: : eat, work, sleep, repeat : :

One of the first rules in blogging is nobody wants to hear you apologize for not blogging.  Because I’m quite certain no one is waiting with baited breath for me to drop my next post so I won’t apologize for being mostly absent.

Since the kids have been out of school, I, um, apparently don’t have time to work anymore or much of anything else so that I can cart my kids around town to all of their activities.  Right?  You are in this same boat with me I’m sure…and I would not change any of it most of it for anything in the world.  There is just something about summer, unscheduled pool visits and late nights playing outside and impromptu ice cream stops that just make life very happy.

Via my iphone…and for the benefit of my kids someday, when they read this and when they complain to me about how busy they are with THEIR kids – oh please girls – your Momma has SOOO been there.

Sewed like a crazy woman in preparation for shooting a video for Simplicity for their new Deluxe Bias Tape and Piping Machine. It's super cool and I have a few giveaways from Simplicity coming soon!

The videos we made for Simplicity will be available on their website, available to retailers and my understanding, at kiosks in JoAnns where they will be selling these Simplicity machines.

I had the pleasure of working with Candie Cooper and Carolee from Carolee's Creations

Candie does amazing felt work and jewelry designs that are fabulous!  And she’s a hoot!  You should visit her blog and check it out – it was a whole new world to me to see the work she does.

Carolee was a blast to talk to – her daughters all work with her in her scrapbooking business that now includes fabric and ALSO clothing?!  She has a boutique line that I love, love, love!  You’ll find Carolee’s fabulous stuff here at AdornIt!  Click on the Boutique section to see the fabulous clothing they have – I swooned!

Carolee's daughter Jackie did the Simplicity video for their new rotary cutter machine. Awesome machine. Jackie - sweet as pie!

These are some of the adorable projects the AdornIt girls created for the new Simplicity craft books. You'll find these books in JoAnns soon (and a copy I'll be giving away soon!)

We used this banner to decorate the set for the video...made with delicious fabrics from SisBoom!

I had to promptly hang it in my peas room afterwards…please tell me your kids have hundreds of stuffed animals on their beds too, right?

We had a "how to put a fire out" clinic with our 4H club

My husband and i enjoyed an extremely rare date night - dinner and a movie. Fabulous.

The girls made mixed media collages for Fathers Day.

 

 

Swimming. Swimming. And more Swimming. Practice, Play, Meets...we LIVE at the pool

Garage Sale. My friend was hosting a garage sale and I hauled two van fulls of stuff to unload. Good to purge now and again.

The girls and one of their friends hosted a lemonade stand for charity - they had so much fun and raised $34 for the Sam Bish Foundation.

As a reward, we let the girls get ice cream from the ice cream truck.  It was funny because my girls were like, “What’s that music?  What is that??” – living in the country, they had not seen an ice cream truck before.  They loved it!

A week at Vacation Bible School - big girls were helpers and Sprout got to go to camp for the very first time! We've been rocking out to our music CD we got from camp all week!

And to top off my busiest June ever...we helped out a 4H friends handmade wedding on their farm.

Our 4H advisor was literally putting the finishing stitches into the dress minutes before the wedding and I helped to trim the tulle so the bride wouldn't trip on it. She looked like a dream.

Us 4H Moms helped to serve food to all the guests and the peas had fun helping too. It was perfect weather and delicious home cooked food!

In between all of these things in the last two weeks I tried, although not very well, to work at my day job too (had to take vacation days just to take care of my family!).  If you’ve emailed me or requested something…I will get to it eventually but it would be a good idea to message me again as a reminder.  Just sayin’…

I’d like to say things are winding down but swim, swim, swimming this week, 4H sewing clinic and sleep away camp later this week.  PLUS…I may or may not be filming some sewing classes to offer online!

What are you up to this summer?

xoxo,

Trish

 

Letter to Sprout

The first thing I asked for after you were born, for a cold glass of milk! I was so thirsty! And look at you, bright eyed and looking up at Momma!

Dear Sprout,

3 years ago today, we welcomed you into our family of four and became a family of five.  You have been the brightest star in our family and have brought countless joys and smiles to your father and me and your sisters too!
I think I may have been so busy when your sisters were little because there were two of them at once, that I missed some of the wonderful little baby things.  I am so glad I had the experience with you – to take care of you, nurse you, rock you, and hold only you.  You were a very good baby and we wondered if you would ever cry because you rarely ever were sad.

You share your birthday with my oldest sister, your Aunt, who is in heaven.  I sometimes wonder if that makes your grandmother sad because I miss my sister terribly and I know she does too.  But I think you have brought back a visible celebration to this day that I know my sister enjoys with you.  I always feel her in my heart and I know that our smiles on your birthday (and hers) would make her very happy.

I don’t really have words to describe how much I have enjoyed being your Mom Sprout.  Maybe having my “Mom” confidence from having twins first helped me to enjoy you more as an infant and now as a toddler.  But there is something about you.  I love my life so much more with you and your sisters in it.  Before you were even conceived, I knew you were out there.  I dreamed about you so many nights.  I couldn’t wait to meet you.  But I knew you were out there waiting to come to our family.  Your Dad knew it too.  We talked about you a lot, for years before you ever came to our family.

I love how funny you are.  How you make us laugh when you try to act like your sisters.  When you fake laugh because you hear them laughing and it makes us all laugh even harder because you are forcing this funny fake laugh.  I love when you say grace at dinner time with your hands folded and your pointy finger out and you say, “thank you God for this and this and this and this and that and that and this.  Amen” as you point to everything on your plate and then around the table to your Dad and I and your sisters.

I wish I could keep you little forever because this has truly been one of the most precious moments in my life.  With all 3 of my girls around, I can’t help but be so incredibly thankful for my life here on earth.  Your birth, sweet Sprout, is a gift from heaven.  My love for you reaches to heaven and back.

Your hair twirling, thumb sucking ways has all of us wrapped around your finger.  There isn’t much we ever say no to when it comes to you – you’re too cute and too sweet and too lovable.  Who could ever refuse you?  (although we do at times and you scold us terribly…which just makes all of us, including your sisters give in.  I’m sure we may regret that someday but for now, it just makes us smile).

Today is your birthday.  The day I became the mother of 3 wonderful little girls.  20 minutes after you were born, I asked if I could go home because I really was feeling quite fine and just wanted to take you home.  They made me stay exactly 24 hours…and then your Daddy packed you up and took us both home on a warm sunny Spring day where your grandparents and sisters were waiting for you.  (Your sisters were REALLY excited because they knew I had some “baby’s homecoming gifts for THEM” and they couldn’t wait to open their gifts!)  

On Easter Sunday, we celebrated your 3rd birthday with cousins and Aunts and Uncles and your grandparents.  You got a really cool Dora the Explorer bike that you squealed in delight when you saw it.  And I thought about how Easter, how we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus and the gift we were all given in that moment, a promise of everlasting life.  What better gift could we ever receive.

Happy Birthday sweet Sprout.  I love you all the way to heaven and back, infinity.

xoxo,

Momma


Knock, knock! Remember me?

Forgive me for dropping off the face of the earth.  We have been quite busy around these parts.  Doing dishes.  Homework. 4H.  Work.  Play. Etc.

I really didn’t mean to be absent quite so long.  I posted back here about our Sprout and I’m happy to say that the news does continue to improve.  Not fully out of the woods and our long term prognosis to developing complications is not all that favorable but as testing continues, at this moment, we breathe a little easier with each positive note.  We adore our neurologist and will be working with another specialist soon to be a 2nd (actually a 3rd or 4th – she has quite the team advocating for her) set of eyes on her case.  We are thankful that things are no where near as bleak as they first presented.

But that leads me to priorities.  I don’t know if you know all of what I do – much like many of you – my life is very busy.  I know I’ve mentioned this many times about how we as women are multi-taskers and not always to our betterment.  But if someone were to ask me one of my weaknesses, well, I over multi-task.

I have a sensitive and generous husband.  I am the mother of 3 children.  I have a fledgling business that grew from an artful love and family traditions.  I work outside the home in a part time in a job that I still enjoy as it has evolved over the years and where I feel like I truly touch lives in such a positive way.  I try to keep up my home though mostly unsuccessfully.  Clean but often cluttered?  And as I frequently tell myself, a messy house is a house that is well lived in and where there is a lot of love going around (well, that’s my “excuse” at least).   My kids will be grown and gone before I know it so I try not to miss too many moments.  This is what people say when they have messy houses though, isn’t it?  :>)

Blogging and all of this business stuff and the fun stuff of sewing / designing is time consuming.  I love it.  I do.  I do. I do.  But as of late, it is my hearts desire to be sure that I find just the right balance.  I’ve been working, yet again (as it seems I often attempt and fail at prioritizing) on adjusting my schedule so that I have plenty of family time, husband time, kids time, house time, sewing time, business time…in the last few weeks, I’ve just found myself snuggling with Sprout or the peas or my hubby and saying to heck with much else.  Because really, in the end, they are my entire world.  Everything else, as wonderful as it may be, doesn’t come close to filling my heart up like those 3 little people and that hubby of mine does.

I have a long list of blog topics and I’ll be working on getting those up and running and scheduled.  But if I grow quiet – feel free to chime in and check on me!  I’m just working on trying to figure out how to schedule it all in…work, fun, sewing fun, connecting with friends far and wide, family time and date nights.  How do you manage it all?  I ‘d love to hear your advice!

The first thing I’ve started doing lately is sticking to a quitting time.  Deciding on working hours and keeping to it.

I’ve also unplugged a bit.  Outside of peeking in here and there from my iphone, I’m staying offline a bit more these days hoping to sneak in more sewing time.

My husband and I are also working on making my sewing room more of a work space.  (It currently holds a beautiful antique bed and serves as a guest room too!) but soon the bed will disappear and I’ll get to stretch my legs a bit more in there.  Since I hired Courtney from our church to work for me handling shipments, etc – it has gotten very crowded in my little sewing studio / guest room.   The new improved room will have a place for packaging orders, collating patterns, and gasp, perhaps more room for fabric!

Plus, we are sorting (who am I kidding I, I AM sorting) toys and clothes and paring down.  Trying to simplify as much as I can.  And I’ve been praying a whole lot about being the person that God created me to be for my husband.  It is so easy to get caught up in the day to day and kids and work and become just Mom and Dad.  Husband and Wife come first – the family foundation, and I’ve really been setting my heart at making sure that my man is happy, content and cared for.  It’s something I pray about a lot.

SO THIS IS ME KNOCKING AT YOUR SCREEN…I’m still here.  Promise.  Just prioritizing.  Adjusting my schedule some.  I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth.  Promise.

xoxo,

Trish

Sew Sweet…

In my mailbox yesterday was one, oh SEW SWEET surprise!  I have been very blessed to have a great relationship with the editors at Sew Hip magazine.  They have published 4 of my projects previously.

That's my name on the cover even! My Mom is gonna freak!

This time, I got a full feature interview!  Wow oooh wow oh WOW!   And my little Sprout and the Two Peas are also pictured in the article – they were sort of thrilled.  One of the peas said, “It’s not like anybody except sewers reads it”.  I’m sorry…are there other kinds of people in the world?  Cuz baby, sewers..that’s MY PEEPS!

The awesome photos are by the bestest ever photographer - Britt Lakin Photography

I know that locally, our Barnes and Noble carries Sew Hip as well as our JoAnn fabrics stores.  This will be the April issue, Issue 27, which should be out on newstands in a few weeks.  Of course, I’ll be getting a stack of extra copies.  One for each of my kids for their memory boxes and one for my parents!

THIS is a super cute top in the magazine. Not mine. Super cute. I'm so gonna make one of these. Totally hide my leftover baby belly!

While trying to type up my little “toot my own horn” post – Sprout came in to snuggle.  She loves the photo booth app on the Macs.  Hence this cute pic.

If you follow me on Twitter, etc you may have heard me tweet about the tough road we are on with our Sprout.  She is experiencing some difficult medical issues currently and I probably don’t want to say much more than that as it’s very private and I’m maybe in a bit of denial.  All of the tests are not done so we are still waiting.  It has resulted in many sleepless nights and I’m trying to really focus hard on trusting that God has my back.  I can not change whatever it is but I can have faith that God will lead us.   I hired an office assistant this week to help with some of my daily tasks of running the business so that I could free my arms up for more of this cuddle time.  Immense amounts of cuddle time are now written into my daily schedule – I like it that way.

But Sprout may have also come into my office not just for a snuggle – it might have something to do with the candy jar I keep on my desk.

Who can resist Jolly Ranchers and dark chocolates?  Happy weekend all…

xoxo,

Trish

The spiritual side…

Hard for me to recap Quilt Market without touching on what it all really meant to me, spiritually.  For those of you rolling your eyes and muttering, “oh, here she goes with the Jesus thing”…yes, the Jesus thing.

If I’m to be honest about what matters most to me then sharing that is just as important as the glitz and photo ops.  I had a pastor once say that it doesn’t really matter if the whole Jesus thing is real or not – living our lives to be good to one another, to find peace and contentment in prayer – what does it hurt?  If it all turns out to be a hoax then our lives still would have been better for the faith we have had.  Well, at least that’s how I view it.

So, for me, launching our business is much more meaningful than you can imagine.  It’s been in the making for about 6 years now.  It’s been a lot of work.  A lot of planning.  A lot of sacrifice.

As we were taking off from Columbus to Houston, I had this intense sense of being surrounded by angels.  I also had a really strong feeling of being supported by my sister and my grandmother.  Both have passed on many years ago and both were wonderful seamstresses.  I never spent enough time with my sister because I was only 3 when she died but I know that my Grammy (the one whose photo is in my Patsy Ann Apron Top pattern) taught her to sew.  For some reason, my mind was flooded with thoughts of them and how excited they both would be if they could see what I was about to embark on.

For all the exciting things that happened and are still evolving from my trip to Houston, I am extremely humbled and grateful.  I have prayed for so long for answers, for a light to my path, to help our family find a way to get to where we needed to be.

One of those prayers has always been for my peas.  Twins are high risk and my pregnancy included a 2+ week hospital stay and then more bedrest and medications to keep them until 36 weeks.  I had to stay on my back 24/7.  Eat laying down.  Bathe lying down.  And when they were born, they were perfect.  They are perfect.  But as time has progressed, we have discovered small things that have been stumbling blocks in their development.  Multiple things.  And this long complicated puzzle we have slowly watched year to year as they grow, started to come together within days after I got home from Houston.

I won’t go into detail as it is quite private but it was a moment, when I was sitting watching clinicians perform assessments and I was sobbing as I watched.  It’s heartbreaking to see your children struggle and feel helpless.

And as the days progress, and our business grows, I see that the Lord HAS answered those prayers.  For that exact moment brought new realities for us and new challenges and I could see now, that THIS was the time that HE had chosen for our family.  This was, this IS the right time.  For many reasons.

Sometimes, when we pray for what we want, it’s hard to be patient and wait.  And not know if you’ll ever get what you asked for.  I didn’t exactly get what I asked for but I got what I needed, what our family needed.  And I am humbled.  And grateful.  And for the 6 years we have also waited on a diagnosis for our peas, I am thankful to know what, how, and where to go.  Mothers just want to do it all for our kids, make everything better but there are some things, I just can’t do.  Those are the things that make me cry.  Then.  And now as I write this.  Because I just want them to not be frustrated, or struggle, or to give up.

I think that since my husband and I have made certain that this business is a full on family affair, it’s given our peas a sense of pride, and ownership, and accomplishment.  They are part of the success, what little ones we can claim at the moment, and we wholeheartedly celebrate everything that those beautiful girls are to us.

This post may not have made much sense to you but the spiritual side of this experience has been very heavy on my heart.  I do feel God’s hand in all that we do and I do feel extremely blessed, for whatever may come, I know that God always has a way to provide for us.  Now more than ever, it’s an answer to a prayer.

xoxo,

Trish

Making Summer last…

We usually take a summer vacation but this year…it just didn’t work out.  The girls and I were both sad to miss the beach as this is the first time since they’ve been born that we couldn’t go.  (Um wait…maybe second, I think we skipped the year Sprout was born too).

So we decided we would stay home and do loads of fun things.  And we did…my feet are still aching from all the walking and my thighs…enjoyed the pizza and pop and other goodies we had as well.

One of the things I liked best was that I got to sleep in my own bed every night.  And I didn’t have to pack.  And there weren’t any long drives…well, except to Cincinnati.  That was a couple of hours.  But it was a fun week.

A few of the things we did included a boat ride down the Ohio River.  It was a lunch cruise and it was yummy.  Sprout ate a ton of food!  And perhaps two pieces of cake…or at least licked all the frosting off of two pieces of cake.  “Banjo Bob” played old time music and gave us a lot of history about the area.  It was really nice and the kids loved it.

After our lunch cruise, we hit the Newport Aquarium.  The shark tank…SO COOL!  The girls even got to pet a shark!  Who pets a shark?!?  That’s crazy!

One thing the girls had been looking forward to for weeks and weeks was WEDNESDAY.  We had decided to let them get hamsters but not until our vacation week.  So Wednesday, we adopted Poppy and Daisy.  I am now somewhat regretting this decision.  They are so excited and love them.  Me…they are cute and the novelty has already worn off, soon after the stink.  It’s mild but the big one, Daisy, stinks.  Sigh.

The Columbus Zoo is amazing.  The animal exhibits…fabulous.  But we didn’t go to the zoo to see animals.  Because our zoo also has a golf course, huge water park and an amusement park area.  We went for the rides.  We never ride the rides at the zoo.  Because we go to see the animals.  But this week, we went JUST to ride the rides for once.  And to see the new polar bears.  Both…wow!  So much fun!

I think I rode the elephants at least 8 times with Sprout.  Um, the girl is like the energizer bunny.  Never stopped.  Never fussed.  Loved every minute.  Until about 5pm.  Then she totally just passed out in her stroller.  So cute.  Woke up 30 minutes later asking to go back on the elephants.

But for the Gardener and I, the Polar Bears were amazing!  You can view them from underneath or from the water surface…they played, they chased fish, they stuck their head in a bucket.  I was standing like 3 feet away from a polar bear.  3 FEET!  It left me speechless…squeeling and laughing with delight but no words.  Just…wow!

It was fun to watch the girls have such a great time.  Watching your kids just enjoy themselves, smile, laugh, run, play, ask for things and we said yes, yes, yes, all week…it was really nice.  Really joyful.  Really blessed.  How are you making your summer last these days before school begins?

xoxo,

Trish

{a heavy heart}

It’s been a strange few weeks as of late.

I want to be a glass is half full kind of girl but mine has soured milk in it and it’s making me look over my shoulder and say, “hey, who put this here?  This isn’t good”.

Started with best friends of ours announcing they were divorcing.  Felt like a sucker punch to the gut.  Totally didn’t see that coming.  Just decided they’d be best friends to one another but just wanted different things.  No hard feelings.  Just wanted to move on.  My heart is heavy and grieving for the loss.  The first one of the week.

The second loss came days later.  Do you remember not long ago, back here…where I was sharing with you that we had a friend we were helping to care for with terminal cancer?  His wife was not / is not well.  She really didn’t have the capacity to advocate for his care in the end and we tried to get social workers to intervene as they could to make sure he was comfortable and cared for properly.   I’m starting to think maybe his wife has Alzheimer’s because her behavior has been erratic and mean and down right, kind of crazy.  She either has called here to yell at my husband about silly things like, the fact he didn’t gas her car up (that still had half a tank full) on a Sunday afternoon like she wanted.  He offered to come at 8am the next morning to do it but that just made her mad.  But she has called here at least twice to yell at him, curse him and then hang up on him for not coming right when she called saying she can’t depend on him for anything.  He’d call our friend and say, “Good Morning, this is Mr. Preston…” and “click!”.  So odd since she has doted over our family for years and years until her husband got sick.  And like a switch, she just turned on everyone.  She’s hung up on neighbors calling to ask how her husband was, responding with “ain’t none of your damn business” and then “click”.  She started to become very unpredictable with her temper with our friend.  Nursing staff was worried.  I know she must be scared about being alone and her own failing health but she made it very difficult in the end.  She had every nurse on pins and needles and cursed at all of them and at her husband every time she saw him – he’d call our home everyday upset, in pain, and crying for help.  It just wasn’t the way you want the end of your life to be.  I think we helped him have some bright spots and gave him love and attention he needed since he had no children of his own.  We made him part of our family.

The one night about 3 weeks ago, when we just decided after supper to go and see our friend and take the kids turned out to be a good decision.  He was still up and on his feet.  I wrote this after that night…

“One of the peas said in a whisper when we were there last night, “can I ask Bob if I can give him a hug?”.  The gardener said, I think he’d like that.  Go ahead.  And so she asked, “can I give you a hug Bob?”.  He said of course and they both got tears in their eyes.  One of them 9 years old, the other almost 90.  I know there’s a heaven but the real human part of me can’t help but to still be frightened about the end.”

Bob went on to heaven yesterday morning.  He was a good man, a good friend, and our family will miss him.

The first thing one of the peas said to me when I told them, “Mama, that’s a good thing, right?  He’s in heaven now and he’s all better and happy.  Right?  This is a good thing, right?”.  Comforting words from a 9 year old whose next sentiment was, “Does this mean NOW we can play with his wheelchair?”.  It’s been sitting in our garage for the last 2 weeks since we took him to the hospital and they’ve been begging to sit in it and push each other around.

God’s peace Bob.  Your work here is done.  You did good.  Rest and be well.  We will see you soon.

xoxo,

Trish

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