Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The things I know, and the things I never will...

As some of you may know, Last Monday I got a call that my grandmother's house had caught on fire, taking her life and most that she owned.  It's a call I will never forget, I sat there shaking, fearing the worst but also knowing the worst. 

For me, she was a huge chunk of who I am. As someone who lost their mother at the age of 4 mos., she stepped in to be someone that I needed, but didn't know I needed.  She took a childhood that could have been marked by pain and fear and shaped it into one of the happiest childhoods one could have.  They were full of ice cream and camping trips, childhood performances in livings rooms and long walks. She made every Christmas special and stopped at nothing to see that my brother and I felt loved and secure. When all of the children in the classroom were handing their homemade mother's day gifts to their moms, my grandma proudly walked through the door to accept mine. When I moved out West, she was the only one who cried, and I knew she meant it, because for her, she was losing a chunk of who she was, for at least a little while.

But on February 24th, at the same time that I was fighting battles over nap times, she was fighting for her life inside her home.  There are things that we'll never know about that day.  Things I don't even want to know, I'm sure..  I have been told she didn't suffer.  Merely went to sleep form the smoke, but I still can't shake the image from my head, and it hurts.  I don't know what will happen with the house.  With the things that she wanted nothing more than for me to have when she went to be with Jesus.  I struggle with guilt over that, but there's nothing I can do.  I don't know the answers, just the questions.

So yeah, there are a lot of things I don't know.  

But, I don't want to focus on those...

I choose to focus on what I knew.

I know those firefighters are amazing.  To risk your life in that way is something incredible. It's a gift.

I know its a grace that both of my children were fast asleep when i got the call, giving me a rare space of quiet to grieve.  What a grace.

I know that she got up at the crack of dawn for a majority of my childhood, just to see me off to school, and as I walked down the road she would call out to me and say, "I love you, wiggle butt."

That even in my 20's when the weight of motherhood was on me in a way that I couldn't bear myself, she spoke over the phone and said those words that I had heard my entire childhood, "Put your arms around you right now, and that's me hugging you."

That she was there.  Every game, every dance, photo op, every birthday party for me and my kids.  She was present. She was a constant. I knew I could call her at anytime, that same number, my whole life, and she was there with her excited, "Hi Sweetie."

I know that she loved her family so much, that when she lost my mother and my brother it even affected her physically. Her body couldn't hold the loss.  But she kept on...

I know she was stubborn.  But she earned it, if you ask me.

I know that I was read a book every night I was there, I could play with any toy I wanted, watch any show I wanted. She made that home a safe haven for me. When I was sick at school, I went there, and I mended.

And I know she's in heaven. I know she doesn't hurt. I know she loved me with every ounce of her being. And most importantly, I know I will see her again.

Grandma, you were and are still are a driving force in my life. I'm not sure how I will come out of this, but I know you want me to.

Rest in the sweetest peace there is, Grandma.
I love you.

**If you are a friend who has showed me love, thank you so much. And if you are a client of mine that has been patient with me as I try to pick up pieces, thank you as well. I am grateful.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

tiny reminders

it's about to get personal on this blog. ready?

I'm coming up on a hard week, next week. 
the first week of November marks the anniversary of both my mom's and my brother's deaths.
i will write more on that some other day, some other time.  but for now, I will just say that even though it has been years, it still hurts, its still hard and I still need encouragement.

and regardless of who you are and what you are going through, i bet you could use some too.
so i came up with the idea of "tiny reminders".

every month, at the end of the month I am going to post a new free download.  it will always be a 4x4" encouragement piece to hang on your wall and remember.  the reason i made it so tiny is because, for some reason, i always read the little notes that I hang up around my house, but I never read the words on the bigger artwork in my home.  I don't know why, but the tiny ones are never overlooked for me.

so hang these by your kitchen sinks, at your kid's diaper table, in your car.  Wherever your life needs just a little more love and oomph. because let's face it, we all need some oomph from time to time.

To download this month's "tiny reminder" CLICK HERE!
and then find yourself a little frame or some tape :)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Life with the girls

photos by christen

A lot of people have been asking me lately about how its going with two girls. My response actually surprises myself sometimes.  "It's great."  And it really is.  Never had I imagined that my heart could hold this much love for two such small tiny people. And never had I imagined that I would be able to manage life with two little kids aged two and under.

Our days are sometimes chaotic, sometimes calm, but always filled to the brim with love.
Haddie and June weirdly complete each other too.  June is just enough sweet to add to Haddie's spice of life.  

I know that I'm not just a mom, I'm their mom.  I know the ins and outs of each of them and that is where God has placed me.  Its not always glamorous, and more times than I would like,  I am comparing my life to those who live life in the childless lane. Those without the responsibilities of a little one around them... but I know that I am being shaped in the most remarkable and wonderful way.  The girls and God are teaming up to refine me.  

and I'm thankful.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to make inexpensive birth announcements

I have two kids now.  Two! The idea still amazes me and I'm almost 2 months in. Little June Marie was born in early July and ever since then, life has gotten a bit more complicated, in a good way.
So, I didn't want to complicate the whole birth announcement thing...

I spent $4.00 on june's birth announcement, and it was EASY.
Want to know how?
Shutterfly gives new customers 50 free prints just for signing up on their site. 
50 free prints= 50 free birth announcements, woot!
I just uploaded the photo announcement that I had created, and they sent them to me.
No fussing around with cutting, or spending lots on ordering.
Just easy.

And guess what? If you have a wee one, I have June's birth announcement layout on sale in my shop.
Which means that the stress of figuring out birth announcements....its gone :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Winner, Winner!

The winner of the custom family portrait giveaway is Catherine!
Cathering please get a hold of me via facebook of email

And for those of you who didn't win, fear not!
I am offering 15% off for anyone who entered the giveaway but did not win.  Please just mention this post in your email to me.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Custom Family Portrait GIVEAWAY!

How about a little family love to go on your wall? I'm giving away one custom family portrait!
To enter this giveaway:

1) Leave a comment below with something quirky about your family. I'm looking forward to reading these :)

2) For a second chance to win, share this giveaway on Facebook or Twitter and leave a second comment telling where you linked (FB or Twitter.)

Three winners chosen at random, giveaway ends Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at midnight EST.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

the third.

hellloooo third trimester, i am really feeling you now.  i can't believe that I am already 2/3 done baking my second daughter.  it's a little frightening and a little exciting all at the same time.  With A LOT of pain thrown in.
Here are the new discoveries i've had being pregnant the second time with a 1 year old in tow:

1.) resting isn't an option anymore.  i mean there are pockets here and there, but mostly, you're on your feet and the feet hurt.
2.) preparing for baby is kind of obsolete.  basically i've thrown some newborn clothes into a box and called it good so far.  uh oh.
 3.) that whole don't lift anything over 25 lbs thing?  well, i don't think it comes into play when your child weighs 30.
4.) even though its a lot of work baking and taking care of a baby on the outside, there is nothing sweeter than seeing your first born kiss your second while she's still in the tummy.  nothing. better.

now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go rub my feet.