Friday, May 22, 2015

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND



Memorial Day Weekend... A time to honor those who've served our country, to rest and enjoy family and friends, and to welcome the warm, sweet summertime. I'm doing it the old fashioned way and taking an analog weekend as I unplug from the web. Have a fabulous weekend, friends, and I'll see you back here next week!



Thursday, May 21, 2015

DIY PILLOW CASE DRESS



Hi, friends! I am excited to share with you a precious little number that is a must have in every little girl's closet! You've likely heard of it before -- the essential pillowcase dress, also known as peasant dress. I dressed my baby girl, who's now 13, in pillow case dresses made of vintage fabrics I found at resale shops way back when, and now our Pinterest stream is full of images and instructional how-to's. For good reason - they're downright simple, feminine and leave plenty of room for your little one to play without feeling confined or uncomfortable. Not to mention they can suit most any occasion; they can be casual or dressed up with some fancy ribbon.





  1. Lay pillowcase flat on table with open edge closest to you.
  2. Cut off the top (closed short edge) of the pillowcase.  Determine how long you would like the dress before cutting.  Note: The cut edge will be the top of the dress.
  3. Next, cut the arm holes 3-4 inches deep on each side of the pillowcase, at the cut edge.  The arm holes should be J-shaped.  See diagram above for clarification.
  4. Take the top cut edges and separately fold each side 1/4” down (towards the inside of dress), and then again another 3/4″ to create a finished edge.  It may help to iron these folds to help keep them in place.
  5. Stitch along the first folded edge to make a “tunnel” or casing.  Repeat this for both the front and back of dress.
  6. Now, there are 2 ways to finish the pillow case dress: A:  Take 2 long ribbons and insert one into each of the tunnels you created.  They will tie at the shoulders to hold up the dress (see photo).  B: Insert 6 inch elastic strips into the tunnels you created and sew ends of the tunnel closed.  This creates a stretchy neckline and eliminates possible choking hazards of ribbons.
  7. Seal off arm holes by closing with stitching on binding.  If you chose to use Option B above, leave about 10″ of excess binding on each end of the arm hold to tie together and use as dress straps.
  8. You may decorate the dress anyway you like.  A little rick rack sewn across the pillowcase seam is usually a cute and easy addition!


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

LIFE IN PICTURES




Tuesday, May 19, 2015

LOVE SEES THE WHOLE OF YOU


Today marks another anniversary. 
In attempt to describe real love to my older children, I used a book as an analogy. Paraphrasing, but it goes something like this:
Love chooses to keep turning the pages of the story of you, gently slipping past the messy ones. It chooses to keep seeing the whole of you, a beautiful, epic, poetic masterpiece.




Monday, May 18, 2015

ANNIVERSARY


My dress was fairly simple. I wore a birdcage veil that I made. Pete’s hair was growing out and he wore the handsomest suit. The weather…it was perfect. The sun it covered us with a golden blanket and the air exhaled a cool breeze through our hair. Truth is, a wedding, as big and exciting and beautiful as it all is, is just one day. But marriage! That’s every day. It’s real life without cellists and opera singers and fancy dresses. Nothing can truly prepare you. It’s a leap of faith. There are not guarantees, but if two people can decide to keep choosing each other every day, I believe it can go on and one forever and ever. That’s the plan, that’s the goal, that’s what we’re striving for. It has entailed learning, changing, forgiving, letting go, hanging on, growing, building, and a whole lotta loving. But it’s hardly a particle of dust in the scheme of eternity. It’s all so much more than this long caption. It’s sacred. I’m grateful to experience it with this beloved man of mine. We’ve turned corners, have these beautiful children, and it just gets better and better with time. Like leather. …Or cheese. 

PRAYER FOR THE MOM OF A SICK CHILD


Dear parent of a sick child,
I’m sure you are tired, worried, overwhelmed, desperately seeking normalcy, and wandering when/if your child will get better. Know that your presence is precious to your child. Your bravery is beautiful and your courage is contagious. Don’t stop fighting for your child. Don’t stop asking questions about treatment options. Don’t stop whispering sweet words of hope into his/her ear. These words resonate deep down.

Dear Lord,
I entrust this child to You, as he/she suffers from ____. You are the Master Healer and You provide times that are symptom free for this dear little one. Please comfort and protect him/her during this time. Help them to know You are with them. Please be with the doctors as they continually study to find a cure, and that treatments bring comfort. I leave this in your precious hands, oh Father God.
Amen



Friday, May 15, 2015

#INTROFRIDAY


“I don’t know what I’m like. I get glimpses of myself in other people’s eyes. I try to be careful whom I use as a mirror.” – Madeleine L’Engle, A Circle of Quiet

On a good day I know what I write matters. But not all days are good days.

The words I share on this blog are not only for one particular audience, but for anyone who wants to come to sit at my table. And their words are a benefit to me, too.

I’m gentle by nature, I like rom-coms, I think daily about Jesus, faith, culture, grace, and people. I write to see for myself the things I think about, but I don’t write down everything. Hardly any of it.

I share my life on the internet, yet I am fairly private.

I sometimes wish I was more naturally carefree. Like I used to be. Instead I have to work at it.

I confess my tendency to try to see myself through someone else’s eyes. I also confess how terrible I am at it.

I shut people out and lock myself in. Even though I know better.

This post is tough to write because it feels so painfully self-absorbed. And it is, I admit. But I write it because I think you can relate. Don’t we all question where we fit and how we’re perceived? Don’t we all protect the child within, longing for security, acceptance, and love? Don’t we all hope for connection but often choose self preservation instead?

As it turns out, I don’t have to define myself. I simply have to be myself.





Thursday, May 14, 2015

BABY LOVE


We spend so many hours just staring at him. tracing his features, kissing his soft cheeks. When he sleeps, he's a little dreamer - he often giggles. When he’s awake, he’s so gentle, with wise eyes like he has already lived.

Seeing the way Pete is with him, the way he talks to him and cuddles him, makes me realize I am not alone in my overwhelming love for him. It hurts to love someone so much. Every little cry makes your heart ache.




Monday, May 11, 2015

THE 30-MINUTE GUEST ROOM PREP


Treat guests to a hotel-worthy stay with these traveler-friendly updates to a guest bedroom:

Clear a little bit of space in the closet.

Add night lights to hallways and guest bath.

Take inventory of spare pillows and blankets. If you have the storage space, you might as well err on the side of having too many linens. Ensure they’re clean and must-free.


Assume visitors will get thirsty and be less than comfortable getting up in the middle of the night in a strange home. Provide bottles of water.

An alarm clock keeps company from relying on their hosts to wake them up.


Anticipate particular needs or wants of your guests. Many guests these days travel with tablets or laptops. Have the password to your wi-fi connectivity readily available.

If your space room doubles as an office or kids’ room, de-clutter so that they don’t feel like they’re invading.

Extra touches go a long way:

-Put out a basket of toiletries and fresh towels

-Stock the room with magazine your guest(s) might enjoy

-Spruce up the room with a vase of flowers.






Saturday, May 9, 2015

EBATES



So...I have a love/hate relationship for shopping. When I’m handing over my debit card to the cashier, I’m debating on whether it’s the best deal I can find. Maybe it’s cheaper online? Or in another store? What if the same thing goes on sale next week? I just want to ensure I’m getting the best bang for my buck.

There's less debate when I'm shopping with Ebates, an online rebate and coupon site for over 1,500 stores.

This is not a scam or a means to sell you. This is an honest-to-goodness referral to my readers. Ebates did not hire me to promote them, nor am I being compensated for this post. I purely want you to get in on this free money cash back opportunity. I got a check in the mail to prove it.


STEP 2: Sign up for free. May a purchase of $25 or more and earn a $10 gift card to Target, Macy’s, Amazon, or Kohl’s. Yes! Just like that!
*You can sign up today, and make your first purchase later!

Here’s an example:
   GAP is having a SALE on top of a SALE: take an extra 40% off all SALE items
+ Ebates is offering 14% cash back at GAP right now




Monday, May 4, 2015

PRAYER FOR THE SINGLE MOM




Even though I am no longer a single mom, I vividly remember the undertaking. Know that you do not have to walk alone.

In learning how to be single, we tend to miss the feeling that we were part of something “whole.” The most important truth I can share with you is that Christ is the only refuge. In Him, you will find joy, protection, and grace. He has the power to restore. He is with you. No human can ever be as close.

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."
Romans 8:1

Dear Lord,
Grant me energy. This is hard work without an end time, this constant pouring out of myself and into another without a partner to share the load.
Grant me time. To do all the chores, join in the games, help with the lessons, say the night prayers, and still have a few moments for myself.
Grant me courage. Some days I am crippled with fear. The fear of having to do every single life situation can be so utterly frightening, daunting and crushing. 
Grant me a heart. To share and to care, to listen and to understand, and to make a loving home.
I pray for my child(ren), Lord, a lot, that they would thrive despite being without their dad, that they would stay sweet and gentle even in our hardships. These kids, God, are the best and most wonderful gift You’ve ever given me, and I praise You for them. Thank you for choosing me to be their mother. Help us to give each other grace and so, so much love.
Amen.


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