Friday, December 30, 2011

On Faith, Works and Popular Misconceptions

“In the same way, faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.  But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds?  Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then!  It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith.  You believe in the one God- that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear.  Fool!  Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless?  Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar?  So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did.  In this way the scripture was fulfilled:  Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright; and he received the name ‘friend of God.’  You see now that it is by deeds, and not only believing, that someone is justified.  There is another example of the same kind: Rahab the prostitute, was she not justified by her deeds because she welcomed the messengers and showed them a different way to leave?  As a body without a spirit is dead, so is faith without deeds.” 
James 2: 17-26

At the top of the list of contentious and misunderstood Catholic teachings is the issue of faith and works, which along with misunderstandings about intercessory prayer, Mary, the Eucharist and papal authority, is frequently twisted about until the reality and the truth, which form the basis for the teaching, are completely unrecognizable. 

The twisted un-truth, usually goes something like this:  “Catholics believe that they are saved through their own good works, not through the grace of God.”  This is false.  And it sets two aspects of the Christian life at odds, when they need not be. 

Here is the basic problem with this particular falsehood: faith and works are not, in reality, set up in opposition to one another.  We are not given a scenario where we must decide between faith or works.  They go hand and hand as true faith brings forth good actions.

Church teaching has preserved this truth for us.  Like many of Christ’s teachings, it is not the easiest thing in the world to implement in our everyday lives.  It would be far easier to say a combination of words in a certain way, and then no longer be held responsible for our actions.  Yet Saint Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippians:

“So, my dear friends, you have always been obedient; your obedience must not be limited to times when I am present.  Now that I am absent it must be more in evidence, so work out your salvation in fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

This indicates that our faith must be lived, for while our salvation surely comes from Christ, we were born with free will and we use that free will to choose Heaven or Hell.  Our thoughts and actions lead us in one direction or the other.  Through the Grace of God we may choose Heaven.  But still we must be the ones who make the choice and we make the choice over and over again, when we choose to either turn towards God and embrace His will in our lives, or when we choose sin, which is death. 

We certainly struggle, mired down in the world, with our shortcomings and temptations and we know that we’ll frequently fall short.  Yet Jesus’ words in Matthew clearly tell us that we must still strive to do what is right and live out God’s will for our lives:

“Jesus said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good?  There is one alone who is good.  But if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments.”” (Matthew 19:17)

Saint Paul’s words in his letter to the Church in Ephesus do not contradict this balance of faith and works, when he says:

"For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—not because of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Maybe if our society prized humility a bit more, this verse would make more sense to us.  If we thought like Saint Ignatius of Loyola who said:

“Few souls understand what God would accomplish in them if they were to abandon themselves unreservedly to Him and if they were to allow His grace to mold them accordingly.”

or Saint Isaac Iogues who said:

“My confidence is placed in God who does not need our help for accomplishing his designs. Our single endeavor should be to give ourselves to the work and to be faithful to him, and not to spoil his work by our shortcomings.”

then Saint Paul’s words to the Ephesians would be easier for us to comprehend.  For our good deeds are not our own, they are God’s, and so we shouldn’t boast.  More than that, we shouldn’t boast of doing the things that we should be doing anyways.  We are made to serve and love God.  Yet we often find ourselves expecting praise when we do the bare minimum, like going to Mass on Sunday to fulfill our obligation. 

Over and over again we see in the Bible that our actions do in fact matter.  In Romans we read:

 "For he will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury." (Romans 2: 6-8)

An Appointment!

Paul kept calling the doctor's and finally nailed down an appointment with the cardiologist.  It's on the 17th, which I'm taking as a good sign, since the receptionist told me that appointments were based on urgency.  So apparently the EKG doesn't scream "urgent", which makes me pretty happy this morning.  Now it's just a matter of waiting three weeks for more news.  These past months have been a huge exercise in patience.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

An Update...

I was hoping to have a real update for you (and me!) today, but I haven't heard back from the cardiology office yet, so not much has happened here.  I do feel better today... but I do take a pain pill when the pain gets too out of control (which is usually once a day), so it's hard to tell if there's really any change.  Today was a little surreal in that I felt the same as I've felt for quite a while, but the mere idea that it could be heart related, rather than hormonal made things quite a bit more stressful.  I'm trying for the most part not to think about it (that's probably the real reason for the belated update!  Sorry!).  I do have a feeling that it's more likely to be a thyroid thing than a heart thing (at least that's what I'm hoping!).  I just wish I'd asked more questions when the doctor was so worried about the EKG results...  I was so surprised that they weren't good, that I didn't really say anything.

I will be calling the cardiology office tomorrow (despite the "don't call us we'll call you) and if I don't get a hold of them I'll start looking at the doctor's offices that are further away.  I'll post an update when I have an appointment!  Hopefully that will be soon!

The Dresses

The girls used a gift card that they got to pick out two new dresses.  Sadie is referring to her dress as a "Tiana" Dress.  And Mae Bae's is an actual Princess Dress.

Today when we went on a short walk I snapped a few pictures and I just had to share them here:

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Crisis of the Day

I become a horrible blogger when I have something big on my mind that I'm trying not to share.  It's like the thing I'm not talking about becomes the only thing I can possibly think about, any time I go to post something on my blog and I end up with a serious case of writer's block.

These past few days that's been going on.  But because I was trying not to be a gloomy little storm cloud (umm... I think I failed... even though I didn't share what was going on) and I didn't really know what was going on, I posted about scissors and the weather and tried to put my rambling-on-about-next-to-nothing skills to good use.

Well, now I still don't know what's going on, but I know a bit more than I did this morning.

I went to the doctor this afternoon for a checkup.  It wasn't an OB check like most of them have been in the past months, just a regular, brand new doctor checkup.  Paul had made the appointment for me, despite my protests that going in for a physical when "nothing was wrong" was pointless.  I have been a bit run down.  I had a fever last week and I've been nauseous and had headaches for about a month now.  But I'd figured the headaches were from the progesterone and maybe the exhaustion too, even though I'd been napping with the girls and getting plenty of sleep (and a dozen pregnancy tests said that I absolutely am not pregnant at this moment).  Nothing major.  Nothing worth seeing a doctor over.  Certainly nothing like what was going on a couple of months ago.

Then the pain started right below my right armpit four days ago.  It really, really hurt.  And it spread to my shoulder blade and halfway across my chest.  I don't think of myself as a wimp.  I played rugby.  I've had broken bones and a badly herniated disk.  I took 1 pain pill after I had my c-section and 2 (if I remember correctly) after I had my D&C.  But I was now taking 2 pills a day to control whatever it was that was going on.  I was suddenly grateful to have an appointment coming up.

I felt fine this morning when I woke up (possibly because 3 days of percocet can really make a person feel "fine.").  We went to the appointment and I waited my turn.  Three minutes into the appointment I was a little nervous.  The doctor had a heavy accent that was hard to understand and didn't seem to have much patience with anyone.  When Paul's appointment was over he took Mae outside and I explained to the doctor what was going on.

Once we got past the "you could have died!!!" horror of what happened with the miscarriage, she began to ask questions and listened to my heart.  I told her I was really run down and I thought I might have shingles, because of the location of the pain.  She listened and paused, seemingly deep in thought and suddenly became very, very nice.  She said she didn't think I had shingles.  She asked if I knew that my resting pulse was 106 beats per minute.  She was ordering an EKG.

Ten minutes later I had a referral to a cardiologist in my hand and another prescription for painkillers (what is it with telling doctors that you don't like taking painkillers that causes them to give you them?) after a not-so-good EKG.  And Sadie was walking alongside me saying "Can I help you Mommy?" in a worried tone while I acted like everything was fine and tried not to freak out about how worried the formerly stern doctor seemed.

So now I'm waiting for a call back from the cardiologist who will agree to see me based on "how bad things seem" according to his receptionist.  By that logic, I guess not getting in this week would be a good thing.

I can't help but wonder if this is related to all the hemorrhaging and three months of retained tissue.  I mean that couldn't have been good for any part of my body.

As always, any prayers are appreciated.  Writing down what happened does take me slightly out of freak out mode.  And I'm very grateful for a husband who dragged me to the doctor while I insisted I was fine.  Now if only we can get some good news...  I'm ready to write a post about how nothing is wrong and how this experience has inspired me to train for a half marathon...

Different Definitions of "Nice" Weather

When we moved to Florida a lot of people we knew who had visited the state repeatedly told us: "Oh we visited last winter and it was soooooooooo nice."  This was specific to the town we were moving to, in particular, and so when we moved here in summer and it felt like we were swimming through the air with 95 degree temperatures and 50 billion percent humidity, I would cling to the thought that winter was only a few short months away and that then it would be "nice."  After all, it might be 110 degrees back home, but it was 110 degrees with dry air, which does not feel nearly as unbearable as the soaking wet, instantly coated with sweat heat of South West Florida.

And I have come to the conclusion that we have a very different idea of what "nice" is.  I think it may have something to do with the difference between living in a place and visiting that same place.

On Christmas Day the weather man told us it was going to be 85 degrees.  Yesterday it was supposed to be 80 degrees and we were going to get .7 inches of rain (and I'm sure we did because it poured).  While there was a brief break in the mugginess in November, the humidity appears to be back with one weather lady saying "we have a high pressure system moving in, so it's going to be nice!" in an annoyingly chipper voice, while I thought about throwing my shoe at the television because this... this... is not "nice."

I will admit that I love cold weather.  I own skis and a snowboard.  I grew up making snowmen and having sled runs through the backyard.  Then we'd huddle round the fire pit, which had the snow cleared away, and make s'mores.  

I usually love warm weather too.  What I actually enjoy, I think, is the change of the seasons, and not the perpetual muggy warmth that has two modes: hot and hotter.

I do now know when Paul asks:  "Where do you see us living?" that my answer now includes: "Some place with seasons!  Four of them!!!"  

More than that, let it be someplace where my yarn based crafting skills can be put to use and appreciated.  Who wants a cozy hand knit baby sweater in Florida?  Or a snuggly afghan.  No one!  Because it's just too hot to even think about snuggling up in anything wooly.  It's more like year round spandex (swimsuits).

I think it must be different for people who were born here.  They seem to be used to the thick heat and are content with the perpetual summer (broken of course, by an occasional tropical storm).

So for all of you who had snowy white Christmases... enjoy the cold for me!  Have another cup of hot cocoa and snuggle by the fire!  I think I need to go turn the air conditioner down before it gets too hot today...

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The New Dress Project

Yesterday I started cutting out strips of fabric with a vague picture in my mind of how my dress would look.  Sadie helped me drape and giggle.  She also offered to sew, but I declined (by pointing out that we still need to buy batteries!).  Here's what I've come up with so far.  I'd have to say my dress form comes in a close second to my scissors in the usefulness department.  

Unfortunately the bra straps (that I use to shape my dress form) are in the picture.  But other than that, here's my plan for my new dress.

Now if only I had someplace fancy to wear it!  Maybe next year!

How Babies are Made.... a 3 Year Olds' Definition

On Christmas Day I was laying back on the ground in the middle of our living room, exhausted from two hours of frantic cooking in order to get dinner on the table by 5:30.  The food was not yet eaten, but was still cooling, and I think Paul was in cutting up the ham.

I'd already changed into my favorite pajama pants and a t-shirt, because I was feeling a bit under the weather, and as I lay back with my arms over my head, a bit of my stomach peeked out.  Sadie quickly slid over next to me and started pushing at my stomach around my belly button, like she was kneading dough (she helps me knead dough when I make bread).  As she did this she announced:  "This is how you make a baby!"

So there you have it, from the mouth of our three year old: that's how you make a baby!

Monday, December 26, 2011

My Most Useful Purchase of the Year

Last month I returned from a fabric purchasing expedition with a slender silver colored box.  We were on our way to buy groceries as I removed the box from the bag and explained to Paul that I'd made a wonderful, much needed purchase that would make my life so much easier.  He looked more than a little skeptical as I said the words "spring action scissors."  I rushed on explaining that they were 50% off, making them only $24 and that with all the sewing I do they would make life much, much easier.  That's when he started to think that I'd completely lost it.  Who buys $50 scissors, even when they are 50% off?  And spring loaded?  He was not impressed.  There was a comment of:  "What, so you don't have to do all that work to pull the scissors back open when they're closed?"  I chuckled, because it did sound kind of ridiculous when he put it that way.

It's been nearly a month, however, and I have to say, they are by far the most useful thing that I bought this year (last year's most useful purchase would be these pliers).  The only part of sewing that I disliked before was cutting out fabric.  It was frequently frustrating.  And I was sewing so often that my cheap sewing scissors would be dull after a few weeks.  I did buy a scissor sharpener that was also on sale, but when I saw that these scissors were 50% off I figured that I'd make an investment and see if high quality scissors really were as important as I'd read they are in my sewing books.

I can now say that they really are that important.  And for me the spring action feature is definitely a plus.  When I sewed the girl's dresses before we left for Disney World I sewed 18 hours in two and a half days (I had some late, late nights).  When you're sewing that much, every little bit of help is a big plus and having the scissors spring back out on their own made cutting faster and easier (because my hands were feeling pretty tired by hour 4!).

The angle of the scissors is also better for cutting fabric, with the blade laying flush against the ground when I cut I don't have to hold by hand and arm at an awkward angle to compensate for the straight angle of regular scissors.  And they cut through fabric, even thick fabrics like the velvets I've been sewing lately, like a knife cutting through soft butter.  As you can see I'm a big fan.

My scissors are still living in their little silver box when they aren't being used.  Everyone has strict instructions not to use them for none sewing pursuits.    They won't be cutting paper or plastic anytime soon.  So if you are someone who's cutting fabric in a large quantity I can definitely say that sewing scissors are a pretty useful investment.  I wish I'd figured that out about 12 months ago!

The scissors pictures are from the Joann's Fabric Website.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Last night we made quick work of all that was left to be done.  I'd, thankfully, been able to finish the dresses the night before and so all we had left was wrapping and stocking stuffing.  

Here the tree is with all the presents under it (and the majority of the girls existing toys around it, since this is their main play area):

Here's Sadie's stocking, which was mostly filled with felt cupcakes that I'd sewed for her tea parties.

And Mae's stocking which had her favorite jingle bells in it along with more cupcakes:

On the toy front we'd attempted to go less crazy than we have on other Christmases.  This year it was a necessity, but I think we may stick with what we've come up with.  The girls each got three toys and a dress.  For Sadie the toys were a princess doll, princess shoes and her sewing machine.  For Mae Bae they were her vacuum toy popper (for lack of a better description, it's the pink thing in the picture above), two tiny princess dolls (that came in the same package so I counted them as one present) and a big princess doll.  However, there were a lot of presents from our extended family (as you'll see!)!

Here we are at 6 am as we came out into the living room.  We decided we were going to do presents before Mass at 8 am, so we knew we had to be up bright (although it was still pitch black outside) and early!  Mae, who is usually the early riser, had to be woken up.  Sadie was very serious in this picture as she spotted the tree and presents:

Mae Bae wasn't very interested at first.  She found a brushed and went over to a mirror and brushed her hair for a while.  However, at this point she'd discovered a new passion.  Bows.

Here's a Christmas smile.

This was Mae's favorite present.  The brush that came with her princess doll.  She's also more fond of Sadie's Tiana doll than her own Belle doll, and Sadie's quite attached to Mae's Belle doll, so I think they may just switch.

Here Mae is giving me a princess bow.

And here she is admiring her handiwork.

Here Sadie is with all the toys (for both of them... although I realized later I forgot to wrap the sewing machine!  Yikes!).  So even though we went "light" on presents and spent right, it was still pretty extravagant.

And Sadie just can't keep her eyes off her boots.

Here Mae Bae is in her Christmas princess dress, with Map, her favorite toy of all time:

Another princess dress picture:

Here Sadie is in her princess dress, looking very serious after we got home from Mass:

I put up snowflakes on the windows to pretend it's not 80 degrees outside.

And here they are together!

When Mae went down for her nap Sadie put on a princess dress and hosted a tea party:

Then it was time for a costume change (her fourth of the day) to play beauty salon.

Now we're all relaxing (while Mae continues napping) before lunch!  

I hope you're all having a Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ave Verum Corpus, Natum de Maria Virgine...

When I was in school (public) we began instrument lessons in fourth grade (I was the most terrible clarinet you've ever heard, demonstrating early on my complete lack of rhythm or musical talent) and had a year of chorus in fifth grade.  Around Christmas that year, we sang a song that caused some parents to pull their kids out of the class (temporarily).

I remembered the words, which were Latin, because they were really drilled into our heads, even though I didn't understand what they meant at the time.

When I first became Catholic, not quite five years ago, I was surprised when I first heard a Hail Mary in Latin, because I had always thought that that was what we were saying, since the song began with Ave and had the word Maria in it too.

I've been curious to see what it was we were singing all those years ago, and so this morning I tried to type out the first verse from memory to see what I could find.  It was:

"Ave verum corpus, natum
de Maria Virgine,
vere passum, immolatum
in cruce pro homine..."

...which was the part that I've had going through my head, on and off, for the past, 18 years.  I had some idea what some of the words were like "ave" "verum" "cruce" and "homine" but having an actual translation helped greatly:

The translation:

"Hail, true Body, born
of the Virgin Mary,
who having truly suffered, was sacrificed
on the cross for mankind..."

The entire translation continues (in English):

"...whose pierced side
flowed with water and blod:
May it be for us a foretaste (of the Heavenly banquet)
in the trial of death.
Oh dear Jesus, Oh merciful Jesus, Oh Jesus, son of Mary,
have mercy on me.  Amen."

Out of all the songs we sang, this is the only one that hasn't faded and completely disappeared with time.

I can't imagine a public school singing it now a days, even with the ability for parents to opt out...  yet I'm very glad that I know it, and that I was humming it to myself and occasionally singing it, all these years.

The wikipedia page says that "The poem is a meditation on the Catholic belief in Jesus' Real Presence in the sacrament of the Eucharist, and ties it to the Catholic conception of the redemptive meaning of suffering in the life of all believers.  

Yes... I can't imagine a song I would rather have had echoing around in my head for the last nearly two decades.

Edited to Add:

Thank you to Cliff for finding the clip!

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Santa Issue

I’ve actually been thinking about writing this post for a week or so.  A fellow blogger asked me this question when we were at Disney World, and a friend and I had been discussing it while taking our children on a walk a couple weeks ago.  And yet I hesitate.  Why?  Because I have the feeling that the topic has the potential of exploding, in a hornets nest sort of way, no matter how I handle it. 

On the other hand, half the time when I think a topic might turn in that direction it doesn’t... While a post that I feel is perfectly innocent and uncontroversial that explains why I’ve done something, might turn into a fifty comment torrent of less than pleasant conversation.  So maybe I should just stop trying to avoid parenting controversy (the only type I really consciously try to avoid, in other words the “Mommy Wars”), because I never do a particularly good job of it.

The topic is one that I’m sure some of you have pondered and that others probably haven’t given much thought about because the answer for many is so obvious is…. Santa. 

When we got married I was adamant that we would “do” Santa.  Yet as I read more and more accounts online of adults who said they’d fallen away from the faith when they realized that Santa was a lie, and just figured that the whole Christmas story was in the same vein, I found myself pausing to give the issue more thought.  I wanted to disregard it out of hand.  But over the years I’ve read a number of writers that made the same claim. 

Which basically brings up the issue of outright lying.  I make every effort not to lie, in part because I know that it's wrong and I know that if I do, I’ll be headed right back to confession, even if I just got up from kneeling behind that screen 15 minutes ago, and I’ll have to tell someone what I’ve done/said.  Lying, in my mind, is different from many other sins because it pretty much always involves a conscious choice to do something wrong.  I might say something mean without meaning to.  I might say something gossipy, without intending to.  But if I lie, I know what I’m saying isn’t true.  And that is a problem worthy of a pretty immediate trip to the confessional.  The other half is that I want my children to trust what I saw implicitly.   And I absolutely don't want them to think that lying is okay. 

I don't think that telling a story and using our imaginations is the same thing as lying.  But when we're asked outright?  That's when it becomes problematic for me.

Besides that is the fact that Sadie knows what Christmas is.  She’s been talking about Baby Jesus’ birthday for weeks.  She sings happy birthday to him.  She asks if it’s his birthday yet.  We read stories about the Nativity.  She’s pretty much on cloud nine about it.  And so at this point, introducing Santa as “real” in the aspect he’s portrayed in these days, might seem rather confusing.  I’m not even sure how to bring it up as “real” if we wanted to because it doesn’t really fit with the rest of the story.  What would I say: “You know how we’ve been talking about Baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph?  Well there’s also this jolly old man in a red suit…” which, at this stage, seems like it would be kind of confusing.  She's so enthralled with the reality of the Nativity.  I really don't think there's anything that could add to that pure, wonderful joy.  

At the moment we’ve found a sort of balance.  I read the girls the Night Before Christmas pretty frequently, just like we read about princesses and wild animals who talk.  We also talk about the saints and read books about the saints.  I don’t go out of my way to say “this is pretend” and “this is real” but when I’m asked I’ll be honest.  So far, she doesn’t ask. I'll do the same thing if she ever asks me about the Disney princesses or anything else that's pretend.  As a adult who grew from a child with a very active imagination I'd say that something existing only in our imaginations doesn't make it any less wonderful!

We already celebrated Saint Nicholas’ feast day this year with presents in the girls’ shoes outside.  Sadie was thrilled.  We will be doing stockings at Christmas. Sadie's been watching me sew the cupcakes she's been longing for (out of felt) for weeks.  So I imagine she'll have a pretty good idea where they came from.

Despite our decision, when we were somewhere where “Santa” was going to be posing for pictures I asked her if she wanted to see him, and she said “no!!!!” in a terrified voice (apparently she still remembers past visits, which involved outright hysteria…).    She is into the reindeer (I imagine from the book).  We talk about reindeer way more than the big man in red himself. She's made up her own version of "Jingle Bells" that goes:  "Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells... Reindeer pull a sleigh!"  

So our game plan, at the moment, is to tell the girl’s stories of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, when we’re asked and say that yes, he is real, he’s a Saint in Heaven with God, no he's not that man with the line in the red suit.  And of course, I’ll certainly also teach them not to ruin the secret for other kids (a concern that usually comes up... and of course, in the same vein, I greatly appreciate it when people who know our decision and our reasoning, respect it, instead of undermining our parenting decisions and confusing our children!  It's a two way street!). 

Sometimes reality is so rich, that it doesn’t necessarily need the addition of a myth.  And when they’re old enough I’m sure they’ll appreciate the stories of Saint Nicholas defending the faith (did you know one story about him is that he punched Arius, author of the Arian heresy, which claims that Christ is not divine, in the nose at a council?), alongside the stories of his generosity.

I totally understand why people “do” Santa (I know we’re in the minority here).  And no, I don’t think it’s inherently damaging (although those stories I read did stick with me and influence us).  Just to preempt the conversation heading that way…

Have any of you taken this route for various reasons?  I know it's a bit odd, but then again, so are a lot of our decisions!

The picture of Bishop Nicholas punching the heretic Arius in the nose is borrowed from the Saint Nicholas Center page.


Many of you have probably already heard of (or been sucked in...) by Pinterest.  It's a site where you can basically grab pictures off of other sites by getting an account and a "Pin It" button at the top of your browser (at least that's how it works for Safari, the Mac Internet Browser) and clicking on it when you see something you like.  You can then put the picture on one of the "boards" that you've created.  It's pretty inevitable I'd be excited to find something like this.  I spent my whole childhood/adulthood until I was too busy any longer, making long, complicated lists of pretty much everything.  Pinterest totally re-enables that tendency (with pictures!)!

I've been using it to compile ideas, when I'm too sleepy to sew or do anything else constructive (or when Paul is forcing me to watch the entire Lord of the Ring's trilogy, since I have a hard time sitting still and not multi-tasking).

Most of the ideas lately have been sewing centered, with a section on dresses I'd love to be able to make, a section on girl's dresses (again, for sewing/knitting inspiration),  and my personal favorite the Kids Section, with ideas for Catholic Inspired Kids Toys.  There's also a "if I had an unlimited budget to decorate my home with things that I love" type section titled, "Home" and a couple other sections of various lists I've composed (all the boards can be reached here).

Are any of you on pinterest at the moment and feel like sharing?

Thursday, December 22, 2011

My Sewing Journey

This morning as I was looking for old photos of the outfits the girls were wearing yesterday, I began finding the pictures of my first sewing experiments.  And so I compiled a series of my little girls' dresses starting with my first dressing and going right up to the present!  It's pretty exciting for me to see the progress that's been made in the past two years!