up up and away….

check out the new home for my blog


it’s gonna be good.


The January Post

Resolutions.  It usually takes me a month or so to make them, because I really don’t like making them when I am all pumped and fresh for change Jan. 1st.

It just seems too cliché.

Historically, when I make my resolutions this way, they tend to be more emotional than anything else and usually fade into the background by February.  For the last few years, I have taken the month of January to mull over some resolution ideas, and… if they continue to surface and seem attainable, then I decide to make said resolution(s) my goal/focus for the coming year.  I hardly even like calling them resolutions, again, it seems so cliché and like you are destined to fail.  I have come to think of them more as goals, or long-term foci  for the coming year, which are, in fact, resolutions, but I prefer to avoid the term for some reason.

SO…since I have yet to determine my focus for 2011, I will share my focus from 2010 as a year-in-review…a resolution recap.

My resolution for 2010 was a simple, single word…confidence.  At the time I made this resolution, I knew that in 2010, I would be turning 30 and giving birth to a little human being and living in a new city away from friends and family, so I figured, this year was as good as any to focus on the simple, single, often daunting, easier-said-than-done- word…confidence.

At first, I would joke around the house with the mister.  “Confidence is the new black,” I would say as I dressed my swollen body and avoided the mirror.  Confidence.  I would repeat like a mantra as I ventured out of my comfort-zone and waddled off to volunteer in our new community, jobless and waiting for this life to emerge from inside me.  Nothing in my life remained the same from the previous year.  I had nothing to hide behind and securely use to define myself.  My friends, my job, the familiarity of my surroundings, everything but my husband has changed.  And he, dealing with his own new job and new world, new decade of life, seemed to be encountering his own shift in identity.

When baby came, I found myself faced again with this word, not in the same light-hearted, wouldn’t-it-be fun-if-I-just-said-the-word-and-it-made-it-true sort of way, but I had to decide to put it on, like a new hat when your not-really-a-hat-person-but-you-want-to-give-it-a-try-but-you-feel-like-you-probably-look-really-silly-the-whole-time-you-are-wearing-it.  A life staring back at you, and everyone from your grandmother, to a lady on the bus, to the grocery store checkout clerk has an idea about what is the best for her, but you have to be the mom.  You have to do what YOU feel is best.  There is no place for insecurity here.

It will eat you alive.

So I stopped reading all the books and learned to accept the wisdom of mothers around me without feeling threatened.  And somehow it happened, over and over again, I watched myself, as if from the outside, get more and more comfortable in this new confidence hat, and before I knew it, I actually believed that I do know what is best (some of the time), I can make confident decisions (most of the time), and that a little grace goes along way (all of the time).

My year with confidence rolled on, and I have to say, whether it is my age, or my life circumstances or my resolution, I really feel like it became easier to be me this year.  I feel like for the first time, (and still not every time) I can make the choice to trust myself.  If I fail, I fail, but it doesn’t shatter me (most of the time), If I am wrong, I am wrong and I take it as a lesson, not a reminder of my own defeat (usually), and I don’t allow others perceptions to define me (regularly).

Some other big things happened in 2010 that I think, were made easier by my new relationship with confidence, (either that or they continued to teach me that confidence is not a dirty word, and it is available to me, should I choose to accept it)…

I started a business, we bought a house, the mister transferred jobs, we moved to yet another new city, …well sort of…my hometown, and we invited my mother to come live with us.  These events of 2010 will play out in the coming year and I am sure they will give me ample confidence practice.  2011 should be an interesting year.  If 2010 was the exciting-everything-is-changing part, than 2011 should be full of okay-now-we-deal-with-all-the-change-on-a-day-to-day-basis part.

In the time it took me to write this post, I did actually settle on a goal for 2011, and I am sharing it now because as I think about all the life changes, I am realizing that confidence, though it may be a great asset in makeing decisions, my real strength for the journey is not going to come from repeating confidence over and over.  My 2011 goal is to make time with Jesus my absolute priority each day.  That I ease off the to-do list, and deal with a less than clean/organized house (which takes confidence to not worry about appearances) and take the time in the morning  until I feel/see/know (depending on the day?!?!) God’s presence in each and every day.  I plan to deal with the distractions, but keep coming back until The Spirit, not the clock, says I am done.  I will let you know how this goes.  It’s a little daunting, but I don’t know a ton of people here, so I am not so busy, I don’t have to be anywhere most days, my husband doesn’t care what the house looks like when he gets home (can I get a woot-woot)…we shall see.

Happy 2011!


{Thanksgiving in Minnesota}

b and j on road tripBright and cheery after a night of driving.


Now officially our of the carrier seat, we decided to string up some toys in lieu of that handy handle.

saida and toys

saida toys








saida and miabella thanksgiving 2010The sweet cousins modeling their matching outfits.



We spent one afternoon trying out my in-laws new pasta attachments.



Saida fell in {love} with the little people barn








and I fell in {love} with this family heirloom

Look closely…

Next time you are wondering what to do with all your old baubles….



with nana and granny



slow down there champ!




Um…yeah, that’s a tiny tea set with a tiny fork.  Looking forward to many tea parties to come!


Thank you and Goodnight.

2 lists and a teeter-totter

I should be sleeping. but I can’t.  Overtired-maybe, having a hard time winding down-possibly, feeling like blogging-yup.  I have been missing my blog, and I haven’t been feeling very inspired to write.  It has been busy at home lately.  Some of the highlights include:

  • a 2,000 mile trip…by car with an 8-month-old… to MN and back where we had Thanksgiving, celebrated Christmas, and cut not one, not 2, not 3…but 4 teeth.
  • a pending move, closing on a new home, finding home-owners insurance, getting a mortgage.
  • a mom moving in with us.
  • a few holiday orders, a new consignment location for cards, a holiday craft sale, invitations and-oh-yeah, I have to finish our Christmas cards!
  • B preaching this Sunday, plus we (well he) have been teaching Sunday school.

I LOVE all these thing.  I am thrilled to be moving to Rochester, owning our first home, had a blast in Minnesota, so blessed to love my in-laws, love putting together my packages of cards or setting up displays at a new store and waiting to for the response.  I am really loving it all.

I do wish that I could master all these things without my focus being on my to-do list all the time.  This is, I guess the balance that we are constantly striving for.  I keep wondering, should I let go of the biz and just focus on my family right now, and I have promised myself that if Seven Layer Designs should ever become a monolopy in my life, that i will let it go, but for the time being, the conclusion I keep coming to and the encouragement I keep heaing from my husband and loved-ones, is that it really is good that I have something that helps me maintain me, something seperate from my home and my baby.

So- back to balance.  I have to believe that this is the life-long pursuit.  And I have to believe that being aware when things start to teeter too far in one direction, and then having the desire to lean in the other direction, has to be a good start.  So tomorrow, I will work on my cards when Saida sleeps and complete my goals for this weekend’s sale, but when she is awake, we will spend the day playing, we will go to the library, and, if it’s not too cold, we will go for a walk, and I will try, with all the strength I can muster to NOT think about my to do’s.  {total side note-I think about to do’s so much that I started calling them todo’s, pronounced like you are saying toto, the dog.  my todo’s.  I only say this to myself really cause I don’t think anyone else will get it.}

And as I typically do when I am busy, I start to think about all the things I want to do when things slow down… I will however try to incorporate balance in this list:

  • I need to actually write down my long term goals for Seven Layer Designs, more of why I am doing this than how much money I hope to make type of goals.
  • fusing fabric to paper.
  • trying to sew some basic templates- a simple doll maybe??
  • making fabric bags to use as packaging for sets of note cards.
  • VERY excited to enjoy my NetFlix gift once we are settled in the new house.
  • setting up my new craft space.
  • setting up my new house
  • my kitchen
  • more time out with B, thanks to my new live-in child-care.  you heard me.
  • more time with family without driving 2 hours each way
  • going to the movies.

I still don’t feel tired.  But I am going to try again.  nite!


been looking through old photos and remembering italy.

cinque terre

the roman forum

L.L.L.loving this designer

I stumbled upon this website not long ago, and I am in love with all the bright, graphic, travel inspired prints.  Check out JHill. SO very pretty.

O is for Ostrich.  Here is one of her animal alphabet prints.


If animal alphabets aren’t you thing…try a city print or…


a map print.


and of course, a calendar…



i got my haircut, it had been waaaayyyy too long since i had it cut.  he he he.  i didn’t have anywhere to go and show off my new cut, so here you go!