Monday, December 24, 2012

This dream he had each child, still knows

To do list...after the holidays...

1.  Fade the pacifier out.

2.  Potty train (has nothing to do with this photo, I just find it adorable)

I lead a glamorous life friends.  Until then we shall strive toward peace on our little part of earth by diapering and plugging our child.

Merry Christmas!  Hope your Santa-experience is better than Sloane's was.

This too shall pass.

Title courtesy of lyrics from Trans Siberian Orchestra's Christmas Canon

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

put Sufjan Stevens on, and we'll play your favorite song

I have a short list of things I still need to get done before Christmas.  Unfortunately one thing is to ship.  Yikes!

I was scouring my craft supplies for something quick to make and noted that I own 3 sets of Scrabble.  I kept one in tact (otherwise I'd be deemed sacrilegious by my board game fanatic family) and attacked the letters in the two other sets.

I whipped up a set of these.

I have had them pinned for an eternity but I never got around to making them. Since finishing this set I decided to make a baseball themed set (bunt, runs, home, ball, foul, save, bomb, gone, game, outs, heat, balk etc) for my brother to accompany his Christmas gift basket (of spirits).  

So easy you barely need a tutorial.  


Scrabble tiles
Cork (self-adhesive or not)
Strong glue (like gorilla or E-6000)
Sealant (I used a Mod-Podge)
Exacto knife

So so easy to line these up, glue them, let them sit overnight, trim excess cork with an exacto knife and seal them with a thin layer of Mod Podge. 

They look pretty cute.  I had all the supplies on hand besides the cork which cost me about 5$ at Hobby Lobby.  So much thriftier than paying for them online and they look adorable bundled in baker's twine. 

I think I may be picking up orphan scrabble games at thrift stores and garage I need a tutorial on how to utilize excess game boards.

title courtesy of Snow Patrol (remember them?): Hands Open

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Shine it on my heart, so you could see the truth

Dear Sloane, 

On 12.14.12 you turned two years old.  The day started sad enough.  We drove into eastern Kansas to a tiny little church and a tiny little cemetery to attend the first funeral you would attend-- your great-grandma Pederson.  Your aunt Tay, uncle Matt and I unplugged ourselves from our social media outlets and from our phones to honor your great grandma Pederson's wonderful life. She was an 80 year old retired teacher but there was scarcely a place to sit in the church as she has touched so many lives. 

You were unaware of what was happening. We didn't go to the internment, I took you downstairs to play in the church nursery while the burial occurred.  You thought the dessert table at the dinner following the funeral was "happy day cake" for you.  

On our way home your aunt Maddy called uncle Matt. She was crying. She told us all what happened at an elementary school in Connecticut.  

It was your birthday.  
I was sad that I had to take you to a funeral.  
How selfish of me.

In the days since first hearing of the tragedy I realize so painfully that you are not guaranteed to me.  You are no more able to be possessed by me than a sunrise.  I am so powerless.  

I was able to protect you on your birthday. I will not always protect you, because I cannot.  

But I intend to tell you everything I can, while I can.  So many things went viral, quotes, anger, rage, blame and sadness.  The one thing that went viral that I love is the quote by Fred Rogers.  

Mr. Rogers was a show I loved when I was a little girl (just like you love Elmo & Abby Cadabby now).  

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers - so many caring people in this world.” — Mr. Rogers

I want to teach you that.  To look for the helpers. To be kind, even in the face of evil and fear.  

The day of your birth was still joyous, in spite of this. Because you were here on earth and that has never been, nor will ever be a guarantee.  

Love you to the moon & back, 

title courtesy of lyrics from Eric Clapton's Change the World

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I have dreams of orca whales and owls

The birthday is upon us.  I have a couple of days to put it all together. Luckily my friends Pinterest and Etsy are around to assure that I never have an original idea in my head.

We sent these out a few weeks ago.  The designer (see link below photo) only charges 5$ for this design, took them to copy co (a mere 10$ later), used left over kraft paper envelopes from the wedding invitations, slapped on some washi tape to seal and was very happy with the results.

I've got my wood-chopping step-dad whipping these up for me on the fly.


My mom will be making a similar bottom layer to this cake and then a crescent moon top layer, then the cupcakes will have the owls on them.

holy awesomeness via

Remember these?  More wedding leftovers transformed into a new purpose!

Luckily my friend Kate had already accessed a similar tutorial for my baby shower a couple years ago and made a couple of these adorable Styrofoam ball owls.  Now I just have to make the stars.

again go here
What's a party without something to wear?  ChubbyFeets on Etsy...she's delightful to work with (honestly), I purchased the pants add-on and had her do a crescent moon shape on the top, rather than the bow tie and it is perfect, she chose just the perfect cut of fabric to make the moon. Fast service and shipping and GREAT prices. Cannot wait to see the little birthday girl don these. All the better to snuggle with her after the party. She was fast, like maybe even fast enough for you to get some for Christmas! 

This years party will be a lot more low key than the first birthday, but I am looking forward to it all the more for that reason.  And the menu as requested by the birthday tot: pizza & "pop" (7up).  Now I am off to spray paint, bake and scour my brain to find a small party game for the littles.  And will maybe whip up some small favors too, I mean I have a whole 48 hours to do all of this (and clean the bathroom).  
title courtesy of Regina Spektor's Hotel Song

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

hahaha bless your soul, you really think you're in control?

It's December...technically it's practically mid-December.  When did that happen?  Maybe it was during the plague that took hold of my entire family the day after Thanksgiving (more like black-lung Friday).  

We have a couple of huge projects to finish in December (let alone how I just adore making little handmade touches with all my gifts screw that ...which I fear I may not have time to finish this year.  

Huge project number 1-- the child we had turns 2 on Friday.  We will be having her birthday party on Saturday evening.  The second birthday party doesn't feel like as much pressure as planning that classic and perfect 1st birthday party does.  In fact the second party feels as though it should really be an homage to her father and I as we are about to embark on the cliche that is (REALLY TRUE)-- the terrible twos.  

Sloane always likes to be early to things. For her own birth she was 5 weeks early.  She started her terrible two phase at about 18 months.  Joy -- extra time in the terribleness.  I know, I know, as my friend Kate will remind me, I have always loved the age 2-5, as a mental health professional I wax on philosophically about how interesting their brains are at this age, that their personalities are forming, that they are learning things so quickly it is hard for us to keep up with what they know and don't know....I said ALL of these things, BEFORE I had a kid that was 2, heck before I had a kid at all.  And now I tell you all of those things are true but this stage is damn hard.  

A rational human being (as I like to fancy myself) has a difficult time guiding their child (which really seems like running and screaming NO from every corner of the entire house all day long so that said child doesn't electrocute, poison or choke themselves or somehow otherwise need stitches or emergency medical attention) through the day when they are dealing with a complete and utter psychopath  irrational human torpedo being. 

I am truly beginning to understand the meaning of "ignorance is bliss" as it applies to raising a two year old.  It literally translates to: "if your kid doesn't know about _______ (ipads/pods/phones/books/tunes, shopping carts with the cars attached, ice cream) they cannot tantrum over said item, and the lack of a tantrum is BLISS my friends (sorry to shout about bliss, but it's hard to come by these days and excites me).  

Which leads me to, big project number 2 in December.  The "Santa gift".  As you can see above Keenan and I are not wanting to introduce another tantrum-invoking item into our daily lives. So although she is asking for LOL Elmo (a torture device that would not make anyone over the age of 3 laugh out loud) we are compromising with putting batteries into her ("broken") Let's Rock Elmo (thank you K's mama) and getting her Potty Time Elmo book and then giving her something that has no whistles, bells or touch screen.

Enter stage right the thing I found next to an apartment house dumpster in August:

Santa's elves are very busy sanding and painting and hammering and accessorizing!
I loved watching Mr. K sand this to see all the different colors it has been for different kiddos (it's been pepto pink, country blue, and primary yellow) for Sloane it will be Overalls Blue by Valspar
We found this at Lowe's...Blue is her favorite color
This is Dylan Velvet, it looks a little too gold on my screen, but it's for the accents
I also found a large tool bench/area at a garage sale for 5 bucks, which will serve as her sink and counter.  I've had a lot of fun designing and working on this for the tiny terrorist tot.

Go to amazon they have lots of M&D 25% off today!
We've themed most of her presents around the gift as well.  Including some swag from Melissa & Doug, I really don't think anyone does it better when it comes to play food.

Hopefully this gift will be one to carry her all the way through the terrible twos into a more serene state of being (of course she's my first kid. translation: I don't know anything).  One can only dream.

title courtesy of lyrics by CeeLo Green: Crazy (or the toddler-parent's theme song)

Linking up to Sugar & Dots  & Ginger Snap Crafts & Whimsy Wednesday & Apron Thrift Girl & Sir Thrift Alot

Friday, November 16, 2012

in my arms is where you ought to be

Dear Sloane, 

This month you turned 23 months old.  And although the time flew by in general when I think specifically about this month there were some long moments.  You are smart as a whip and you get mad so quickly some days it's hard to remain patient with you (as it is for you with us).  

There are so many things though that I wish I could bottle and keep about you right now.  You want to be a big girl so badly (and are becoming one so quickly).  I know that the baby traits you have will expire all to soon.  You still believe that a kiss can cure an ouchie.  You still request to be "wokked" (rocked) each night.  You still sleep in a crib (I will seriously kill punch anyone who tells you that it is possible to climb out of that thing).  

You talk non-stop (I am not exaggerating).  You are listening to everything everyone says, every song lyric and every TV commercial. 

You have identified your aunt Tay as the spoiler and now when something you want comes on TV you tell us that you want "aunt Tay buy".

Some of the cutest chubby baby things you say are:

dock-dock--- thank you
nah-nee-love you
fock-fock--- (hilarity usually ensues when you excitedly shout this!) Jayhawk
zebar-- zebra
ahk- Noah's ark
ness--- nurse (your profession of choice for now)

You were not so sure about Halloween, you loved the idea of being a "bock bock" (chicken) but you do not like the feeling of being rushed (in the least) so you were unhappy to be shuffled along from house to house.  Also you weren't pleased that none of the houses we stopped at had "Enn Enns" (M&Ms).  You also began to sing (obnoxiously) "I want enn enns, I want enn enns" ad nauseum.  Your penchant for M&Ms was of course fulfilled by Grammy.  
Your chicken costume-- you were very conflicted about Halloween & it's traditions
 You did very well as the flower girl at the wedding.  After a while hiding behind the tent entrance you ambled slowly toward the front of the tent until you saw daddy and you said "Po!" (my nickname for your dad) and ran up to the front (never dropping a single flower petal) and greeted your daddy.  You had a great time at the reception and did not want it to end.  It had two of your favorite things: cake and dancing and ALL of your favorite people.

looking so grown up

happy & relaxed (and not the day of the wedding)
You are excited to blow out the candles and have cake and a Night Owl party ("hoot-hoot parree with a moon") next month.  I keep holding on to those last baby qualities because I know that I only get to hold you for so long (and it isn't long enough).

love you, 

title courtesy of The Civil Wars: To Whom it may concern

Thursday, November 15, 2012

if dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts

One of the things that most people want on their wedding day is to be surrounded by all of the people they love most (and whom love them the most).  For most couples this is not completely possible...we wanted to find a way to have our loved ones not only in our heart but also symbolically at our wedding.  We had seen dedications in programs and memory candles but I wanted something a little bit more. I know after a quick search of Google images that this wasn't my original idea-- however I had seen a lot of escort cards on trees and wish trees but not any memory trees at weddings I'd attended.  

I wanted the names of all these people to be somewhere tangible...and so I got a branch from the tree in my front yard, a various supply of scrapbooking kraft paper tags, baker's twine, wood veneer birds (by Studio Calico) and borrowed my best friend's penwomanship and it was complete.  It was a last minute project but one of my favorites and it sits in our hallway on our bookcase today, because I haven't the desire or heart yet to disassemble it.  

linking up with Sugar & Dots and Crazy Cute

title courtesy of Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows: Mrs. Potter's Lullaby

Monday, November 5, 2012

I wanna grow something wild and unruly

I noticed something in the last month...a kind of confession that brings you the feeling of being a terrible mother:  I don't like my child all the time right now.  I wanted to remedy this immediately, after all I think my daughter is adorable, wonderfully bright and hilarious-- but it seemed like every time we were together I found myself annoyed and wishing for bedtime.  Even though logically I know that time is going so fast and that if I lost my daughter in any way shape or form I would never recover.  But it didn't change this feeling of impatience and annoyance.

Keenan left for the weekend and instead of doing what I normally would, schlepping my stuff and Sloane's to my mama's and camping out together all weekend long I decided it would be a mama-daughter weekend.  To do this at this time was a little scary-- what if the annoyance was there the whole time?

In fact it turned out to be one of the best weekends and it helped me to see what things I can change, and what things are in Sloane's control to work on and what things are simply out of all of our control.

We finally did things that I wanted her to experience, like going to see the big choo choo in the park, collecting and decorating pine cones (she wanted to gather every one that ever fell off of a tree ever), coloring together, contemplating a big girl bed (see above), going down the slide together and indulging in a little junk too (note the chicken mcnuggets and fries).

The root of all of this isn't all about Sloane after all, it's about me. When I am unhappy and doubt myself, or I am over-scheduled I push Sloane too hard, I expect too much of myself (and then of her as well).  It's a sobering realization that you are pushing a 22 month old too hard. After all she's still so little.

Praying that I keep this in mind not only on the leisurely days of the weekend but on the ordinary work days as well.

title courtesy of The Dixie Chicks: Cowboy Take Me Away

Saturday, October 27, 2012

but you go on

Oh October, you always grab me and shake me and tear me open.  October has been a month (since 2001) that has meant so many joyful and heartwrenching things to me that it is difficult for my brain to sort out all that my heart feels. 

I am never sad to see it go. 

My best friend and I were recently having a discussion about October, and if it would be a good time to have a baby.  She remarked that it wouldn't because the baby would be born on my exhusbands birthday (with my luck).  But I said that it would.  No matter what, I am so conflicted about October.  I try to add happy occassions back into the month that has an opal as it's talisman. 

linking up with Stephanie

Fall, my favorite season. 

One of the best months in 2000 when my college boyfriend spent tons of time with me in a tiny apartment on the top floor of a house on Bluemont street

blueberry muffins and carmel lattes at Java

The song "This time of year" by Better than Ezra

political campaigning

sweet & sassy Mindy Reese

The song "Ghost" by the Indigo Girls

Annika Noelle

extravagant gifts and celebrations and surprises I would plan for my (eventual) exhusband

the year that Breann and I made the fairy costumes

meeting K

my play was born

Rocky Horror Picture Show

taking maternity photos in st. joseph at krug park with the leaves in my hair

Spaghetti Sloane

our wedding

You'd think that would be the ultimate trump card.  One of happiest days of my life...but it will take a lifetime of more happy things, until then I will just keep adding them one by one.

lyrics from October by U2 (it will haunt you-- no pun intended)

Thursday, October 11, 2012

If I could catch the world in an hourglass

The wedding is over (sigh of relief & happiness).  I still have so many projects to document, but I thought I'd post a few of the preview photos from my photographer

my mom made the cake, all the sugar cookies and chocolate cookies too...delicious

all my lovely friends in jewel tones

sitting in a candy apple red 1956 Cadillac

my sweet little flower girl
Do I look as freezing as I was? Chilly day, warm hearts...

My sister did a loofah beehive for the occasion

my take on a brooch filled boquet, brooch-dazzled shoes and my grandma's travel case
plus a couple of candids...

Our father-daughter dance was ALL fathers and daughters

Listening to the toasts...
title lyrics from the first dance song: Until by Sting

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

we've got a lot to learn, God knows we're worth it

Dearest Sloane,

I have gotten a lot done for the wedding (which you call "mommy and daddy's party!) lately (out of pure necessity) as it is coming so quickly.  But the most interesting thing that I've encountered lately isn't on a blog, or on pinterest it's right in my face.

Every evening while I make supper (admittedly it's usually your fave toddler foods of the moment which make me cringe wondering if I am giving you too many nitrates -- in the form of hot dogs, or too much processed cheese in the form of Kraft) I watch The View.  I always talk to you about it because it's important to me that you see these women with their own talk show (a field that during my lifetime has always been dominated by males). 

On 9/12/12 I came home and got my daily dose of The View as I always do (even though I've had a love- hate relationship with it since it's I describe it as my 4th circle of hell, and here I write an open letter to it's wishy-washy never completely pro-woman women co hosts). 

Sometimes though I just LOVE what I hear on the show.  On 9/12/12 one of my favorite actresses was visiting the ladies: Amy Adams.  She is currently on tour for her new film Trouble with the Curve, which her costar is Clint Eastwood (who is currently abuzz with his empty-chair speech at the RNC).  They asked her if she saw the speech and she said she had not and that she was on a bit of an "internet diet". The co hosts inquired about this and she told them that only a few minutes into Facebook perusing she finds herself feeling sad about other people's vacations and time they spend together as a family as she is working a lot as of late.

Even though it's illogical I assumed that Amy Adams would be the one provoking jealousy on Facebook not succumbing to it. 

Then a few days later I got together with some friends and one of my close friends admitted to me that she is no longer reading any blogs (including mine) because it was causing her to compare herself to other people and making her feel like she was a bad parent (which she isn't, she's phenomenal, I made sure to tell her this in person as she is no longer a blog reader). 

Then I thought about all of this together, and about parenting you.  I do not want you to be like me.  I do not want you to be riddled with anxiety over every choice you make, trying to make everything PERFECT.  I do not want you checking into social media only to feel less than, or to feel like a failure that your child isn't eating quinoa and whole-wheat bagels happily while learning french.  Instead I want to enjoy our evenings together so that you will enjoy your time with me and that you will enjoy your time with your own child someday. 

I am sorry that I sometimes try to capture the perfect moment instead of living in the one we are given.

Here's to all the imperfection in our lives.  Mommy did not edit, or censor these in any way.  These are's what we've been up to in month 20. 

Instead of focusing on what makes these pictures imperfect, I am just going to tell you that we had so much fun watching you be the flower girl at Uncle Matt's wedding, you loved the reception and cried when we finally put you in bed signing "more" party.  We took you to the mountains and let you dance all night at aunt Heidi's wedding.

You also had a blast going to Brielle's birthday party and playing with your cousins. 

We love all our moments with you, even when they aren't picture perfect,


title courtesy of Jason Mraz, I won't give up

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

a material, a material, a material girl

I have been scouring for all the perfect last details for the wedding...One thing I really wanted was a sense of vintage on the tables, I have borrowed some plain white tablecloths from my cousin but it just wasn't the effect that I wanted.  Then I saw this while browsing the net.  And fell in love...

So I began my own search to mix in with the plain white...and I found these, and since this picture was taken about a dozen more.  Hooray!

Vintage sheets & a tablecloth 1.00 each
And a few other finds as well...
Yard sale finds-- 10 cents each

vintage spools, stamps and lovely little milk glass

1969 Southwestern Bell logo cup... I can't resist weird orphans
linking up to Apron Thrift Girl

title courtesy of Madonna: Material Girl