Tag Archives: Creativity

What I’ve Been Reading – August 2017

What I've Been Reading August 2017

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I’ve been on a roll again the past few months. Our book club took a break for the summer, as did the mom group that I lead, which freed up quite a bit of time in the evenings. I had several books that I received last year for my birthday that I still hadn’t read, so I made it a point to finish some of them.

I’m actually going to pass my Reading Challenge on GoodReads this year! I figured picking 35 was crazy-sauce, but as of right now I’m at 31! I even managed to read a healthy mix of fiction and non-fiction.What I've Been Reading August 2017

Favorite Fiction Book

I want to say The Nightingale, but I’m not sure if that’s because I just finished it. And yes, I read a lot of WW2 fiction. I have to say though, that The Nightingale was the one that moved me the most emotionally. The Secret Keeper was very good, but it didn’t have me crying at the end.

I had also never read anything before about France during WW2, which was eye opening, even if it was fiction. I’ve had Suite Francaise on my list for a while, and just watched it on Amazon a few weeks ago. I think that will be getting bumped to my list soon.

Favorite Non-Fiction Book

Again, so hard to choose! All of the non-fiction that I read were ones that have been sitting in my pile for a while. They were all pertinent to some area of my life. I’d have to say it was a tie between Different and Life Creative. Different was so fantastic for this momma’s heart.

I loved reading about Sally Clarkson and her son, Nathan’s struggle with his being an out of the box child. While I’m not dealing with anything as extreme as they do, it was such a hope-filled book about being the mom that YOUR child needs, regardless of what other’s think your child needs.

Life Creative was another side of my momma-heart, with being creative. So often people will make disparaging comments about how moms’ should put aside themselves and their creative BECAUSE they’re a mom. Kelli and Wendy show you why it’s important that you don’t do that, but also that you invite your children INTO your creative.

The Book I Didn’t like

I’m going to say Give Your Child the World, and not because it wasn’t a good book. It was a good book, but I think I was looking for something more than a reference book with lists of suggestions. It’s a fantastic resource, but I was hoping it was going to go more into how to use the books to explore the world with your children. Granted, I think I can figure that out on my own, but still it would’ve been nice to have some suggestions.  I will say, that we’ve gotten a slew of books from the library that were suggested in this one and they were all top notch!

What have you been reading?

(I’m trying something new: I’ve notated books I’ve read for my book club * and F or NF for Fiction and Non-Fiction).

The Year I Found Me

The Year I found Me: Daughter of the King

My birthday is this week, Friday to be precise. I turn 35. Goodness that sounds so old, 35. I remember when my mom was 35, I was 13…I think I planned a birthday party for her. I was always planning parties for people, still do. It’s taken me a few years to be OK with this new age…fortunately, it’s just in time. I feel like at 35 I’m finally willing to live my life on my terms, that I’ve finally found myself.

The Year I found Me: Daughter of the King

So much, too much, of my life has been lived in fear. I never really lived my teens or early 20s, I was too responsible. Too scared of pissing off my parents. And I did nothing. Now, I sit and think about all the things I didn’t do, all the things I wish I had done. The girl I wish I would’ve been, rather than the girl who was too scared to do anything.

Those few risks I took, the limbs I went out on, all turned out pretty good…and yes, Matthew was one of them.

A couple of years ago I realized something: That while I am a wife and mother, I am first myself.

I existed as Me, long before any of those other titles came to be. I was created as a Daughter of the King; Only to Him do I owe any explanation. That moment, that realization, has set me on the course of living my life with less fear. I had to STOP ignoring who I was or in 20 years I was going to wake up to an empty house and wonder what I was supposed to do with my life now.

The only title I have had for all eternity is Daughter of the King, and it is only to Him and for Him, that I am bound to live my life.

Can I tell you what a freeing concept that is?! That I don’t have to sacrifice who I am for what other people think I should be. God created me just as He wanted and needed me to be; the talents, the interests, all of it. All that is me was created solely for the purpose of bring Him glory.

What does that even mean?! It means I can stop stuffing down who I am and what I like and what my interests are. It means that I am free to be WHO I AM in my roles as a wife and mother. It means that I am not JUST A MOM, but an individual, created uniquely to live this life for him.

A friend was recently chided for writing a book, that somehow as a wife and mother it was not “good” for her to take time away from her husband and children to write a book, and I loved her response:

I smiled and told them that way back when, God reached in and tugged at my heart. I chose to live my life for Jesus and not for my children. Any legacy left here for them, is because He has my heart and gives me my focus. My children are just living in my surrender. Wholly and completely given to God.
When my children leave, God is still my first love.September McC.

Before I belonged to anyone, I belonged to Him. When everyone is gone, I will still belong to Him.

God is the only one who has the final word on who and what I am. No one else in this world has any right to tell me that they think my energies are better spent a certain way, that I’m not permitted to be who He created me to be. If I am right with God, that is all that matters. If I am following His lead, that is all that matters.

That weekend trip to Dublin…it was something I desperately wanted (and needed). It was crazy, I knew people would think I was crazy, irresponsible even, but I knew it was a GOOD THING. I knew it was something that God had put together just for me, to learn that I was His, and the He had freed me to live the life that He planned for me.

So, these next few years, I’m hoping you don’t think I’ve gone off the deep-end or that I must’ve lost my mind. I haven’t. I am just living the life God has for me, pursuing the interests and paths He has laid out, and BOY! do I have a lot of time to make up for.

Sewing Room Reveal

For a while now I’ve really struggled with my creative needs. The triplets stopped napping soon after Peter was born, and, try as I might, I just haven’t had the time or energy to sit down and write or sew or anything. It sucked; it still sucks. Plain and simple.


One of the big struggles was every time I went to go in our unused dining room to sew, it was a project just to unearth everything. Not to mention that I was using a folding table for my cutting and a gate-leg table for my machine. Less than desired. It made creativity an impossibility.

This past winter we’ve tried to be really intentional about finishing some of the home projects that were put on the back burner after our major renovations. The two major ones were our basement and setting up a sewing room. The basement is still a work in progress, but the sewing room is  done (other than it’s been taken over by plants for the garden).

The Sewing Room Reveal

What I love most about my sewing room is the amount of light it has! Doesn’t matter the time of day, it’s always bright (probably because 3 of the 4 walls have windows). It’s a peaceful and enjoyable room to be in.

So let’s break it down…shall we?

really wanted a peg board in this room. I was so tired of things being in drawers and boxes and never where I could find them. I really wanted it to have a shelf above it too, so that I could store some baskets (that’s my grandmother’s sewing basket up there) and some jars with notions in them.

The peg board gives me a ton of storage for all of my scissors, rulers, tape measures and everything else that I need while sewing.I was all set to buy a counter top at Ikea, but then we found a piece of laminated particle board that we had saved from our old kitchen that was 9′ x 3’…it was perfect!

 

Heavy and strong enough to support the weight of two machines. Matt ripped the board town to 24″ wide and it fits both my serger and my sewing machine perfectly. Now when I’m working on garments I can roll from one machine to the other without having to stop and set things up.

 

I ended up taking some cheap pine edge molding to finish it, so that fabrics don’t snag. We mounted the board to the wall and then built a frame underneath so that it has two legs (we bought them at Lowe’s), so it looks more like a table. The best part was that other than the legs, we had all the materials, even the paint.

My spool holder became a nightmare. I got this as a gift several years ago and just never used it, because there was no place to put it. I ripped the stand off the back of it an hung it on the wall, only to find out that NONE of my spools of thread fit on the dowels. Ahhh!

I had two choices…toss it or cut all the dowels off and re-drill the holes for smaller dowels. I opted for the later.  It took me quite a bit of time, but I managed to fix 81 of the dowels to fit the new spool sizes. It was tedious. But, I’m pleased with how it came out.

The other big project we had in the room was creating me a cutting table. Try as I might a plastic folding table just wasn’t….wait for it…cutting it. My in-laws had a teak table they were looking to get rid of, so we built a base for the top (which was the perfect size, and has a side that I can lift up when I’m working with yards of fabric).

I think we spent about $40 on the wood for the base. We went with the stain-grade pine boards that they sell at Lowe’s. Now I have a place to store the projects I’m working on, as well as the fabrics that I have plans for. I also put one of those magnet strips above, so that I can put my rotary cutter and scissors right were I need them and away from little hands.

The other big obstacle in the room was my ironing board. I had always kept it up, but it was usually in the way. I ended up getting some hooks for the wall and hiding it behind the door. The iron sits on a shelf on my peg board and when I need it I pull them both out.

It’s such a nice space to work in now. I have all the things I need at hand and space to spread out when I’m working on projects. Now I just have to find the time to actually get in there.

Paying it forward

I’m not sure how it’s been 5 years, but it has. On Thursday Henry, James, and Elanor will be turning 5 years old. I may have to spend the day in bed with the blankets over my head, because I am completely in denial that they’re 5. There are no words as to how grateful I am that we have Peter, because it’s been a whir!

Five years ago, on December 22, 2011 we found ourselves at Albany Medical Center, very anxiously awaiting the arrival of our little ones. A few hours later Henry, James, and Elanor were born and hurried off to the NICU. I was discharged on the afternoon of Christmas Eve, going home to our two-year-old, leaving our babies in the hospital. It was one of the hardest things we have ever had to do.

Christmas morning, we drove the two hours back to AMC to spend our first Christmas with our newest family members. It was the first time we could hold all of them. The nurses in the NICU were wonderful and had told us that someone had knit little hats for the babies in the NICU on Christmas and would we be willing to accept one for each of our peanuts.

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Every Christmas we look at those tiny hats and marvel at how they were BIG on our now huge five year olds. The gift of those hats meant so much to us on an incredibly hard Christmas. It has been my goal that for our babies’ fifth birthday I would make three Christmas baby quilts for three little ones spending their first Christmas in the NICU. These are those quilts.

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Introducing the White House Academy’s Homeschool Planner!

Homeschool PlannerI’m a planner addict….I don’t have any, but I love them! I will admit that I have several blank ones lying around that I’ve never used. The one planner that I DO use is my homeschool planner.

I had planned on spending lots of money on a fancy expensive planner, but I really didn’t want to part with my money, so I figured I’d see if I could do it myself…I DID!

I have it available to you on my etsy shop AND IT’s ONLY $3.00! That’s right THREE DOLLARS! There are even two versions available, one with subjects printed in and one with blank subjects.

This is my first time doing something like this, so ANY feedback you can give me would be fantastic! If there’s a mistake or something you think would work better or something you feel it’s missing, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

And THANK YOU! Thank you for checking out my planner, for sharing my etsy site and letting me know your thoughts!

Here’s the handy contact form: