winner!

Wow! What an amazing turnout for my first giveaway! I secretly decided that for every ten entries I received, I would pick one winner (never assuming I would get past 19), but there were exactly 20!
So, I have TWO winners to announce!! I used to generate two numbers for me.

But before I announce them, I wanted to extend an offer to everyone that participated.  My normal charge for a blanket is $15 plus $3 shipping.  If you entered, but did not win, I am waiving the shipping until January (just a little 'thank you' for participating).  Simply email me and I can send pics of my current fabric options.  Then, I will put it up on my etsy site with a listing specifically for you!

The two winners chosen by are:

Jaimie at The Wonder Years
Julie at The Peapod Four (plus one)

Yay! Congrats ladies! Let me know if your blanket will be for a boy or a girl and I will send you the fabric options.

Have a blessed weekend!

A big finish!

I love projects! It's nice to have something to work on that has an actual ending (as opposed to the piles of laundry that seem to never end).  Of course, finishing it, is almost as exciting as starting it!

The last couple weeks, I have been working on a crib bedding project for one of my nearest and dearest friends, Beana.  She has three girls, like me, and wanted something new for bambino number three (Miss Lily).  She has a penchant for all things red, so she went looking for a red crib set, only to find that few exist (and those that do are WAY too expensive).  She knew that I had run into the same problem with my third (not finding the perfect crib set), so I ended up making my own.  She asked me to help her make one for Miss Lily and I was more than happy to oblige.

Beana has always been so giving, so I was happy to be able to give back a little something to her.  We both perused fabric websites and came up with a few ideas.  Ultimately, we both just fell in LOVE with Jill Finley's line "Meet Me In the Meadow."  Beana picked the red floral, the yellow dot, and the green vines (I picked the red vines to do the binding and ties on the bumper).  Since the nursery walls were already yellow, it was a perfect fit!

I found a bumper on clearance and use it as a "fill" bumper (so much easier than actually measuring!).  Out of the red floral (Beana's favorite), I did a straight crib skirt; then used all three fabrics to make a crib quilt.  Since she said, "I will be using it, not hanging it up" I used high quality, low loft, cotton and bamboo batting.  The backing is a solid red fabric that I happened to have in my stash.  Altogether, the project took six yards (not including the backing). I told Beana it took 3 yards so that I could surprise her and bless her with the remainder...shhh, don't tell her. :D
(Sorry about the quality of the pictures. They really do not do this fabric justice.  My camera is on it's last leg and flashes whether I want it to or not; even with tons of natural light).

I used EVERY last bit that I could.  This is literally all I have left (one 8 inch square and some yellow strips).

The bumper has all three fabrics in 26 inch sections.  The binding is the red vines (as well as the ties).

The quilt is my favorite part.  Beana and I played with a block layout and she picked the red center.  I love how it turned out and think she made the right choice! The red is definitely the highlight here!! After I got it stitched together, I decided to do just an antique triple saddle stitch. I didn't want to do anything freehand that would take away from the beauty of the fabric itself.

The rest of the red floral was used for binding (and then washed and dried to make it wrinkly).

I wish I had enough to make a sheet and curtains for her, but it wasn't in the budget for either of us this time around.  Maybe someday :)

It was so fun to work on, and equally as fun to be done.  Since my creative space is my dining room table, it's always nice to put the machine away (even for a day).

And my living room that serves as my "layout" space has been returned to it's tidy state (with blankets and the crib set all ready to go to their new homes)

Maybe once it is placed in Lily's nursery, she will post pictures of it actually "in use."

On to my next project!
Today is the last day to enter my giveaway! I will be picking a name tonight and posting tomorrow. Good luck everyone!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Patch and Princesses

Every year we go out to the pumpkin patch, ride ponies, feed goats, take a hay ride, and pick pumpkins.  I always love the pictures that result.  We figured out this year that going on a Friday is MUCH better than going on a Saturday or Sunday.  It was fairly empty and a whole lot less stressful.  It was close to sunset so the lighting wasn't all that great, but the girls didn't seem to mind.

Bailey hitching a ride out to the patch in a wheelbarrow

My little Hercules

I attempted to get a shot of all three girls, but they were NOT havin' it!

Another attempt

I finally gave up and just took pictures of the girls individually

We had so much fun!

Halloween rolled around and we were part of our church's "Trunk or Treat" at the Fall Festival.  Since we were so busy, I hardly had a chance to take pictures of the girls in their costumes.  But I did manage to get a few.  We don't make a big deal out of Halloween at our house.  The girls just chose costumes from our dress up chest.  I did end up having to make a headband for Reagan, but I think that's a piece of cake compared to the work some parents put in for their children's costumes.

Reagan was a flower girl, although everyone guessed she was a princess.
(and yes that is Christmas stuff behind her.  Our trunk was decorated with a Christmas theme for the Halloween Trunk or Treat.  You work with what ya got!)

Skylar was Sleeping Beauty (and would NOT stand still for a picture)

Bailey was Snow White (and discovered a love of chocolate)

Personally I'm glad to have Halloween behind us so folks will take down their ghoulish decorations and put up their "Fall" inspired ones instead.  I much prefer Harvest to Halloween.


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