The Bigness


A few weeks ago I sat comforting and hugging this sweet little 6 year old as she mourned the fact that all the other kids in this house have been turned into boring, playless, big kids. "It's the biggness" she sobbed as one after another told her they didn't want to go outside and play her games.


I'm sure some of this intense emotion is related to her best friend and cousin being at the hospital every time the rest of her cousins come to visit. It's been an emotional few months for all of us. We do our best to make sure they have time together when Abby is home and healthy. And her siblings really do play with her quite a bit, if not always on her terms.


I haven't done a very good job of sticking with my promise to go outside and take wintery pictures every day. I can blame it on the fact that I left my camera at my brother's...again. (Though this time was to visit a sweet new niece) Or, on the fact that, even if we love the snow, it's been really, really, cold. But, I won't. I could still make it happen and I'm a little bummed that I haven't.


So, on this particular day last week. A day when the temperatures rose just a hair. A day that a brother and sisters, suffering a bad case of the bigness, absorbed in their video games and books and projects, each replied no to the pleadings of a little sister. On this sunny, beautifully blue and white day, I said yes. And what a grand adventure we had.


We traveled the globe in our own backyard, played with the animals in her imagination and even built a home, a place to lay our heads, before our journey ended just as the sun dipped below the treeline. It was beautiful and magical and just the thing I needed to shrink my own bigness, embrace the day and the season, and fall in love, once again, with this beautiful life.

Finding Comfort

I actually wrote this a few months ago, while my niece was having her surgery. It felt too real to share at the time, but I want to remember these feeling, this moment in time. I don't want it to be lost in a list of drafted, never published posts, so here it is.

My heart is so tired lately. All the worry, sadness, and truly amazing things happening around me everyday are exhausting.


I am finding some comfort in meditative stitching, working on a quilt that has been in the making for 9 years now, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.


And in appreciating how truly blessed I am by spending more time really watching and listening to my kids during the times I have them all to myself.


And in the fun and engaging distractions my Adobe Generation Pro courses give me when I need to quiet my mind.


And, in the kindness and generosity of friends who send meals for my sister's family, while they travel an impossibly rough road.

The Bellabee Apron Pattern

I finally did it. I have finally listed the Bellabee Apron Pattern for sale in the 6Berries Etsy shop. Yay!


I really am this excited to finally have this project complete. You can head on over to Etsy to check out all the info.


I'm going to show you the out takes from my photo shoot with my youngest here, because, well, it's fun and they're simply adorable pictures. If I do say so myself. Although I could have done better with the lighting.


She was very excited about getting to model the apron. She loves hers and couldn't wait to play the mad scientist. Which really is how she uses hers. Sitting at the kitchen table mixing different ingredients to make strange concoctions and calling it science.


And, she insisted on wearing her goggles. You're just not a scientist, mad or otherwise, without proper eye protection.


I think a sibling dropped the lid to the cooler holding the dry ice just as I snapped this. We all got a good laugh from this picture. My silly girl. Shy as can be in person, but always goofing off for the camera. I just love her to bits.


OK, so even she get tired of the camera eventually. Enough with the pictures mom, can't I just play with the colored liquid in the test tubes already.


Well, now that I've made this post feel completely self indulgent with pictures of my cutie pie wearing the apron pattern I'm hoping to sell, I might as well add one last plug. Go check out my shop. :)

With Chilly Cheeks and Warm Bellies


I just tucked in my two youngest. Their cheeks chilly, and their bellies warm. The winter storm has caused quite a bit of excitement around here. We're downing hot cocoa and soup like they're going out of style and my entryway is in a constant state of soppy, snowy, mess. I just can't keep up. And, I don't care. I am so in love with right now. I'm not sure what it is, but I'm just going with it. Don't get me wrong, things are far from perfect. I was grumpy a bit today too, but the overall feeling I have of contentment is wonderful. I thought I might sit and write and work something out here, but you know what? I'm just going to take the opportunity to make note of it, to help me remember this feeling, while it's abundant.

Wintery Pics

Is it bad form to post Christmas pics so long after the holiday? Probably, but I love this picture so much. I snapped it in my early morning fog, from my viewing spot on the sofa, just seconds before dragging my sleepy butt back to bed. The kids were up early this year. 4:30 to be exact.


Yeah, so Christmas morning nap, was not optional this year.


We had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and fun and food. We've totally obliterated any semblance of routine or schedule with endless hours of video games and new books and puzzles and a little bit of fun in the snow when the sun was shining. There is just something about the combination of snow and sunshine that is irresistible.


The Kindle Fires Santa delivered have us all in a trance, my husband and myself included. Why did no one ever tell me about Temple Run? Oh, yeah, because I can become extremely obsessed with those silly, pointless games. (There is a span of a few months, shortly after my husband and I started dating, that is sort of a big Tetris blur for me.) Every morning. This is how I find them every morning.


These early days of the new year always have a hang over feel to them. We've started to loose the holiday buzz, and the lazy days lacking our normal routines are wearing on us. So, as we groggily emerge from our junk food comas, I am trying to nudge us back to normal.


It's difficult, though, because we can't just return to the pre-holiday routine. You never can go back, you know. Just a few short weeks, but already we're all so different. And, with new toys and tools needing our attention and time, a new schedule must be forged.


This was not at all my intended direction for this post. I kinda love when that happens. It's like I'm telling myself, no no no, that's not what's really on your mind. Here let me show you what you've been working through while running that little animated character through the treacherous temple run. Let me clue you in on what happens when you ignore your original inspiration to write, putting off blog post after blog post. Much like those routines you can never really return to those original thoughts.


Which had something to do with challenging myself to take wintery photos every day to help get through this dark and cold season. A little push to get myself outside more often and remind myself of all that I truly love about Michigan winters, because I really do, I love all the snow and the crisp air, I just forget sometimes.


I'll leave you with a quick update on my niece. I know some of you have been wondering and hoping all is well, and it is. As well as we can hope for under the circumstances. Her surgery went better than expected, she recovered quickly and was home for Thanksgiving dinner with the family. Radiation is done, and although it took a toll on her poor little body, she did well. She is back to her chemo schedule, with a break for the holidays and has reached the halfway point. She spends as much time as she can playing in the snow and enjoying every minute of those good days, surrounded by the people who love her.


Hoping your holidays were filled with good food, loving family and fun. And, may the new year live up to your every wish.

Holiday Crafting

I wanted to pop in here to let you know that my Bitty Bag Tutorial has been featured in a fabulous digital magazine, DIY Decorating Addict available through the itunes store. Free for the month of December! Head on over and check out all the holiday crafty goodness. And, to those who found their way here through the magazine, welcome.


I would love to write a nice long post today about all the crafting going on around here, but I am sick, and either my kids are soon to follow or they love tormenting their poor sick mama with grumpy moods and lots of arguments. I think I have appeased them for the time being with a movie, but we'll see. For now, a few links to posts from the past that I hope will inspire you.

Check out my sewing category to see my fabric creations. There is the zipper fly plaid pants I made for my boy. My first attempt at a zipper fly. I had intended to do my own tutorial, but Oliver + S beat me to it and it is a wonderful tutorial.


My crafting with kids category shows some of the cool gift exchange gifts we make each year. I'm sure there is some great holiday inspiration for you in there, like the secret agent spy kit we put together for my sister's kids. Oh my, that was a fun one. Or, the peppermint sugar scrubs my girls gave to their Aunties. (links to the recipes are in the post)


And, of course, don't forget to check out my tutorials tab at the top of the page for detailed tutorials on adding elastic to waistbands using ribbon, or sewing a cowboy vest, as well as the Bitty Bag tutorial.


If you like what you see, you can now subscribe to my blog by RSS feed, e-mail, or follow me on twitter to get notified of my newest posts. Thanks for visiting and happy holidays.

Loving

This is a post I had almost ready to publish when my niece got sick. I found it today and it made me smile and think of the fun summer days that feel like so long ago already, so I thought I'd share it. Today there is so much more that I am in love with and thankful for. I don't think I have the stamina to post them just now. This week my niece has her big surgery. They will remove the tumor and her kidney and will clean out a major artery. There is a lot of prepping for cousins who will be staying here, and plenty of other, normal life things happening too, but I find myself pausing frequently throughout the days to worry, and to think, and most of all, to take stock and appreciate all that I have. 

  • The Black Eyed Susan's and Daisies popping up between our yard and the pond. 
  • The boy teaching his little sister how to pitch so he has someone to play baseball with now that the little league season has ended.
  • My youngest daughter's firm belief that some day soon she will be able to fly because she wished in a wishing well. And, her daily attempts to determine if today is the day.
  • Celery in my garden! It's stupid how happy this makes me. (It's also kind of stupid that I didn't realize that's what it was until yesterday.)
  • The way my kids pulled together and amused and impressed me with their problem solving skills to retrieving a runaway balsa glider when they were told that, "no they could not climb out the bedroom window onto the roof." (See above) I didn't snap a picture in time but, it involved a broom, a pool noodle, 3 kids strategically placed for optimal viewing of said glider shouting directions, and 1 precariously perched on the porch railing.