Thursday, March 29, 2012

It hurts so good ( part 2)

If you would like to read part 1, go HERE

Crockett’s birth was a scheduled induction, two weeks early. Knowing that my first two children were quite large, my doctor was a bit concerned that this, my third boy, was measuring quite small. The placenta was showing signs of calcification, which he explained simply meant, it was just about all used up. I don’t know why these facts didn’t alarm us at the time, perhaps because we were still in the frame of mind that nothing bad really ever happened to us. It could have been, that at that stage of pregnancy, all I heard was that I was going to be relieved of my discomfort sooner than expected.

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The birth was progressing, and I don’t remember being in a whole lot of pain when the anesthesiologist came to give me my epidural. I was still a complacent patient at that point in my journey, and I just did what they told me, when they told me to do it. I have since learned with Crockett’s help, that I can have a say in my own care, or lack there of.

My experience with the epidural up to this point, was two fold. With my first baby the epidural layer was penetrated, which meant my labor was followed with a very bad, week long, headache. It also was all but ineffective, and when forceps were used to extract my 9lb, 10 oz. son, I assure you I felt everything! All was forgiven when son number one was in my arms.
With my second baby, everything worked like clockwork. I was basically paralyzed from the waist down, and had no idea I was even ready to deliver, when they told me it was time to push. The old adage no pain no gain did not hold true, and I was soon handed my beautiful strapping son number two, lipstick still intact.

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Because of my conflicting experiences, I had conflicted feelings when birth story number three commenced, but they didn’t ask, so the epidural march began. As I felt the needle go in my back I prayed “Lord please don’t let them penetrate the wall, and spare me from that headache”. A sudden searing pain shot through my entire body like a bolt of lightening, from the point of entry down through my right leg. I was blinded by what was happening, and as if I was experiencing it from some other viewpoint, and in slow motion, I heard myself scream uncontrollably, long, and unlike ever before. Something horrible had happened, it was what I would imagine it feels like to be electrocuted, and I thought I was a gonner. I don’t remember all that transpired after that. I do remember that at some point during giving birth I felt my chest tighten, and my lungs struggling to inflate properly. They first administered something in my IV for high blood pressure, and then something else to bring it down again, or perhaps it was the other way around. Things went from bad to worse when they lowered the back of the bed so that my feet were higher than my head. “To control my blood pressure” they explained. Behind an oxygen mask I remember looking at Michael and wondering if I needed to say good-bye, I was very afraid. As labor progressed that anesthetist went off duty, and another came on. I remember distinctly that the new “expert” was very frustrated by all the surgical tape his colleague had left on my back, and complained to the nurse standing by my side. In the end I was handed my third son, and as any post natal mother knows, when that fuzzy bundle of love is in your arms, nothing you went through to get them there, really matters!

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Soon after giving birth however, I realized all was not okay with me. There was a patch of flesh on the outside of my right knee about six inches in diameter that was super sensitive. By sensitive, I don’t mean it was sore, or even achy, It literally felt like it was raw, and nerves were exposed. Visually there was nothing there out of the ordinary, the skin was not red or discolored in any way. Every one’s first response was to touch the patch, Michael, nurses, doctors, but I would panic as they came close. I could literally feel the presence of anything even remotely close to that area of my leg. I couldn’t let the bed sheets touch it, or my nightgown, and just the thought of a shower was horrifying. It was very odd, and very frightening.

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The medical staff didn’t seem to believe me, as they tried to explain it away with something about the stirrups irritating it during delivery. That was of course an absurd notion. They even sent in a psychiatrist to try to talk me out of my discomfort, and several other physicians as well. The first anesthesiologist came to visit, and assured me that it couldn’t have been anything to do with the epidural. I was young, and naive, but I hadn’t just fallen off the turnip truck. It was clear to me that no one wanted to accept responsibility for my problem, and everyone wanted to avoid being sued. Not only would they offer no explanation for my pain, they really never acknowledged that it was real. By the third day my pain had subsided enough to shower and dress, but it was still ultra sensitive. Gradually, over time, the pain became more tolerable, and today, more than sixteen years later, I feel it only occasionally.

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We went through a lot with that third precious baby boy, and he taught us all far more than I could ever begin to express in this space. Some, is still yet to be taught, and likewise learned. Twelve and half years after this birth story we had to say good-bye, and he was able to say “hello” for the very first time, in heaven. So now today, almost 4 years after that bittersweet farewell, I am reminded of his arrival every so often when my jeans hit my right leg just right, or my husband leans to pat my knee, or the cat playfully rubs against my calf asking to be let out, or I have had a more stressful day then usual. My sweet Savior has given me good pain once more, and I remember my Crockett man, and oh how it hurts so good.


It hurts so good (part one)


My neck has been giving me a lot of trouble lately, not sure why. Recently I woke up to shooting pain in my right shoulder, and I literally could not lift my right arm. As you can imagine, this was disturbing, on a number of levels. My shoulder pain was connected to my neck pain, and I was forced by my inability to function, to take action. A friend recommended her brother, a local massage therapist. I have never had a professional massage, and frankly I wasn’t looking forward to it. Let me tell you something, that massage hurt so good!

The concept of “good” pain has been on my mind for the few days since that experience. The Lord has brought to mind many instances where pain  has been for my own good. Times when He has grown me up, and challenged me, have sometimes caused me “good” pain. Usually that pain has been emotional. Pain that at the time, I would have chosen to avoid, but that in time, hurt so good.

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The 4th anniversary of Crockett’s death is soon approaching, and as has been my practice for the last three years, I continue to repeat the mantra in my mind, that it is only a date. It is only a date, a random number of the calendar year that brings back memories of deep loss, and sweet surrender. It is the marking of one sweet 12 year old's full healing, and the end of his pain forevermore. It was the beginning of my pain in longing to hold him, just one more time.

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The initial gut wrenching pain, that caused me to wander the rooms of our home, wondering what to do with myself, is now gone. I no longer remind myself every four hours that it is time to feed him, only to see his empty wheelchair. The boxes of vanilla Pediasure on the front porch are gone, and we live far from the last home that held his memory. I seldom hear his sounds anymore only to realize it was only the wind, or my mind playing tricks on me. My tears no longer set up residence just behind my eyelids, ready to pop at a moments notice. I boldly number my children now without hesitation when asked, and only half the time feel that familiar catch in my throat as I explain just where my third son is. His clothes are packed away. His crib collects dust in the garage. His favorite blanket waits, sealed tight in a box at the top of Michael's closet, because some precious commodities just can’t find new homes. His memory is alive and well, but the pain of our loss is not a raw wound any more. We have created a sort of scab of protection and healing, that will one day be peeled away to reveal fresh new soft skin that will last throughout eternity.

I still have pain though, a frequent reminder of Crockett's birth, and it hurts so good.

to be continued…..




Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tag, I'm it!

Jamie from Three Scoops of Love, recently tagged me to play the blogging question game. So here goes, my answers to her 11 questions.

1. What is your all time favorite meal?


Any meal that someone else cooked! I don't mind cooking, and sometimes I can even enjoy it, but it ALWAYS tastes better when someone else cooks it. Last night Michael made pancakes because I was icing my shoulder (not with frosting, with ice), and they were the best pancakes EVER!

2. What is something embarrassing or funny that has happened to you lately?


ESV Journaling Bible, Antique Floral design, Hardcover


Recently I was asked to read a verse in a small group of people, and I had to admit that I couldn't read my own bible (I had forgotten my glasses). It was bad enough that I am THAT old that I NEED glasses, but the point was really, why did I have my bible opened on my lap if I couldn't read it!

By the way my bible is on sale right now at CBD, and it is a terrific journaling bible, you might just love it, so check it out!

3. Do you have kids or pets?


I have both, but I have no problem distinguishing the difference.

4. What do you think is the best thing about blogging?

I met one of my dearest friends through my blog!

5. What is your favorite vacation destination?


The Beach! Which is REALLY convenient, because now I live at the beach!

6. What is one thing you're looking forward to this summer?

Only one??? The Beach, only I'm not waiting until summer!

7. Do you have a favorite quote or verse?

I have lots, check out my Pinterest board "words I heart" but my very favorite can be found in James chapter one
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4  

And, it gets even better.....check it out, James ROCKS! It is my favorite book in the whole bible, LOVE it, straight forward, and to the point, convicting and encouraging, what more could you ask??

 

8. What was your first car?


 1985 Dodge Omni.......Oh yeahhhhh baby! Only mine was two tone yellow with gold velour seats. NICE!


9. Would you rather read a book or watch a movie?

Okay, this is the easiest question of all! A book, A book, A book! HANDS DOWN!!



Unless of course, the movie comes with theater popcorn and milk duds, and my favorite boyfriend  (that would be Michael) in the seat next to mine, then I pick movie, especially if no body has to kill any body!

10. What is your favorite thing to wear?


Pajama pants and a camisole, with footies. Brand new ones...even better. (footies on my feet, not on my camisole)! And let me just say I do not wear this outfit to Walmart, unlike most of Georgia! I am sorry, Georgia friends, just sayin! We even call one church we visited while we lived there, "the Pajama church" cuz, and I am not lying, people wore pajama bottoms to church. I'm not judging, i'm just sayin!

11. What is one thing we would always be able to find in your purse?

Lipstick, don't leave home without it!

If you would like to play along, consider yourself tagged! In addition I would like to tag the following ladies that have recently left sweet comments here on this blog.

Monica, at The Homespun Heart
Danielle, at Yet He Abideth Faithful
Melissa, at Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
Sarah Belle, at Simply at Home
Jenna, at Jenna Brown
Katie, at Katie's Kitchen
Mom of three Girls, at The land of Fluff
Lisa, at Just for Ewe Designs
Tricia, at Two tiaras and a sword


Here are your questions ladies, should you choose to answer.

1. If you could be any bird, what kind would you be?
2. What is the best way you have found to make new friends?
3. If you were assured of success, what would you do?
4. What 'sayings' did the most impactful male roll model in your life say?(father, grandfather, brother, friend)
5. What is the best way you have found to make someone smile?
6. What makes you feel pretty?
7. If they were to make a movie of your life, what star should play you?
8. What do you collect?
9. Have you ever wished to change your first name, and if so what would you change it to?





Thursday, March 22, 2012

Happy vintage sheet bunting tutorial



tutorial This project was inspired by THIS picture that I caught on Pinterest. I really loved the idea, and as I mentioned before, I have been squirreling away vintage sheets for some time, and thought this was just the project to start chopping them up for. I didn’t find any directions for how to make the bunting exactly, so this is what I came up with.

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The first order of business, was coming up with a pattern, so each scallop would be uniform. I pulled out a 6 inch plate. Obviously the size could fluctuate depending on what size bunting you want. A really big one would be great to decorate your porch, and a mini one would be sweet on a doll house. The possibilities are really endless!
After cutting the circle from paper I folded it in half. The line shows the halfway mark. Then I folded it about three fourths of an inch from that center fold. I wanted my scallops to be slightly bigger than half a circle, and some of that will go into the bias tape used for the string that holds the scallops together.
I used that paper pattern to then cut two of every fabric (sheet in this case) I wanted to include. Most of my vintage sheets have a background of white, and I wanted more color so I included a few other fabrics from my stash. I can picture this project in several other color ways as well, red, white, and blue for July, red and green for Christmas, or any fabric that matches your decor. The possibilities are really endless!You could also use felt and just pink (that's when you use those zigzag scissors or what they call pinking shears) the edges instead of sewing, or burlap would work for all you burlap lovers out there.

When all my pieces were cut, I simple sewed right sides together, sewing only the curved edge, and leaving the straight edge to turn. This raw edge will be covered by the bias tape. After turning each scallop, I ironed them all flat.

I used this fab tutorial to make bias tape out of what quilters call a fat quarter. A fat quarter is a fourth of a yard, but not 9 inches like they would give you at the fabric store if you asked for a fourth of a yard. A fat quarter is a half of a half. In other words it is a piece of fabric measuring 18 inches by 22 inches. I was able to make over 7 yards of 1 and an 1/8 inch bias from my piece using her directions. I made mine narrower because I wanted my finished string narrower. I only used about a half of my bias strip for both the shorter bunting on the window, and the longer bunting draped on the mantle. That means I have a few yards left for another project!


All that was left to do after both the scallops and the bias were finished, was just to sew the two together. Just sandwich each scallop between the fold of the bias leaving about 3/4 between each, and sew together. You are done, and you have a very happy bunting to enjoy for years to come!

The bias was by far the most tedious part of this project. Marking, sewing and cutting it was a breeze. Ironing it in half, and then each half into the center, not so much. You could certainly use store bought double wide bias (it comes in a little pack near the notions), and that would make it much easier, but I wanted to use a printed fabric (in this case a vintage sheet), and I also wanted to try this technique. I also have a gift for making any project I make as complicated as I possibly can. It's a gift, what can I say? I will make bias again, but after I get one of these bias maker thingamajigs. I think the printed bias really adds a special touch.

Happy bunting making ya’ll!

linking up with beneath my heart

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

2012 spring mantle


Only eighteen days until Easter, so spring decorating is on my mind. I love Easter, and I love spring!
I found this old window in the barn at our last home, so I dragged it out when the movers came to pack us up. When I say I dragged it out, you understand that I really mean that Michael dragged it out, and I said “please may we keep her”, in my sweetest whiney voice, and he said “sure” knowing that it would be one more thing to store in his garage that I would probably never use. But lookey here everyone. I cleaned her up, and she has a real home of honor, for the spring at least.


I painted this canvas too. I was inspired by something I found on pinterest. I’ll show you what, and how in a post real soon.


I found this Happy Easter garland at Home Goods in Atlanta some time ago.She is glitterfied, and sparkles not to much, but not to little.
I made the scalloped bunting out of vintage sheets that I have been hoarding saving up, for just the right project. I’ll show you how on that too, real soon. It was uber easy, and crazy fun, and when I say crazy fun I mean in a kinda tedious, but oh so rewarding kind of way.


Hope you like my mantle, and will leave me a comment, unless your name is anonymous, and you like to leave snarky not very encouraging kind of meanness, then of course you may please refrain from commenting, but know that I love you anyway, cuz I see through that snarky mean exterior, and see the awesome, encouraging, positive person that is trapped inside, just aching to get out!

Happy Easter ya’ll

linking up with Dear Lillie

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Her Birthday suit

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Just before ElizaJane’s birthday we were discussing our plans, when she remembered an important detail that had not been mentioned, until then. “My birthday outfit” she chirped, “We can’t forget my birthday outfit!”. “You were going to make something
special weren’t you Momma?”

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“Weeeeellllllllll, of course" I stuttered, remembering that I had quite forgotten! For the last few years I had made something special for her to wear on her birthday. That had somehow inadvertently become some kind of tradition to my soon to be eight year old. Not wanting to disappoint, and knowing if I sacrificed a little time I could make it happen, I got to work.

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I really only had a day left, but I already had the fabric and the pattern (something I had planned to make last fall, before the move proved more of a challenge than expected), so all I needed was the ingenuity. The desire to make her birthday special was all I needed for an incentive, and the truth is, I love to do for my children.

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So this little corduroy number is what I came out with, and it was perfect for winter/spring in the south.
On her birthday morning I was brushing her hair in front of the mirror, as she admired herself in her new ensemble.

“Momma, what would I do without you?” she said sweetly, as she turned and hugged my neck.

This is why I did it, I thought to myself.

“ Well, you would be just fine” I cooed, “Daddy and Haven would take good care of you!”

“But they don’t know how to sew!” she exclaimed.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

spring….sprung


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When we weren’t looking, and without warning, the azaleas snuck out and got all dressed up. The bees have been hard at work, and together the two are now putting on a great show already!
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These impatiens are right outside our front door. They have actually been blooming all winter, but have just recently really taken off.
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I believe these are Irises, we spied them near the golf course today. Although I am sure someone planted them, they kind of look wild the way they are growing in big clumps. They are so beautiful!

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But these two, they definitely take the prize for the loveliest in the garden! They are surely the sweetest as well!

DIY avocados


We LOVE avocados around here, mostly with salsa and chips. So Michael is taking a stab at growing our own! It reminds me of the ol' sweet potato trick.
 
Just toothpicks, and water, and in a few short weeks we have roots, and stems, and even some little tiny leaves showing themselves! I read that within three years we could have a tree!
 
Honestly, I kinda made fun of Michael when he put those rock hard seeds in water. I couldn't imagine that they would grow roots, much less sprout leaves. I didn't really want an ugly rotting avocado pit stinking up the house, but I kept that to myself, hoping it wouldn't take long for them (the seeds, or pits, or whatever they are) to prove me right.

Well, now I am a believer, and they have really been fun to watch, and they don't smell at all. Now this skeptic is dreaming of beautiful flowering avocado trees.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Hounds tooth


So, Hounds tooth is making yet another comeback, or perhaps it is a classic. I don't really know, but I am seeing it everywhere, and I must say I LOVE it! This quilt from V and CO. actually grabbed my attention a few months back when we were waiting for sweet Ryder to arrive. I think it would be awesome for a grown-up bed too, perhaps in white and azure blue. Anyone want to make it for me?

Here is a more doable project for someone like me, a hounds tooth monogram! I saw some great big letters at the craft store just the other day that would be terrific for this project. There are some easy to follow instructions for this beauty over here, at Jilly and Mia; Girls with Good Taste.


houndstooth stencil

Ooooooohhhhhh, how about a whole hounds tooth wall? I really love this! I found this over at Cutting Edge Stencils and this stencil is called hounds tooth, how appropriate :). all the grey is wonderful, but again, any color that matches your decor would be great.


This blue and orange combo is delicious isn't it? I especially love those hounds tooth pillows, classic and timeless, all wrapped up with trendy and fresh. What more could you ask for? I found this on Pinterest,  but it comes from Kathryn Greeley designs.


 I found this great DIY tutorial for a hounds tooth light shade at A girl and a glue gun. This was a really simple project that made a really big impact in a really cute room, and I love the large scale she chose.

Houndstooth Flat-Weave Wool Rug

Last, but certainly not least, is this fun floor cover I discovered over at Garnet Hill, and they have it in Lake Blue (my personal fav.), Amber, Toffee, as well as Terra Cotta and Coffee Black. I think this would add a lot of style to almost any room.

I'm looking to add some hounds tooth to my decor soon. How about you, Do you like hounds tooth? Would you ever use it to decorate?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kiss me I'm Irish

Apparently, way way back in the day, kissing the Blarney stone at Blarney Castle would give said kisser the ability to never be at a loss for words. That is frankly not something I see many people suffering from, but perhaps in Ireland back then, cat got your tongue was the going delema.
 
This practise now translates in modern day culture that to kiss someone of Irish descent is the next best thing. Easy jump there I guess, from a rock in Ireland, to any pretty red head where ever you happened to be.
 
While I am not a believer in 'LUCK', I am at least a little Irish, so I thought a little shamrock action in the ol' March decor was in order. I painted this little number to celebrate our Irish ancestry, and get ready for the St. Patrick's day festivities. That might include some green pancakes for breakfast, and perhaps green mashed potatoes for dinner.
Do you do anything to celebrate your ethnic heritage?
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Monday, March 12, 2012

My cloche


I am crazy for cloches, no really I am.
I'm not sure why, but they intrigue me.


I started collecting them a few years back, and find them so fun to fill and scatter through out the house. Michael and the kids gifted me this giant one two years ago for my birthday, and it is my favorite!




For this time of year, it's a challenge to think of something fun to put in it. I don't really want to plant anything in it, although come to think of it, clover would have been fun for St. Patricks day. I like to change the display for the different seasons. This time I stacked favorite old books. I am often drawn to old books, sometimes just for their old pages for use in craft projects. Our family LOVES books, so it is fitting that we live with books, and admire their beauty.


 
Do you have anything at your house, that you leave out all year, but change for the seasons, or any collections that you scatter to decorate different parts of your home?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

I scarce can take it in

 

Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

 

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.



And when I think that God His son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.


When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then i shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God how great Thou art.


Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!