Groopdealz asked to feature the dolls! They will be on sale all weekend so if you have been waiting for a good sale, this is your chance! For those who already have the outfits offered, you can trade for some that you may not have and also extend your Outfit of the Month membership. Happy Weekend!
The twins just had a birthday...four years old now. I will spare you the "I can't believe they have grown up so fast" commentary...because it has gone fast but, it has been slow too.
I have been thinking a lot about what my life has been these last four years. It's easy to sit here in my quiet studio and reflect when all of my kidlets are in bed and it is calm. It's easy to feel that overflowing feeling in my heart and savor their beauty and love and remember all of the little joy filled moments we have had today. I can feel my breath being taken away just at the thought of how beyond blessed I feel when I really think about this life of mine.
But, frankly, all of the moments haven't been joyful. Sometimes they are downright HARD, frustrating and exhausting.
Most of the time on this blog, all you see is the uncluttered, light filled parts of our life over here. I do this on purpose because I want it to be an inspiring, beautiful place for you to visit. We all have clutter in our lives...(and that clutter/mess piles up very quickly over here!). There is beauty in the clutter, I know I'll miss picking up coloring books and doll house accessories someday. But it is nice to have places to go that are clean, pretty and clutter free.
A while back I read parts of a journal I kept during the time I was a missionary 15 years ago. As I was reading, I felt a little disappointed in myself that in almost all of my entries, I didn't talk about what was hard or frustrating for me. I just talked about the good things that happened and what I believed. I think it is important to focus on the positive and I'm glad I didn't let the negatives crowd out all of the positives, but, I kind of wish I would have at least taken a line or two to write about my struggles. Because man alive I had struggles!
It was hard to talk to complete strangers about something that means so much to me and then to have them reject me and my message. It was hard for a very athletically challenged girl like me to ride a bike everywhere, everyday in a skirt no less! I wish I would have documented the struggles...mostly so that I could see how I had the courage to overcome them and how I grew stronger and stronger as I kept getting back up and trying again.
I just finished re-reading one of the best, most honest commentaries on mothering that I've ever laid eyes on. Have you read the article "Don't Carpe Diem"by Glennon Melton? I have had so many other moms recommend it. I only read half of it until finally one day after having it recommended again thought, "Sheesh, what is all the fuss about?!" and read the whole thing. Now I know what the fuss was about...it's like Glennon went into my jumbled up mind/heart and articulated perfectly, exactly how I feel about motherhood.
In the article Glennon talks about two kinds of time: Chronos and Kairos. For clarity, I'm going to just quote an excerpt here (but you'll be so glad you read the whole article...it is so good):
"There are two different types of time. Chronos time is what we live in. It's regular time, it's one minute at a time, it's staring down the clock till bedtime time, it's ten excruciating minutes in the Target line time, it's four screaming minutes in time out time, it's two hours till daddy gets home time. Chronos is the hard, slow passing time we parents often live in.
Then there's Kairos time. Kairos is God's time. It's time outside of time. It's metaphysical time. It's those magical moments in which time stands still. I have a few of those moments each day. And I cherish them.
Like when I actually stop what I'm doing and really look at Tish. I notice how perfectly smooth and brownish her skin is. I notice the perfect curves of her teeny elf mouth and her asianish brown eyes, and I breathe in her soft Tishy smell. In these moments, I see that her mouth is moving but I can't hear her because all I can think is -- This is the first time I've really seen Tish all day, and my God -- she is so beautiful. Kairos."
"Like when I'm stuck in chronos time in the grocery line and I'm haggard and annoyed and angry at the slow check-out clerk. And then I look at my cart and I'm transported out of chronos. And suddenly I notice the piles and piles of healthy food I'll feed my children to grow their bodies and minds and I remember that most of the world's mamas would kill for this opportunity. This chance to stand in a grocery line with enough money to pay. And I just stare at my cart. At the abundance. The bounty. Thank you, God. Kairos.
Or when I curl up in my cozy bed with Theo asleep at my feet and Craig asleep by my side and I listen to them both breathing. And for a moment, I think- how did a girl like me get so lucky? To go to bed each night surrounded by this breath, this love, this peace, this warmth? Kairos.
These kairos moments leave as fast as they come- but I mark them. I say the word kairos in my head each time I leave chronos. And at the end of the day, I don't remember exactly what my kairos moments were, but I remember I had them. And that makes the pain of the daily parenting climb worth it." - Glennon Melton: Don't Carpe Diem, Huffington Post, Jan. 25th 2012
Are you still reading?! :)
And so now I can measure what kind of time I'm in. When I am feeling overwhelmed by the two stinky diapers and the accident on the bathroom floor or the daunting task of loading and unloading four car seats in the middle of winter. When I'm feeling like less of a mom because three of my four children need to sit on my lap at the same time, I can remember that it's OK to feel frustrated, tired and spent. This whole parenting thing is hard work! But I can also remember that I haven't given up and that I keep trying and I can relish in those Karios moments and thank God for both!
Chronos Moment of the Day: As mentioned above, two major poops with an awesome accident waiting for me on the bathroom floor all at the same time...funny how that happens all at once!
Karios Moment of the Day: Laying by Laurel at bed time, then feeling her wet little lips on my face kissing my cheek after she thought, I was asleep.
Laurel loves it too. She's my little buddy in here most of the time.
Pens and pencils make me giddy.
I love the view and the natural light. I'll show you how to make this table in a second...
When I was unpacking I found a folder full of "just for fun" sketches I had done...brought back some nice memories. The bottom two pictures (the raccoon and the snail) were pre-drawings for a some murals I did years ago.
So, do you want to know how to make a nice, big work table and not spend a lot of time or money doing it? I'd bet that you can figure out what I did just by looking at them...but I'll tell you the steps anyway.
One bottle of Linseed oil (or any oil for wood finishing)
Bag of small "L brackets" (I didn't end up needing these but I put heavy things in my cabinets and on my table top so it wasn't going anywhere)
Step one: Build your cabinets
Step two: Place the cabinets where you'd like them in the room and put your slab door on top. Make sure they are centered under your new table top.
Step Three: Fill them with heavy things like books (or beloved Martha Stewart mags that may or may not have moved with you seven times now), also great for printer paper storage!
Oil your table tops. We had a wood counter top island in our previous house and I adored it. So easy to take care of and it felt so warm and beautiful. I feel like I have that counter top back but for literally 1/8th of the price. I used linseed oil but a mineral oil would have worked great too. It just sucked up the oil and gave me a nice natural finish. If you get a mark and want to remove it, just sand it away and re-oil!
The closet still needs some work but this is what I've done so far:
Having this much space just for supplies is a dream. The End.
Love having all of my fabric where I can see it...very inspiring!
Laurel loves cutting "Arn" and decorating her favorite little dog a dear friend (Hi Lori!) made for her when she was a tiny baby. I love that we can all create together in here..plenty of light and space.
I'll show you my computer desk area soon and keep you updated as I actually put things on the walls (why is that so intimidating?!)
If you have any questions about the table just ask. 'Til next time!
Passion: 1. A powerful emotion such as love, joy, hatred or anger.
a. Ardent love
b. Boundless Enthusiasm
What is my passion?
What is art in my eyes?
Everything that is beautiful and that is creative.
My family is art, my home is art, my paper dolls are art, my love for Jeff is art, the perfection of imperfection...that is art.
The picture I have in my head of our family rushing into church late, all dressed in our best with hair still wet and a hole in Norah's tights. Jeff carrying the shoe and sock-less baby in one hand and two overstuffed diaper/activity bags in the other. Me guiding the girls through the doors shushing them and smiling with pride at the same time...this to me is art.
This year my goal is to blog my passion more regularly. I am not a writer (as I'm sure you have noticed!) but, I can still in my imperfect way share the art that I love with you.
So this year, I hope you will find some perfection in my imperfections and that we can get to know one another a little bit better. Please always know that your comments are welcomed and that I really do enjoy hearing from you.
This poor blog has been neglected lately but I have big plans for updating more regularly this year. I thought I'd start by giving you a quick update:
Update No. 1: We are here in Idaho!
We are here and loving it. SO much still to unpack and do but we are making progress and living here is a delight even with half of our stuff still in boxes. The neighborhood is quiet and the neighbors seem friendly. I'm looking forward to getting to know them all better...maybe when it's a bit warmer outside.
Update No. 2: Jordan and Ruthie came for a visit!
My brother's family came about a week after we got here for a quick visit. It was so fun to see familiar faces.
Watch out, these kids are on a mission. Destination: PARK!
Growing up with four brothers wasn't always easy...but they made up for it with the women they chose to marry! I seriously have the best sisters-in-law. It was so nice to catch up and hang out with Ruthie.
The only picture I snapped of my brother Jordan. The biggest teddy bear you will ever meet. I miss him already. That's Rebeca born just after Norah.
Update No. 3:
Gathered round our Charlie Brown Christmas tree.
I knew making nightgowns this year was not happening so I looked and looked online for classic nightgowns...what a disappointment! If I didn't want Dora, Barbie or Disney Princesses on their gowns, I was out of luck (unless I wanted to pay $40 or more). I posted my woes on Facebook and my good friend Sara responded asking if she could make gowns for the girls! I sent her fabric, notions, etc. and they arrived at our doorstep from Minnesota a few days before Christmas. She did a beautiful job don't you think?
Everything is ready...Ollie got a little peak. :)
Jeff started this tradition. He tells the Christmas story in toddler terms with our Nativity Set. I love this tradition.
Ollie had plenty of helpers!
The big gift, a play kitchen. I made the aprons a while ago...as you can see Norah is thrilled to be wearing hers for this picture. :)
There's the update. Hope your December was full and happy too. I'll be seeing you again soon...promise! :)