Friday, May 18, 2018

A Year of Change. A quick summary of What's Up.

As I've been fighting the exhaustion of a new baby (did I mention I had my little Grant 6 weeks ago!! Time has flown!) I've been thinking a lot about life and how I want to simplify and focus on the things that are MOST important. The tricky part is figuring out what the MOST important things are...

The last few days I've been reflecting on the past 12 months of my life, though it all started about a year and a half ago, when we moved to North Dakota. It's been a good change, and a blessing. But I realized quickly that I didn't know how to handle the blessing I had received... something I've prayed for almost a decade for... I'm more used to the blessings that come with the struggles, not the blessings that come with ease.

It's been nice to have ease, as I feel like ease is what we've been blessed with living here. But I don't know ease.

I never once in my life have known ease. My life has been more like scratching and clawing and fighting to keep my head above water and rise to overcome the challenges that have seemed to come one after another after another, like the waves of the ocean. Now my life is a pond that barely gets stirred... ok. that's a lie. I still have plenty of challenges, but their different... and I don't know different. ;) I mean really, who does, right?! We're only used to what we're used to. Not different.

Anyway.... lots of change. Lots of decisions. Lots of refocusing. Lots of letting go.

Life has brought many changes and challenging blessings over the last year, and especially the last few months. I feel like we are now walking forward down a different journey, though I love it and couldn't be more grateful for the life I live.

Here are a few things that have happened:

:: New awesome baby! We sure love this guy!!

:: The few months before baby came, all my life was was appointments at school, evaluations, doctor visits, and more appointments.

It all started when my 2nd grader's teacher invited me in for a meeting. I thought it would be just him, but actually included about 8 other people. They noticed some reading difficulties, and after testing and evaluations, we've found that he has dyslexia - not their terminology, but that's what it is.

He now has an IEP, and I'm hopeful that moving forward we can continue to get him the help he needs to have a successful school experience. I also found some amazing resources by Diane Craft (I think that's how she spells it) that I'm going to try with him over the summer and hopefully we can see some awesome progress and reduce the strain and make things easier. I'm really grateful for friends and their support and input. And I'm SO grateful for the amazing team at school that has reached out to me to get him the help he needs. We are SO blessed to be at this school and I couldn't be more grateful for their support.

:: more of the appointments and evaluations and appointments were for my oldest.

The results are in. He is on the autism spectrum. If the term Asperger's was still used, that's where I'd categorize him. I've "known" through my instincts since he was about 4. He turns 10 today, and it's taken us this long to get the support and answers I've been looking for to have a final answer. He's been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD before in the past, but it never made sense to me and I just couldn't settle with that. I'm glad I didn't.

Knowledge is power, and I'm so happy to have answers and knowledge so I can narrow my focus on where to turn for answers and direction, instead of continuing to look down every street and ally to figure out what is doing on.

He also has auditory processing disorder. Poor kid. Add that to the list of horrible vision, asthma, allergies,... he just doesn't get a break.

We're working on a 504 for him, and hopefully it will be carried over and picked up as he goes through school. Crossing my fingers he will always have such an awesome team fighting for him and backing him up!

I thought his teacher he had last year was amazing and how could he ever get a better teacher?! But then his teacher this year has opened the doors to possibilities I never thought would be possible with him! For the first time in probably his life, he is laughing, joking, carrying on and leading conversations with me. He's doing SO AMAZING!!!!!!! He's happy and we're happy, and he is absolutely excelling in school. So now that the school year is coming to an end, it's a bit terrifying to think what will come next year... and then it's off to middle school (AhhhhH! complete terror!)

But it's been good. Answers are good. And I'm so grateful to be walking this road with so many amazing people. We truly are blessed. I can't say that enough.

:: 6 kids. what a wild ride. "what did I get myself into?" "what am I doing?" "how am I supposed to..." What an adjustment. I'm hopeful that with the lack of options to do anything else, I will rise to the occasion and be a successful mom to 6 awesome kiddos. At the moment I find myself looking into the future and thinking, wow! I'm going to be amazing! because really, if you are taking care of 6 little individuals, how can you be anything but?!

NOT boasting of myself here, because I'm definitely not there yet. But I have faith that God will turn me into something amazing, because I know if I try to do this on my own, the only thing I'll be doing is falling flat on my face day after day after day. I know He is capable... I just hope I'm willing to follow.




Anyway, writing that all out, it kind of feels like, "meh. no big deal." but really it is. I feel like for the first time in my parenting life, I've been 100% focused on my kiddos and their needs, and it's been an awesome feeling. My heart is full and I'm excited to continue on that path.

It's always a challenge to find the balance, because bills still have to get paid, and money still needs to be saved, and life still needs to be lived and enjoyed, and we need to have hobbies and outlets and eat food. Because a life not lived is not a life at all.

It goes back to my word for the year,

BEAUTIFY
to find beauty where ever I am, in whatever I'm doing, in whatever form it comes in. 

I still think about this word all the time and I'm so glad I chose it as my word for the year. It's allowed me to do things I normally wouldn't, to try things I didn't feel good enough at to try before, and allowed me to enjoy the process and be proud of the abilities I have in the moment.

For example, I letter in my journal and doodle. BEAUTIFY frees me from the expectations that what I do must be x good, or I shouldn't do it at all. It gives me freedom - like dancing in the rain, to be who I am and what I am, and just enjoy what is.

Enjoy what is.
for what it is.

And that has allowed me so much freedom and joy in my family. My family isn't perfect. I'm not perfect. We have our challenges and trials. But they are beautiful. My children are beautiful and dynamic and wonderful. And I love them! I love where we are and what we do. 

I'm learning to take one step at a time. To do little by little. And after lots of littles and lots of steps, it all adds up... and one day we'll be there. One day I'll reach my goals and make it to the top to view the glorious sunset of my life overlooking the life I lived...

Alright, time for dinner. ;) And to celebrate a birthday! :)

Here's my yearly check-in and share. lol. I'll be back again. sometime. 



Monday, April 30, 2018

Birthday Sale: Alphabet Patterns!!

This post is part of the 7th Annual Birthday Celebration. 6 days of your favorite patterns marked 50% OFF! Sale selection changes daily, and every purchase enters you into the giveaway for this 36-Fat Quarter bundle!! Read more about it HERE

 


Popping in really quick to let you know today's patterns!



I also wanted to share a few of my favorite projects from The Creative Gallery on my website!

 My First Alphabet Pattern by @Laura_zuckerkuss


   
 My First Alphabet Numbers by @Midwesternbite

 
   
 My ABC's by @mgsquaredcreates


 
My ABC's Number and Punctuation by Sarah


Pouches, pillows, quilts, and minis! I love them all!
Be sure to check out more projects made me with my pattern in The Creative Gallery!


https://fromblankpagespatterns.com/sale/


Thanks for celebrating with me! I hope you enjoy these amazing discounts.
Come back tomorrow to see which patterns are on sale tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Announcing the 7th Annual Birthday Celebration!!

You're Invited!

7th Annual Birthday Celebration
Date: Monday April 30th - May 5th


For the past 6 years I've done some kind of celebrations sale, giveaway, something fun, to pass some awesome deals onto you for my birthday. This year I kind of spaced it as we were all wrapped up in anticipation for the arrival of our new little baby (which I need to blog about!). But even though the celebration is a little delayed, I'm still just as excited to share with you.





This year I turned 36. We also had our 6th child, so I wanted to somehow tie in those numbers to the celebration. Here's what I came up with:


 

Everyday for 6 days I am putting 3 different patterns, or collections, on sale! The individual patterns will be on sale for 1 DAY ONLY! And the prices will be discounted to a whopping 50% OFF!! No coupon necessary.

 

If you've been around long enough, you know I NEVER do discounts that steep, and I'm not sure I'll ever do this again... which means if you've been eyeing some of my patterns, this will be the BEST time to scoop them up! (FYI). 




"How is this party going to go down???" you ask?

Let me tell you!

Everyday a new set of 3 patterns will go on sale (prices will be discounted - no coupon necessary!). The sale will start at 12:01 am on the given day and end at 11:59 pm of the same day. Each day a different set of patterns will be on sale. And everyday will be s surprise!!

"What's the best way to make sure that I don't miss a day??"

After the day is over, the patterns that were on sale that day will not be on sale again (well, not for 50% OFF!) So you don't want to miss a single day!

The BEST way to make sure you don't miss a day is to become a Creative Explorer (aka sign up for my newsletter!). I will be sending out daily emails directly to your inbox with the days patterns! This is the best way to be notified because there is no messing around with algorithms, or playing the lotto with whether the social platform of your choice wants to show you my posts or not. You could also just visit my website each day, but you might forget... an email is the easiest way to receive the reminder and check out the patterns for that day.

You can sign up HERE!

(plus when you sign up you'll get an awesome birthday present for your birthday!)

I will also do a quick blog post each day to help direct you to the patterns that are on sale that day.


To make the celebration even better, I've put together this awesome fat quarter bundle to give away at the end of the sale!!


36 fat quarters for my 36th birthday!
(That's 9 yards of mostly all out of print fabrics!)

I pulled some of my favorite prints from some of my favorite designers, including Tula Pink, Anna Maria Horner, Lizzy House, Amy Butler, Sandi Henderson, Joel Dewberry, V and Co, Denyse Schmidt, and Heather Bailey.

As a thank you for participating in my sale, every pattern you purchase will give you one entry into the giveaway! (Entries are for items purchased, not by order. So you can purchase 3 patterns in one order and get 3 entries.)

I will tally all the purchases throughout the week and randomly draw one winner on Monday May 7th. I'll mail the package by the end of that week. Giveaway open worldwide!



I hope you'll come join me in the celebration!!

Don't forget to sign up for my newsletter to get your daily sales reminders. (Other than during the birthday celebration, I typically send out emails 1-4 times a month. So don't worry about getting too many spammy emails! Yuck!)