February 27, 2011

dear guinea pig,

I've contemplated writing this post many times.
The thing that's hung me up was fear of being judged, but I've come to the point in this blogging
life of mine where I feel like many of you are my dear friends who would never
judge me, even though we've never met face to face.
The fact that some of you are older than me, maybe even 20+ years, means nothing to me.
Mostly because I feel like I've lived a lot of life in 28.5 years.
Like for example, may baby turned 9 yesterday.
Nine is a lot.  One year from 2-digits.
Past kiddie pools and easy readers, and on to bigger things, like chapter books and staying up later.
Noah's birthday always reminds me of he day he was born, which never fails to remind me of the nine-months prior.
Me-19-Pregnant-Freaked totally out....
reading the little + on that little plastic thingy at 18 years old, two months after I bid goodbye to FHS forever,
yes...that'll give you a dose of "HOLY CRAP!" like no other.
It's interesting to me to look back now on the thoughts that went through my head, but never once, not once,
did I ask "why me?"  Never once was I angry at God for letting that happen to me.
I knew who God was, talked to Him occasionally when I needed something or felt like I had done something really bad, but never deeper then my needy wants.
But at that point in my life, Summer 2001, I had never needed Him more and I knew it.
I spent 9 months, basically in hiding, never wanting to chance running into someone I knew, fearing the undoubted stares and judgement that would come.
I felt ashamed and alone, even though Jarrod was with me and felt a lot of the same feelings as me, he wasn't the one with the watermelon attached to his middle section.
No fault to him, it just seems that men don't get pregnant much.
If I was going to make a mistake, I made it with the right person.  Someone who never wavered,
never once thought twice about sticking around, and never had a #1 goal other than providing for
his little family.
My plans before July 3, 2001 consisted of me, living in The Cities, going to school
and becoming someone totally high-powered and awesome, travelling all over the world, laughing
at people tied down with spouses and kids.
Me. Myself. And I.  The End.


February 26, 2002, my hopes and dreams took on a whole new meaning as I gazed in the face of that little
watermelon.
Up until 2:22pm on that day, I had planned on clinging to bits of shrapnel of my original dreams and carry on with some form of a career.  At 2:22pm, I sent that dream packing.  It flew out the window so fast, you could hear it's wings flapping. 
God may just as well have attached a Post-It note to Noah's forehead, telling me:
"I created you to be a mama to this child and more of them.
I've created you for a career that doesn't require you to leave your front stoop.
Listen to me, I know what I'm talking about."
~The Big Guy
And He does know.  And I listened and I've never looked back.
Ya, my 20's have been something like: me...free of make-up, sporting spit-up on both shoulders,
drinking Juicey-Juice from a sippy cup while most of my friends were enjoying their freedom and fun.
But it's ok...I have no regrets.  Only life experiences that've made me a better person, better mom,
better wife.  I'm hoping my past will never become an area of resentment with my kids, but will make me better
equipped to parent my kids.
If there's one thing I've learned in my 28 years, it's that God's plans are always better than mine.
I like to think I'm a planner and mostly those plans work out, but when God messes with them, they always end up so much better then I could've ever dreamed.
He must've chuckled at my vision of myself in a business suit.
"I've got something so different worked out for you, girl,
and it suits you so much better.  I made you, I should know.
Duh."

Ya.  I think God says duh.
So as I bid goodbye to my guinea pig baby's 8th year, those memories remind me of how much Noah saved me, shaped me, showed me who I am.  Not just a mom alone, but a person that can nurture others and be comfortable in her own skin.
There's no way he'll ever realize the depth of that, but he most assuredly did.

Happy Birthday to you, my sweet life changer :)



xoxo,
{alicia}




PS: i really am sorry for the tease-fest last post, i will tell you more soon.
but i can eliminate one possibility, i am NOT pregnant :)

February 25, 2011

{random goodness}

This is going to be probably the most random post I've ever posted, so get ready for this....
here's some random goodness that's been going on in my house:

{Frankfurter Twisties}
What is that you ask?
Well, last week, I rediscovered my cookbook from cooking class from when I was...hmmm, a 6th grader?
And wow! did it bring back memories of actually following recipes, making tea sandwiches, and walking with the knife down and walking so slowly it's a shock we ever made it anywhere.

So, back to the twisties...I remembered making these in class and thought they were sooo good.
Just take your frank, cut a slit in it, fill that slit with pickle relish and wrap with a crescent roll.
Bake for like 15 minutes and enjoy!



My kids liked them, my brother devoured them, my husband smiled with his mouth closed, full of twistie...
Also...I served these delightful little treats with this NEW ketchup!
Finally, a ketchup without high fructose corn syrup that doesn't cost $5/ bottle.

Oh, you think it's silly that a woman that serves the occasional hot dog to her children should
give a crap about HFCS?
Well, ya...maybe it's silly.  I try :)


{Spies}


Oh, and we're planning a spy party...it's tomorrow.  I'm not ready...dun, dun, dunnnn.

{Little Bit of Sunshine}

Outside?
He**, no!  But inside....


My cousin, the botanist, gave me this sweet little lime plant last summer.
I was so nervous, I was certain it was a goner the second it entered my property.  I'm not the best with houseplants.

But a few days ago, I discovered these gorgeous little beauties....blossoms!
Will I get some limes??  I so hope so!!


{Product Development}


I'm working on a few  new things for my shop.
I realized that most of what I make is very neutral, so I'm going for a little different direction...
I'm working on some accessories and a few little cutesie things that no one can live without :)
These are some of the fabrics I'm using...


{What the heck are you doing?}
My husband has become possessed my the Nerf Demon and will not leave us alone!
Last night, I literally ripped his last dart in half because he wouldn't quit shooting us!
Sorry, Nerf Demon, but we want our man back!!


Oh...and I have the most exciting news ever!! But I don't feel like I can share it for a little while...
sorry.  I hate it when people say stuff like that to me...but I just did.


Till next time,
{alicia}

February 23, 2011

wedded bliss

I realize I've been a bit MIA here in Blogville lately, but let me assure you...I have good reasons.

I've been so busy, I'm not even sure which way is up!  Between custom orders and other commitments, it's been crazy at our house.
Another thing that was keeping me busy last week was our friends' wedding.  Our whole family was involved in the wedding and we were busy getting ready and doing all out wedding duties.

Friday night was the rehearsal dinner and it was so fun.
After we ate, our friends handed out gifts to all the people involved in the wedding and shared why
each person was special to them.  I thought it was such an awesome way make the night special.
You have to know that Nick, the groom, was friends with my hubby in college and he's not...how do I say it?...
a very sentimental guy.
He works full time for the Army, his hobbies include weight lifting, tools, and disc golf, and he's about to do his 2nd tour in Iraq.  Not the biggest softy I know...ok?
So, while he was sharing about all the people he'd asked to be in the wedding and why they were special to him,
he got really emotional and it was such a sweet moment.
I loved how they did that :)


For their gift, I chose to do something a little sentimental too.
Lindsey loves handmade things and I thought she'd like something handmade from me :)
I made them two pillows...one with "mr & mrs" and another with their wedding date...just a gift card seemed too impersonal for this event.
I hope they liked them...they're far away in Jamaica now, so I'm not sure what they thought.
(oh ya, and we're stuck in 17" of snow again, UGH!)


Noah was an usher (which was so stinkin' adorable to watch) and Jack and Sophie were the guest book attendants.

Just look at this photo...is it just impossible to get a good picture of more than one kid at a time?!
Noah looks like smiling hurts, Sophia has major static hair, and Jack is staring into space....oh well...


Yes, Noah's wearing a sweet little tux and it was so adorable.
I was so bummed for him, though.  He was so excited to dance that night and he got a bad fever and had to go home after dinner :(


Daddy was the best man and gave a killer toast at the reception :)



My two little kids absolutely tore it UP on the dance floor and have been talking about it ever since!
Jack so wanted to dance with the beautiful bride and when he got the chance, he grinned ear to ear the whole time :)

I'm a little drained at the moment...taking care of sick kids, a big wedding, and family visiting this weekend is kicking my butt right now!

But what a special day and such a blessing to be a part of it!


Congrats to Nick and Lindsey...we love you both!!


xo
{alicia}

February 17, 2011

iHeart Organizing


Hey there!!
I'm so excited to have been featured yesterday over at iHeart Organizing!!
Jen writes an organizing blog that is so perfectly neat and tidy, I can't help but read her posts over and over.
She saw my craft room redo project and wanted to feature it!
I'm so flattered to be shown over over at her blog...go check it out and check out all her fabulously organized posts!

February 15, 2011

my thoughts on {love}


love.
it's good right? it probably starts out something like this...
...happy, blissful colors and sappy phrases that make everyone else roll their eyes except for you,
cause you're in love, sweet pea.

but time wears on and we both realize those candies taste chalky after a while and those phrases are harder to say cause we notice things about each other that we didn't before. 
like dirty socks on the floor
and bad habits and character flaws.

yes, those candies are definitely chalky and it's more work to make the thing fun,
but we do, because after all, deep down we really do love each other...flaws and all.



but after even more time, feelings get hurt, love runs out...mean things are said.
we argue, hearts are broken.


sometimes the hurts are so deep, it doesn't seem worth it.
quitting seems so much easier...so much less work.


but by that time, there's all these little hearts with the two of you...and they're all looking at you.
watching you. 
and you know so certainly that you can't quit
because they are so worth the hard work.
because you know that those who sow much will reap much.
and you want a beautiful harvest.


and so you decide to work and keep working, till death do you part.
cause that's what you said you would do.
and after you work hard, you realize it was a choice all along...even back when you were exchanging
sappy chalky heart phrases like "hot lips" and "kiss me." 
you chose to then
and you still choose to now.
because it's love.

and ya, it's messy....


...and sometimes ugly, and frustrating, and heart-breaking.
but it's still love.
and love is lovely. 

happy {late} love day :)




xo,
{alicia}


February 11, 2011

simple

I've been taking a photography class to learn more about my camera.
This week we talked about the "rules" of photography.
In these photos, I used pattern (the tiles) with an uncluttered
background to attempt to create a simple photo.



The other thing we talked about in class was viewpoint.
Our teacher said that almost never can you get the best shot by standing straight up.
You'll almost always get a better shot by getting down on the floor,
up on a chair and shooting down, etc.
So for these, I was laying flat on my stomach.
Yes, it was interesting :)






linking to:

spies and princesses

I know my post Monday was on cut backs, but seriously...I am a busy bee lately. 

Birthdays are a big deal at our house and I just happen to have one February birthday party to plan,
followed by a March party just a few weeks later...the next birthday doesn't come till August, which is good.
(And I much prefered being pregnant in the summer, in case you're wondering...I loved being out in the warm sun with my big belly :))  Anywho...I've got lots of planning to do!

We've done lots of birthday parties, like pirates, cowboys, tea parties, space, snow, pool parties, and baseball...the list goes on.  This year, Noah wants to do a spy party and Sophia is (of course) planning on a Cinderella party.  She's a bit obsessed with Ms. C right now...but that's ok, we know all the lines by heart and wake up singing
"A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes."
These are all good qualities to possess.


sweet disguises
 My mind is going in two different directions with this one...spies and princesses.
I've ordered a couple things from the one-and-only Oriental Trading Co. for Noah's par-tay.
And completely raided the Target dollar section, which was so conveniently stocked with adorable cleaning supplies just for me, for Sophie's gig.

But I haven't done much and I still have tons to do.
The blog world is jam packed with amazingly talent women out there, so if any of you have any ideas for food, games, favors, etc...please let me in on your knowledge!
My brain's a bit fried from endless sewing, so any help would be great!

a little bling for the favor bags


I love throwing a fun party for my kids.  I love that they talk about past birthdays like they're the best day ever.
And they should be, right? We only get one day that's just for us!

have a blessed day.

xo
{alicia}

February 10, 2011

living room redo: II


My fingers are numb from pinning 1.2 million pins, I have bags under my eyes, and my family has had breakfast for dinner three times in the past week....BUT it is finished.  The slipcover that is :)
And I am OH so pleased with the turnout!

Last week, I posted on a project I'm working on to redo our living area....and I'm getting a pretty good start.
My goal is a living room that's light and bright. 
I liked my couch ok before, but I wanted something a bit more neutral.



Before:

AND


I cannot even begin to try to give a tutorial...there was way too many steps and thinking involved.
But if you have questions, you can email me and I'll try my best to answer.


Basically I just cut everything out and pinned it on to the couch or cushion backwards, took it off, and sewed it.
I was surprised that it wasn't saggy or baggy anywhere. I thought I'd have to tuck in the loose places where I didn't sew it very well, but I didn't have to!  I really wasn't that hard, but time consuming.


I opted for simple: no piping, no fancy corners on my cushions, no zippers (I used velcro).
I like my sanity :)



When people ask me how I get stuff like this done, my answer is usually at night.
But this project stretched the night thing a bit far...like Saturday night, I went to bed at 2am.
See? This is what happens when you make slipcovers....


But it was well worth it.  I wouldn't want to make another one tomorrow, but I'm glad I did it and I'm even more glad it's DONE!
Oh, and where do you find such fun pillows??
I think you can find them HERE ;)


ha! thanks for reading along :)


Now, here's what's left:

Living Room Project To Do List:



-paint TV cabinet
-make slipcover for couch
-paint
-build shelves (jarrod)
-sew curtains



February 7, 2011

i'm guest posting!

Hey lovelies!
Just wanted to stop in quick and let you know I'm doing a guest post over at

I did a little tutorial on some little Love Notebooks I came up with for Valentine's Day....
go check it out :)



Thanks so much for having me, Kara!

cut backs

Please note:
The following photos have absolutely nothing to do with this post...just so ya know.
*********************************************************************

A couple weeks ago I made a decision after taking a long look at my day planner.  From a ways away it looked like Sophia grabbed a Sharpie and scribbled all over it, but up close, all those "scribbles" were words and all those words were commitments.  Many of which I had brought upon myself without thinking about how busy I am.

I'm not sure if I just can't handle as much as other people, but when I start getting too much on my plate, I start to crack.  And it's usually not pretty.  I get crabby, irritated (even more than usual), and I can be just plain mean.
All because I said yes, when I should say no.



I know we moms all deal with this "learning to say no" thing.  I just read something in a book that said that "when we say NO to something, we're essentially saying YES to something else...and usually that something else is our family"...ouch!
I also know that what we moms say YES to are usually great things...PTA, church committees, leading a Girl Scout troop.  Good things.  But for me, too many of these good things can start to ware on me in a hurry
and before I know it, my house is disastrous, my kids haven't learned a thing, and I am cranky mama!

A few months ago, I wrote a post on finding your focus and I think that's why I start to go so crazy...
I'm going in too many directions to be focused on anything.

random guys, watching the super bowl in my living room. {brotha, hubby, brotha's roomie}

Like I said, maybe I can't handle as much as other girls can.  But I realized I need to make a decision.
What is important to me, like really important?  Where do I want my time to go?
Here's what I came up with, these are the things that are important to me:
-my family...
including planning fun things for us to do as a family, taking care of my house, making meals, and being the mama that makes our home a cozy retreat from the rest of the world
-homeschooling my kids...
.I love having the opportunity to teach my kids myself and I so desire to make the most of it.  I want their memories of school at home to be happy and fun memories, not stressed out memories :)
-me, myself, and I...
..I don't mean this to sound selfish, I just mean the part of my life that is just for me is also very important to me...blogging and my shop have been the creative outlet I had so desired. 
my roomie

So, that's my list and I'm stickin' to it.  I decided I'm slimming down my schedule...backing out of commitments.
I figured, hey, everyone else is doing cut backs, so why not me?
So that's what I'm doing...cutting back.
I'm refocusing.  Doing what's important...because if I'm doing too much, nothing's getting done very well.

This decision to cut back has brought about a calm in me...I'm already feeling more focused,
knowing what and who needs me most is going to get me...and not the cranky me :)

Have a super Monday...I feel a great week coming on!

xoxo
{alicia}
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