This is how we found her one night as we were all gathering down to dinner.
She insisted on reading an early childhood education book in order to expand her literary horizons.
Perhaps the material proved a little heavy for her.
I just wrote four paragraphs about how hard my life is and how messy my entire house is. Then I stopped, and looked back, and said, “This is a whiney post.” And so I deleted it. Because as I was writing about my physical limitations at the moment, I couldn’t help but think of people who are handicapped or permanently disabled or are dying. And I thought, “Wow! I am so blessed!”
Every night I write down at least three things I am grateful for. Sometimes it is something specific to that day, like, “Sean made me a delicious gluten-free, dairy-free banana cake for my birthday today –YUM!” And sometimes it’s more general, like, “Hot water” or “My bed”.
I have so much to be grateful for . . . just to name a few:
* Within a month this little baby will be out of my belly and in my arms.
* Books, books, and more books to while away the hours on my couch.
* Having the strength and energy and freedom-from-pain long enough to make a whole dinner for my family all by myself.
* Pencils and paper and pens and notebooks and my dayplanner to sketch and make lists and keep on top of the activities swirling around me.
* Friends who remembered my birthday.
* Reading all four Gospels over the past several months and spending a little part of each day walking with my Savior.
* Finding opportunities to serve, even if they’re small and done from my little living quarters on the couch.
* Red roses from Sean for Valentine’s Day.
* Inspiring quotes and ideas (thank you, Pinterest) that help me be a better wife and mother.
* Moments, that may be few and far between, where I feel so much love for my family I realize nothing in the world could be sweeter than the life I am living right this minute.
Of course, all these nice thoughts are helped along by the fact that the house is nice and quiet with little ones asleep. The hard part for me is being grateful for all that stuff in the eye of my daily storm. I’m one of those idiot people that keeps praying for patience – and the Lord lovingly obliges by giving me lots of opportunities to learn and practice patience. (I’m failing miserably.) In the meantime, I’ll keep counting my blessings.
While I do not get around to much sewing these days, I did manage to eek out a little patch job for Miss Anna. Anna had a very sad looking pair of jeans that kept popping up right before she needed to walk out the door for school. These were jeans with huge holes in the knees and an unflattering leg shape that just caused bunching at the hem (the jeans have the unflattering leg shape, not my daughter). If the jeans were getting too short, we would have been in a similar situation with a similar solution. I’m sure you have a pair or two floating around your house.
I attempted to patch a pair of Erik’s jeans last year and learned a valuable lesson or two. My biggest problem with Erik’s jeans was that I cut the patches too small and sewed them on very closely to the edges of the holes. Guess what happens when you do that . . . they rip right out. Why? Because the part of the jean the patch is being sewn to is already weak and falling apart – it cannot support the stress knees put on jeans.
With another pair of holey jeans (Anna’s this time), I tried making little iron-on patches with negligible success. What did I learn? The patches were (again)too small. And my super-duper-bonding-iron-on glue was not strong enough for wash and wear.
This time I took all of that good mistake-experience and turned out a sturdy (and adorable) product. First I cut out a nice big chunk of heavy denim from an old pair of my jeans to use as the support backing for the flower patches (the red and white fabric was glued to one of the denim rectangles). Then ripped the exterior seam almost all the way up to the pockets so I could work with a flat surface. I stitched the denim patches to the inside of the jeans, sewing deeply into the good jean fabric and staying away from the frayed, damaged fabric near the original holes. Then I dug through my ribbons and ruffles scrap box and prettied up those patches. I made sure the pretty parts were being stitched on all the way through the super-size denim patches inside the jeans. The result was the patches have two or three concentric stitching rings attaching them to the good, sturdy fabric of the original jeans.
Lastly, to address the problem at the hem I cut strips about 3/8” apart from the hem to about 4”. I saw this idea in a book called Naturally Fun Parties for Kids by Anni Daulter, and could not wait to try it out on a dying little pair of jeans that deserved a second chance at life. They are all fray-ey and fuzzy and soft now that they’ve been through the wash a few times.
These are Anna’s current favorite jeans. They are so unique, though, that she can’t get away with wearing them as often as she would like. (Seriously, you wear jeans like that every single day, people would notice you haven’t washed your clothes all week.) I LOVE how they turned out. Another pair of holey jeans turned up last week. This one has butterflies and hearts stitched up the sides. I think I can work with that.
I hope your Valentine’s Day was fun. We gave away our usual lip and mustache lollipops (my favorite) for friend Valentines. And I made these little S’more packets for the kids as their treat from me. Now here we are two days later and I think my kids are still bouncing off the walls from all that sugar accumulated over the holiday. What’s a momma to do?