Thursday, August 30, 2012

Four Things In Time

Good morning y'all! Hope everyone's having a great day. :) Can y'all believe that August is already over? It's been such a quick month. I'm kinda glad that its gone, though, because now, it's the beginning of fall (even if it is still almost 90 degrees here). I'm looking forward to this weekend! We're headed up to the lake to spend some time with my parents. It's my mom's birthday (look for a uber fun birthday post on Sunday) and it's the start of Navy and Clemson football! Hooray!

Navy is playing Notre Dame (a yearly tradition) in Ireland. Yup. You read that right. It's a huge huge HUGE deal. Once upon a time, my parents were going to go but then a little thing called Reagan happened in our lives. So, since helping their daughter with her early birth and their premature granddaughter was a bigger priority than Navy football, they decided not to go. Which is sad for them but it's great for all of us because now we get to watch the game together!  It's being televised at 9:00am here... because of the time change and all. First time in a while that we're doing a tailgate brunch. Of course, we'll be watching it at their house, and we'll all be dressed in Navy gear. Clemson is playing Auburn at 7:00pm, and we'll be cheering on the Tigers with some good ol' barbecue  Yummy. This may require a wardrobe change. :) We are very typically Southerners, in that, our Saturdays from the end of August until December are marked with commitments to football games.

One of the blog's that I love to read is called Greer's Gossip! Another SC blogger who blogs a little bit of everything...a kindergarten teacher, a first time mommy to be... Sounds right up my alley. Right now, she's waiting for her baby girl to decide that it wants to come into the world... :) Super exciting. You can check her out here.

Yesterday, she did an awesome post about four things ...and how her life has changed over the years. I loved it, so I'm totally copying! :)

Four Things I Did 10 Years Ago: (2002)
1. Moved from Japan to Charleston, South Carolina
2. Went on my first mission trip
3. Started drivers ed
4. Joined the Wando High School Marching Band

Four Things I Did 5 Years Ago: (2007)
1. Studied at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland
2. Got a new (to me) car...the red Volvo
3. became president of my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma
4. loved college life

Four Things I Did Yesterday:
1. woke up at 4:15 am to feed my baby girl
2. cooked dinner for my husband and I
3. did lots of sewing
4. read 8 storybooks to Reagan

Four TV Shows I Love To Watch:
1. Army Wives (yup)
2. Greys Anatomy (still one of the faithful few)
3. USA shows ... I can't pick one because we watch ALOT of them
4. NCIS

Four Things I Adore Doing:
1. being with my husband and daughter
2. sewing
3. cooking
4. reading

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What I {Heart} Wednesday


Good morning y'all!! So sorry to be kinda MIA this week. I decided that I really wanted to tackle all of my wip (work in progress) sewing projects.... and that's been a big priority. Trying to get a bunch of stuff finished up! But don't worry! I didn't forget yall!

Just a short post today! Thought I'd share a few things I've seen online that I'm totally loving... along with some real life stuff! So without further ado, here's what I'm lovin' today.
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Quilts! I love looking at them and dreaming up how I would make one. Granted, I'm still working on my first one and I really need to take a class but still. :)

My August Burdastyle Pattern Magazine! Totally worth buying off of someone from Ebay! I love love love the patterns in it, and am exciting for what I'm working on from it. More on that later. 
   
Love that football season is finally here! Go Navy! Go Tigers!

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I love knowing that fall is just around the corner. It's my favorite season. Nothing beats the kind of weather, the crispness in the air... 
Loving my little girl! She's so funny to watch as she grows and plays. And even though she got me up at 4:15 this morning, I am totally in love with being her mommy. 

My hometown of Charleston got hit with a LOT of rain (thanks Isaac) yesterday and last night and is having some major major flooding! Say a prayer for everyone there, as well as everyone else in the Southeast who has been impacted by the storm! Take care y'all!

Monday, August 27, 2012

First Day

Today, my former school starts. The kindergarten students come in with their parents, some today and some tomorrow, for orientation. I'm so excited for my former grade partner, my former aide, and their new grade partner. I'm excited for the prekindergarten classes who will also do the same thing. I know just how hard they have all prepared for this day. And I miss it. I miss being a teacher.
Couldn't have said it better!
I wanted to share with y'all a beautiful essay that another teacher friend of mine shared via Facebook over the weekend. I cried reading it, and I could barely read it aloud to my husband (who of course wanted to know what made me tear up). I'm so amazed by the influence of teachers on students... it's the most rewarding and fulfilling career, too. I can honestly say that I still remember every single teacher that I've had (both the good and the bad), and I hope that I will be remembered too (but definitely as a good teacher). As a new mommy, I have a great appreciation for the parents side of education. It's going to be so hard for me to take my little girl to school (although she'll probably already know all about school...I can't imagine why!). I know that at some point down the road, she will idolize her teacher more than she does her mommy.... and while I know that that's how its supposed to be, it's still a hard thing. Having been the teacher that students' idolized and loved, I now understand how their parents felt. Thank you for sharing your children with me. Thank you to the teachers who will hold a place in my daughter's heart.
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You can read it at it's original posting here but I've copied it to share below. Please grab a tissue box before you read it (I promise you'll need it!) It's written by a blogger, Kylene Beers, who has a fantastic blog about literacy and education! Be sure to check it out!!

When my first born headed off to first grade, 21 years ago, she held my hand as we walked down the hallway of Will Rogers Elementary School in the Houston Independent School District. We walked into Ms. Miner’s room and Meredith’s steps grew more hesitant. This wasn’t the University of Houston Child Care Center, the place she had gone for years while I was a doctoral student at UH. This place looked different – bigger, more official. There were big-kid desks pushed together in clusters. And though there were centers, they were not the dress-up center or the cooking center or nap center or water play center of the Child Care Center.
The room was filled with children she did not yet know, with books she had not yet read, with a math center that had lost-teeth and birthday charts, and with a big poster by the door labeled, “Our Classroom Rules” that was still blank. “I don’t want to stay,” she said.  I didn’t want her to, either. I wanted her still with me, only me. I didn’t want to give up those first six years of childhood just yet, those years when her world mostly revolved around her parents and new baby brother and a silly dog with big ears and afternoons spent in our local library reading book after book after book or playing in our neighborhood park, sometimes just sitting on the grass, watching the ants march by. With every ounce of courage, I said, “Oh, you will love first grade. It was my favorite year in school. I loved my first grade teacher, Mrs. Allen, and I bet you are going to love Ms. Miner, too.” Meredith looked doubtful and so very small. And then Ms. Miner, long blond hair pulled back into a ponytail, saw us, came over, and bent down to Meredith’s level.  A first year teacher – the one I had told the principal that if he was willing to listen to requests I wanted – Ms. Miner was full of energy and excitement. She loved books, wanted to be a great teacher, and had obviously spent weeks making her room look inviting to these 22 six-year-olds.
“Oh, you’re Meredith! I recognized you from your picture! Come here and let me introduce you to some others. And let me show you all around the room. And, hey, you brought Corduroy as your favorite book and that’s one of my favorite books, too!”
And then, somehow, without me even realizing, Meredith’s small hand moved from mine to Ms. Miner’s and she was gone. She was swallowed up by the sheer joy this other woman brought into her classroom, into learning, and into my child’s life. “I guess I’ll be going now,” I said to Meredith who was busy putting school supplies away in her desk. “So, I’ll be just around the corner at our house,” I said blinking hard to keep away the tears.” I think she nodded. Perhaps she even paused to wave. My feet couldn’t move and Ms. Miner gently helped me and a few other moms out of the classroom. “She’s really shy,” I said to Ms. Miner just as Meredith sped by holding a new friend’s hand showing her “all these hooks where we can hang our backpacks.”
Meredith was breathless with excitement at the end of that day – every day – and by the end of the first week, our family had a new member: Ms. Miner. Each afternoon and for long into the evening, I had to listen to “Ms. Miner said . . .” and “Ms. Miner thinks . . .” and “Ms. Miner showed us . . .” and “Ms. Miner suggested . . .” and when I slipped and said, “Oh damn” at dinner burned in the oven, I was reminded that “Mom, Ms. Miner would never say . . .  .”  Right, I smiled through gritted teeth.  ”Ms. Miner says that manners are important,” Meredith said as she explained why we must always put our napkins in our laps, something that I swear I had mentioned a million times.
For the entire year I watched my child fall in love with school, with learning, with figuring out, and most importantly, with her first grade teacher, Ms. Miner. Meredith, who had once hated ponytails, now only wanted to wear ponytails. And blue skirts, “just like Ms. Miner’s.” “And Mom, my name starts with an M and Ms. Miner starts with an M. Isn’t that great!! We match!” Yes, Meredith, just great. Really great. Oh damn.
Though I had been a teacher for years before having Meredith, before sending her off to first grade, I had never truly understood the power of a teacher in a child’s life. We give our most precious and priceless to you – dear teachers – each year, knowing you will teach them, but also hoping you will care for them, help them discover how very much they matter, watching over them, and being there when they have been hurt by the ones who won’t let them sit at the “popular” table – and then you do just that and they fall in love with you. It shows up in different ways, as they grow older. But it’s still there, this deep affection and respect. And, certainly, it’s harder to forge those bonds when there are 150 students instead of 22, when the day is fragmented into 45 minute segments, when education seems to be more about the test than the child. But I promise, underneath that bravado of the seventh grader or swagger of the tenth grader you will find that small first grader who wonders, “Will my teacher like me?” And when that child – that teen – knows that you believe he or she matters, then that student will do most anything for you.
To this day, Meredith remembers you, Ms. Miner, and to this day, I so hated how much she loved you that year. And, simultaneously, I am so grateful that she did.
And so, teachers, across this country during the next two weeks, most of you will be opening your classroom doors in a first-day welcoming for your students.  As a teacher I am proud to stand beside you in all that you do. But as a parent, well, as a parent I stand in awe of all that you do.  And to Ms. Miner, well, thank you. 
Children are...

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Family Photos

Good afternoon y'all!! Hope everyone's having a great weekend! We took Reagan this morning to the mall and had family photos done! We hadn't had professional pictures of her since just before Mother's Day. And, Edmund wasn't there for those, so it was definitely due! The place we went was having a special on the hi-res disk so it seemed like the perfect time to go. Apparently everybody else thought so too, since the place was packed with families! Anyways, this post is going to be pretty photo heavy....mostly because I simply adore all of these pictures! Enjoy!



























Thursday, August 23, 2012

Wardrobe Sewing Update

Good morning y'all! :) Hope everyone's doing great! I've been working all week on my whole cloth quilt for our tablecloth. I know it's not entirely perfect or probably done the way that a normal quilter would recommend but I'm really loving it. I've read a lot of quilting blogs, etc. and that's been a big help. I've basted the edges together, and made  my quilt sandwich. Now, I'm working on doing the actual quilting stitches across the quilt. I decided to go ahead and follow the pattern in the fabric. You can see part of it here.

What do yall think?
here's the top on my table with my runner!
I think it looks great together!! :)
she wanted to help! :)
I'm really excited and I think it's going to be such a nice touch to our home. I'm already thinking about taking a quilting class (so I can make really nice ones) and quilts up ahead in my future. Yikes. :) I'm waiting still for my fabric to come in to make my prizes for the giveaway winners. Sigh. Why is it that things in the mail always seem to take forever when you really want them to be here now?!

Oh, yesterday, Reagan and I tested out the stroller. We've always used it in conjunction with her baby carrier. I thought we'd see how she fits into it without the carrier. It's still a little bit big on her---mostly around the straps. She's still so tiny and trim that there was a good 6 inches left on the straps, and I cinched them as small as they'd go. She liked sitting in it but she did tip from side to side. :) I snapped a quick picture!! Too cute!

Also, I wanted to update y'all on my (ambitious) wardrobe sewing plan. Here's what I started out with:
and here's where I'm at so far:
I have patterns and fabric in store for a few of these.... so they'll be upcoming. I'm hoping to put together a photo gallery here in the next week or so with pictures of all my wardrobe pieces. :)

Hope everyone is doing great! :) Take care!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Mommyhood

Good morning y'all! :) Hope everyone is doing great today!

Last night, my mother in law came up from Augusta to watch Reagan so that I could attend the Columbia Area Alumnae Chapter meeting of my sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma. It felt so great to reconnect with my sorority, and to remember our motto "Faithful Unto Death" (not faithful unto graduation!). For all my friends out there who are sisters, especially if you're in the Columbia area, PLEASE get in touch with me about reconnecting!!! It's a monthly thing, so minimal time and there are some exciting things to look forward to! :)
 


Okay, that said, I wanted to talk with y'all ...or vent or whatever...about some stuff that I've been seeing around the blogisphere and on Facebook and Pinterest. It's about mommies, birthing, babies, etc.  I've held my tongue (for the most part), and I'm not looking to fire everyone up. I'm simply looking to clarify my thoughts, and yes, a few of my frustrations!

When I was pregnant with Reagan, I had glorious dreams of being an eco-friendly, do it all,  awesome mom. I dreamed of cloth diapers, breastfeeding, and generally, a holistic approach to raising our child. I naively went along my merry way in my pregnancy, assuming that everything would be hunky dory, and I would have labor pains, a long long long time at the hospital, and out my baby would come.

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that things would be so different.

Now, I'm a disposable diapers, formula feeding, momma of a darling little girl.

Yes, she had some breast milk from the 5 weeks that I desperately attempted pumping (plus with donor milk from the milk bank at the NICU). But, she hasn't suffered from any lack of breastfeeding. We snuggle, we've bonded, I've not suffered from postpartum depression (although I was at great risk for it), and I'm not a bad mom. It took me a long time to embrace and understand that. I had factors out of my control that I had to come to grips with. And that's okay. Now, I'm just so thankful that Reagan and I are both physically, mentally, emotionally, and in every possible way, okay and alive. Yes, there are moments when I think, oh, I wish that we had been able to breastfeed (especially with the rising amount of our budget that goes to formula each month). Yes, there are moments that I hate how much disposable diapers are (but I'm somewhat relieved that I don't have to spend time washing and cleaning out cloth diapers). And regardless of anyone else's thoughts, my daughter is well loved, well fed, and well cared for. And that makes me a good mommy.

I've read so many articles, comments, pictures, phrases, and thoughts about what it means to be a good mom in today's modern world. I've seen women and men completely diminish the beauty of being a mom, no matter how you choose to actualize that. I've seen post after post of negative comments, belittling those who would do things in a different fashion. I have had it with reading about it. I'm so sick of seeing comments that show a lack of empathy and support for different moms and dads out there. So what if they don't do things they way that you do? So what if they don't cloth diaper or breastfeed or co sleep? So what if they do cloth diaper or breastfeed or co sleep? Everyone has a different reason for raising and running their families in the manner that they do.
Don't be afraid to breastfeed :)
I know we ALL saw this memorable cover from Time Magazine.
We are all parents, we are all humans. Not a single one of us is perfect. Therefore, it is completely impossible for us to be perfect parents. What gives you the right to look down on me for how I am raising my daughter? What gives me the right to say that you're doing it wrong? NOTHING.

Instead of bashing each other's opinions, why can't we all just be supportive of each other? Why can't we embrace our differences and applaud each other for standing firm in our beliefs, our families? Why can't we all be supportive of each other, to raise each other up, and to simply care about each other?

My friend, Sally, over at Exploits of A Military Mama, summed it up perfectly in her blogposts a month or so ago. You can read it here and here, but I wanted to share this quote from it:


So, I guess what I'm trying to say through all of this is...

I Breastfeed My Toddler for the Nutritional BenefitsI refuse to let myself read any more of the negativity out there.
I refuse to let someone else's standards define who I am as a mom, a wife, as a woman.
I refuse to feel that I am a bad mom.
I refuse.

Instead,

I'm embracing my choices as a mom.
I'm embracing our circumstances.
I'm embracing my role as a mom, a wife, a woman.
I'm embracing the role that God has set out for me.


Take care y'all!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Rain Rain Go Away

rainy day reminderGood morning y'all! We're having lots and lots of rain today.... going on three days of on and off rain, and today it's just pouring. It's kinda neat to see how much it's cooled off our weather. The high today is 83. I LOVE that. To me, the ideal temperature is somewhere in the 60s. Yup. I'm that girl. So to so that this summer of hot hot hot has been a bit uncomfortable, well, it'd be an understatement. Hubby, on the other hand, loves hot weather. Oh well. :) It's the perfect day to sit at home in our jammies, snuggle up with a good book. Of course, with a rolling, squealing 7 1/2 month old...that's not really a realistic plan. So, we'll play and have fun today. :)

I've been working on my tablecloth quilt... at least until the fabric comes in for my giveaway winners' KitchenAid covers. The quilt is going great. I've basted it all together, and am actually going to start the quilting process today! :) Excitement!!! I know that I'm probably not doing all the things that a quilter would probably recommend but hey, that's okay.

Oh, does anyone want to see the fabrics that the giveaway winners picked for their covers? They're too cute! I can't wait to make these for them!
Michael Miller, Pinhead Black
Denyse Schmidt, Chicopee, Dotted Leaf Red
So so fun! :) 

Stay dry today y'all!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Baptism

Happy Monday y'all!! It's just us girls around here this week, as the hubs is in Atlanta for a conference. It's pretty quiet, so I'm very thankful to have a few things going on this week! 

We had a busy weekend because our little Reagan got baptized!!! It was so exciting for us to finally have it happen. She was beautiful and did great with all the attention and people. Here's a few pictures from her big day! Her dress was a beautiful baby day gown that we received as a gift from Edmund's aunt and uncle when Reagan was born. I made a little diaper cover and her headband and bow to go with her dress. It was a newborn sized dress, but it was still about an inch longer than her, and fit beautifully! I love that it's the palest shade of pink, and simple enough to really highlight Reagan's beauty. 
Baptism at church
Proud mommy and daddy
Meeting the congregation
The whole crew--we are so blessed to have such wonderful family and friends
family
short nap between church and lunch--it's hard work being the star
with Amy
with Corey
Grandma
Grandpa
"Mommy, stop taking my picture!"
with Uncle Tony--so glad you could come!
my little brother!! :)
All in all, it was such a wonderful day to celebrate our little girl joining the church! My brother was able to get leave and come from Norfolk, and we all had a great time at lunch!! Reagan received some beautiful gifts, and I know it was a day that we will all treasure!

We even were able to film the baptism ceremony (thanks to Tony for being our videographer) and I love that we have that memory forever on tape!

vintage 1960's Simplicity 7629 A-line dress with sash, size 12 bust 34I know I mentioned that Edmund and I bought Reagan a "big girl" Bible, and asked everyone to bring a Bible verse. Well, most people did but that's okay! If you still haven't and want to, please feel free. After much thought and consideration, I finally selected this verse from me for her on her baptism....

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has given me what I asked of Him. So now, I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord And he worshipped the Lord there."--1 Samuel 1:27-28

I also include a copy of this short poem for her. 

"With reverence and devotion,
we dedicate our child to You, 
the Lord God Almighty,
Wondrous and Awesome, 
Esteemed and Adored.
May this sweet one honor
You all the days of her life.
By grace, You will make
us parents, and from grace,
we pray in Your name"
-Angela Thomas Guffey

Oh, and in case any of y'all were wondering... I made my dress. The fabric is Sis Bloom Girlfriends line, "Molly" for Free Spirit fabrics. It's a quilting cotton dress, but it's so soft and it worked beautifully with this pattern. It had enough movement and stiffness to really hold the shape of the dress, and the cotton made it perfect for hot Southern summer weather. The pattern was a vintage pattern (1968) from Simplicity.It was a super easy pattern to make, and I love it. After wearing it on Sunday, I realized that I"m going to need to shorten the shoulder straps (like always!!!) but other than that, I love the fit! It really reminds me of lots of Lilly Pulitzer style dresses. I got lots of compliments on it, and hubby really liked it, too! All in all, a successful dress. 

Hope y'all are having a great Monday! Good luck to all the teachers starting today or in the next week or so! Take care y'all!
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