pvc invention

of the best purchases one can make at lowes, our recent one is not only the most useful, but is perhaps the least expensive purchase anyone has ever made at a home improvement store. since we no longer have our own home to improve (thus living with our inlaws until such a time presents itself so that we may again, home improve) we revisited our old stomping grounds and made a purchase that has since changed the play world as we know it.

it was simple enough. my brain actually remembered it at the very moment we were driving by. miraculous, really. since my husband is well versed in the isles, we did some window shopping while clint decided on the necessary materials.

i am freakishly talented in two ways. i can run unusually fast (or at least i could at one point in my life) and i have exceptional skills of price estimation. seriously...get me on the price is right. it's scary.
i was able to demonstrate my skills with an estimation of $15 for the total purchase price. that look on clint's face?? disbelief, i tell you. disbelief.

we arrived home. i'm not sure why i didn't realize the disbelief of my own that was to come. i am, after all, married to an extremely talented carpenter/builder who proceeded to stun all of us with the intricate designs he could maneuver with only a few pvc pipes.


lawn mowers

hockey goals


in fact, most mornings, the boys awake to a new creation that mr. clinto crafts them before they awake. today it was a fort. yes, a fort big enough for 2 boys and half a mom.
seriously. the coolest dad ever.

i'm really talented at making hockey sticks, golf clubs, fishing poles and swords. somehow they all end up looking exactly the same :)
by far our new favorite toy. thanks lowes. for once i left with full pockets and a full cart :)

(i got this idea from this friend who got the idea from this friend. gotta love friends. they have the best ideas :)


the best kind of camera you can have...

is the one you have with you.
brilliant advice from a brilliant friend.
i'm taking it to heart.
i often cringe as beautiful moments occur and i don't have my favorite camera in hand. but in all the recent craziness, my favorite camera has taken an unfortunate vacation. or at least my time to download my daily photos has been so limited that i can't even remember the last time i perused them. sad, very sad.
so i've taken to the camera phone. fast. easy. accessible. slow shutter speed and a little unflattering, but hey...better than nothing, right?

recently, i've found myself in survival mode. here i sit, 1:58am, with another hour of order packaging ahead of me. 18 orders finished in a weekend. a world record. but i have 7 blog posts that i can't get out of my head. they're going to have to sit tight up there (if i can miraculously hold on to them a bit longer) because the blog world has taken a back burner.

survival mode. it kicks in when the orders kick up. i may complain about the exhaustion. and by complain i mean super annoying complaining. i get whinier the less i sleep, much to my husbands' chagrin. i whine to him about how i never have enough time to sew. how there are always orders looming. how i'm not sure if i can make it another day.
but when i sit in my little, cramped, barely-enough-room-for-one-person-let-alone-1000-yards-of-fabric, i remember something. oh yea. i love this. i love that it's for her. i love it.
no, wait. i don't love the exhaustion. it's becoming akin to a newborn. and we all know that kind of exhaustion isn't anything you want to impose upon yourself for no good reason.

and then i get to thinking. this is what happens late at night :) i start thinking. scary, really. i might re-read this post tomorrow and think it's all crazy talk.

i've been thankful that at least i have something i can do for her. after all, i don't get to be the one who rocks her to sleep when she's a newborn. i don't get to do the late night feedings. i don't get to be the one who looses sleep. so this is my newborn stage for her.

it is only by some superhuman dose of nightly adrenaline that i am able to work into the night...and then all at once in the middle of the night, it leaves.
i have literally fallen asleep at my sewing machine. or i find myself sitting there in a daze, staring at fabric.
so i walk right into bed.
horrifically enough, most nights with my clothes on.
i instantly fall asleep.
i awake to kids poking me with smiles.
hopefully, i put fresh clothes on, and start the day.
drink coffee. more than humanly possible.
i forget about sewing.
we live our day. laugh. wrestle. build stuff. eat snacks. visit friends. tackle everyday stuff. it's like a i'm normal.

and then the evening comes.
if i told you how many hours i've been working, you'd think i'm crazy. and i just might be.
but, i can't stop thinking about her. writing about her. thinking about her more.
like that movie the 3 amigos, which my husband loves so much and often quotes and then giggles to himself :)
i might not be able to hop a flight and rock her to sleep tonight, but "i can sew"
it's not much of anything. but at least it's something.
honestly, i long for her to be here for many reasons. selfishly so i can close down etsy, and open up my nights to do things like laundry and meal planning and lesson planning and cleaning and gardening and time with my husband, oh and sleeping.
but if she can't be with me, then i'm going to sew. sew like the wind, i tell you.
and i love every minuet of it.
oh and i'm going to stop whining so much. this will by my last "i'm tired" post. i'm starting to annoy myself :)

and on a non-sewing note...

clint's brother is getting married in 2 weeks...and he's marrying quite possibly the most wonderful person ever...it's going to be such a fun night! i can't wait!
speaking of the most wonderful people ever...my sister in love is lending me a most awesome vintage ensemble for the wedding. actually, she spread out 8 amazing choices, each with a matching pair of stunning heels...like my own personal stylist. seriously, her closet is amazing. i love her style so much. ok, i love everything about her :) and if i can slim it down a bit i might rock a black and blue number...that is, if i can summon my youth and coolness to pull it off :)
the camera phone doesn't do it justice at all...it's so cool and chic.

now to loose a few lbs before the big day. somehow my mid-section seems to have enlarged. could it be the 5 lb bags of peanut butter m&m's?? no way...those don't have any calories...they're much to small for that :)

and saturday we went and got clint fitted for his suit...and the boys had quite a fun time in the 5way mirrors. i'm quite sure the sales associate was glad to get us up and out. maybe that's why they were so prompt with the measurements for the alterations? :)

so handsome :)


man brain

men have the ability to only think about one thing at a time. i've realized recently it's not as much of a disadvantage as we women folk often conclude. i've realized it might just be a gift. a beautiful, one-thought-process, focus-producing gift. take for example this morning. as i ran from room to room, packing lunches, forgetting where i left my clothes, wrangling children, making breakfast, mumbling this and hoisting that, i came to the conclusion that can't even grasp a single thought long enough to remember what in the world i am supposed to be concentrating on. i end up doing 20 things at once and i'm sure i look like whirlwinding gumby to anyone lucky enough to witness my gallivanting throughout the house. it never fails that i can't find my keys and i leave my coffee sitting on the counter and have to run back upstairs to get it.
more often than not, i end up walking out of the house without the one thing i was supposed to remember. this morning it was a priority mail box that had to ship today. i got all the way IN the post office and realized i didn't have it. super. looks like another trip to the post office is in my future for this afternoon.

i can only seem to escape my thoughts on purpose. the brain chatter get so loud at times that i have to force myself to fake man brain and focus.

today, i turned off my thoughts, took a detour from our errands and pulled over at the first park we passed. i sat in the grass. we found a secret beach oasis. i breathed. climbed the jungle gym spider web. ate peanut butter pretzels and rode bikes. somehow, among the chatter, i relaxed. finally.


a great day

such a day full of blessings!! i've got an etsy full of orders...a dossier that is ready to send to china (and is close to finally being pushed into action from the proceeds of this surge of orders...oh yea, baby...that's what i'm talking about :) and so much encouragement and love from so many people that i don't even know. i love that about the blog world. it doesn't feel far away. people of all walks of life join up. encourage. inspire.

thank you to so many people who made today fantastic. people i would love to run over and hug if only i could meet them in person. facebook postings, etsy messagers, blog writers, friends, new friends, soon to be friends. i just can't get over it. what a day.

someday i'll be able to post about her. my Emery Lin. when she will finally be ours. my daughter. the little girl who doesn't know any of this is going on a world away. who doesn't yet know how i adore her. dream of her. speak of her daily. cover her little life in prayer.
you are a part of her story. she will know of the amazing people who paved a way for our family to be complete. when she plays with her brothers in the yard and they giggle and race and talk and dream...i will cherish all we have been through. and finally be able to breathe knowing all of my children, wheather born of my body, or another's, are safe and loved and rejoyced over. oh the day. the great great day.  i can hardly wait!

today i had a moment. it was awesome.

i keep finding moments. the kind of moments that make an exhausted day lighten just enough to bring a smile. a smile brings a little stress relief. stress relief leads to lighten anxiety. which then, in turn, makes the little things seem so much more important and the big things less intimidating.

yesterday my moment was with a friend. we sat and chatted during the kids homeschool co-op. we found ourselves in similar life expiriences of figuring out ways to  keep pushing past overwhelmed to get to the next step. just being together and knowing we weren't alone in overwhelmed-ville. it was comforting.  i often live in the town of overwhelmed because as much as i hate it, i often thrive there.

these moments.
moments that remind me to take a step back. to literally take note of blessings and the amazing people that surround us who really, genuinely care. the ones that bring you your favorite iced coffee when you meet for a play date. the ones that listen when you've had a long week. the ones that text for a last minute playdate. call for no reason. email a fantastic blog they know you would love. facebook a message of encouragement.  it's the personal touch of someone reaching out and reaching into your moment of overwhelmed.
i'm here. you aren't alone.

i woke up feeling exhausted. you know, for-real-exhausted. pushed past tiered like a month ago, exhausted. way over drowsy. literally, i have been up into the wee hours of-oh-around-3am for over two weeks now. my inspiration arrives late...late at night that is. i can't help it. maybe it's nocturnal :)
then a moment arrived.
one of my time favorite blogs was kind enough to featured a few of my bags and headbands! i am so excited i could do a little dance all the way across the yard.  and i just might :)

wham.  a moment...a large moment of wake up - overwhelmed? it's ok...you are not alone!

ashley (who writes this oh-so-top-5-favorite-blog) has got to be one of the sweetest people ever. seriously...can i be her neighbor? she has an essence. a fantastic real kindness that permeates.

if you don't already read her blog....start now.
fantastic. talented. down to earth. creative. loves all things old and turns them new. loves her kids. takes pride in the littleness of life. the things that are the essence of who we are as women and mothers.

you will walk away inspired. i do every time :)

ashley...thank you for letting me be a small part of your awesomeness. you rock :)


man day

my 3 amigos spent the day in man-ville.
they built stuff with wood and nail guns.

they played rough and laughed hard.

they ate daddy's famous grilled turkey ham and cheese for lunch.
it was the perfect man day.

the kind of day every little boy dreams of having with his dad.

a 3 amigos day :)


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