Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Knit Vest

In the beginning of December, my mom asked for a knit vest.  I mailed it to her last week.  Yep, it took me 3 months and the entire winter season to make it for her.  And it even knit up quickly.  Hopefully she'll get to enjoy it at least for a month or so as Colorado hangs onto winter.

 Oh, and did you notice the stripe in it?  Definitely not intentional but I got confused and ended up purling rather than knitting on the outside.
 I got this pattern specifically because it had reviews of knitting up really fast. It did..but I had to do it with 17 gauge needles...which slowed me down because they're so big and bulky.  I don't think I'll do that again.
 It's a  Ravelry pattern.  It's called the Super Bulky Outer Vest.
 ***And yes, I realize I haven't posted a More with Less Monday in a couple of weeks.  Don't worry, it'll be back eventually.  I guess I don't like to give myself more responsibility and obligation outside of what I already have!***

Friday, March 18, 2011

Soft Book

Baby girls are really easy to sew for.  Boys, on the other hand, can be more complicated.  (For me, at least!) 

So, here's what I came up with.  Thanks to Thimbly Things for the great idea and tutorial!

I used the legs of some old jeans that I had laying around for the book cover.  Baby Adams doesn't have a first name yet, so I went with the first initial of his last name instead.

This puppy is a very vague picture of their sweet dog, Lulu.  (See, it's a girl dog!)   And the house they wish they lived in!

And, I fortuitously found TONS of colored polar fleece for $1.99 that I had purchased the day before I decided on the project.  Perfect, eh?

I discovered Heat 'n Bond through this project.  It's my new favorite thing!!!

Here's to an easy delivery and a sweet baby boy Stacee and Normer! We love you guys!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

7 Months

Rory turned 7 months last week, and she put on a great face for the pictures, seeing as how she had a runny nose and a cough. (I know, big surprise, right?)  That aside, aren't her rolls irresistible?

She's forgotten how to roll over, but can hold herself up standing.  She also loves to talk.  A couple of weeks ago she entered into a separation anxiety phase.  She really doesn't like it when others hold her.  Sometimes she'll tolerate it, but usually cries until she's in her parents' arms again.  Honestly, though it can be inconvenient at times, it's also sweet so I don't mind it that much.  Fortunately, the women at her daycare are like family so she always grins and squeals when she sees them.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Project Restyle: Project 1

So, remember how I said I was going to participate in that great thing called Project Restyle where you restyle something different every week?  Yeah, this is my first one.

But, it's pretty cool.  I started out with a set of $1 thrifted napkins, added a little remnant fabric, and ended up with this:

Can you guess which skyline it is?

 Extra points to the first person who knows where the quote is from.  (It's one of my favs!)  And extra extra points to Jonathan for doing the hand sewing...as usual.
And, I bet you couldn't even tell the pillow isn't even sewn closed on the bottom.  It's amazing how long I'll procrastinate 30 second projects!

Monday, March 07, 2011

More With Less Monday: TV

Let's be honest, not much good comes from TV.  And yet...I'm totally addicted.  Anytime there's a TV around, I become a zombie and forget anything exists outside of TV.

And that my friends, is why we don't have a TV.

Nope.  Not even for movies.  We've been offered at least 3 or 4 by friends who have taken pity on us, but we turned them down.  We don't want a TV in our home.  Of course we still watch shows on Hulu (for free!), but we even try to limit that.

Here's how I see it:
At the end of every day, Jonathan and I say the best part of our day, the worst part of our day, and where we saw God.  The best part of my day has NEVER been a certain show I watched on TV.  And I usually regret those days I waste just catching up on my Hulu queue.

I thought TV was a good thing to address this week, because Jonathan and I have decided that we're going to give up TV shows altogether for the season of lent.   We've tried to restrict our viewing in different ways over the past couple of months, but can't seem to follow the guidelines we set up for ourselves.  So, we're giving it up cold turkey.  This doesn't mean forever, but for 40 days at least.

Everyone is different and has different limits of what they can watch, but I guess I'm just extra sensitive because there are so many shows on TV that I can't even handle watching (or shouldn't be watching) because they are so offensive to me.  They normalize and condone so many things that I fight to not have in my life.  Before I know it, I'm completely desensitized to things I feel so firmly against.  I'm not going to get into details because there are two sides to every story, but it's worth thinking about.

Are the shows you're watching building you up, tearing you down, or neutral?  What do you think about when you're finished watching your favorite shows?  How do you feel when they end?

I hope to live in a way that brings life and hope and freedom to everything I do.  Unfortunately (for my zombie tendencies), the TV shows I watch usually don't live into that dream.

Friday, March 04, 2011

When I Grow Up

It's funny how when you're a kid, you think grown ups are actually different than children.  You imagine there's no more fighting or silly disagreements, or (God forbid) fun.  But, it seems to me--at the OLD age of 28--that adults still often act like children.  But it's not for lack of maturity; it's because we're living out of our brokenness and wounds inflicted on us in our lives.  Can you blame someone who has had so many difficult things happen to them when they aren't as kind to you as you'd like?

Anyway, what I'm getting to is that there is a big lesson I have been learning over the past couple of years.  It's the lesson of the gentle and quiet spirit.  The passage from 1 Peter 3:3-4 has always been a difficult one for me to grasp.
Your adornment must not be merely external--braiding the hair , and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God."
(image source)
I'm pretty sure that no one I know would describe me as gentle and/or quiet.  So, for quite awhile, I thought I had two options:
1.  To deny who I am and force myself into the stereotypical woman I viewed as gentle and quiet...and be miserable along the way.
2.  To just ignore that verse and continue on with my loud opinions and controversial statements.

But, a little over a year ago, I realized there is a third option.  Awesome, right?  It came after I read yet another book about what a woman of God should be like and I completely melted down and cried to Jonathan that if this is who I was supposed to be, I was going to fail miserably.  Jonathan, in his amazing love and wisdom, hugged me and told me who he saw and wanted me to be.  He also reminded me of who God calls me to be and who God says I am.  As we talked about it and suddenly it hit me:
a gentle and quiet spirit is an internal state of being, not an external way of living life. 
And in a matter of seconds, a great peace and freedom washed over me.  I learned that the pursuit of a gentle and quiet spirit doesn't mean that I have to sit in the back corner quietly only using a really soft voice when I talk, wearing loose flowy clothing and having really long hair, cooking dinner every night--over an open flame in the back yard, knitting and sewing in all my free time (hold on a second...), and having and homeschooling lots of kids.   (Before anyone gets mad, I'm not against any of these things and I don't think any of them are wrong.  In fact, they're totally awesome.  They're just not all me.  Well, they're not me today, at least.)

To me, a gentle and quiet spirit means FREEDOM.  Freedom from having to be anyone other than who God says I am and freedom from having to justify or prove to others why what I do is okay.

This has come up a lot since motherhood. I've talked before about the pressures to conform to certain motherhood "standards".  (And sometimes the Christian culture is the worst at putting those pressures on others!)  I do conform to lots of those ideals, but I also don't follow all of them.  Some people are supportive of the ways we do life differently and others aren't.  That doesn't matter.  The cool thing about living with a gentle and quiet spirit is that God tells me who I am and I don't need to make sure other people understand or agree with that.  It's actually okay to disagree...and not even tell someone you disagree with them.  And it's actually really fun to love and celebrate differences in lifestyles rather than be all grouchy about how people don't do everything like I do.

I can be free and content and comfortable and gulit-free if I am constantly bringing things to the Lord and my husband.

I realize this is an active pursuit, especially recently.  There are a number of things that have come up in the past week or so that could cause me to become bitter towards a situation or other individuals.  But, in pursuing a quiet and gentle spirit, I'm seeking to be free to love and let the offenses go, remembering that it is the Lord I answer to and not the opinions of others.  And, if I do get offended about certain things, it probably means I'm insecure about things I shouldn't be insecure about anyway!

Now, I know this post can be construed as me deciding I can do whatever I want without wisdom and an I-hate-everyone-else mentality.  But, don't take it that way.  It comes out of trying to figure out how to deal with insecurity more than what's right and wrong.

So, to finish off this post, here is a diverse list of my (published) gentle and quiet spirit heroines and my favorite books by them:
Elisabeth Elliot- Let Me Be a Woman (and every other book she's written!)
Jan Meyers- The Allure of Hope (This book actually led to spend 1 1/2 years going by the name Eve)
Amy Carmichael- If
St. Therese of Lisieux- The Story of a Soul
Methchild of Magdeburg- Meditations
Sharon Hersh- Bravehearts
Hannah Hurnard- Hinds Feet in High Places
Eilzabeth Prentiss- Stepping Heavenward