Monday, March 31, 2008


Well, I think we were all just about beyond ready to feel a little sunshine on our faces.  And that sunshine has likely arrived just in time for a lot of rain to fall.

But the snow is gone and if a little warmer weather and a lighter spirit can give me even a FRACTION of my boys' energy, I will be buzzing along.  As it has stood lately, the only buzz I get is from caffeine.  

Mind you, I won't be giving up the coffee, but maybe I can kick this late winter funk I've been in for the last couple of weeks.  Maybe I will start some purging and packing.  Maybe I will manage a project or two and maybe, just maybe, my house will sell.  But first, a good night's sleep so I am ready to welcome those April showers tomorrow with open arms.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Wonderland

Oh, look!  More SNOW!  What was that I said about losing my mind if we woke up to another winter wonderland?  And it isn't just a little snow.....'s covering everything in sticky, wet icing.

And it really is beautiful.  Really.  But I am still over it.

So, because I want warmth and the smell of mud and a chance to use new Easter rain boots rather than snow boots, I am just going to focus on the positives and the ten day forcast.  I saw a 50 in there somewhere.

  • Tomorrow is a REAL Saturday brunch with some dear ladies I used to work with.  It is the first time I have seen them all together in over a year and the first time they will get to meet Ellerie.  Now I just have to figure out what we'll wear!
  • We have another open house here on Sunday (really I'm over these too) and I am taking the kids down to Uncle Andy and Aunt Amy's new place for the afternoon.  A nice chance to visit and do something different.  
  • Next week Mike will be away for work.  I'm not thrilled about that part, but it does give the boys a chance to stay with his parents for a couple of days.  And I can spend a little time with Ellerie and plan her first birthday party.  I have some ideas floating around in my head......  
I suppose I need to warm up with some coffee and get on to my day.  Crawling under the covers with a good book sounds better, but I can't imagine the kids will take care of themselves....  

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Laurie

So here is my other recent project, and one that I actually managed to FINISH!  Today is mike's sister's birthday and I can safely publish the photos now as I know she has received her package.  I am happy with the way it turned out...again, don't look too closely, but these tiny photos look GREAT!  It's a very simple, lined tote....maybe about 18x12 inches?  I am terrible at actually measuring these kinds of things.  I just eyeball everything, not something I highly recommend unless you want to make good friends with a seam ripper.  It's big enough to throw in a wallet, sunscreen, water, snack and a book for the beach...perfect for my Floridian sister-in-law.

The applique is a cutout from the lining fabric and the easy loop closure is around another fabulous vintage button from Nana Jean.

The lining has a good sized pocket, but I wish I had noticed that I placed it on the far side of the bag, rather than the side closest to the carrier.  I threw together a small bag with this same material for my other SIL before the wedding and I did the same thing.   Oh well, it may not be perfect, but it's one of a kind!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Christmas in March

My best friend since toddlerhood currently lives about an hour away from me. Really, she is more of a sister and someone I don't know what I would do without! We talk and email frequently, but with seven children between us ranging from 1 to 10, we often have a bit of trouble finding a day to get together where our schedules coincide and everyone is healthy.....especially in the winter.  She and the kids managed a trek up last Friday for a lovely, but too short, day of chaos and fun. As we had not seen each other in several months there was a bit of hand-me-downing and gifting to take care of.  This beautiful girl was purchased for a Christmas gift, but she agreed to a little photo session with me before she moved to her new home.  I love that her trunk is raised like a greeting for a friend.

I think she is smiling.....

...and I love her lashes.

A silly gift for a dear, dear friend.  Let's not wait so long next time......

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Monday

Michael took these pictures Saturday at his parents' house.  The boys colored real eggs and had an egg hunt for chocolate and money treasures.  I didn't take any pictures this weekend, which isn't really like me, but I had a difficult weekend for a number of reasons and appreciate Mike stepping in to pick up my slack.  

Speaking of slack, never finished those lambkins either.  That's what I get for saying "no problem."  SIGH.  Managed two out of three, but Calvin's is still in pieces waiting for his first stitch.  The cold and snow (YES, snow) here today is making me extremely unmotivated too. And a GIANT pile of stuff for work awaits that must be done this week, likely tabling too much creative time.  This week may be some already taken photos and blurbs about gifting.  Boy, I need those daffodils again!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

One Down, Two to Go

Well, since the first day of spring here turned out to be snowing and freezing and since we are still waiting for that March Lamb, it seems only fitting that I should be getting crafty with that felted wool sweater again.  I found this pattern  a few weeks ago and figured I'd never actually get around to doing these for Easter.  But, for some reason I felt inspired yesterday and cut out the felt pieces.  Seemed like, once that was done, there was no excuse not to go ahead and get started.  I chose buttons from the (ahem) "borrowed" Nana Jean stash for the eyes.  

And, for a nice Eastery effect, decided to stitch them up with colored floss.  I think that will look very cute in the Easter basket, but don't look too close because it definitely made it harder to disguise the fact that I am a rather "that'll do" type of sewer!  No perfectionism around here!

Ellerie's turned out so sweet, but her nose is sort of smallish and weird.  Makes her look more like a poodle than a lamb.  Overall though, I am happy with it and excited to see how the kids react.   There is a great deal of joy found in making something with your own hands to give away (more of that to come) and I am looking forward to at least SOME of the plans I have actually coming to fruition. But one thing at a time.  Two days, two to go.  No problem.

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Belated St. Patrick's Day

I am a day late with a Saint Patrick's Day post, as I wasn't really planning on doing one.  We don't usually get very hyped up over the day, being neither Irish nor Catholic, although Calvin was very interested to know who Saint Patrick was and why he has a holiday.  But then Michael came home from work with these hysterically HUGE shamrock cookies from the campus satellite of this bakery.

When they started, the cookies were almost literally the size of the boys' heads; and that's saying something!  

Thinking there was no way they would really be able to eat them all, we suggested a little sharing with Mama and Daddy.  This is what I was offered by Calvin, who oh so generously added "Go ahead Mama, you can eat it..."

Their eyes ended up a tad bigger than their stomachs though and we did manage a few tasty bites from their leftovers.  So no matter how Saint Patrick's day is meant to be celebrated, we have now confirmed that all holiday's lead down the road to sugar.  We just need to work on the sharing.

Monday, March 17, 2008

In Like a Lion

Lately, I've been feeling that if I wake up to one more "winter wonderland,"  I am going to lose it.  Why are those dreamy flakes so beautiful in December and so unbearable in March?  Even the sight of my boys' footprints across the lawn hardly emotes a sentimental sigh.  I am seriously over winter at this point.  Really, really waiting for that "out like a lamb" part.  

But the promise of Spring is still here, even if Spring Herself is waiting to make her grand entrance.  Even if that promise lies in some cut daffodils blooming on the windowsill, not in green buds poking from the ground.  It's coming.  I am sure of it. We're waiting little lamb.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Brunch

Well, another Saturday without Daddy.  SIGH.  Will that house EVER be finished?  Both of the Nanas and Papas are on their way today to help in various ways, so the kids are killing time cooking themselves a fabulous spread.  I am highly suspicious of the fact that Ellerie ended up "cooking" and the boys eating..... truly some kind of natural inclination! (Just not for me).  I sort of hate this little kitchen in all of its plastICKY glory.  I make myself feel better because it is a hand-me-down from my sister's kids, who are now teenagers.  I tell myself that it was made when Fisher-Price was still manufacturing locally, although, in truth, I doubt it.  And remind myself that we are prolonging its life and saving it from a landfill.  Still, Plastic just seems to get so nasty with age.  I have been drooling over all the beautifully simple, wooden kitchens out there since Calvin was born.  Like the ones here and here.  But the cost never seems justifiable when we have one already.  And then I think we should just make one.  Can't be THAT hard with the right tools, which my daddy would certainly have.  Yes!  Let's do that, with all of our EXTRA time! hahaha!  Well, who knows? Maybe Miss Elliebird will get herself a beautiful kitchen one of these days.
Funny, but the kids don't seem to notice the difference. 

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Perfectly Herself

"The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image.  Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them."  Thomas Merton 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


This little knucklehead went to the ER last night.  You'd THINK I'd have a big dramatic story from this.  Gushing blood, severed limbs, broken bones, SOMETHING.  Oh no.  I have a very expensive popcorn kernel.  Last night, for only the second and possibly the last time, we gave the boys some popcorn with their movie night.  Previously, I have not trusted Tate with the whole choking thing.  But, apparently, I failed to read the chapter in my parenting manual entitled "See Hole, Insert Small Object,"  because I wasn't prepared for his coming to me with his finger in his ear and saying "Mama. The popcorn makes my ear feel funny."  Hmmm.  Really?  Your EAR?  And, upon inspection, yup, the popcorn was definitely making his ear feel funny.  There it was, a nice, round, plump little kernel shoved nicely into his ear.  Right    down     into    his ear.  After some desperate attempts (and I say desperate because I DESPERATELY wanted to avoid the several hundred dollar emergency room visit) to remove the kernel ourselves (in various manners I will not divulge here as I do not want to be sued or reported to child services), we decided that we may, in fact, be making it worse and should, quite possibly, stop.  Tate seemed more than willing to go let a doctor take care of it.  Apparently, we cannot be trusted.  The lovely ER staff didn't have much better luck than us at first, but eventually flushed it out with a catheter and large amount of saline.  Tate was thrilled to get three stickers and a stuffed car, even after screaming bloody murder during the procedure.  And after our prayers, where we thanked God for the successful kernelectomy and that it wasn't something worse, we had a quick discussion involving small objects.  

Mama:  Tate, you know now to NEVER, EVER put something in your ear like that again, right? Will you ever put anything in your ear?

Tate:  NoooO

Hmmm.... perhaps I should have also mentioned his nose.....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Miracle and The Blessing

I think the running joke Saturday was what a miracle it was that my brother was getting married. Funny, but not quite true. Granted, going on 39 is a TAD later than average to be tying the knot; but anyone who truly knows Andrew knows that he is absolutely the marrying type. The friends he had there- brothers in a way, if you will- alone are a testament to his steadfastness, his loyalty. He is not a commitment-phobe, not anti-tradition or anti-establishment, not cold or cavalier or any of the things that might keep someone from a life-long devotion to another. If anything, I believe he is the opposite of those things. So dedicated and faithful that the decision to attach himself to anyone, to any THING, is never taken lightly, never made without some level of anguish over his ability to BE the perfect part in any relation or endeavor.

So, even though many will believe that the miracle happened this past weekend, I know that the miracle all along has been Amy: her willingness to see in my brother something that others could not and her patience to wait for him to see it in himself. Thank you dear, dear sister, for that. I think the miracle of YOU runs deeper than you know.

And the blessing?  Ah.  The blessing is the future to come.  For them and for all of us.  

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday to you

Happy birthday dear, sweet Calvin

Happy birthday to you

And, many more......

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Poor, poor Little Bird.  I didn't MEAN to scare her.  Yesterday I thought I would mess around with my (newly reddish) mop of hair in an attempt to feel remotely beautiful for the wedding this weekend.  I wasn't too worried about my appearance until it recently occurred to me that I would have to be in pictures!  Well, what's a girl to do to spruce herself up a bit?  Really, I'm not sure.  But I tried hot rollers.  Now, nobody but marilyn monroe can pull off hot rollers and look gorgeous.  Tate promptly informed me that I looked like a NANA.  But poor Ellerie.  She did not like me in them AT ALL.

Every time she looked at me, she would break out in sobs.  If I asked her "Don't you like my rollers?  It's still Mama!"  she would cry even harder.

Occasionally, between the terrified wailing, she would cover her face then peek at me to see if the horrific rollers were still attached to my head.  

But, after I picked her up, she calmed right down.  She even touched them after a few minutes.

Poor Elliebird.  Your mean old mama scared you and then took pictures of you while you cried. But I love that when I held you, you clung to me and knew me.  That is beautiful no matter who's looking.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Dream of Sewing

I love getting a package in the mail, even if it is something I ordered myself.  This one came toward the end of last week and I get excited every time I look at it.  I found it at Fuzzylizzie Vintage and I am just completely in love with this pattern.  There is something inspiring to me about an old pattern.  This one makes me look forward to spring and summer and makes me want to dance barefoot in the kitchen to Rosemary Clooney.  Or maybe throw on the dress with pearls and heels while I vacuum!  I adore the pleating around the neckline and those are some awesome mama pockets.  Room for a pacifier, a band aid and some lip balm.  

Do I actually have the skills to sew this?  Maybe.  Will I actually have the TIME to sew this? Maybe not.  But a girl can dream, can't she?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Friday Night Hide and Seek

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.....  Ready or not, here I come!

Tate:  Mommy,  I want to hide with you!
Me:  Ok Tate.  Hurry and be quiet....
Tate (under the covers with me, loudly): Calvy will never, ever find us here!!
Me (laughing):  He will Babe, if you keep talking...  shhhh...

5 seconds later....

Tate:  Mommy, it's DARK under here. 
          (dramatic pause, while the wheels turn.  Then, with decided tone)  
          We should get a light.