Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Ummm, so I got a little spoiled with all of those guest posters!  I've been staying away from the computer and today I sat down and realized I should probably say Hi!  
 So, I think that I am ADD about my header.  With the all of the holidays it has been so fun to change it up. I hope you don't mind.  I also added a photo from our family shots we got a couple of weeks ago.  I was looking through them and couldn't believe that it was fall like 2 weeks ago.  And now Tri Cities is a winter wonderland!
I had a fabulous Thanksgiving with my family here and all of the snow.  We were able to go sledding, shopping, and I even got some fun crafts done.  Of course I didn't take any pictures, so thats on my list of things to do tomorrow, so I can show you guys.  While I work on that, I thought I would show you my booth from the My Favorite Things Bazaar I did on the 20th.  
{sorry for the so so pictures, I was only able to snap a few before they sent in the huge line of people!}

Here's almost the whole thing.  I had a little bit of everything, because I'm also ADD when it comes to crafting.  I can handle only so much of making the same thing over and over.  That burlap wreath was the hit of the show!  I had 7 orders for them, plus the 2 that I had there! 

My other hot ticket were these winter bloom pins.  They are felt flowers and I love how they add pops of color in the winter.  I have a yellow one on my purse and you can see a red one in that picture up there on the right.  And how rad is that suitcase?!  I got it in Portland this summer when I got that one trunk.  You can also see my fave, the bookpage snowflake garland. 

Here is my table of stuff that I made for my house, and took to the bazaar to fill it up a bit. Eh, now I have to make new stuff for my house. ;)  Thats ok,  I'm ADD about decorating my house too!  All in all it went really well.  I just need to remember next year to wear my fur boots and bring a heater.  There are definite perks to being the first booth when you walk in, but the cold air is not on that list.  
I hope you all are getting back in to the swing of things after the long holiday weekend!  Talk to you soon! 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Drumroll Please {giveaway winners}

I bet you were thinking I forgot about you all!  I really haven't, this is just the first time I've sat down today.  I've been taking down fall and putting up Christmas.  I can't believe I actually made it all the way until the day after Thanksgiving to do it, especially with the wintry week that we have had.  My garland has been calling to me from the garage!  Well I'm kind of sad that I'm Thankful Week(s) has come to an end.  I've cherished every post and every comment.  Thank you for joining me!

First the Mindy Gledhill Anchor CD goes to....

#46  Sandy!

Congrats Sandy!  If you want to send me your info I'll get you in touch with Mindy to get your CD!  

And  now for the TOMS Shoes!

Out of 208 comments { I know right?!} random number generator picks...

#25 Sarah!

Woot! Woot!  Sarah if you want to get in touch with me I'll get you in touch with the owners of Greenies! ;)

Thanks again everyone, so much.  Have a fabulous weekend!  Are you putting your decorations up too?!


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Thankful with Mindy Gledhill

Ahh shucks guys.   Thanks so much for all of your comments.  I'm so grateful to have such nice friends!  And just so you know, I wasn't kidding about the heartburn thing.  One of the side effects of all the fertility drugs plus actually being pregnant was my gallbladder went bad and I had it out when Ivy was 3 months old.  It was awful!  Well, we ended up having a mini blizzard here in Tri Cities which was kind of a nice holiday surprise.  Ivy and I had quite the time playing in the snow and I'm excited to get out there again today!   

Remember when I went to this concert a couple of weeks ago?  I had such a fabulous time and I was truly impressed with Mindy's story telling. Her lyrics are so uplifting and I knew she would fit in just right for I'm Thankful week so I got brave enough to ask her to join us.  She answered yes right away {which is so awesome!} and I'm over the moon to have Mindy Gledhill here today! 

I made an attempt to write this post two nights ago . . . right after I had stepped in a pile of dog poo in my front yard and didn’t realize it until I had tracked it all over kingdom come; right after I wrestled my boys to bed; right after they got out of the beds I had just duct taped them to only to start a fist fight; right after I threatened them with their lives and took away their most prized possessions in order to get them to GO. TO. SLEEP; right after I uttered an agitated “Good night.  I love you guys.”
The post did not come.
I look at the blogs of other mothers longingly at times, what with all their clever ideas on centerpieces, recipes, sewing projects and children with polka dot rain boots, striped stockings and cordoroy pinafores. 
That is not my life. 
Don’t misunderstand me here.  I often wish I were the type of mother who could provide all these comforts to her children.  I’m sure I could if  I felt passionately about it.  But if I’ve learned one thing this last year it’s that when we focus on all the things that we are not, we embark on a perilous journey that can only further estrange us from who we really are.  And who we really are is always, without fail, an amazing child of God, with endless light and power—which power comes in many different forms.  This knowledge is what I feel the most gratitude for each day of my life.  This knowledge allows me to see all the gifts that God has given me.  I may not be able to craft a crème brûlée in a heart-shaped ramekin, but with God’s help, I can craft a song that might help a weary soul take heart.  I am grateful for a God who doesn’t judge me by my centerpieces, but who loves the piece of work that I am, just the way that I am.  Happy Thanksgiving.

Thanks so much Mindy for taking some precious time to join us for I'm Thankful Week.  I appreciate what you've written.  I couldn't agree with you more about being yourself.  Spot on my dear!

All right folks.  Mindy has a fabulous surprise for us today!  She offered last night to give away her new album Anchor. 

And I know that you want it, cuz I want to win it.  Except that would look kind of suspicious if I did end up winning. ;) So here's what you have to do.  

 {leave seperate comments for each entry}

+Entry one: Leave Mindy some comment love!
+Entry two: Tell us your favorite Mindy Gledhill song
+Entry three:  Become a fan of Mindy Gledhill on facebook and tell us or let us know you already are
+Entry four:  You know the drill, use your fave social media to spread the word, but you have to tell us what you did.  
+and Entry five:  Become a follower of Making it My Own and/or leave another comment letting me know.

Woot!  FIVE chances to win!  And if you already own it you know it would be an awesome Christmas present for someone!  Thanks again Mindy.  I heart you!  And your boots.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Thankful with Making It My Own {part 2}

Oh my.  I am writing this a day early and I don't know if I'm quite ready.  Actually I've just been putting it off, knowing I'm going to shed a tear or two {million} and hope I can put all of the thoughts swirling around in my head in to a meaningful {and cohesive} post.  And while it is still easier to just say Hey Look what I made, I'm starting to agree with Kathleen Kelly {and Heather}, that, "Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal."  So folks its about to get personal up in here.  Bear with me while I explain how I even got to the point where I can have an I'm Thankful week(s) and mean it...

In May there is a holiday that I could do without.  It rocks me every year and I wonder why I don't just pretend to be sick that day so I'm not sitting in church hearing about how great Mothers are.  Before I go any further here is my disclaimer that this has nothing to do with my Mom.  My mom is fabulous.  And I'm not saying I'm a bad mom or Ivy isn't a miracle in my life.   But being reminded every year in a much bigger way than an every day tiny ache in my heart that I can't have kids is just not how I want to spend the day.  This past May was no different and maybe even worse because I was finally facing the fact, that really, I would never have another tiny person in my stomach kicking me in the ribs and giving me crazy heartburn.  I was focusing so much on that fact that I was forgetting to be thankful for my sweet little girl, outside of my stomach, kicking me in the ribs and giving me heartburn. Do you know what forgetting to be thankful does?  It makes you not very happy.  Everything starts to be wrong, and hard.  

"If we were all to hang our troubles out on the line, you'd pick yours and I'd pick mine." 

My grandma said that to me this summer.  It was more in passing than anything but I know it is what shifted my thinking.  Just the tiniest bit, but enough to start changing my heart.  To not be so selfish, and to think outside my own small world  Not too much later  I stumbled on to Heather's sweet blog.   I can't even say what an impact it has had on my life.  I was inspired by her ability to move forward from really hard things and her desire to find positive ways to do that.  And I finally grasped what I knew, but didn't get.

"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life’s story will develop"
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf

So I started trusting God and my own ability to move forward.  Because He won't give me something I can't handle.  I started choosing to be happy.   I started remembering to be thankful . And do you know what remembering to be thankful does? It makes it so everything isn't so wrong, or so hard. Making those small, but very big choices has made me a better mom, friend, wife and more the person that I want to be.  And while I can't say I would be in a hurry to pick my troubles from the line, I can say that having a grateful heart makes it a little bit easier to take them down and accept them as my own.  

And that my friends is a little bit of how and why I'm so happy to share I'm Thankful Week you.  It only took about 4 hours and 20 tissues to get my thoughts just right in writing, so don't go thinking its going to be a regular thing!  Its hard! 

 I  need to say that forgetting to be thankful for Ivy in no way means that I wasn't thankful for her.   She is my greatest gift I've ever gotten, and I'm forever grateful for every second.    Except maybe the getting kicked in the ribs and heartburn. ;)


November Mix Winner!

I have the winner of the November mix right here

#4  A {girl} in a {gorilla} suit!  

Yay!  Marilyn will be in touch with you soon, lucky duck.  

I'm up next for I'm Thankful week. {Yikes!}  Talk to you soon...


Monday, November 22, 2010

I'm Thankful With Dandee Designs

Good Morning! I hope you are cozy and curled up with some apple cider today!  We woke up to a beautiful winter wonderland and had to hightail it to the store for some snow boots for the little lady.  Snow this early caught me a little off guard, but Ivy was so exited to play in the snow I went with the first ones we found that would work.  {Camo and 2 sizes to big, but I think I'm the only one who cares!} 
I'm off to play in the snow some more, but I'm tickled to have our first I'm Thankful guest of the week.  Danyelle {some people call her Dandee} is as sweet as can be and has a golden touch for turning even the most ordinary in to something special with just the right amount of fancy.  Danyelle  always has the kindest words and I'm so happy she could be here with us today.  Enjoy!
Friends, I'm going to be honest with you. I feel a little inadequate. All of the guests that have contributed to Thankful Week have been so eloquent. Their ability to express just what is in their hearts astounds me and I have enjoyed every post. Unfortunately, I often have a difficult time getting the emotions that generate in my own heart onto paper. There is a road block somewhere between my brain and fingertips and I apologize for that.

This past week like many of you, I have been thinking of what I'm grateful for.  One thought that keeps creeping in is my gratitude for the opportunity to create happy memories in my children's lives. Each of my children bring a tremendous amount of joy into our home. They are incredible little people and it's an honor to make all their experiences extra special. Especially the holidays.

Thanksgiving is a day my family and I look forward to all year. It's time away from regular obligations. A day enjoyed with the people we love most. It's a time for gratitude and love. A time for reflection and faith. A time for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. It's even a time for football.

One way I make the holidays feel extra special is to do things I wouldn't normally do. My husband and I have five children and most nights we feel like we've accomplished a huge feat if we get through a meal without spilled milk or tantrums. Bringing out the goblets, fabric napkins and place cards on holidays make the children feel special. Actually, they make me feel a little special too. These few simple flourishes not only add pretty ambiance, they create a little magic around our gratitude table.

This year, our table will lined with tiny paper boat place cards. Would you like to create some special place cards for your family this Thanksgiving? You can find full instructions and a downloadable template here on my blog.

Thank you for having me in your happy space, Jenn! You are a woman full of inspiration and I feel lucky to know you. Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

Aren't those so great?!  I always have grand ideas for making our table special and then I never do.  I think these are the perfect addition.  Thanks again Danyelle!  Be sure and head over to Dandee Designs for her 30 days of kindness too!   I'll be back later with the winner of Passionista's November mix, so if you haven't entered be sure to leave a comment on Friday's post!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm Thankful with Marilyn aka Passionista

I'm telling you guys, this has been a.ma.zing.  I'm so glad that everyone is feeling the love.  I've had such a great response from those I asked to participate in I'm Thankful week that I've extended it through next week!  There is more a.ma.zing.ness coming up so be sure to check back next week as well!  

Before I introduce my next guest I need to get a little housekeeping out of the way.  I would LOVE if you came to visit me tomorrow  {the 20th} at the Holiday Bazaar that I've been slaving away for!  I've got some fun stuff, and I love seeing friendly faces.   It is the 22nd annual  Favorite Things Holiday Bazaar at the Columbia Community church from 9am-4pm.  The address is 150 GAGE BLVD {corner of Gage and Bellerive}.  I'm one of the first vendors when you walk in.  Come on down and say hi!  

Ok now that's taken care of  I'm excited to introduce you to Marilyn.  She is widely known as Passionista and she is fabulous.  She knows how to throw a party, grows organic blueberries, and is super sweet.  Her taste in music is impeccable, as well as her taste in just about everything else! Marilyn is always so grateful, which is why I just had to include her in I'm Thankful week.  Take it away Marilyn!

"I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a guest on Jenn's lovely blog, and for the pondering I was able to do about all I've been blessed with. I'm sure my thankful list doesn't look too much different than yours....

1. Family - My husband and four children are my greatest joys. Being a stay at home mom means that on a daily basis, their well-being is my number one concern. Every day I'm given countless opportunities to serve them. It's not the easiest or most glamorous job, but I am paid in hugs, kisses, thank you's and I love you's, which I think is a pretty impressive pay scale. I'm grateful for the learning and growth they afford me, and that they are willing to put up with me and my sometimes grumpy attitude :)

2. Faith - The guidance and perspective that my religious beliefs give me are one of the greatest blessings in my life. The knowledge that I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, knows me, and has a plan for me is comforting. The promise of eternal families is the most powerful motivator to live a good life. I am so grateful for the teachings and principles that I have learned and am able to instill in my children.

3. Trials - This year, our family has faced and is still facing one of the most difficult challenges we've ever experienced. The choices of one of our family members has deeply affected our entire family unit. It's not easy to talk about or to even understand completely, but I know that this is for our good and that there is much for us to learn through this experience about forgiveness, strength, and unconditional love. Without trials, we wouldn't have the ability to grow and learn, and although it's very difficult while in the midst of hurt and pain to recognize it's value, I am thankful for the lessons.

4. Talents - I can't even fully express how grateful I am to be surrounded by the most amazing people. So much can be learned by the sharing of talents. I feel inspired constantly by friends and family as they cultivate and refine their creativity. I strive to always surround myself with passionate people who love to learn and contribute to society, and as a result, I have a greater desire to push myself to reach beyond my comfort zone.

5. Music - This might seem out of place, but I truly am grateful for the gift of music. It is an important part of my life. For as long as I can remember, music has played a large role. Growing up, my parents and grandparents introduced me to many different genres and their influence led me to learn to play the piano, flute, organ, and to involve myself in various choral programs. Now, as an adult, I blog about music, I teach piano lessons, share my love of music with my children, play the piano and organ at church, and have recently begun to fulfill my dream of concert promoting. Good music is certainly a blessing in my life.

I have much to be grateful for, including material possessions like a cozy home, a reliable car, food, clothing, etc., but if all of those material possessions were stripped from me, I could still be happy because I'd be left with the things that really matter... the things that can't ever be taken away."

Thanks so much Marilyn!  You have so many talents and I'm grateful that you are willing to share them with us all. I haven't had much opportunity to be around you, but you radiate peace and grace.  Really, thank you.

Ok everyone.   Marilyn was kind enough to offer you a sweet little giveaway.  Her monthly mixes are always perfect for the season and November is no different.  Plus her cover art is darling.  To win your very own Passionista November mix {I know rad huh}, leave some comment love.  The winner will be drawn from the comments only on probably Monday.  You never know with me ;)  Want an extra entry?  Tell us what your favorite Christmas song is.  I'm on pins and needles to see what Marilyn's December mix is!   

{I know its all about Thanksgiving but really, who isn't thankful for Christmas Music!} 

  Happy weekend everyone! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Thankful with Karina Ink

Hello friends!  I'm loving this week aren't you?  It has been just what I hoped and so much more.  Today Karen aka Karina Ink is here to share her thoughts on thankfulness.  I clicked over to Karen's blog when I noticed a new follower and immediately loved her real-ness.   And she's from Colorado which instantly makes her cool in my book ;) ...  She has been so kind and I'm so happy to have my new friend here today!

tonight, as i sit down to write what i'm absolutely sure will be the most moving piece of literature you've ever read, i have so so very many things on my mind.  this week, i have been invited into the wonderful world of jury service again.  of course serving on a jury always makes me grateful for living in this amazing country & the laws & systems that we have in place to protect our freedoms.  i won't be explaining my jury duty, as i am still in the midst of the trial...but what i will tell you all about is this amazing new epiphany that i've had this past week; i am grateful for the little people that i come home to. it's not really an epiphany to be grateful for the children you have been blessed with, but right now, even as they sleep,  i miss them.  i miss my real life; my life with four little boys.  a life in which my vocabulary doesn't include fancy words like voire dire, where i don't get dressed like i'm working in corporate america everyday, & where my access to people older than the age of seven is extremely limited.
my life where two of the littlest boys crawl into bed with me in the middle of the day.  they put their tiny feet under me & their little bodies curl up while we sing songs about bushels & pecks & little streams that talk.  my life where two of those older boys come racing down the street at the end of a long day at school knowing that i will be there with the door open to greet them.  they compete over who gets to show me the beautiful chalk drawing of the earth or the "super speller" of the week award first.  my life where all four boys crowd into the kitchen all clamoring for attention from one another, from me, for food.  (it could be possible that the food comes before the attention from me, possibly.)
my life where those four little boys are so so very rambunctious.  climbing all over each other while yelling about conquering mountains, painting bathroom mirrors with full tubes of toothpaste, & learning new ways to jump from chair to chair trying to avoid the alligator infested lava rivers while throwing m&m's at the helicopters that fly overhead.  my life where sometimes the crying, whining, tantrums & constant need for food grates at my nerves like a liberace 8-track tape.  this is the part where i tell you about how maybe this little jury experience was supposed to be like a small vacation of sorts.  but at the end of each "vacation day" that i've had so far, i cannot wait until i get home to those four little ninjas.  each night has brought a new challenge for all of us, & a wonderful discovery for me.  my little men miss their mama, & even more so, i miss them.
i miss them so much that i cannot get enough of them each night.  cuddles-kisses-hugs-songs-tickles-& happy tears because each day brings us closer to the day where i will be the one sending them off in the morning again.  i will be the one hugging them inside my door.  i will be the one who gets them all to myself the whole entire glorious week of thanksgiving.  i haven't had a choice this past week of who got the majority of my attention, but i can tell you with absolute certainty, that when this week is over, my choice will be to spend all my minutes....even the alligator lava m&m throwing ones....with my guys.  when we go around the table this year to express our thankfulness, mine will be for the little ones in my life. 
i have the jury commissioners office to thank for reminding me.
happy thanksgiving! 
i hope that you have a wonderful week of family, amazing turkeys, & most of all, a firm knowledge of each & every thing that you are grateful for.
and as for the gorgeous miss jenn, author of this beautiful blog?
thank you my dear for including me in such an amazing group of women.
it was truly an honor to be here today!


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm Thankful with Heather of Blessed Little Nest

{Hi everyone!  I hope you are enjoying I'm Thankful week, and are loving the peace of it. I am.  I want to introduce you to my friend Heather.  I actually found her fab blog earlier this summer when I made a butterfly shirt for Ivy.  I'm so glad I poked around, because how Heather lives her life has been a much needed inspiration for me.  I've been working towards not having such negative feelings about hard things in my life, and I've been really touched every time I read Heather's blog.  So with out further ado, I give you Heather...}

Hi there Making It My Own readers!  My name is Heather from Blessed Little Nest
and I'm so happy to be part of Jenn's I'm Thankful Week.

In 2007 my life changed forever when my infant son died after a difficult battle
with bacterial meningitis. Through the journey of Samuel's life, and his loss, God taught me that
I could live a more vibrant and joyful life than I ever thought possible.  My heart was broken and
God stitched it back together with more love, compassion, hope, and joy than ever before.
Now I spend my days finding the lovely that exists in life, and I feel grateful every day.
I'm grateful for all 6 weeks we had with Samuel.
I'm grateful for the people that worked so hard to care for him.
I'm grateful for the strangers that we met along the way that showed us kindness and grace.
I'm grateful for family and I'm grateful for the way God loves and comforts us.

Just 2 months after Samuel died we were faced with our first Thanksgiving.
We didn't know what to do.  Hosting family and friends for dinner, as we had done for years,
didn't feel right anymore.  Thanksgiving felt so much more personal.  I felt so full
of gratitude and needed to do something with it.  I needed to share it,
so we decided to start a new Thanksgiving tradition.

Now on the night before Thanksgiving my husband and I stay up late and bake.
We bake treats for the group of people that touched our lives during Samuel's life.
We want to share with them our gratitude for the work they do. 
While we bake we talk about Samuel and his importance in our family.
We talk about the hospital and the amazing people that work there every day to fight
for our kids, and others just like them.  We talk about hospice and the angels that work
there.  We talk about our living children Henry and Piper, and how we want them to
grow up understanding where their brother spent so much of his life.  We talk about
how important it is for us to show our gratitude, even if it's just in a small way.

When Thanksgiving morning rolls around we head out as a family to deliver the treats.
We visit the PICU and the hospice home that cared for Samuel so we can give thanks.

This will be the fourth year we are following this new tradition
and it still feels right for us.
For us, it feels good to truly give thanks on Thanksgiving.
Thanks again for asking me to be a part of this special week Jenn!
xoxo- Heather

Thanks for sharing your traditions and love with us Heather! I'm always blown away by your kind heart.  

I'm Thankful

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm Thankful with Karen of Life According to the PRP

 Ready to rock?!  My first guest for I'm thankful week is my friend Karen.  Karen can cook and entertain like nobody's business. I know because we've been throwing awesome parties together for the last year for the ladies in our ward.   She is an awesome mom, like, seriously awesome, and I  hope I can be as amazing as she is when I'm 35 and seven months.  Which is, you know, quite a ways a way.  Ah hem. Anyways.  Karen is magical with words, spoken + written, truly,  and  I'm so happy to share her with you today. . .

I'm completely tickled that Jenn asked me to do this for her. I am in awe of Jenn; her amazing talents and her sweet, sweet spirit so being asked to contribute to one of my favorite reads was a real treat. I only hope I can do her justice! I've been thinking for several days about the things I'm thankful for. It seems like such a long list and I could go on and on so narrowing it down was a bit tricky.

My husband tops that list. My decision to marry him is the best thing I've ever done and the goodness that abounds in my life right now can all be attributed to that beautiful day in September just over 13 years ago.

My kids come next; those four perfectly imperfect spirits that fill our home and keep my world spinning round and round have given me more joy, more love, more learning, than I thought possible.

Chocolate would be near the top of that list.

Indoor plumbing.

Fleece jammies.


OPI nail polish.

You get the idea.

But what I wanted to talk about today, what I've been wrestling with no matter how hard I tried to shake it, is that I'm thankful for time. For what's behind me and what's to come. To put it simply, I'm thankful for the chance to grow up.

Let me explain.

As it sits right now, I am 35 years old. 35 years and 7 months if you want to get technical. And my life at 35 years and 7 months is a pretty darn fantastic. I have my challenges, for sure, but I have learned a lot and I finally feel happy in my skin. It wasn't easy getting here but I can promise you that there has been a palpable change in the way I see myself, my life, and my world as I've gotten a wee bit older.

In my 20s, I was consumed by the whos, whats, hows, and dids of my life. Who thought what of me? Who said that? What should I do? Are they mad? Did I disappoint them? Are they judging me? Do I need to apologize? Should I have said/done/worn that? Do they still like me?

It was exhausting.

And even though from the outside it looked like I had it together (or maybe it didn't) I was a wreck inside. I couldn't make my own decisions for the life of me. I asked other's opinions on everything. I was in constant fear of disappointing someone or offending someone or losing relationships that I thought were crucial in my life. So I became a yes-(wo)man. I would do whatever people asked of me. I would sacrifice my own wants and needs (and those of my growing family at times) for the wants and needs of others. I had stretched myself so thin that I barely recognized who I was.

And then I turned 30.

Then 31.


And here I landed, at 35 years and 7 months and I can tell you that the maturity, the grounding and centering of myself that has occurred over time has been the single greatest gift I have ever given myself.

And I am so thankful for that.

You always hear people say that your 20s are the best time in your life. And lots of wonderful things happened to me in my 20s. I graduated college. I got married. I had babies one and two. And every day, I took steps and made decisions and discovered who I was so that I could get here, to 35 years and 7 months. And for me, here is so much better than there.

I think when you're unsure of yourself, when you look outside of yourself for validation or acceptance or love, you give your power away. I know that sounds like the tagline from some after school special (remember those?) but it is so true! You say to the world "tell me who I am so I can be that person!" But when you grow, when you experience trials and hardships, when you are forced to look at who you are and decide if you like what you see, you get all that power back. And that power can be life-changing.

I don't need others to tell me what to do. I don't have to rely on the words/actions/thoughts of others to determine what kind of day I'm going to have. I don't have to wear certain clothes or style my hair a certain way. I can do what I want. I can be who I am. I can feel good about why I am here, the job I have to do and I can take my place in the world with my head held high. I can know that I am exactly as I was intended to be. And finally, that can good enough. I, with my shortcomings and insecurities and issues, am good enough.

And so, in this season of Thanksgiving, when I look around and stand in awe of the world around me, I can take a moment to celebrate the journey that's gotten me here. I can be thankful for the chance I've had to grow up. To figure some things out in this life and try and be better, day after day, year after year. I can be thankful for all the days that are behind me and the ones shining brightly in my future. I can be thrilled with what I've learned and look forward to all the lessons headed my way. So yes, I'm thankful for time. For growing up. So incredibly thankful. This growing up stuff is pretty darn fantastic. All 35 years and 7 months of it.

Thanks Jenn. This was just what I needed, just when I need it. I heart you.

Thank You Karen! I heart you too!

You can read more from Karen at Life According to the PRP.

I'm Thankful

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I'm Thankful

Hello!  Welcome to I'm Thankful week!  I'm over the moon about how things have come together to share something just a little bit different with you all this week.  

I'm not much of a share-er.  It isn't that I don't really want to, I'm just not that great at it.  I would love to tell you more than "Hey!  Look what I made!"  I wish I could tell you about things that are hard and things that make my heart happy. I even try sometimes, typing and erasing and typing and erasing.  I just can't quite get it right in those moments.  

And while I am trying hard to work on it, I've gathered up some of my favorite ladies who have a knack for words, and saying just what all of us are thinking.   Some you may know and love.  For the same reasons I love them. Or there may be a new face, that touches your heart.  I've asked them to share with you this week their thoughts on "thankful".

My hope is that we can all come here this week, and have a little peace.   And come away feeling thankful.  Thankful for every part of our lives.  Thankful for the hard parts and the things that make our hearts happy. 


Now I may not be a fabulous writer, but I do know how to say thank you.    
  To start off I'm thankful week I got in touch with the owners of a local shop called Greenies.  ;)
And they have agreed to sponsor an awesome giveaway for you.  

Have you heard of TOMS shoes?  For every pair that you buy they donate a pair to kids who don't have any.  Kids who can't go to school because they don't have shoes.  Kids who get sick because they don't have shoes.  Its amazing. I heart TOMS.  I heart people who use their amazing talents to give.  So I would like to give you a pair of shoes.  So that one more child can have shoes.  

To enter leave a comment here.  Leave a comment on any post this week.  Blog about it and tell me about it.  Follow along and tell me, whatever you want.  Just let me know what you are thankful for.  I'll pick a winner from all comments the day after Thanksgiving.  
{Winner will receive a pair of Classics in their size.  Color may be subject to availability}

I'm thankful for shoes.  I'm thankful for my life.  I'm thankful for all of the people in my life who make it the life I'm thankful for.  Thank you! 

I'm Thankful

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cozy Winter Wreath {tutorial}

Yep, you read it right.  Winter.  I'm trying to embrace these colder days as cozy fall days, but when you are elbow deep in Christmas crafts it taking quite a bit of effort,  Especially for a girl that has been known to put up her Christmas decorations on November 1st.  {Its hard not to do when you live up in the snowy mountains of Colorado!} Are you feeling that tug of Christmas too? Here's the perfect cozy day activity.  I highly recommend that Bing Crosby and Hot Chocolate I was talking about earlier.

The first steps is where you are really going to settle in and get cozy. You'll need a wreath form and some yarn.  Any wreath in any size will do.  And if you have yarn all wrapped up in a ball it will be a little bit easier, but not necessary.  I think JoAnn's even has yarn on sale. 

So put on a good movie or watch some football and start wrapping your wreath with the yarn, making sure its tight.  I used a dab of hot glue at the beginning to help hold it in place, and left a little tail, so that I could tie it off when I got all of the way around.  Don't worry about it being perfect!  I even added some extra to make it look even more unperfect. I'll just give you a little warning that this may take awhile.  Especially if you have a larger wreath.  But its a way to feel productive and not so guilty for snuggling up and on a cold fallish night!

Now you can add any embellishments you want.  Felt works really well {and adds to the coziness}for making flowers and thats what I used.  I first cut some wonky stacked circles out of a teal, and then added a little white rose and black button.  Hot glue is your frenemy so watch your fingers!  I had to add red {of course} so I cut some petals and layered them for a poinsetta look.  I then added a bookpage snowflake and a button tied with baker's twine.  I heart the bookpage snowflake.  A lot.  I've been making some garland with them too.  For the garland I've just been using single snowflakes, but I  needed one with some stiffness. 

This will work for any shape, I'm thinking leaves would be fabulous too.  Grab at least 5 torn out book pages and some mod podge and a brush.  

Mod podge the top of your first page and stack the next one on top.   Rub out any air bubbles really well.  Let it dry for a minute, then repeat.  Add however many pages to get the thickness you want. Just make sure to let it dry a little bit between each one, especially if your pages are thin. 

Once your pages are dry go ahead and cut your shape out.  I've talked about my Big Shot before, and if you were curious as to what it was hopefully this gives you an idea.  I had gotten a 70% off coupon at JoAnn's a while back so I used that to get this awesome snowflake.  Of course you can trace out any shape and use your scissors, but I've mentioned before my incompetence with those things.  ;)

It works out perfectly, giving your shape the stiffness of something like chipboard!  

 {on a side note, my walls are not that yellow, but thats what happens when you take pictures at night!}

    I love how my cozy wreath turned out and that it can be a "winter" decoration and can be left up in January.  You know that one winter month that reminds me why I shouldn't rush winter?!

All right peeps.  One last thing.  I've got something very awesome for you for next week.  I've lined up some of my favorite writers to help me out too.  I'm ready for a little peace, and thankfulness and these ladies are going to help us get there. So grab a button, have a fabulous and cozy weekend and we'll see you here next week!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A little of this and a little of that...

Wow!  Can I just say what a whirlwind it has been around here?! Birthdays, Halloween, and last Saturday was our "Relief Society Workshop". Man oh man is it a lot of work putting on a party for that many ladies.  We set up every single table and chair the gym had to offer.  Phew!  And after cutting a couple hundred pieces of wood and cleaning out 3 Walmarts and 2 Home Depots, no wonder I was beat last Saturday

I have had about a day's lull between all of that and my next project.  So I did a little bit of cleaning up around here.  I'm sure you already noticed my new header, but here it is again in case you missed it! Can't hang on to Halloween forever.  {I still have to take down all of the Halloween decorations around my house!}

I also changed up my photo.  We went scouting a new spot last week and Darin took some great photos.  I love this one of Ivy and I.  And FYI, Darin has his lighting class rolling around again on December 4th.  He as a couple spots left so sign up quick if you are interested!  

And I'm finally getting around to answering some of your questions!  Celia of course agreed to share her Proclamation with you all.  I uploaded it to Scribd, so you can click HERE to download it.  And HERE are the directions for making the proclamation blocks if you want to make one. {I also updated that post with the link as well.} 

+++ If you would like to know what the Family Proclamation is you can read it more clearly HERE.+++

I do have more countdown block kits.  I have Christmas ones {lots of fun different paper!} all ready to go so just shoot me an email if you are still interested!  {Yes Anna, I'm shipping yours out this week}  And I've had several people ask me about the numbers for the blocks.  The trick is, your six has to be able to turn upside down to be a nine.  On the first block your numbers will be 0,1,2,3,4,5.  The second block is 0,1,2,6,7,8. 

And last but not least in more Darin news, today is his birthday!  Can I just tell you that I love this man.  He keeps me grounded and I'm lucky because he thinks I'm the prettiest girl around.  He blows me away with his talent.   It is quite possible that he is the most creative one around here. I love him so much that I made him a stack of cookies!  We aren't much for cake around here so it was a big hit.  Happy birthday Babe!

Oh, whoops one last thing.  Thanks for loving Ellayne's slippers!  I would LOVE to do custom orders! I will just need a bit of time since my next project is a Holiday Bazaar next Saturday.  Yep next Saturday and my procrastinating skills are getting the best of me. ;) Yikes!  I've really got to kick it in to high gear!

Talk to you soon!


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