Thursday, March 29, 2012
I've heard it before, but after almost five years I'm finally starting to own this little piece of wisdom. P-e-r-s-p-e-c-t-i-v-e.
It's what I held on to during my pregnancy with Stryder: mothering two small children, hot california summer, husband working 80 hours a week. It's hard now, but the years ahead will more than repay us for this struggle.
And it's how I dealt with morning sickness, that horrible devil: I'm sick for three months, but this person I'm growing might live to be seventy, eighty, ninety years old. What's three months compared with decades and a life lived? Nothing. It's nothing in comparison.
This boy you see pictured above who is starting to look so grown up--like an actual school boy--this boy used to give me so much trouble. When he was younger, just like any kid, he refused to obey, yelled "NO," even hit his momma in the face a few times. Potty training was (and still is) the. worst. thing. I've. ever. had. to. do. Emotionally draining, discouraging, and maddening.
Of course, he was always still the sunshine of my day. He's always been loving, sweet, fun. But there's no denying that at times, parenting him was hard.
Yet here we are and my oldest son, this beautiful bit of wayward humanity, has become something wonderful. After less than five years of work, I'm seeing it pay off.
We went out on a "date" the other day and I was struck by how easy he is to be around. So engaging, confident, polite and helpful. There is nothing "squashed" about his personality and yet he is obedient to me and kind to others. He's an amazing older brother, he really loves us and is interested in other people. I'm always receiving complements on him.
It's amazing to see his raw material shaped into something so special. It's powerful seeing how he learned so quickly. Don't get me wrong--God is the only one who can be attributed with the success here--but I take so much comfort in knowing that I was obedient to His voice, consistent in my parenting and my son has benefited from this.
What do we want, more than our children's good? Isn't this what we are working for? Isn't it reassuring, knowing that repetition, consistency, love and acceptance really do work? Isn't it a relief to know that your hard work will one day pay off?
I can't wait to enjoy the years ahead with my son. He is one of the most wonderful, beautiful, fascinating people I have ever met, along with my husband and our other two children. Truly, he is one of the greatest miracles of my life.
The night he was born, with fireworks outside our hospital window in Honolulu, I could not have fathomed the truth about parenting. Not just caring for a child, but shaping him, encouraging him, and helping him forward in life. It's the single most challenging--and rewarding--task of a person's life. And the hard work pays off.
So the next time Abby throws a fit and Stryder wakes me up three times in the night I will remember: even though it's hard now--perhaps, because it's hard now--there will be good later. I will hold this perspective and it will give me patience with my daughter. I will grant her the grace to learn bit by bit, I will love her now and look forward to who she will be later.
I will parent with perspective.
Thanks for reading, friends! How have you learned perspective through parenting? I'd love to hear your story! Let's encourage one another to keep moving forward with our children and not lose hope during those hard parenting days. They last for such a short time.
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
A couple of days ago I spent a day prancing around the LA Fabric district and the semi-anual Los Angeles International Textile Show. Whew, it was exhausting but such a fun day.
The Textile Show (convention) was held at the California Market Center, just blocks from the heart of the fabric district. So, naturally, I always plan my trips so I can hit both these magnificent locations on the same day. I'm really pretty lucky, because there were a slew of people checking in from places like Arizona and all I had to do was drive an hour down the freeway. One reason why living in Southern California is awesome. :)
I have some fun pics to show you from the Convention, but before I do, here's a tip on parking. If you ever visit the LA Textile Show you do not need to park in their underground parking garage. At the time of this post, the cost of parking in the underground garage was $15.00 for the day. They validate for free parking if you purchase something at the show, but since that wasn't the case for me this year I found a lot three blocks away and parked for $3.75. I was pretty proud of myself until I saw another lot for $3.00. But whatevs. I always park in the rooftop parking lot off on Wall and 9th street. It's safe, it's up high and it's a place I'm familiar with. None of that creepy parking-behind-buildings-with-scary-alleyways nonsense for me.
The Textile Show is a place where buyers convene to view and order fabric from various, innumerable, manufacturers. When I'm selling fabric, this is where I order it. Yesterday I attended the show as a blogger rather than a buyer. I wanted to see what new lines are coming up from my favorite designers and I wanted to tell you all about it. (By the way, the show is open to the public but it costs money unless you are a registered buyer, meaning you need to have a sellers permit.)
The layout of the California Market Center can be a little overwhelming the first time you enter. Although they provide a map of the vendors, I didn't find it very helpful and had to ask for directions a couple times. I stopped by the booths of a couple big-name fabric designers, like Robert Kaufman and Alexander Henry, but spent most of my time with Michael Miller. I'd like to order from them at some point so I took the time to become familiar with what they have coming up.
Their sales rep was very friendly and told me that PUL (a water-proof fabric for making raincoats, cloth diaper covers and wet bags, etc.) is very popular right now and they will be providing many more lines in the coming future. Laminates are also big right now. But my favorites are always just those soft, plain ole' cotton prints.
Here are some of my favs from the Michael Miller booth. (Sorry for the bad photos. I only had my iPhone with me and the lighting was bad).
|Madrona Road by Michael Miller|
Check out this VW bus print. It's so new, they didn't even have it with the fabric swatches on the wall; it's still just a color card.
I love it. "We Come in Peace." Those are aliens in the bus. Absolutely awesome.
After perusing the Michel Miller booth, to be honest, I just got bored with the textile show. It's not as fun looking at fabric when you're not going to buy any. :) So I headed back down the elevator and out the door to the crisp LA air and the fabric district.
I had a lunch of peanut butter and jelly looking at the Tiara Cafe (a "nourishment boutique," I'm not even kidding). I'm such a mom.
Then I shopped around and found these:
A rainbow of cottons to sew with. I'm seeing spring and summer dresses for Abby. Ooh, I can't wait!
All in all it was a great day. My brother met up with me (he's SO much fun) and I just enjoyed a day doing one of the things I love best. Fabric biz.
(In fact, my brother and I cooked up something special for you, but it's not ready yet. Let's just say it has something to do with LA and the fabric district. Can't wait to let you in on the secret. Tata for now!)
Monday, March 26, 2012
Happy Monday, everyone! Over the past two weeks my sewing posts have been a little scarce around here and that's because I haven't been creating much. Things are still packed in boxes and stuffed into my parents' library. I haven't set up a sewing station yet, but I will soon, I promise! In the meantime I did stencil some pants for Abby, and I've been going through a lot of pictures of past creations.
Which reminded me that I still have a few things to show you from my Made It For The Boy series.
Before Stryder was born I went into a nesting frenzy, and since there's only so many times you can wash and put away baby clothes, I kept sewing. And sewing and sewing and sewing. As you can see from the picture above, I had a LOT of fun sewing for The Boy (and this is only a small fraction of what I made). Some of my favorite things to make were these Basic Newborn Pants by Made by Rae.
These are the first pair of Basic Newborn Pants I made from Stryder and I still think they are my favorite. I just LOVE the fabric, an organic by Birch Fabrics. (The onesie pictured used to be a plain white onesie but I died it sunshine yellow using RIT dye and appliqued a rocket ship on the chest. I. adore. it.)
I added little cuffs out of another organic print by Birch fabrics (can you see them there at the bottom of the pant legs?). They add a nice little pop on these white pants.
These newborn pants come together so fast and use very little fabric. Which is one reason they are so satisfying! I can make two pairs in one hour. Maybe more if I had everything cut out and ready to go before I started.
Here's the only problem: they only fit Stryder for about one week! He was born at 7lbs 2.5 ounces (big for one of my babies!) but he grew fast. I should have increased the elastic length around the waste and they would have lasted longer. I think he wore each one of these outfits just once. Which makes me just a little bit sad.
I guess that's what pictures are for!
So, whereas this is a pattern I would DEFINITELY suggest, I would also suggest that you use them when the baby it literally new-born. If your sewing for a bigger baby (8lbs or more), I might suggest a different pattern. Rae has another pattern called the Big Butt Baby Pants (or BP3) which is excellent and has a lot more sizes. But this newborn pant is a great pattern to practice on. Definitely possible for a beginning sewer, and Rae's directions are clear and easy to follow.
Here are some more pictures for you:
And, can you believe it, this is the ONLY picture I have of Stryder wearing one of these newborn pants. I can't believe it! I must have been pretty out-of-it those first two weeks.
Isn't he a sweetie? He was just two weeks old in this picture and now he's 5 1/2 months old. I love those cheeks and I must go kiss them now.
Thank you for reading! I'm currently shopping in the LA FABRIC DISTRICT (eeee!!!) and I can't wait to tell you all about it. See you tomorrow, friends!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
"They were our garden and our home...and all that I have sown."
Bebo Norman, All That I Have Sown
- Feeling a little more settled
- Waking up to sunshine and the lake
- Running 3.5 miles again. Still starting up, but it's beginning to feel better.
- Grandparents who spend time with the kids when they wake up TOO early on a Saturday morning.
- An afternoon spent with Hudson. The bookstore, dinner, fountains, music, fun. He is so much fun to be around and he loved going on our "first date" as he called it.
- Lounging in my parent's hot tub
- Walks around the lake. The kids saying, "Quack, quack!" whenever they see birds of any kind.
- Picnics by the lake
- Abby climbing so high
- Waking up early to the smell of coffee
- A little baby face to snuggle
- Little hands around my finger
- Baby breath
- Looking into my girl's bright eyes
- Playing out on the back patio
- Running water, as much as I could ever need
- Learning to be REAListic about beauty
- God working; be a part of His work
- Half the Sky
- My beautiful little family; their love for me
- My love for them
Friday, March 23, 2012
This is not about running a 10K. This is not about getting skinny. This is not about any fitness goal that makes you want to walk away from the challenge right away.
This is about protecting ourselves from going too far in our search for approval. This is about portraying the beauty in our hearts and not just the beauty in our faces. Ultimately, it's a way of growing in wisdom.
"Beauty is fleeting." Perspective: If I spend all my time and all my mental energy grasping for a very narrow type of physical beauty, all that time and all those thoughts will one day be wasted. Age is a great equalizer. Time is merciless. It marches on and on, a respecter of no man or woman. We cannot hide from age. It's coming for us in the end and whatever way you spin it, with modern medicine improving in leaps and bounds we have an ever-increasing number of gray years ahead of us.
So what then? Are our lives over because we have wrinkles and our breasts sag? Or, are we more than the sum of our bodily parts? Is there more to a woman than how she looks?
Sure, you say. Of course there is! And yet--I am so guilty of this--we judge our own beauty harshly and without forgiveness. It's critical that we change this attitude, and not just for ourselves. For the young girls and boys growing up around us who will one day become the men and women of this world, it is critical that we model true beauty for them as they grow.
Now don't get me wrong, I love highlighted hair and Mac makeup as much as any other girl, and I'm not going to swear them off. What I AM going to do, however, is embrace the following basic restrictions and begin to pursue a more REAListic view of beauty. Here is my challenge (edited from the original version):
The REAListic Beauty and Fitness Challenge
- I will embrace a REAListic view of womanly beauty
- I will not speak negatively about my body
- I will not speak negatively about another woman's body
- I will restrict media containing unrealistic or unhealthy portrayals of the female body
- I will strive to be a good example of REAListic beauty (inside and out) to my daughter, sister, niece, granddaughter, friend, etc.
- I will commit to a REAListic fitness goal
- I will share my commitment with others and allow them to keep me accountable
- I will encourage my sisters in their fitness goals
- I will exercise for health and wellness
- I will eat a healthy amount of food (this is NOT about dieting)
If you join me you are NOT committing to walk or run a 10K. You are not committing to a diet plan. You are not committing to buy up the Nike store and run your butt off every morning. You are simply 1) committing to a goal, 2) refusing to think or speak negatively about your body, and 3) trying to be a good role model.
It's really pretty simple. And I think it's going to be pretty liberating!
But allow me a moment to be REAListic. I'm a mother of three, so you better believe it's difficult for me to get out there and run or walk. Sometimes it's chaos getting out the door, and sometimes it's pouring rain. If it weren't for my mom helping with the kids, I couldn't do what I'm doing now. So I totally understand the inconvenience. But I also believe that anything worth doing is usually difficult. We can't let that stop us.
After that dose of REALism, if you'd like to join me in the REAListic Beauty and Fitness Challenge, leave a comment below. I'd love to have friends with me on this journey! Thanks for reading, friends!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I'm over at Sacred Mundane today friends. Would you join me? Read the intro here and the rest of the post after the jump. Thanks for reading!
I am often asked a very simple question, for which I don't have much of an answer. It always comes at the point in the conversation when my conversant realizes that I am a stay at home mom who's husband just finished two years of full-time nursing school. There is usually a pause where I can see her (whoever she is) putting two and two together: the cost of living, cost of food, days allotted to my husband for work (only two per week). Eventually the question comes out, cautiously, as if she doesn't want to offend:
"How on earth were you able to stay home through all of that?"
There's usually a beat and then I smile. Say, "Honestly I don't really know."
But that's a lie, because I do.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
For me, running is a little bit like finding myself again. It's my time to think, my time alone, and let's all be honest here. It's my way back into a size small.
In the past I've always been an all-or-nothing girl. It's hard for me to find balance in these things. I either eat well and exercise or I do neither and feel gross all the time. But I'm 30 now (getting closer to 31) and I think it's time to mature a little bit and find some balance.
Know what I mean?
So here is what I propose to myself. I have three children and so I will be realistic. I believe fitness is extremely important so I will be committed. I will work to feel comfortable in my own skin and I will be healthy for my children (and someday, grandchildren). I will not allow myself to talk negatively about my own body. I will embrace a healthy view of womanly beauty and model it for my own daughter. I will not compare myself with others. I will be well-rounded, not focusing only on outward beauty. As I grow older I will not try to change my physical self in foundational ways, but will receive the years with grace.
I will exercise and I will eat with wisdom but I will not let these things define me. They will be a part of me; they will help me to reach some of my goals in life. But they are not me.
I don't know about you, but I needed to read those words today. To remember, as I set out on this venture for fitness that a woman is more than her visible parts. My daughter must know this as she grows into a woman, and I am her closest example.
Would you join me? If you're reaching for fitness, would you consider committing--with me--to the following guidelines? As women, we understand each other's struggles. Together, maybe we can remind one another of what is really important while getting some cardio.
The REAListic Beauty and Fitness Challenge
- I will commit to a realistic fitness goal
- I will share my commitment with others and allow them to keep me accountable
- I will encourage my sisters in their fitness goals
- I will embrace a realistic view of womanly beauty
- I will exercise for health and wellness
- I will eat a healthy amount of food (this isn't about dieting)
- I will not speak negatively about my body
- I will not speak negatively about another woman's body
- I will restrict media containing unrealistic and/or unhealthy portrayals of the female body
- I will strive to be a good example of REAListic beauty (inside and out) to my daughter/sister/niece/granddaughter/friend/etc.
How about you?
Some friends have expressed a willingness to run this 10K with me. Would you like to join us? The 10K distance is 6.2 miles and many training schedules require eight weeks. Before committing to a training schedule you should be able to run at least 2 miles.
There are many run/walk training schedules available, and if you're a walker, consider training to walk the distance. Exercise has been shown to ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhance brain function, so as long as we maintain a healthy view of exercise it's a win/win.
Time for a disclaimer: if you have health problems or difficulties with your knees, back, feet, ankles, etc. you really shouldn't be running. Consult a health care professional about your options for exercise. You can always swim! 6.2 miles is an extreme distance for swimmers, but I'm sure there's something comparable out there. :)
But remember, this isn't just about exercise. It's about getting back to a REAListic view of beauty. It's about protecting ourselves from going too far in our search for approval. It's about portraying the beauty in our hearts and not just the beauty in our faces. Ultimately, it's a way of growing in wisdom.
I'll leave you with these words from poet Henry David Thoreau: "The perception of beauty is a moral test." Let's pass the test.
Thank you for reading! If you're interesting in joining the REAListic Beauty and Fitness Challenge, let me know in the comments below, or email me at email@example.com. Consider asking your friends, sisters, co-workers, etc. to join you, too. We don't have to do this alone!
Monday, March 19, 2012
So, I opted for something much simpler, but (almost) equally satisfying. I pulled out a pair of gray sweat pants I recently made for Abby and decided to give them a makeover. They're a test pair for a new pants pattern I've been working on, and though I think they're adorable and fit great, they are still just gray. There's nothing wrong with making something utilitarian, but in my opinion, why not have cute sweat pants?
When I make something I like to step back from it and say, "Wow, that's amazing!" Not, "At least she'll be warm."
I pulled out the gray sweats and my fabric paints and got to work. This was my process:
Materials I used
- Fabric Paint, matte finish (metallic paint for contrast is optional). I used Tulip brand, purchased and JoAnne's using a coupon.
- Stencil (I used one from the book Stencil Me In, one of my favorite crafting purchases)
- Sponge (I found this torn-up piece of sponge in the bottom of my kid's craft box...yeah)
- Gray sweats (size 24mo) of my own making and pattern
- Piece of cardboard or something similar that fits inside the leg (this is to protect against fabric paint that might leak through the fabric. I used a thick paper plate cut to size.)
PREPARE YOUR MATERIALS
For this project I used Petal Pink (matte finish) and Metallic Gold fabric paints.
Choose a stencil.
Insert your cardboard piece into the pants leg. This will prevent the paint from seeping through onto the back of the leg.
Before you apply paint to your stencil, dip your sponge in the paint and then dab it a few times on your plate. This removes excess paint that could seep under your stencil and ruin the image. You only need a little paint on your sponge to get started.
Place your stencil on your clothing item. I chose to print only part of the image on Abby's sweats, so I let one side hang of the pants leg.
However, I wanted the paint to end exactly at the seam line without going over onto the back of the leg. So I added a line of tape along the line of the seam. I also taped the top and bottom to keep the stencil stable while I painted. (I'm sure there are better tapes for this kind of thing, but I just used Scotch tape. It's what we had in the drawer).
Begin dabbing the paint on your stencil with the sponge. As you're working, use your fingers to keep each section stable against the fabric. Dab quickly and remember not to apply too much paint at one time or it might seep under the stencil. You can always add another layer of paint after the first layer dries.
Cover the entire stencil, checking to make sure all the sections have an equal amount of paint.
Next, add some dabs of another color (I used Metallic Gold) to add some interest. I thought pink and gold was a fun combination. It seems like most of Abby's clothing features pink and/or orange right now, so I picked colors she could wear with a majority of her t-shirts.
When you finish this step you can either let the paint dry for an hour and then add another coat, or remove the stencil. The best way to remove your stencil without smearing your image is to carefully remove the tape and then quickly (but carefully) pull the stencil up and off. Remove the stencil before the paint has dried (if you added two layers, remove it before the second layer dries).
This is how Abby's sweat pants looked after the stencil was off:
Here's a close-up for you:
THE VITAL LAST STEP
Before washing or wearing your item, make sure to heat-set the fabric paint. Simply throw a thin washcloth (or a press cloth if you're really professional and own one of those) over your painted image, set the iron to medium and press for 15 seconds. Do not move the iron around, simply press it on top of the cloth.
Now you're done! This method can be used for t-shirts, pants, baby onsies, anything you like! For ideas, take a look at these other items I've made using fabric paint.
And here is little Abby wearing her pants. She loves them!
Nothing like a trip to the park to really test out a new pair of pants. I'd say they pass!
In case you're wondering, yes, you can machine wash and dry items with fabric paint. Just turn your clothing item inside out and wash and dry it with your other items. These pants have already been washed and dried twice, and they only show a few little crack lines where the paint was thickest.
If you try a project with fabric paint, I would love to see the results! Leave your flicker or blog link in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!
Saturday, March 17, 2012
Happy Saturday, friends! Just want to let you all know that we are still organizing things here at my parent's house. My computer isn't set up yet, but I snag moments on Brian's laptop when I can. Hopefully we'll have my computer up and running this weekend so I can get back into the swing of things. Thanks for stopping by!
- Apartment cleaned, shiny surfaces, keys turned in. Goodbye Mission Grove Park Apartments.
- A job well done
- Rest after hard work
- My parent's house on the lake
- Parent's so generous with their time
- Life a whirlwind
- Kids so happy
- Someone to help with dinners and dishes! (Brian's very helpful, but he can't do the dinner dishes when he's at work. *smile*)
- Huge washer and dryer
- Kids entertained--so many new things explore and experience
- Walks around the lake under the sunshine
- Abby running up to the ducks, saying "Quack, quack!"
- Abby running away from the ducks, yelling, "Scary, scary!" (They are huge--the size of her.)
- Hudson's Space Book
- Hours and hours of reading the space book
- The solar system song
- Doing "school" on the kitchen table. (I'm not home-schooling, but since we moved Hudson is out of preschool early. I'm carrying it on at home until he starts Kindergarten in the fall. So, wait? Maybe it is home-preschool?? Ha.)
- Abby drawing, so carefully
- New running clothes!
- Running again. The burn, the air in my lungs, the time to think. Loving every moment, even when it hurts.
- Friends. So thankful.
- Girls who inspire me
- Baby Liana! (Congratulations, Erin and Bruce!)
- New life. I tear up every time.
- Rain on windows. We need it so badly here in the I.E.
- Kids up early (not something to be thankful for in and of itself, but I'm thankful for the pancake breakfast we had!)
- Hudson's words earlier this week, "Mom, were you born out of Granma's tummy?"
- And again, "When I was in your tummy, could I see your bones?"
- Life, and another day to live. Thank you.
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
|Hudson's handprint in salt dough (18mo)|
I am waging an all-out war against clutter.
Clutter is in for it. Clutter better run for it's life. 'Cause I'm coming after it and I will show. no. mercy.
I just spent days sorting through papers, hauling boxes and trashing things we've held on to for years and I am going to try and tell you how good it feels to be free:
It feels wonderful. It feels light and fluffy. It feels like a whole new start. (Yay!)
This move took a lot longer than any of our other moves and it was because this time we decided to downsize. We chose to do most of the work on the front end (while moving out of our apartment) rather than being stuck with it on the back end (moving into a new house). The day I finally move things into a beautiful, new home I do not want to find it immediately filled with junk.
We packed up about half our things two weeks ago and in the time since, I've learned how much easier it is to cook, clean and live with less stuff. It's amazing! The kids are happier, I'm able to keep our home cleaner and even dinner seems to come together more quickly. My stress level is down and I find myself wondering, if life is so good without all that stuff, why do we keep it?
So we decided to wage war against the items in our home that we don't need but have been keeping anyway. For our guide we chose Tsh Oxenreider's book, Organized Simplicity: A Clutter Free Approach to Intentional Living. Have you read it? It's a helpful, engaging book that I'd suggest to anybody (and do, frequently!). Her tips for de-cluttering your home boil down to three easy(ish) steps. I"m listing these off the top of my head.
Approach each room one at a time and:
- First, toss all the visible trash
- Get rid of obvious things you know you don't want
- Evaluate all of your belongings. Keep only those items which add value to your life right now.
The key to step three is deciding whether or not an item adds value to your life right now. Not, will it add value to your life in the future, or did it add value to your life in the past. But right now, today, does it add value to your life and home?
|From my Monday Night Bible Study friends in Hawaii. Love you girls!|
- Does the item still offer value to your life?
- Is there room for it in your home?
- Do you know it to be useful, or believe it to be beautiful? (William Morris, Interior Design)
- Are you keeping it to make someone else happy?
- Does it detract from the peace of your home?
- If the item holds emotional value, can you find a way to hold onto the memory without it?
"If you want to have a home that is easy to clean, easy to find things in, and easy to enjoy, then it will take work." Tsh Oxenreider
I wish I had gone through these steps more often while we lived in our apartment. But to be honest, I don't like doing it because a) it's not fun, and b) it's hard work. Who wants to sit there and go through drawers for two hours when you could be outside playing with the kids?
The lesson I learned from this move is that being free of clutter feels so good. It makes life easier, and is therefore worth the time spent. I like this one from Tsh:
"Can you imagine what it would be like not to have to spend hours a day folding clothes, picking up toys, and running errands? It just might be possible to enjoy moments watching your kiddos run through the sprinkler in the backyard... When your home runs efficiently and when it's free of all but the essentials, you are more free to enjoy life."
Um, yes, please! I'll happily do the work that needs to be done, but I'd rather not do more than is necessary! :)
So, I know what you're thinking. What about fabric? Let me tell you where I've landed on this issue. I absolutely love to sew (duh, you know that already *smile*) and I do actually use my fabric collection. So for me, is there any such thing as too much fabric? I say yes, but only:
- If I'm storing a bunch of fabric just because it's fabric, not because it inspires me
- If it's taking up too much space
- If it's clogging up my creative genius
Sometimes I don't know what to sew because there is literally too much fabric staring me in the face. I can't find the things I need because I don't have enough space to display the things I have. I recently remedied this problem by giving away some of my fabric to friends I know will use and love it. That's the best way to downsize! Spread the love a little bit. :) And I've found that the best way to fight greed in my heart is to give something away.
And lastly, I'd like to share that yes, sometimes it was hard to part with items that had an emotional connection. Like these handprints I made with Hudson when we lived in Hawaii. They remind me of the day our group of friends got together at JoAnne's house to make salt-dough ornaments with the kids. It was the last play date we had together before we moved off the island. The ornaments have been in a box for three years since we moved and I've never even looked at them. Are they sentimental? Yes. Do they remind me of Hudson's sweet little self when he was one year old? Yes. Do they remind me of JoAnne's kitchen and all those girls I love? Yes.
But guess what? I remember those things anyway. I remembered them before I opened the box of salt-dough ornaments. I have the pictures on my computer, I twitter with JoAnne. I think about Hawaii every single day. I don't need those ornaments to remind me of the love we felt there, or of Hudson as a baby. I carry the memories in my heart everywhere I go.
And there you have it: my all-out war against clutter. I'll try and remember this experience each and every time I bring something into our home. Does it add value to our lives? Or does it bring stress into our home?
If you're looking for more tips on how to organize your life or keep your home clutter-free, read Tsh's book Organized Simplicity. She also wrote a great book with 52 Tips for Making Life Simpler called One Bite at a Time. She blogs at SimpleMom.
Thanks for reading!