Thursday, December 11, 2014

Because I Love You Sew Review & Giveaway

I had the great pleasure of meeting Trish Preston (of Two Peas in a Pod) and her family this past summer. We were vacationing at adjoining beaches, and arranged to meet one afternoon for ice cream. Trish is warm and kind, the type of person that you feel like you have known forever. We chatted like old friends while her girls played with my kids and our husbands chatted outdoors stuff.
When our visit came to an end (which was much too soon), she gifted me a copy of her book, Because I Love You Sew. When we returned home from vacation, I had a chance to sit down with the book and dive into the stories. When we were visiting, Trish told me that she chose to do the book because she wanted something to pass on to her daughters. Something that she could create for them. Each project is accompanied by a story about Trish, a family member or a friend. This was my favorite part. I love the projects, but I'm a person who loves to hear others stories. I love that this book offers a peek into Trish' life. It's such a great touch!


As soon as I saw the Junior Ranger Backpack, I knew I wanted to make one for each of my girls for Christmas. Handmade gifts are the best, don't you agree? The instructions on this project were so well written and easy to follow. I was thrilled with the final result. In fact, this is high on the list of my favorite things I've ever made. I can't wait to give these packs to my girlies for Christmas!



In keeping with the spirit of the season, C+T publishing is giving one of my readers their very own copy of Because I Love You Sew. To enter, simply leave a comment below telling me the best gift you've ever received. This giveaway will run until December 16, and a winner will be chosen at random. Good luck!


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Saturday, February 15, 2014

The In-Between

I've read through Shauna Niequist's 'Bread & Wine' slowly. Very slowly. Read a chapter, try a recipe, re-read parts of it. I was awake before the rest of the house this morning, so I sat down to finish the book, and it's like I couldn't move past the first two pages of the chapter "Come to the Table". I just kept reading them, and reading again. This particular line especially

"We live in a world that values us for how fast we go, for how much we accomplish, for how much life we can pack into one day. But I'm coming to believe it's in the in-between spaces that our lives change, and that the real beauty lies there." 

I spent a good part of yesterday battling myself...do I do enough? Is this enough? The day to day, taking care of babies, shuffling boys off to school, homework and dinner and bath time and bedtime. For me, is it enough?
When I read back on those words it sounds so horribly selfish. But sometimes I feel so lost in the daily shuffle of life and motherhood. Like I'm in there…somewhere.
I texted a good friend yesterday and told her that I have to steer clear of certain IG feeds because they portray (whether intentionally or not) that they do it all. Great wife, great mother, successful business owner, beautiful hair, dressed to the nines, perfectly applied make-up...you get the picture. And here I am, still in my PJ's at noon, covered in breast milk and baby food, breaking up yet another fight between my boys, dishes piled high, laundry not done, wondering what in the world is wrong with me? Why can't I do it all? Or at least half of it all?

As I finished typing out that last line, the first of my four children has woken up. Grayson, my early riser. He'll want a cup of milk, and his pillow and blanket so he can snuggle up on the sofa and watch a show. It's our weekend morning routine. The boys have their first swimming lesson this morning, and then maybe we'll go to Starbucks for treats. The day will be full of lessons and errands, feeding and holding and kissing on babies, breaking up fights, and looking on in awe as they get along splendidly two second later. Naps, and lunches, and maybe a shower if I'm lucky. And it will be enough. I may always struggle, wondering if I should be doing more, accomplishing more, wondering if I should BE more. But it WILL be enough. And I will choose the beauty in the in-between. 




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Monday, May 6, 2013

Maternity Shots

We went away this past weekend with some good friends for a last little getaway before the babies come, and to celebrate our friend Jacob's 30th birthday. I asked Mel if she'd be willing to bring her camera along and snap a few maternity shots for me. I think maternity shots can be so awkward, but I love the way these turned out.
I'm now 30 weeks, and we are very much looking forward to the arrival of these sweet baby girls. They are VERY active. Feeling the baby move is my favorite part of pregnancy, and with twins it's just crazy. There's so much movement and activity. I love it.
The more stories I read and hear about twin pregnancy, the more I realize how fortunate I have been. I feel good, the babies are growing exactly as they should be, and I have had no signs of pre-term labor. Other than the awful pregnancy sickness in the beginning, this has been an ideal pregnancy, and for that I am so very thankful.


Photo by Jacob Beaver


Photo by Jacob Beaver, Edited by Scott Little 





*Unless otherwise stated, all photos were taken by Melissa Beaver, and are the property of Alison Little. Please do not reuse without permission* 


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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Expecting....more

It's been ages since I've written anything here. My last post was announcing the expected arrival of baby #3. We have since found out (as many of you know) that we are having twins.
My first appointment with our midwife/ first ultrasound was on November 21. There are not adequate words to describe the feelings and thoughts and emotions that you feel when told you are having twins. My husband and I just kept looking at each other, and then at the screen, with its two little heart beats. Shock, wonder, joy, shock, excitement...there are so many emotions. The shock has mostly worn off, and although I know it's going to be a lot of work (and I am nervous about it) I am excited.

At our first ultrasound with the specialist. 12 weeks, 4 days.

I am almost 15 weeks now. Weeks 5 - 14 were pretty rough, with lots of headaches and "morning" sickness, but I think I am through the worst of it, and am starting to feel better. We are now busy trying to prepare ourselves, and our home, to welcome two babies. Our oldest is especially excited. When we first told him that I was pregnant, he would tell everyone that there were two babies in Mommy's belly. I always corrected him, because I didn't want him to be disappointed, but he was right all along. When we told him that we were indeed having two babies, he smiled really big and said, "see! I told you so" :)


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Expecting...


 We are expecting baby #3


And we couldn't be more thrilled


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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fall, in pictures

It's no wonder Fall is my favorite season. 









*All photos taken by me. Please do not re-use without permission*

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Friday, September 28, 2012

I'm Still Learning Too

This is the end of our third week of homeschooling, and I'm learning some lessons of my own. Our second week consisted of some really rough days. Jackson struggles with handwriting. I have never pushed the issue before, but instead focused on what he was interested in, and centered his learning around that. Part of me thought it would eventually come naturally for him. He just turned 5 this month, and I'm realizing now that I had some unrealistic expectations for what would come with that age. 

We began our first week with much excitement. He love it. I loved it. It was a lot of review for him, and full of fun, crafty activities. Then came week two, and we dove right in to handwriting. He struggled. I struggled. He was frustrated. I was frustrated. The curriculum started with the letter "S" (which I'm realizing now was kind of crazy. That's a hard letter to write). By the end of the week, I was at my wits end. I just knew that I was the worst teacher ever, and my status as a Mom was not far behind. Our last handwriting lesson of the week ended in tears, for both of us. I was ashamed that I had allowed it to get to that point, and I pulled him up on my lap, and declared that we were done with the letter "S". 

Practicing his letters in salt before writing them 
on paper has been a big help 

Over the weekend I did some praying, and some reevaluating. After just two weeks of homeschool I realized that I needed to change my strategy. My desire is that he loves school, and loves to learn. I want it to be something that he pursues even when we aren't "in session". We sat down Monday morning and started with our Math lesson, and then letter recognition and sounds. I was putting writing off until the the end. I wanted to begin with something I knew he was good at, and build his confidence. This weeks unit is focused around M for Moon. I got out the plate of salt and we practiced the letter M.

These are M's that I wrote first, and he traced

Each time he would write his letter, his eyes met mine, looking for my reaction. As soon as I smiled, and told him what a great job he was doing, his eyes lit up and a huge smile spread across his face. In that moment I realized, it was all me. The stress, the frustration, the tears...it all stemmed from my reaction. It's not a new revelation for me, but I saw it in a new light. My attitude sets the tone for our day. The way I react to things will be the way he reacts to things. If I'm stressed to the max, and allow my frustrations to show, he will do the same. If I, due to unrealistic expectations, am disappointed in his progress, it will show, and he will be disappointed in his progress. But if I express how very proud I am of him, he will be proud. If I praise the good, it will encourage him to continue to try. If I show love, he will show love. 
This extends so far beyond school. This is the desire of my heart for them in all of life's situations. Show love, show grace, show mercy, help others. So first, I must do the same. I am the example, and I'm still learning too. 

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