18 August 2011
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warning: this post is a bit of a departure from my normal subjects on this blog.
this post is probably very very premature, as i've just started the study i'm going to reference. but already, god is doing amazing things in my soul. somehow, he has given me this opportunity to be surrounded by a group of women who are proving to be absolutely invaluable in their love and insight. we're going through wendy alsup's study, "by his wounds you are healed," and the introduction alone was enough to knock the wind out of me. where am i finding my identity? what defines me? where do i get my kicks? if it's not from christ, then i don't really get it. i don't get what grace is, i don't get what peace is, i don't get what my purpose is, and the kicker is that i don't really get what he has done for me.

my initial thought: "that's ludicrous!" i've been in the church all my life. i get that christ died, therefore taking on my sin and providing a way for me to be with him in heaven. (wow, even writing it so flippantly right now feels so grimy.) i've been walking around with this head knowledge for so long, and somehow my heart hasn't completely gotten it. i don't know that i'm capable of ever totally getting it actually, but if i can begin to grasp what grace really is, then i can begin to see christ clearly. and if the spirit can help me see christ and his saving grace clearly, then he will change me and give me a new lens in which to view my life, my roles, my identity. and the outflow will be what i've prayed for for so long. purity. pure motivations. pure attitudes. pure thoughts. pure actions. oh lord, i want to be changed!

i was enlightened to find out that even amongst this group of strong, spiritual women, i was not alone in feeling insecure in who i am. even admitting out loud that i'm insecure is a huge work of the spirit, because it's the opposite of what i always try to portray. i want to be hip christian lady with her crap together - polite toddler, baby in sling, gourmet dinner on the table, social life swingin', great marriage, eclectic taste, lover of beauty, church volunteer, all with a genuine, strong and obvious love for god. this is where i find my identity. this is who i want to be. yet, i'm insecure because i'm not finding the foundation of these roles in christ. i'm not defining my life as a follower of christ, i'm defining it through these particular roles i've given myself. he's working on me, and my impatience wants the work to be done. i want all of the things listed above, and i want it all to be because of god's doing, and i want it all right now please.

pretty sure my plan is not god's. he's working though. i can feel his love and his spirit, and i'm becoming so grateful for a god who sees christ when he looks at me rather than me. he's given me so many good things in my life, but it's all for naught if i'm finding my worth in those things rather than in his grace.


century old heirlooms

05 August 2011
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my uncle sandy and aunt pam, pictured below, generously sent me an incredibly special and sentimental gift today that will be in our family for generations to come; as i absolutely plan to pass it down to london when she has a daughter.

the beginnings of this gift came several months ago, when my aunt pam emailed and told me that she and my uncle sandy were planning to send me some of my great grandmothers ("gaggy's") clothing for our new baby girl.  since that email, i've been anticipating the package that arrived today! i thanked the mail lady, ushered the large box in, and quickly gathered my scissors and my camera.  i deliberately began removing the layers of tissue paper that protected and separated the vintage dresses, bibs and bonnet that my aunt and uncle had had restored from gaggy's early childhood. she was valerie davenport french (1898-1986), and is one of the girls pictured below. if i had to guess, i'd say she's the blond on the far left. and i think it also quite possible that the dress she is in, may be one of the dresses i received. (although, that could simply be wishful thinking!) regardless, i'm completely giddy to own such endearing pieces of my family's history.

the package as i received it. i was a little worried about the condition of the box, as it looked a little beaten, but everything inside was perfect.

 i needed better light, so i moved the box into the living room before emptying the contents.

 inside this initial envelope were pictures of each item of clothing before and after it's restoration, along with a card from uncle sandy and aunt pam explaining the items.

and here they are!



dress 1

dress 2

front of bodice

back of bodice

 card from uncle sandy and aunt pam explaining the gift

in addition to the heirloom gifts, they also sent gifts from their recent trip to ireland. noah received an irish penny whistle (which he instantly loved!), and london received adorable baby shoes and a sweet lamb (that noah also took a liking to).

noah, enjoying his new whistle!

i can't say thank you enough for these incredible gifts. i am blessed to have such a rich family history and sentimental items to remember it by. thanks uncle sandy and aunt pam for entrusting me with these pieces!

bamboo cotton rocks

20 July 2011
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i was absolutely giddy today when i walked into cotton babies and found that much of their bamboo cotton collection was on sale! score!  i used to go in frequently to buy detergent for my diapers, and each time i liked to walk through their bamboo-cotton baby clothes section and just touch the soft little outfits that were generally out of my price range. today, tons of the bamboo cotton was 40% OFF! i couldn't believe it. so i picked up a few things for baby girl. 
i want her to wear one of them home from the hospital...which should it be? they're all newborn or 0-3 month sizes (this is what i don't have much of), although they look massive in the pictures.  here's what i got.
bright, cute, modern and so soft!
 this is a unisex sleeper...the color is charcoal gray and white, although it looks black in this picture. i like the idea that i can use it if we have a third baby, no matter the gender.
this picture doesn't do this sleep gown justice. it's a lilac (an interesting lilac...not a pastelly one). this is the piece that wasn't on sale, but i loved it! i'll be packing this one for the hospital for sure.
and finally, this comfy little shirt and pants set. another good purple...good purples are hard to find, don't you think?

can't wait to see london in these soft as butter little outfits. 4 1/2 weeks to go!

diy: fabric mobiles

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bff, sarah, from lovely chaos, created this diy on fabric mobiles, and as soon as i saw it, i knew i wanted one for london's room.

so finally, i reeled in dear friend missy (although reeling her in was pretty easy as she loves projects!), and we got busy. well, as busy as we could with 5 kiddos to keep an eye on while working. after two work sessions and some time working on our own, we each finished our mobile.

we followed all of sarah's tips and suggestions. the only differences are that we used wire to connect the hoops, and we added one extra larger ring than she did, so ours are a bit bigger and took a bit more fabric. we estimated that we needed roughly 110 strips of fabric (however as you'll see at the bottom, i had tons left over).

we wired our rings first:

next, we ironed and cut all of our fabric strips:

then we began layering on the fabric strips using tacky glue. we started with the bottom ring and worked our way up:

and up (only one ring left to go in this picture):

and the final product...
here's mine:

here's missy's:

i had a lot of fabric left over; however, i think i should still add a bit more to the mobile to fill it out...make it look thicker. what do you think?


overall, i'm quite happy with my mobile, and i plan to hang it over london's cradle, and later in her room (when she gets one!).
thanks for the idea sarah, and thanks to missy for creating one with me!

every kid should have a play house

14 July 2011
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i stopped in to city sprouts today with friends jenn and shawn, and of course wanted to buy a thousand things! i haven't been in the store for a very long time, and i remembered why today...too many amazing things, not enough cash flow! 
one of their products i fell in love with was this play house. it's just made out of cardboard (that you can buy at the store) and decorate however you like. i'm a big fan of the patchwork roof and the way they outlined the stone exterior, windows and doors with yarn. noah and his little friends had a blast playing in it. i might have to be on the hunt for a HUGE cardboard box now!

a couple of weeks ago, shanna sent me this idea for a play house. it's completely adorable, and again, you can personalize it however you like. and if you use felt, you wouldn't even need to own a sewing machine, just a little fabric glue and some good scissors.

this site sells a pattern for this project.

london's baby shower

10 July 2011
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i am so blessed to have incredible friends who saw fit to throw me a beautiful baby shower for our second child, whom we have recently and definitively decided to name london. dear friends shanna, erin and missy went above and beyond, and certainly made me feel like one loved lady. 

the shower had a vintage tea party theme, and the decorations were so gloriously detailed it took a while to take it all in. an antique tea cart, all kinds of amazing china, flowers everywhere, multiple sweet banners, and a ceiling bouquet were just some of the touches....the list could go on. and the food - oh my, the food! not only was it delicious, but it was stunning! the cake shanna made was exquisite, the chicken salad tea sandwiches from erin were savory and yummy, and the scones with cream and jam by missy were beyond my wildest dreams of what scones could be.  

i was also so blessed to have family and friends come in from out of town to help us celebrate, along with many local friends who came to show their support and love. i was (and continue to be) amazed at the generosity of our friends and family. we received so many thoughtful gifts.

thanks to missy and her sweet camera and editing skills for these gorgeous photos:

 beautiful and yummy strawberry cake and melt-in-your-mouth petit fours
 tagged sugar cookies
 mmmmm...strawberry lemonade
 lovely garnished glasses
 petit fours, as amazing as they were beautiful
 antique tea box full of various teas, along with cream and raw sugar still my heart!
 to die for (literally) vanilla bean and orange/white chocolate scones
 cucumber sandwiches....adorable!
 lovely pom pom and onesie decor hanging from wall to wall
 picturesque china tea cups

 ceiling pom pom display - love this and am planning a rendition of it in london's room
 more glorious china
 fireplace display with banner, paper flowers, tea cups, and one of the party invitations
 the serving table in all of it's loveliness

 my sweet friends and hostesses:
(from left to right) erin, shanna, me, and missy

such an incredible day that i will always hold dear in my heart.
thank you girls for your thoughtfulness, generosity and love. you are each such a blessing to me and my family.
alright now, come on baby girl...i'm ready!