Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lots of Knots Friendship Bracelet (A Tutorial In 6 Easy Steps)

These classic friendship bracelets are simple enough for young children to create!

Friendship bracelets make great Valentine's and party favors.

Pair with these fun Valentine's printables and you'll be all set with a heartfelt, handmade project that's quick and easy enough to create for the entire class!

What will you do with yours?

Find the full tutorial after the jump!

Monday, January 30, 2012

New (Digital) Buttons ...and A Chat About The Good & Bad of Small Business Ad Design

Handmade Buttons -- Set of 4 -- Teal with Dotted Edge

The past couple days I've been working on some new buttons.

And every time Bryan asks what I'm doing and I say, "working on new buttons" he thinks I mean real buttons.  Like the physical, handmade buttons I sell in my shop.  Haha.  Poor Bry.  That's not what I mean.

In this case, I've been making new digital buttons to represent my blog and etsy shop in the online world.  I thought we'd have a little look-see at some new and old designs and talk about the good and bad.  Hopefully along the way you'll find a few helpful ideas you can apply in your own designs.

Shall we?

Sleep Mask: Works Great!

If you follow me on Facebook you already know that I've been putting my little sleep mask to good use since I finished making it yesterday.

The secret ingredient (black felt) hiding inside is perfect for blocking out light and letting me get some good old fashioned shut-eye.  Even if the lamps in the living room are on all I have to do is slip my little super sleeping mask on and I'm catchin' zzzs like nobody's business.

This has been especially helpful for the times when Bryan's not home and I'm feelin' like snooze, but I'm too lazy tired to get up off the couch and turn off the lights first.  Score.

Such was the case this afternoon.  I was fading fast.  I could totally feel it coming.  Bry was at school so I hurried and got Olivia off to a friend's house so I could come home and crash.

Whoops!  Forgot to turn off the lights before I climbed under this big cozy blanket on the couch.

Oh wait!  It doesn't matter!

Slipped my little sleep mask on and I was good to go.  For hours.  Sorry energy bill and the planet earth for not turning off the lights.  Thank you, sleep mask, for making it so I didn't have to.

Now I'm all rested up and ready for...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Eye Mask -- Free Pattern & Tutorial

I've been having more of a rough time recovering from surgery than I anticipated.  This morning I woke up with a massive headache... and the sun shining in through the window... directly into my face.  Harumpf.

So, once I finally started feeling a little better this afternoon, I whipped up this relaxing little eye mask.  Keeps the light out... and hopefully headaches too.

Here's a picture of me from this morning, before I had my lovely little eye mask:

And, now, here's me after I finished the eye mask:

Ahhh.  So much better!

These would be great for...

  • spa days
  • bridal shower party favors
  • sleep over party favors
  • get well soon gifts
  • new moms
  • anyone in need of a nap :)

I used mine when I took a nap today and I slept so deeply and peacefully.  I'm hooked!

Want to make your own?
You'll find the free pattern and tutorial after the jump...

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feeling Better (sort of) And Fun New Fabric

Waking up this morning was like a dream come true.

Last night as I snuggled up to Bryan before I fell asleep I told him how much I missed feeling like myself--having energy, making things, playing with Olivia and being able to take care of her.  I haven't been sleeping well for the past few weeks, so I've been dreading going to sleep every night.  Last night was no exception, but things were marginally better.  While my body was still pregnant I kept feeling nauseated all the time.  So much so that I couldn't even really snuggle up and be next to Bryan or Olivia for more than a minute or two.  Unanticipated movements were just too much for my poor, whacked-out little body.  But I haven't been nauseous since after the surgery.  And that has been oh so nice.

Sorry, my brain is all over the place.  So I went to sleep last night feeling tired with crampy legs and kind of a cranky outlook, but grateful I could finally snuggle up next to my sweet husband--at least until his arm fell asleep.  :)

Then, miracle of miracles, I actually fell asleep.  And I slept until 8:30 this morning.  Normally this wouldn't be all that impressive, but since I've woken up multiple times during the night every night for the past few weeks, this was so nice.

But then something even more amazing happened.  As I woke up this morning, I realized that I felt amazing.  I felt great! I felt like I had healed over night.  No more cramping in my legs or abdomen.  No more fuzzy brain.  No more lack of motivation.  I woke up with plans for a sewing project and the energy to do it.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Blighted Ovum: How I'm Feeling The Morning After Surgery

Couldn't Sleep
I have no idea why (maybe it was my sweet drug-laced pain killers), but I could not fall asleep last night.  The picture above was taken in real time.  In the AM.  Boo.  Bry and I went to bed around 11:00 something  pm.  He had to get up early for a test and fell asleep right away.  I laid there for a couple hours moving around every two seconds with my mind racing about anything and everything.

Finally around 1:30 am I got out of bed and came downstairs to hang out on the couch so Bryan could get some sleep without my fidgeting.  I finally went back up and fell asleep sometime after 4:00 am.  I thought I'd be dead tired today, but I ended up sleeping until a little after 9:00 am which was more than I expected, so no complaints.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Blighted Ovum: Surgically Removed

Last week I was diagnosed with having a blighted ovum.  (You can read all about that HERE.)  Today I went in to have it removed.  If you want to read about it, continue on.  If it makes you squeemish, no worries.  Just skip this post.  Or just ignore the text and scroll through to see some really charming pictures* of me in my glamorous hospital garb.  Your choice.  :)

*I promise there are no awkward pictures of body parts you wouldn't normally see on my blog.  I'm just as covered up in all the other pictures as I am in this picture.  Promise.

Back From Surgery

Hey All,

Just wanted to pop in and let you know that I'm back from surgery and doing great.  My friend is here taking care of me and I'm just fine.  Thanks for all your prayers and well wishes.  I'll get back on later with more.

Love you all,

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Letter "i," Surgery Run-down, and Good Ol' HP

Just a few quick (random) notes...

1. Olivia is cute, as always.  Today we were practicing writing her name (just for fun).  She's already pretty good at writing the letter "O."  I was coaching her on the other letters in her name.  She didn't care much about most of them, but she's a big fan of lowercase "i"s.  She does the adorable little kid "i" with a wonky little line and then a big scribbled circle sitting right on the top of the line.  Melts my heart.

2. Thanks for all your super nice comments on this post.  You're all champs.

3. The nurse from the outpatient center called earlier today and we had a good long chat about my medical history.  She said I sounded pretty healthy.  (Thanks!)  She also told me how it would all go down tomorrow. 

Here's the basic rundown:

Blighted Ovum

Somehow this picture just seemed appropriate

Well, we got answers today.  So, as promised, I'm back here to tell you all what's going on.  But know that I do it with a tender heart.  If you have horror stories, don't leave them in the comments.  No matter how well-meaning they are, they will freak me out.  So just help a sista out and keep your horror stories to yourself.  Okay, with that said, here's what's going on.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Plan

I like to think that I have mellowed out a lot since marrying Bryan and becoming a Lewis.  It's not that my family is so uptight.  It's just that Bryan's family is so not uptight.

I remember the first time I went home to my in-laws' for Christmas.  I kept asking what the plan was.  They all kept staring at me.  It took me a long time to realize there was no plan.  They just wing it.  And things work out.

I've softened up a lot over the years that I've been married to Bryan.  Done my best to embrace the Lewis philosophy on life.  But the truth is, I still like me a good plan.  I thrive on order.  I can't help it.

I've been looking forward to today all week long.  Not in the same way you look forward to a trip to Disneyland.  More like the way you look forward to taking the last test during finals week.  It's not so much taking the test that's the fun part, but the whole idea of having your last test over with.  That's why I've been looking forward to today.

Last week at this time we were at the doctor's office receiving some bad news that left us with more questions than answers.  This week I hope hope hope we come home with answers.  And a plan.  I want to feel better.  I want to get past this.  I look at today as a starting point for that.  And I hope hope hope it is.

It's funny, though, to be sitting here talking about making plans, when today's plans have already been thrown off.  While Olivia certainly isn't on a set schedule, she's been a champ lately about taking naps around the same time every day.  So I had this whole plan about one friend coming over while she was napping and another friend babysitting her for us when she wakes up.  That way nobody gets stuck babysitting for too long and it lets Olivia nap at home.  Win-win, I say.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Perfect Timing

God works on his own timetable.  I think we all know this.  His plan is usually not exactly what we plan for ourselves.  So often God's time is hard.  So many times it's not what I want when I want it.  But I can't deny him this:

God's timing is perfect.

Last night I noticed that the same exact spot has been hurting all week.  And, I won't go into the details right now, but--for various reasons--I was kind of freaking out about it.  By the time I went to bed last night the pain had gotten worse.  And by the time I got up this morning I couldn't even lay flat or stand up straight without it hurting... kind of on the scale of "a lot."

More freaking out.  Call the doctor.  My appointment is scheduled for tomorrow with my regular doctor.  Who I love.  Who I can't say enough good things about.  The nurse puts me on hold.  My doctor isn't there today, but she talks to the other doctors who are there.  They say that I need to come in today.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Still On The Couch and Spoiled

I've spent the day on the couch.  Again.  This past Friday I was feeling great.  I even got out of the house and Olivia and I went out for lunch and some shopping with our good friends.  I felt so good.  It was so nice.  But toward the end of our outing the part of my body that's been hurting lately started hurting again, so it was just as well we were on our way back home.  Bry and I spent our date night at home watching movies and I've basically been on the couch since (except for sleeping in bed and the occasional bathroom trip).

I missed church today too.  I was sad not to be there, of course, but I admit I was also relieved to be able to stay home on the couch... and not have to see a lot of people right now.  We'll hopefully know for sure what's going on after my appointment on Tuesday and I think/hope it'll be less awkward to see people after we know for sure what's going on.

Not that we haven't been spoiled with friends dropping by.  And of course I've loved that and felt their love and support and it means so much to me.  But to be at church where there are so many people all at once... well, I genuinely haven't been feeling well, but, yes, I'm glad I could just stay home today.

Bryan told me when he got home about all the people who approached him at church and offered to bring us meals or watch Olivia.  We've only lived here for a little more than six months and, while I love our ward, sometimes I admit it still feels like we don't really know very many people.  We teach the six and seven year-old primary class, so we know the six and seven year-olds pretty well, but not very many other people.  So it was especially sweet that so many people approached Bryan to see how I was doing and offer to help in whatever way they could.  I feel truly spoiled.  And truly loved.

And, speaking of the six and seven year-olds, Bryan said they were really worried about me not being there because I was feeling sick.  And--haha--Bryan also said they were really squirrely and kind of naughty today.  That made me laugh.  They're usually all so good that we have to spend the first five or ten minutes of the class asking them about how their week was because, otherwise, our lessons end way too early.  I missed seeing those kids today.  They're really so sweet.  Each one of them.  And they're just at that age where they're still young enough to think silly things are funny, but just old enough to be really sincere and thoughtful.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Mobile Winner!

Thanks to those of you who entered the giveaway for a free copy of my new pattern!

The winner is...

Friday, January 20, 2012

3 Quick Things

Number 1
First up,thousands of you (okay, so it was actually just two people) asked what these Vanilla Graham Cracker Goldfish were.  So... here's a picture of the package.

Bryan says they taste like animal crackers.  I say they taste better.

Lala watching the Olivia the pig show... notice the bag of crackers next to her

I think Olivia would tell you they taste way better.  Once she discovered we had some she's basically carried them around the house and cuddled with them non-stop.  I had to hide them this morning.

Me with my baby laptop... last month
Number 2
Second of all, Bryan's been reading the posts I've been writing recently and he said that it sounds like I have cancer.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's been snowing today...

8 Minutes of Laughter

Olivia and Elsie -- last spring (or was it summer?)
Sometimes I feel like what's going on isn't such a big deal.  And I feel like a baby for making it such a big deal.  Other times I feel like it is a really bid deal and I'm doing a good job of not being too much of a baby.

Whichever it is, a lot of people have been really nice about what's going on.  Bryan has been taking care of me and Olivia non-stop.  One of our friends watched Olivia for hours yesterday.  Another friend stopped by with her entire collection of chick flicks and some yummy vanilla goldfish graham crackers.  And earlier her husband came over to let us borrow their vacuum (we had been meaning to for ages) and told us how much he and his sweet wife had been thinking about us.

And I've received countless e-mails from friends, family, and people I don't even know who just wanted to send an encouraging word, check in on me, ask what they can do to help, and just in general to see how I'm doing.  Every single note has been a blessing.  A reminder that, no matter how lonely I may feel, I'm not alone.  That Heavenly Father surrounds us with living angels.  That everything will be okay.

If only he were here all the time...

This is my husband Bryan and our daughter Olivia.

Lately while I've been laying on the couch, taking naps, doodling on my laptop, etc., they've been playing with toys, going out for trips to the bank and library and grocery store, and actually eating their meals at the table.  Let's just say there are a lot of very good reasons why Olivia has turned very much into a daddy's girl as of late.

Last night I was feeling so much better.  I even ate real food.  An entire plate of it.  And got up and made myself a vanilla milkshake and drank the whole thing.  And put my dishes in the dishwasher.

Normally none of those things would be a big deal.  But as I was cleaning my plate yesterday I realized I couldn't even remember the last time I had loaded my own dishes in the dishwasher.  It's been even longer since I stood at the sink and washed the non-dishwasher dishes.

Bryan has been a one-man show around here lately and I have not stopped being grateful for one minute.  He brings me a can of Sprite when I feel yucky.  He comes up from what he's doing (when I haven't called him or anything) and asks if he can bring me something to eat.  He asks me how I'm feeling.  And--this is perhaps the thing I've been most grateful for--he doesn't ask me to do things.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Skinny Jeans, Mango Juice, and Light

I promise those trash bags are just full of hand-me-down clothes, not garbage!

It's 1:30 pm here.  And I am dressed.

After yesterday, all I had planned to do today was stay on the couch, sleep, cry, read e-mails and blogs, and play spider solitaire.  So the fact that I am dressed should be really impressive.  I'm surprised about it myself.  (Though, I should admit, I'm back on the couch again.)

Also, can I just tell you how much I love these jeans?  My mother-in-law took me shopping for skinny jeans (shopping at her request, skinny jeans at my request) over Christmas break and we landed on these lovies at Old Navy.  They are a size 8, they still feel loose, and they are perfect.  Comfy and flattering all at the same time.  I really couldn't be happier with them.  (Thanks Trish!)

These jeans are basically an instant ego boost every single time I put them on.  Which is every single morning.  They're that good.

With feeling sick the past couple of weeks I really haven't had much of an appetite.  But after yesterday what was already a small appetite got even smaller.

Usually I love to eat.  Anything and everything.  And if it's sweet and fatty, I'll love it all the more.  And we have the great blessing of being in a dinner group with some good friends.  So we cook on Mondays and then Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday our friends make dinner.  And they are way better cooks than I am.  I love every single thing they make.  I eat it up and devour it and wish I could go back and knock on their door and ask for seconds.  And thirds.  And dessert.  But last night Bryan brought dinner home and I didn't even touch it.  (Sorry, Laura, it wasn't the soup!  It's just my body on the fritz.)  

Another 90 Min Shirt (and some tips on including t-shirt graphics)

I love Dana's 90 Min Shirts.  Have you tried them yet?  You probably have because they are great.  So versatile.  So easy.  And such a fun, comfy kid shirt.  Olivia loves them.  Or at least she better because I sure love them.

The adult-size (more like teen-size) Elmo shirt this one was made from was one I had been hanging on to since high school.  Well, I wore it in high school an I had been hanging on to it ever since.  I had always kind of envisioned making a pillow out of it, but when I spotted it in my stash yesterday I finally decided to make it into a shirt for Olivia instead.  

I don't really have a lot of love in my heart for clothing plastered with licenced characters, but I love the classic, iconic look of Elmo and I love the color palate on this t-shirt.  Also, Olivia has a little friend who loves Elmo and now she kind of does too.  So what do you expect?  Of course I wanted to make her an Elmo shirt.

One of the problems I ran into with this shirt, though, was the fact that the Elmo graphic was so high up on the original shirt that I couldn't use the original bottom hem and not cut off Elmo's face.  I think this is a pretty common problem with turning adult-sized graphic tees into kid tees, so here's quick run-down of how I worked around it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The good news is...

Today turned out to be a horrible day.  Maybe I'll tell you why later.  But no matter how bad a bad day gets, no bad day is all bad.

This morning was really nice.  I've been feeling sick for what feels like so long, but this morning I finally felt well enough to get up and move around.  I even made a little something.  (I'll show you tomorrow.)

Today was bad.  It still feels bad.  But the good news is, my camera came today.

A day early.  On a day when I think Heavenly Father knew I would need a big pick-me-up.

It came while Olivia was eating lunch.  Before it was a bad day.

I had fun taking pictures of some of my favorite little things around the house.

It's Raining Love! -- Plush Mobile -- PDF Pattern & Instructions

Outside right now it's pouring rain.  But in here, It's Raining Love!

I'm happy to announce...

My first pattern ever!

This pattern is for a sweet plush baby mobile!
This cloud is soft and squishy... and full of love!  So full, in fact, that it's raining love!

The easy step-by-step instructions include lots of great full-color pictures to guide you through the entire process.  Just like you've come to expect from my tutorials here on the blog.

And since the pattern and instructions are e-mailed to you as a PDF, you can print the pattern right on your own computer!

This pattern is economical and eco-friendly.

It's made from old t-shirts...

It's easy enough for beginning sewers...

And it's now available in the shop!

Check it out!
(Click HERE to go to the pattern.)

But what's a new pattern without a little giveaway?

One lucky winner will win their own copy of this fun little pattern!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Living With Less: Phone Bills (Part 1)

Ooma Telo image via

Phones.  We're all addicted to them, to some degree, I think.  Right?  I know only a handful of people who go anywhere without a phone.  And I'm not one of those people.  I like staying connected.  Chatting with friends and family.  Knowing I can call for help when I need it.

And phones have gotten so cool in the past few years.  There is so much you can have right at your finger tips.  But it comes at a cost.  In fact, it comes at a really high cost.  I'm no expert in the field of cell phones, but I know several of my friends and family members pay upwards of $100 each month for their fancy phones.  And having a nice cell phone or even a decent land line means getting locked into a contract.  So if you do find a better deal, you're stuck.

But why do we get ourselves there in the first place?  Why do we get locked in?

I know, I know, it's the cool thing to do.  It seems like everybody has iPhones and droids and they all do such cool things.  But... do we really need all that?

No.  We really don't.  Expensive bills are for people who can afford to pay them.  And most people can't.  Being capable of paying for something and being able to afford something is not the same thing.  What I'm talking about here is living within your means.  What can you pay without going into debt?  What can you pay and still be able to save for a rainy day?

When our little family was getting ready to move this past summer, we started looking into a variety of phone plans.  Our old apartment had come with a free land line (all we had to do was plug our phone into the wall) that made unlimited local calls.  So we had just been using our land line for local calls and our prepaid cell phones for long distance calls or for necessary calls when we were out.  But when we moved we wouldn't get a free land line anymore.

We thought this meant that it was finally time for us to go back to being on some kind of contract cell phone plan.  That seemed to us to be the only way to be able to keep in touch with our family and friends.  But the prices for even a basic family plan with the lowest minutes possible were still way more than what we had been paying and it really turned us off.

That's when we discovered Ooma.

My sister-in-law Anna knew we were looking into phone services and she told me about a gizmo she had come across called and Ooma Telo.

Ooma Telo image via

It's basically a box (see above photo) that you plug into your internet modem and the phone runs through your internet.  Then you plug your phone (ours is just a regular cheap handset we bought when we got married--it's nothing special) into the Ooma Telo and--voila--you're ready to go.  The sound quality is good and we haven't had any dropped calls.  All around, it's a great phone service.

And the best part?  Once you buy the Ooma Telo, it's only $3.00* a month.

*I just checked with Bryan and he said our bill is actually $3.47 each month.  If I remember right, it may differ slightly depending on where you live because that monthly fee is to cover the tax for being able to call 911, which you can't do, for example, from a Google voice.

So, for the cost of the Ooma Telo and a whopping $3.00 per month, we get unlimited local and long distance calls.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Camera: Take Three (And hopefully the final chapter in this saga)

image via
Sigh.  So much for good karma.  Guys, I have yet another sad camera story* to tell you.

*If you're behind on the saga of replacing my broken camera, you can read about it here, here, and here.  

So on Friday I told you guys I bought a Canon Rebel XSi.  Which I did.  But here's the thing.  Bryan and I both swear that the specific listing for the (used) camera we bought included the starter lens.  But then we weren't sure, so Bryan contacted the seller (apparently he's allowed to, but I'm not) and, turns out, we were wrong.  It didn't come with the lens after all.  Which meant that we'd have to buy a lens for somewhere around $100, making the camera $400 instead of $300.  So Bryan canceled our order.  Bah.  That was this morning.

After church today I spent hours looking at DSLRs on Amazon and Craigslist and a few other places and it made me so stressed.  Part of the reason I had tried to make this whole new camera thing be a quick decision is because knew that if I spent too much time looking it would eventually spiral down into that whole inner battle of, "Well, I could spend a little less and get this one that's not quite as nice which is great because we'd save money, or I could get this nicer one that costs more, but I think I'd be happier with it in the long run."

That is, by the way, exactly what happened.

And after hours and hours of looking and e-mailing people on Craigslist and wondering if those cameras were even what I really wanted, I made a totally different decision.

I bought another point and shoot.

Wait, what?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Color Online

A house with an achoo in the window, three balloons (one with a Santa hat--ho!  ho!  ho!), a sun, some grass, and a Christmas tree  -- Created by Mommy with help and direction from Lala, age 2

Lala loves coloring.  And while we certainly do a lot of the real thing, every now and then we indulge in a little online coloring.  One of our favorite places to color online is on the Crayola website*.  (Though they also have tons of great coloring pages that you can print off and color in real life.)

*Note: This post is just for fun.  I'm not being compensated in any way for sharing this with you.  It's just an honest opinion/suggestion about something fun to do with your kiddos.

Want to color too?

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Camera, Take Two

image via
Sigh.  It seems all of my whining about how long it was taking for the Nikon D40 to get here caused some majorly bad online karma and it is no longer coming to us at all.  Grr.  This evening I got an e-mail from Amazon saying that the cost of the camera would be refunded to us because the item was out of stock.  Lame, lame, lame.  At least we didn't lose any money on it, I guess.

So, we will now (hopefully) be the proud new owners of a Canon Rebel XSi... okay it has a really long title. You can try to read the entire title here on Amazon.

The good news about this camera is that it was only $300* (a whopping $15 cheaper than the Nikon D40 that apparently did not want to come to a nice cozy happy home here after all) and it also comes with what appears to be a pretty decent starter lens.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

I Miss Having A Camera & I Feel Like Trash

homemade finger paint fail -- congealed right after it came off the stove

Since our old camera died, I've been without a camera to take non-washed out pictures on.  Our new camera is supposed to arrive sometime between tomorrow and the 31st.  When I checked the status on our order last night the camera hadn't even been dropped off at the post office yet.


It was clearly priced to sell quickly and so I guess I expected that they would get a move on with shipping.  But no.  Last night I was about to send the seller a message asking them to please hurry up and put it in the mail already, but Bryan wouldn't let me.  He said it was rude or something.  Whatevs.  What does he know about good manners?  He only grew up in Europe.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Music and Me

This, as it turns out, is one of my favorite pictures of myself

It sounds funny to say, but sometimes I forget how much I like music.  I had no idea what kind of music I really liked until college.  It was then that I had two roommates who loved certain kinds of music--my music vocabulary unfortunately isn't even big enough to really tell you what kinds of music they are--and I found myself falling in love with that music too.

Of course there's something in music that makes it impossible to separate the sound from the person or people or time that that music makes you think of.  So maybe part of the reason I fell in love with my Missy Higgins radio station on Pandora is because it reminds me of a really peaceful time in my life and one of the most peaceful, loving people I've ever met (other than Bryan).  That music makes me feel free spirited like my friend that used to douse us in it.  Listening to it now makes everything feel okay in a way that other things just can't do.

There's a project I've taken on in the past several months.  It's something that is completely out of my comfort zone.  And yet it's something I've always wanted to do.  Something I think I've known deep down I would always do.  But to have it starring me in the face is downright daunting.  And there are times that just the idea of taking it all on makes me lose my confidence and feel entirely inadequate.  Me?  Do that?  Not possible.  

It's hard to see the path from A to Z when you've never done B through Y before.  Let alone A or Z.  And yet when you look back on hard things they don't usually seem so hard after all.  Even being without Bryan for two years seems less hard now in my memory than it was in real life.  And I think part of that is because I know what happened for all the time in between.  But I didn't know all that when I started out on that dark time without Bryan.  Back at the beginning it was just... a scary open void.  And I didn't know what would fill it.  And that scared me even more than the task of just getting through it.

You've had those experiences.  You know what I mean.

I've never been much of a musician.  I had a brief love affair with my guitar and little to show for it.  And other than that I really haven't stuck it out with any kind of musical talents.  But I'm so glad the people in my radio station stuck with it.  They sing to my soul and it calms me right now.  Puts the confidence back in me. Reminds me that life is slow in a good way.  Motivates me and takes the hurry out of me.  It's such a good healing feeling to have.  Sometimes all I need is a pretty melody to put my own melody back in tune.

But sometimes I forget that.  Why is that?  How is it that I forget about music so often?  But I do.

The older I get, the more I get to know myself.  And the more I get to know myself, the more true to myself I try to be.  I think maybe part of that means I really need more music in my life.

DIY Writing Booklets for Preschool and Home School (with free writing page printable!)

Until the new camera arrives, I'll probably be pulling from the ol' picture archives.  And while I was perusing the archives today I came across these pictures for a tutorial that I never got around to writing.

It's for a simple little writing booklet that I came up with when my friend and I started planning preschool activities for this school year.  I wanted a booklet with pages that had a space for writing practice as well as room to draw and to put stickers for counting.

Since you can print the pages off on your own computer, you can add as many pages to the booklets as you like.  This makes them perfect little booklets for, say, practicing the entire alphabet or counting from 0-20.

Want to make your own?  Of course you do!