Friday, September 21, 2012

An ordinary day

I'm sitting cross-legged on the floor--my usual sewing posture--as I turn an edge of the fabric and iron the hem down. In the background an audiobook is playing. It's a book I've wanted to read for awhile--and now I'm finally getting to it. Piles of fabric cuttings are around me, piles of girly, flowerdy lovliness. I've been at it for days now. I've barely touched a sewing machine since I was married, and now I'm knee deep in four projects at once. One for church, and then three dresses for three little girls.

Tirza is on the bed, happily amusing herself--she has been for awhile now. The world is such a facinating place to her that she doesn't have any difficulty entertaining herself. I glance up as she starts talking in her baby language. I stretch my legs as I stand, and think at some point in the near future I'll have to start sewing at a table like a normal person. Tirza's talking in a loud, happy voice, and that tells me she'll need to take her nap soon. She gets more talkative when she's sleepy. But for the next few minutes it's playtime.

I scoop her up and she gins in delight. I grin back--it's impossible not to smile at that gummy grin that is all for me. How did I never know that this is what it's like to be a mother? I talk back to her, imitating the baby sounds she's making at me. I ask her if she knows the sounds a frog makes--I don't think we've done animal sounds before. I work through all of them I can think of--moos, baas, meows, all of it-- to her delight.

We move to the nursery so I can change her diaper. The cloth are in the wash, so I grab a disposable. I sing her favorite song while I work, and think that she really IS My Sunshine. I kiss her tummy when we're done, and she laughs. There is nothing she delights in more than mommy or daddy time. I swing her up and around--more delighted coos.

I roll back on the floor and put her on my chest, tiny feet dangling on either side of my head as she laughs down in my face. She knows what's coming next. I playfully nip at her toes, like I'm a fish, and her toes are the fishing line. She laughs in delight as I nibble at her other foot. She loves this game. Is it my imagination, or is she actually wiggling her toes this time to try to "catch" me?

A few more minutes and she's getting sleepy. She dosen't laugh quite as much, her eyes are tired, she's starting to fuss just a little bit. Yes, it's naptime. I cuddle her close in a hug, and say a prayer over her. I put her gently down in her basinnet--the one she's almost outgrown--and pat her back a couple times. She fusses for just a minute or two, more on principle than out of genuine upset--and is asleep.

I feel sadness. This is such a  perfect, happy moment. I'm in love. My baby is perfect. And I'm the only one who will ever remember it. This moment, these days--one play day after another, strung together like a string of exquisite pearls--and she won't be able to remember. I want her to remember. I want her to remember all the fun we've had. I know there will be more wonderful moments--but THIS one. I want her to remember this one.

So, before taking up a needle and returning to the flowerdy girl fabric, I tiptoe to my computer to write out what just happened. It's just an ordinary moment. One that has happened many times over. But it's so beautiful, so special, so perfect. She's too young to remember our fun times, but maybe, if I write it out, she can remember them through my eyes.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Enchanted Nursery Giveaway winners!

The Enchanted Nursery giveaway is over and the winners are:

Wendy R (hiwendyhi@)


Jennifer B (jenny9675309@)

Congratulations! Each of you should have received an email with further instructions on claiming your prize.

For those of you who did not win this giveaway--remember that Amanda still has a fantastic sale on her bows till next Saturday! With the coupon code bows4me you can get 30% off your purchase from Enchanted Nursery!!

Friday, September 14, 2012


Joining Lisa-Jo and others this morning for Five Minute Friday, where we cut the words loose for just five minutes, and see where they fall. No editing, just encouraging the others who play along. The topic today is Focus.

Good. She's smiling. I grab my camera quick, and wiggle my tongue at her. She laughs--I snap the picture. I look at the viewer screen and adjust the settings. Grin at her and she grins back at me. I snap the picture again. 

I'm focused on her. All focused on her. I've never been so happy in my life, and I've never known how to love this much--that little girl that is the personification of love. I'm focused on her.

She plays happily on her own and doesn't complain--but when mommy is all-there? When mommy is looking at her, and grinning at her, and not doing anything but loving her only? That's when the party begins. We two have parties every day it seems. She's focused on me. 

Our first party today--most days now--was after she got up for the day. I pulled out my Bible and turned to the Psalms. I read one to her--today Psalm 100--and she giggled in delight. She loves it when mommy talks to her. Maybe she doesn't understand the words yet, but who's to say when a soul starts to understand? Before the mind does, I'm sure. So I read. I want her to understand this. Mommy has learned the only way to keep life in focus is to keep focused on the One who gave us life. So every morning? We focus on Him. 

I giggle at her and she laughs out loud. I laugh again at her funny little baby laugh as I a snap another picture. This time it's in perfect focus.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Joining Lisa-Jo and others this morning for Five Minute Friday, where we cut the words loose for just five minutes, and see where they fall. No editing, just encouraging the others who play along. The topic today is Graceful.

The word Graceful makes me think of a ballerina, twirling and leaping across the stage. It makes me think of a woman with her dance partner, gliding across the dance floor. It makes me think of beauty. Grace, physically speaking, is taking power and bringing it beautifully under control just like those dancers have brought their strength under control.

But graceful is more than just the appearance of beauty on the outside--it is being full of grace on the inside. It is having the power to choose to give grace--forgiveness and mercy--to those around us instead of giving what has been justly earned. It is choosing love over hate, choosing mercy over justice, choosing beauty over ugliness.

Choosing to be full of grace is much more difficult than choosing to be full of what we WANT do say (or do). But is is a battle worth fighting. Choosing love, mercy, and grace may be the harder choice, but it is always the best choice.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Today we are picking back up with our Lessons From Mama series after a long baby-related break. Lessons from mama is a weekly guest post from my mother, sharing different lessons on homemaking she has learned over the years. This was inspired after I interviewed her for the series "Teachers of Good Things."  You can head over to her interview to see a more complete list of the topics we will be covering (it is under the 5th question, What would you have done differently as a single woman to prepare for this?). 
I’ll make a disclaimer up front. House cleaning is not my area of expertise. My favorite way to learn housecleaning is from . She teaches how to declutter and each week gives daily assignments that usually take about 15 minutes. I can’t say enough good things about FlyLady. Check her out!
The best tip for keeping the house picked up is to get rid of as much stuff as you possibly can. Be brutal with the decluttering.
What to declutter? Things to ask yourself as you get rid of your clutter: Do I love this item? Have I used it in the past year? Is it really garbage? Do I have another one that is better? Should I really keep two? Does it have sentimental value that causes me to love it? Or does it give me guilt and make me sad when I see the item? Cleanse this room of everything that does not make you SMILE.
My most important tool in cleaning the house is my timer! J You would be amazed at how much stuff you can get done in 15 minutes. Your timer is your friend.
Flylady divides your house into 5 zones. Each week you clean in 1 zone and each month you will go through all the zones.
Zone 1: Entrance, Porch, Dining Rm
Zone 2: Kitchen
Zone 3: Bathroom & Extra Room
Zone 4: Master Bedroom
Zone 5: Living Room
Another way to break up the house work is to assign yourself a different task for each day.
Make yourself a schedule that is comprised of one hour and one task each day. Your schedule may look something like this:
            Monday: Decluttering
            Tuesday: Dusting
            Wednesday: Vacuuming
            Thursday: Scrubbing
            Friday: Organizing and Rearranging
            Saturday: Laundering
            Sunday: Decorating
Then, spend one hour each day doing your assigned task  for each room, throughout your house.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Enchanted Nursery Giveaway

September is a special month for me. The last few years it seems like we've always had something extra special happen in the month. Last year at this time we found our new apartment, that has been a wonderful home for us. Two years ago hubby and I got married. This year I'm looking forward to enjoying all the new developments with my little girl (My little girl may seem like a silly "extra special" for September this year, because she has been my "extra special" for June, July, and August... but every day with my girl is a day worth celebrating!).

With this being such a wonderful month to me, I wanted my readers to enjoy something "Extra special" also--so I'm hosting my very first ever giveaway!

Enchanted Nursery

My sister-in-law, Amanda, recently started a shop, Enchanted Nursery,  where she sells hair-bows. I don't just mean regular, normal bows, though she has those also. I mean ribbon sculptures. Truly, they are amazing. I had no idea a person could make those things with ribbon! And they are incredibly cute.

She has seasonal bows like this Pumpkin and turkey...

And "just for fun" bows like this octopus and pony....

(If I'd had this pony when I was 5 I would have worn it every single day. My favorite colors, pink and purple, put together with my very favorite animal? Heaven for a little girl!)

She also has more "normal" bows for just getting dressed up. All of the bows can be made to a custom color at no extra charge, so if you want something for a specific event, holiday, or outfit that's easy.

I'm sure you are wondering how you can get a couple of these bows for free! We will have two prizes, and each winner will receive one ribbon sculpture of their choice and one hair bow of their choice. Just specify which two you would choose as a comment on this post for your first entry! Shipping is to the US only.

This giveaway is over at 12:01am on Saturday, September 14th. Enjoy!

For those of you who can't wait to purchase your own bow, Amanda is offering a coupon code for 30% off her already great prices. Just use the coupon code: bows4me. This coupon code will expire one week after the giveaway, on Saturday, September 22.

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