baking cookies and a lesson in motherhood

Like much of motherhood I had this idea that we could bake cookies together and that it would be this awesome memory and a great tradition to start with the boys. We'd all happily pour in ingredients and they'd be so focused and invested in the experience. We'd make a mess with flour, but I wouldn't care because it's about the experience, not the mess. I'd take some cute photos of them "helping" and look back on it and smile. They'd be so proud they helped mommy make cookies.
And like much of motherhood, it didn't go quite as planned. They would have been completely happy just digging in the flour. Now, as I type this retrospectively, I think to myself, "Why didn't I just let them dig and play in flour?". It would have been a great sensory experience for them, and probably would have occupied their attention for quite awhile. However, as I look back at this experience, at the time I wasn't thinking about how they'd enjoy it most. I was thinking about how I thought they should enjoy it. 
The whole cookie experience consisted of me trying desperately to keep their attention, and really all they did was pour in a couple of ingredients and then went back to playing with their toys. I wanted to get photos, I wanted to have documentation to remember them helping me make cookies for Christmas. They didn't care about any of this. And therein is this huge lesson that I've never really even considered. 

This motherhood thing? It's constantly pulling me in different directions. I want to make an experience for my kids but they are going to experience things how they want no matter how hard I wish it to be one way. I get so caught up in the details and rules that sometimes I forget to just let it be and let it go. I never thought I was like this, but since becoming a mother I've craved structure and control like never before. Maybe this is my way of trying to cling to whatever I think I can control. Being a mom in itself is a never-ending learning experience and I have very little control over so much that worries me the most.
Let these cookies be a lesson to me to just go with it. To just let experiences happen as they will and enjoy them for what they are rather than trying to control how they turn out. Here's to trying to see things from my children's eyes and not how I want them to see things. Here's to letting go of the reins and just letting life dictate this ride. Here's to taking a deep breath and letting go of the pressure.

Baby quilt giveaway winner!

Winner winner! Sorry I missed the announcement yesterday- sick kid rules the list of priorities :)

The winner of the handmade baby quilt is:

Entry #52: Julie Perez

Congrats to Julie and to a huge thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway! 

Stitchfix #6

Stitchfix #6 arrived! 

If you haven't heard of Stitchfix here are the deets: 
1) Go the link, sign up and fill out all the info they ask for about your personal tastes, they'll hook you up with a stylist who'll send you a box with 5 items that they think will look great on you, based on what you tell them.
2) Pay a $20 styling fee which includes the box shipped to you and goes toward your purchase should you choose to keep anything in the box. 
3) Get your box (which you can set up on auto for once a month or schedule them as you wish) and try on your items! You have 3 days to decide and there's a free shipping bag included to send back what you don't want.

I can't say enough about how much I love this service. I look forward every month to what surprise I'm going to get in my box and just really enjoy trying clothes on from the comfort of my own home. Oh, and let's not forget the outfit suggestions they send with each piece, so you know exactly how to wear it and can find things from your closet to put together.

Here's what I got this month. 

1.  41Hawthorn - Alyssa Multicolor Stripe Fringe Scarf
This scarf is huge! And so, so soft. I wasn't sure about it at first but after throwing it on with my coat, I knew I had to keep it. It's just so dang warm. It's an easy pop of color to a plain outfit. Oh, did I mention how soft it is? Yeah, that.

2. Renee C - Taber Foldover 3/4 Sleeve Sweater
This sweater was just not my style. It's one of those fold over neck lines that I'm just not sure what to do with. That's not even counting in the fact that I have wide shoulders so it was just a little tight. I'm also not a huge fan of anything that's tighter around the waist, and this shirt has some ribbing at the bottom, I just don't need anything started there. 

3. Sweet Rain - Alan Cowl Neck Asymmetrical Jacket
Love this! Fits like a glove. Has pockets. Soft, warm, cute. Keeping it.

4. 41Hawthorne - Julia Utility Jacket
I liked the color of this jacket, and inside are some really cute stitching details on the seams. The waist has cinch cords inside which is good when you need some waist detail. Another detail I loved, arms flare at the very bottom so when you unbotton it, the sleeves roll up nicely without being too tight on your arm. The only downfall-I'm not a fan of anything with collars. I just can't do it. Makes me feel really dorky for some reason lol

5. 41Hawthorne - Filbert 3/4 Sleeve Popover Blouse
This shirt is comfy, lays great, I love the color. Debating on whether to keep it or not only on the fact that I have a few other shirts just like this! 

Want to give it a try? There's nothing to lose, even if you only do it once, it's a super fun experience. GO HERE to read more and sign up!

thoughts on life in the trenches of speech delays

I've talked so much in the past about the boys speech delays and the leaps and bounds they've made in just over a year of therapy. Seriously, last year at this time we were jumping for joy when they were putting 2 words together. Phrases like "more milk" and "hi mommy" were a huge deal...for boys going on 3 years old. 

We've come so far. Isaiah is putting together small sentences- little 3-4 word phrases back to back. He's saying things like "going to catch a fish" and "running real fast". He is nonstop repeating every phrase out of my mouth. Julian is using phrases that pertain to how he feels, "tummy hurt" and "eating a banana". Although he doesn't have quite the vocabulary of his brother, what he does say is much more clear and deliberate. When we see friends and family that we haven't seen for awhile (even a couple of weeks) they can't believe how much more the boys can say. 

It's been an amazing year in regards to their speech growth. They're developing just like every other kid, just all of the developmental milestones regarding speech are happening later than most.  Every day I remember to tell myself that in time they'll be caught up. This little reminder though, is little solace when I'm hearing of all these conversations other moms are hearing or having with their kids the boys' age and younger. Full on, normal conversations. In the isles of Target, at the grocery store, online. It's all around me, and each time I hear it I want to just cover my ears and run away. 

With most aspects of life, I'm pretty good about not letting myself get caught up in comparisons. It truly does steal happiness. We can never be anyone else, everyone's story is different. That being said, there is one thing that just kills me a little every day. Hearing people talk about all the conversations they're having with their kids just shoots this huge arrow of sadness through my heart. I don't know if it stems from some deep, internal feeling of guilt or failure on my part. I know it's not all on my shoulders, but there's no way to take away that feeling. It's something I struggle with daily.

It's not like I feel like we're missing out, it just really really sucks we're not at that point. It sucks I can't hear of all the things they're imagining. It sucks that they are these boys who are big for their age, who understand mostly everything we say, but just can't communicate it all back to us. That's the only way I can think to put it- it just really sucks. 

We'll get there in our own time. I try to focus on the positives, and that the boys are happy and healthy. But I think it's just human of us to get sucked into the comparisons. The real lesson in strength however, is learning to rise above, to appreciate the good, to move forward, to count your blessings. 

And our blessings can be counted in spades.

a beautiful handmade baby quilt giveaway!

Last week I posted about a handmade baby quilt my friend Kristine from Josh & Paise (and me) are giving away. We originally started it as a raffle, and now want to open it up to a straight up giveaway. It's the holiday season-and the more the merrier. 

This quilt? It's so awesome.
I picked out all of my favorite fabric scraps from the Mama Mandolin blankets and then gave them to the quilting queen (seriously, she taught me how to quilt) to make it into something beautiful. Her work is quality. I'm sure you've seen photos of the boys' quilts from time to time, they were a gift from her on their first birthday. 

They've slept with the blankets every night for the past almost 3 years. They've been drug around outside, played on, traveled with, washed about 100 times. Still look beautiful. I can't say enough about the quilts, we absolutely love ours. 

Kristine also does beautiful free motion quilting on the top, giving it such a nice texture and design. I seriously don't know how she does it. I can barely quilt in straight lines. 
And now you have a chance to win one for yourself, or for someone you know. A baby quilt is probably one of the best gifts to give, it's an heirloom that can be passed down, they last forever, they're beautiful and if it's anything like in our house, they stand the test of time. 

The giveaway will end on Dec 14, 2013 at 12am and we'll announce a winner on Dec 15. 

Details on how to enter are below. 

Mike the Elf.

Everyone, meet Mike. Mike, meet everyone. He's our new Christmas friend, one to sit in random spots in our house if I feel like putting him somewhere to make a game out of it. You see, Mike is no ordinary Elf on the Shelf. No. Mike is better than that. 

I've always been a little bit fickle about the whole elf and the shelf deal. On one hand I think it's kind of a cute game to play with your kids just during the holiday season. On the other hand, I'm not really into the whole-telling your kid the doll is real and will snitch on you to Santa if you're bad. 

The boys decided his name is Mike because they're obsessed with Monsters lately and Mike is the coolest name ever. I'm not exactly sure what we'll do with him every year, but I'm determined to make up our own traditions with him, one that fits our family and isn't just something we're supposed to buy into because all the other families are doing it. Also? I don't have the time or energy to spend my days trying to figure out what silly thing he's going to do next. I wish I had that kind of motivation. But I don't. I just...can't. 

However, Mike does offer one question of eternal significance- if we don't post about our holiday traditions online- did they even happen? The holidays get crazy out of control via social media, via pinterest, and a lot of us moms feel this pressure to make the holidays spectacular when in reality they're already pretty spectacular in the small ways that we don't broadcast from the mountaintops. The holidays are special in that one movie you always watch with your Dad every year. In the hot cocoa you have every Friday night in front of the fireplace, in the Christmas music constantly at the top of your playlist. The holidays aren't made special by traditions we get out of a box. 

Right now Mike is just going to chill in our tree for a bit and he comes down to read books with us and yesterday when we watched Elf. He'll be a part of our tradition but you probably won't be hearing much about him. 

feeling thankful after thanksgiving

Well, it's officially the holiday season! I have to admit, I put the tree up before Thanksgiving. I just really love the ambiance of a Christmas tree in my living room. And if loving on Christmas a little early each year is wrong, I don't wanna be right. 

I hope you're all nice and bloated and tired after eating your weight in turkey. Isn't a fully belly the best feeling? I know some people might think it's horrible but I take it as something to be thankful for, as so many people in this world can't spend an entire day devoted to just eating a ton of food. We are truly lucky in the most basic aspects of life. 

While I don't have much to talk about today as I'm busy working on all of the orders I received over the weekend, I first and foremost wanted to just say thank you THANK YOU to all of you who have supported my handmade business in some way. Even reading this blog is in its own way supporting me. I truly can't express how much I appreciate it. 

On that note, I wanted to remind you that the 40% sale is still going on through tomorrow night. using the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS at check out. This applies to custom orders as well, so if there's anything you're wanting that you don't see, let me know. 
And one last thing- men's bow ties are officially in the shop. I have a special section, there are also a couple in the Holiday section. Essentially every bow tie now has 2 options; velcro or clip on. Clip on bow ties are good for all ages, although I'd probably use the velcro for most kids.