“C” is for Cooper

A couple of weeks ago, I ran my very first custom baby blanket giveaway on my instagram and Facebook accounts for Tiny Touch Of Yellow and it was more successful than I thought! I had 36 entries in the few days that I ran the contest and was so pleased to announce the winner to be an Amy Crosby-Proulx, who was entered in the contest by a friend of mine, Liz. Amy is a new mama to a beautiful baby boy named Cooper. Cooper’s mother picked out an adorable hippo pattern on Fabric.com and we got started right away.

I ordered the fabric (along with others because I can’t help myself) and when it arrived, it went right into the wash on a warm cycle with Whole Food’s brand Organic Unscented Laundry Detergent, and from there, was tumbled dry on low.

I went through my stacks on fabric to find the perfect shade for the backing and for the letter C, for Cooper!

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And I also had the perfect shade of blue thread to match.DSC_0770

All my letter appliqués are hand sketched.DSC_0771DSC_0772

They’re then cut out and pinned onto the fabric to be carefully cut!DSC_0774DSC_0775

And then of course, more pinning!DSC_0777

I set my sewing machine to a wide width stitch with a near zero length on a zig zag setting.DSC_0779

And here we have it! C for Cooper ❤DSC_0780

Next, I fold over the backing and pin to create an edging. DSC_0782

I run a line straight down the edging and keep it about an inch away from the end of the blanket.DSC_0784

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All my blankets come with these cute little tags for care instructions that I ordered off Etsy!DSC_0798DSC_0810DSC_0817DSC_0820

Thank you for your participation Amy and congratulations on your beautiful baby boy!DSC_0829

And here he is, Cooper, in all his sleepy glory. What a sweetie…

c is for cooper

Owl Flannel and Coral Minky Baby Blanket

I was so excited when all my fabric came in yesterday from fabric.com.

I came home from work to a BIG BOX sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor. It always feels a lot like Christmas when that happens. I threw it all in the washing machine and had to separate it into two loads for the dryer or else it would have taken forever to dry.

It was hard to decide which blanket I was going to make first so I let my eyes scan all the mountains of fabric to let something pop out at me and the first one was this coral minky fabric and flannel owl fabric, TOGETHER, forever, in perfect harmony.

I set Lillian up to play for a little while, which only lasted about 20 minutes before she started dozing off. DSC_0745

But at least I got a few shots of my little helper before my project of the day. DSC_0750

All the blankets I make  are about 30″x36″ which is bigger than most blankets I have seen for sale on Etsy.comDSC_0753

I had the perfect color thread on hand. This is why I am a hoarder of all things, because it comes in handy SO often.DSC_0754

I love the room that I sew in because the light comes in the windows all day and isn’t blocked by a whole lot. It’s a nice cozy feeling in here, especially when you point and focus your camera on some soft flannel.DSC_0763DSC_0761

And I of course had a photo shoot, as I usually do!

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And this listing can be found on my Etsy shop along with others!

 

Thank you for reading!

-Shannon

Finding you

I don’t know what I was expecting when I came to understand a year ago today that I was going to be a mother. I can’t remember what I was thinking, I just know that I wasn’t expecting this. I wasn’t expecting to be able to feel every minute pass by, constantly aware of every breath you take, every heart beat thumping away in your tiny, fragile chest.

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I used to hear things like “Becoming a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me.” and not think very much of it. That line is so commonly spoken that its meaning is too often lost. It’s like I used to walk around and see the world in only gray and suddenly every color pops and you even make the gray look beautiful. It’s all beautiful, because of you.

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So much personality was born that day. Hail pummeling the window that stretched the length of the room. And in so many ways, you are that same storm today. We see it in your eyes, hear it in your laughter, we even smell it on your sweet skin. I feel it every time I run my fingers through your soft, wispy hair. You are our beautiful little thunderstorm.

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So where would I be if I took a different path? If I moved away, went to that school in Arizona. Got that Physics degree. What would have happened if I never met your sweet, sweet father? A man who would give his last breath to us in a heartbeat. Well… I don’t know, and I don’t quite give a damn because I feel it in every step I take, that I found my north star.

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And it’s you. My Lillian Mae.

A Quilt for the Queen

When I think of my childhood home, I am hit with visions of cozy blankets and pillows, checkered curtains, perfectly placed candles, American flag themed decorations and the wonderful smell of home baked goods.

Our home was never lonely, with our multiple pets, my three brothers and all the stray children that came along with us who, like my brothers and I, called the queen “mom”, plain and simple.

This Christmas seemed impossible at first, but with the arrival of my baby girl this passed August, and my youngest brother surprising us by coming home from North Carolina, this was the best Christmas yet!

I decided that it was time to make my mother something that I have been meaning to make her for a long time. Something she has hinted at ever since I started quilting a couple of years ago. A big country themed quilt. So I got to work.

With a five month old, lingering through the isles of the fabric store is no longer an (easy) option, so I went over to Fabric.com and found everything I was looking for, but didn’t know how much of each fabric to order. I found this amazing site that allows you to lay out your fabric the way you want it and then calculates the amount of fabric you need! Pattern Jam was a huge help in this process, as I was little pressed for time, as we all usually are right before the holidays.

When my package arrived (along with 18 others) in the mail, I ripped the box open, washed and dried the 5 lbs of fabric, ironed like crazy and got to work on cutting it all up into 8 1/2″ squares.

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I used the image generated by Pattern Jam to help me keep track of which squares I was sewing together. Screen Shot 2015-12-27 at 11.31.11 AM

Because there were 81 squares, 9 rows of 9, I needed a way to stay organized in case I needed to step away from the project and pick back up later… which I did many times because I have a 5 month old who loves to help!

Once the rows were sewn together, I ironed the seams opened and kept track of them by laying them out as much as possible and pinning their numbers to them.

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This was one of the more intimidating parts because sewing the rows together needs to be done carefully, or else the seems will be off. A good way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is PINNING. I can’t stress how important it is to pin, pin, pin!

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And of course more ironing…

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And them contemplating keeping it as a table cloth…IMG_0662

A lot of fabric only comes 40″ wide, but this quilt is 72″ x 72″ so I ordered extra wide fabric online that was 104″ across so there wouldn’t be a seam down the back of the quilt from sewing two pieces together.

So I ironed the backing out and layered the batting on top of it, along with the front of the quilt and pinned like a mad lady to ensure there wouldn’t be any shifting.

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I sewed a seam down each row to make sure the batting and the backing wouldn’t separate from one another from any future washing, drying or snuggling.

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It was really starting to come together! Next step was to put the trimming on, which I did by folding over the remaining backing, pinning (of course) and sewing very carefully for a finished touch.

Now it was time to have a photoshoot with my mother quilt before I wrapped it up to give to her!

I purposely presenting it to her this way, that way when she unfolded it, she would see the beautiful central pattern I created for her.

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I love you mom! Merry Christmas 🙂

For Lillian, From Mommy

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Dear Lillian,

I’m torn here. You see, I want you to grow big and strong, but I also wish for you to stay little forever. People warn me all the time about you growing too fast. They tell me “treasure every moment” because these moments are fleeting and we must hold onto them. That’s why I write to you and take your photo every day, so that someday, when you’re grown I may look back and make sense of all the curve balls that life threw me, and I can be thankful. Thankful for all the worry and doubts that I have in small amounts every single day. I can be thankful for every detour that I took on my journey that led me to your amazing father, which led us to you.

You must understand the love I feel for you is incomparable to anything that I have ever known before. And yet you were out there somewhere, you always have been, just waiting for me to be ready for you. And I am so ready for you.

Love always and forever with my whole entire heart,

Mom

Cloth Diapering: BumGenius VS BabyGoal

Today, the words “cloth diaper” bring to mind a double-layer cloth wrapped around a baby, fastened with safety pins. Although these still exist, there are newer and improved versions of a cloth diaper, complete with waterproof liner, softer fabric and dozens of snaps to make them super adjustable.

Why choose cloth diapers over disposable ones? I won’t try to tell you that one is easier than the other because it all depends on the type of person you are and what preferences you have. I suppose if you’re reading this, you are considering using cloth diapers, or you already do.

I have used both cloth and disposable diapers for my daughter and I prefer cloth diapers for a number of reasons.

  • It saves a TON of money
  • Better for the environment
  • Gentler on baby’s skin
  • What is better than a chubby baby in a chunky diaper?

Derek and I use two different types of diapers: BumGenius and Babygoal.

Overview

BumGenius

Cost:              6 pack for $106.00

Includes:        2 cloth inserts per diaper

Material:         Waterproof and stain resistant

Adjustable:     8+ lbs

Babygoal

Cost:              6 pack for $34.99

Includes:        1 cloth insert per diaper + 4 extra inserts or 1 travel wet-bag

Material:         Waterproof and stain resistant

Adjustable:     6+lbs

What’s to love:

BumGenius:

The material on the outside is nice and soft and the snaps are very sturdy. The diaper itself is excellent quality.

BabyGoal:

I love all the designs and patterns! There are so many to choose from.

I’m very pleased with the high quality inserts they provide.

The flaps snap to one another, making the diaper useful to newborns.

Downfalls:

BumGenius:

One of the inserts they provide isn’t very useful. It’s only two layers of fabric while the other insert they provide is 3 layers. My daughter has had a few diaper spills due to this.

Also, my daughter did not fit into these when she was first born because the flaps only snap to the diaper and do not have an overlapping option.

BabyGoal:

If I had to think of one downfall, I suppose it would be the material is a 8/10 if Bumgenius is a 10/10. The inside fabric is the same as far as I can tell, but the outside fabric isn’t as soft to the touch.

Conclusion:

We really don’t prefer one over the other. I like them both for different reasons. I would say that if you’re more concerned with the highest quality and less concerned with the cost, go with BumGenius. If you’re looking to stock up FAST without spending too much, go with BabyGoal. They’re both fantastic diapers that I would recommend equally to anyone considering the cloth diapering route!

Buy them here:

BumGenius 6pack

BabyGoal 6pack

*A diaper sprayer is pretty essential to cloth diapers. Spray off any solids into the toilet bowl, then throw the diaper in the wash!

Bumkins Diaper Sprayer

Lots To Learn

3 monthsLillian is three months old today and she is growing wonderfully. She loves to kick and splash during bath time, she chats with us about her dreams every morning, and she never fails to give a big smile after spewing all over my fifth shirt of the day.

I am so excited for her to begin using her hands as the tools they are. She is just now starting to hold things and she even brings them up to her face. In the next year, she will learn to crawl, eat, laugh, walk and say a few select words.

But what will I learn? In the next year, I will learn what it’s like to have to chase around a crawling baby. I will learn to baby proof my entire home, making sure nothing is left on the floor for her to choke on. I will be able to change her with one hand tied behind my back. I will learn what foods she loves, and which ones don’t agree with her. I will learn the sound of her laugh, which cry means what, and when she has grown tired of her surroundings. I will learn a little bit more every day what it means to be loved by such an innocent little girl, who looks at me with wide, curious eyes. I will learn what it means to love without reserve, to act upon instinct, to do what is absolutely best for her in each moment of every day. I will learn who Lillian is and who she is meant to be, who I was meant to be as a mother, as a wife and as a daughter myself.

5 TIPS TO AVOID OVERBUYING AT THE GROCERY STORE

I have been employed at Whole Foods Market for a couple of years now. In that timeframe, I have been in two different departments, held a supervisor position, met my (now) fiancé and gave birth to our beautiful daughter. I started off as a cashier, worked my way over to the bakery (where I voluntarily taste-tested EVERYTHING) and made my way back to customer service during my pregnancy to ensure that I took it easy.

Needless to say, I interact with a ton of people on a daily basis and I have heard it all. I have been told to “shhh” during cell phone conversations. I have been interrogated, yelled at, stalked, and someone even poked my pregnant belly once and simply said “WHEN?” in which I clarified “do you mean to say ‘when are you due’?” Rude.

But out of everything I hear, the words I hear the most are

“How much is my bill!?”,

“That’s why they call it ‘WHOLE PAYCHECK’”,

“I only came in here for a few things…”,

“This is why I should never go shopping when I’m hungry.”

Derek and I shop exclusively at Whole Foods. I made a lifestyle change when I started working there and Derek had already been living that lifestyle for quite a while. So it is safe to say that our biggest investment is our food, and rightfully so! What we put into our bodies is very important to us, but we are also about saving our pennies ever since our daughter was born. We are financially comfortable but it is solely because we are responsible with our spending, but I wasn’t always that way. It was Whole Foods that taught me to be wiser before I go food shopping.

During my time in the bakery department, I held a supervisor position in which I was responsible for buying all the department’s products. A HUGE part of that position was to take an inventory before any orders were placed. If we had five bags of flour, I knew that we didn’t need to order anymore. But I didn’t know all of this off the top of my head. There are hundreds of products that I was responsible for keeping track of, so if I were to guess on the inventory, we would either spend too much money, or we would be in desperate need of something. I have been in both situations more times than I would like to admit.

Luckily, overbuying for my own kitchen doesn’t get me into quite as much trouble but I still kick myself when I do overbuy. I have provided below a list of tips for you to follow so you can avoid overspending at the store. If I can do this at Whole Foods, anyone can do it anywhere!

  1. Take an inventory

I can’t tell you how many times I have come home with $200 worth of groceries only to realize I could have saved $30 by not buying things we already had! Taking an inventory also helps you to get an idea of what you’re not eating and maybe you’ll even find things that have gone bad. At that point, you can either make an effort to eat all the spinach before it goes bad, or maybe you’ll just decide that spinach isn’t your thing and you’ll stop buying it.

  1. Don’t go shopping while you’re hungry

Like I mentioned before, this is something I hear a lot from our customers. I will be ringing out their order and they’ll remark that they “only came in for a couple of things” meanwhile I am staring at a belt full of groceries consisting of packaged junk and prepared foods. I get that sometimes we’re busy and our bellies aren’t full before we go shopping. I have done it. But in this event, try to stick to the produce sections and maybe if you see a freshly made smoothie, grab a straw and drink it while you’re shopping (as long as you have the intention of purchasing it!)

  1. Go shopping more than once a week

I know that this one might seem counterintuitive at first, but this actually does work. Before my maternity leave, I worked full time. I would get a text from Derek almost every shift asking me to pick up a FEW things because that’s all we needed. At the end of those weeks, I found I would sometimes spend under $100. But once I went on maternity leave, I wasn’t there all the time, so we would wait until we NEEDED food and then I would go in there and overcompensate by filling my carriage until it was spilling over with groceries. Those were the weeks I would spend a couple hundreds bucks and on top of that, I would throw a good amount of it away.

  1. Stick with produce

This blends in with number 2 and 3. “Don’t go shopping while you’re hungry” and “Go shopping more than once a week”. I know that Whole Foods has been known for its’ prices but a little research on your part will prove that much of our organic produce is priced cheaper than other stores such as Shaws and Stop & Shop. It’s always good to snack on fruits and vegetables rather than processed and packaged snacks but the things about produce is it doesn’t last as long as a box of cookies. I found that when I was going shopping only once a week, I would buy produce and then I wouldn’t touch it when I got home because there were bagels to eat, and yummy chocolate cereals, and frozen lasagna. By going shopping more often and sticking with the produce, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll change the way you eat without trying very hard! If you’re a fan of Pinterest, there are lots of ways to make delicious snacks with fruits and veggies.

  1. Stock up on basic cooking and baking supplies

I personally love cooking and baking and the words “I can make that myself” come to mind A LOT. My fiancé built a corner shelf for me for easier access to all my cooking and baking supplies. Things I always have on hand include flour (as well as almond flour because my mother-in-law in gluten free) a few types of sweeteners, LOTS of spices, baking powder, baking soda, a few types of oils and some sauces. This helps tremendously! If I’m in a bit of a rush to make dinner, instead of pulling out a couple of unfulfilling and pricey frozen meals, I just toss some frozen chicken into a pan with some sauce of my choice along with some rice and broccoli. It’s something that doesn’t take a ton of time and I have everything that I need. And speaking of rice, skip the instant rice for a HUGE bag of rice for the same price! It’s simple: 1 part rice, 2 parts water. Boil, simmer, cover and steam!

There you have it. I hope these helpful tips are useful to you and your family’s budget.

Here are some of my favorite cooking and baking recipes I found on Pinterest!

Refreshing Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie

Crunchy PB Granola Bars

Baked Parm Zucchini Crisps

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas

FOR BRUSSELS SPROUTS FANS

10 Easy and Delicious Banana Snacks

Sometimes we don’t realize that we have all the tools we need to make something delicious to eat. It just takes a little creativity.

“…this seemingly harmless symptom likely to result in still born.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-13 at 7.44.40 PMUsually when we take to the internet to self-diagnose, we find out we have the rarest type of cancer the world has ever known. Doctors usually get upset with you if you ever mention “well I went on WebMD and…” this is the point where they role their eyes and begin to feel the word “hypochondriac” on the tip of their tongues. This is usually the case, but not for me during the last month of my pregnancy.

“…this seemingly harmless symptom is likely to result in still born.”

This was the sentence I read that made me decide that I was going to talk about this weird symptom at my next appointment.

Derek and I were sitting in the midwife’s office, about to finish up when she asked me “do you have any questions or concerns?” in which I replied “yes, actually, I’ve been extremely itchy”. Her eye contact became more intense as she paused and asked me if my palms were itchy, and they were. I told her that it was getting to the point where I found myself sitting in a hot bath two or three times in one night, ripping at my skin with a pumice stone. When I showed her my scrapes and scabs, I could tell by her reaction that something wasn’t right. She told me that my symptoms were indicative of a condition called Cholestasis. She told me that they were going to take some blood so they could run tests of my liver function to determine if this were the case.

At the time, I didn’t quite grasp just how serious this condition could have been to my unborn daughter. I had learned over time not to take everything I read on the internet so seriously. Looking back, I assume that my midwife didn’t want to cause alarm. The baby was fine during that check up and nothing indicated the our Lillian was in any type of distress.

I received a voicemail the next day alerting me that I had an emergency appointment that was scheduled for me, and that it was imperative that I clear my schedule for testing. It was scheduled for 10am the following day and was an hour drive. Since Derek works third shift and gets home around 5am, I decided to take my mother with me so that he could rest. Derek and I both agreed that it was probably nothing and just a precaution. It’s normal to feel invincible sometimes.

My mother and I arrived at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Massachusetts 20 minutes before my appointment. I checked in and they put me in triage and hooked me up to a fetal monitoring machine so they could see how Lillian was doing.

The nurses were extremely friendly and their smiles seemed like a genuine fixture on their bright faces. One nurse was asking me routine questions and typing in all my answers on a computer. She didn’t break eye contact with the monitor for any of my answers, except for one. “Have you had any weight loss?” I did, I lost two pounds in the previous two weeks. She looked at me, regained her smile and moved back to her monitor where she clicked a few times and told me she would return shortly. My mother looked at me and I knew that she was understanding something that I was refusing to accept. When the nurse returned, she had another nurse with her, and they gave me the most nerve-racking news of my whole life. They explained to me that with my symptoms, my test results and my weight loss, that they were confidant that I had Cholestasis. The blood tests wouldn’t come back for another couple of days and they didn’t think that it was wise to wait for them. They then gave me a choice: I could start my induction process right away, or I could go home, gather my thoughts and things and head back the next day. I asked them if Lillian was okay and they told me she was fine but I should not delay my decision very long. I called Derek and decided to go home and prepare myself mentally, since that is all I could do at that point. We ate dinner on the couch and sat very closely to one another. We packed up a few hospital bags and went to bed.


Cholestasis during pregnancy is extremely dangerous because it results in the unborn baby receiving less nutrition than he or she is supposed to. If it goes undetected, the baby’s activity can be normal one day and the next morning, you may wake up to not feel baby’s movements anymore. The thought of this chokes me up and I usually begin to cry thinking about how if I didn’t mention this one strange symptom, that my Lillian probably wouldn’t have made it. Mind you, I was 37 weeks pregnant which is considered the home-stretch. It’s overwhelming to think that no matter how far along you are, something can still happen. There is no “safe” point in a pregnancy, just safer.

The morning Derek and I left for the hospital, it kept hitting me over and over again that we were walking out the door empty handed and we would be coming home with our brand new baby. However, the worrisome afterthought kept occurring that maybe we would also come back empty handed as well.

I was in the hospital for five days, two of which were spent being induced, which is quite the waiting game. A hail storm came ripping through Cambridge and being up on the 5th floor, we had a pretty awesome view of it all. I was slightly nervous that the window, which stretched the length of our room, was going to break from all the pommelling hail. We could hear nurses talking about possibly moving people as they were worried about the same scenario. As the barometric pressure dropped due to the storm, it seemed that everyone went into labor at the same time, including me!

I had gotten back from a stroll with my sister-in-law and mother-in-law and once I laid down, I felt a pop in my belly and thought “that was a weird kick…”. As I sat up, my waters began to trickle out of me and I went right into labor. I remember Derek helping me into the shower and all these thoughts were rushing through my head. No matter how much you read about labor, there is just no way to really comprehend the sensations you will experience until you’re in it yourself, but even then, they’re difficult to describe. My hips felt like they were being pushed together and pulled apart, over and over, but I continued to breathe through them, until they got so intense that I couldn’t even hear Derek telling me to stop holding my breath.

Since my labor was induced, my body wasn’t going through the natural process in its own time. Instead, I was thrown into the middle of an intense labor where the contractions lasted much longer than the breaks in between lasted. The nurses and midwives explained to me that they understand that I wanted to labor on my own, without medical intervention, but there was no shame in relieving pain during an unnatural labor, as it can be considered three times as intense as a natural labor. I refused over and over until I was unable to move or breath because I was dehydrated, drained of all energy and vomiting.

A nurse ran in because her monitor had alerted her that our baby’s heart rate had dipped. She told me what my intervention options were and I decided that it was best that I calm my body down. I remember crying and feeling like a failure. Derek knew how important it was to me to have an unmedicated labor and birth.
I was so exhausted  that Derek had to hold me upright as I sat on the side of the bed  for the the anesthesiologist. Derek later told me that I didn’t even flinch when they were inserting the needle into my spine. The hours melted together afterwards.

Two hours later, I woke up from a deep sleep and had gone from 3cm dilated to completely dilated and just about ready to push. A nurse did reiki on me while I fell back to sleep and she prayed for my baby to drop down so that I would be ready to birth her vaginally.
Every time I pushed, her heart rate dropped dramatically and the doctor suspected the cord might be wrapped around her neck. He told me what my options were, as he did everything in his power to avoid a c-section. After much consideration and talking it over with Derek, we decided the vacuum was best, as she was in distress and we needed to get her out. I pushed harder than I thought I was ever even capable of and after 20 minutes, relief.
She was purple and blue and wasn’t breathing. They rushed her over to the incubator where they got her to breathe and after a long 30 seconds I heard the tiniest, teeniest, sweetest cry I have ever heard in my whole life. And I cried the happiest tears of my life. Lillian was born into this world at 5:58 am, Wednesday, August 5th of 2015.

As Lillian was being evaluated and cleaned, the doctor told me that there had been a placental abruption which was causing Lillian’s heartrate to dip every time I pushed. He told me that with this occurrence along with the Cholestasis, that we were very lucky to have decided to induce when we did. In his opinion, she wouldn’t have made it another few days.

Lillian Mae is my little miracle, and she makes me world go ’round.


A huge THANK YOU to the staff of Cambridge Health Alliance for being the wonderful, attentive and patient people that you all are.

Final Unfinished Draft

An unfinished self-portrait

An unfinished self-portrait

I often find that when starting a project, I enjoy the final product much more so than I enjoy the process. This makes it rather difficult to find motivation to sit down and begin anything, big or small. I also find that if I cannot finish a project in one sitting, it will sit there and stare at me for days, turning into weeks and eventually months, before I decide to tuck it away in my basement along with all the other unfinished projects.

I have been known to jump the gun. I make one thing that I like and suddenly want to become a factory worker that pumps out hundreds and becomes a millionaire over night. And when that doesn’t happen, the one thing remains the beginnings of some random category in my Etsy shop.

The other day, I made a stuffed animal for my daughter, something she won’t appreciate for a while, as she is only 3 months old. When it was complete, I held it up and realized that my sewing machine ran off the edge and so the stuffing was revealed. Instead of taking the 30 seconds to fix it, I put it down and I haven’t picked it back up since. In the mean time, I have started 3 other projects which involve quilting, painting a giant letter “L” I made out of cardboard and plaster, and beginning my lavender filled pillow business…

I have this image of myself waking up in the morning every day at the same time, setting my daughter down to play and somehow occupy herself while I begin my day of “work-at-home-mom”ness. My day includes cup after cup of delicious coffee, a checklist of knitting projects, sewing projects and if I feel like it, a lovely watercolor painting that I will successfully complete that day. I will break for lunch, feed Lillian, put her down for a nap, make dinner and blog about my progress while she sleeps through the night. I will list all of my finished products online, and when I wake, they will all be sold and I will have a day of packaging and shipping ahead of me.

But let me tell you that my coffee is usually a decaf iced latte from Panera Bread because I do not own a coffee maker and Lillian doesn’t need the espresso shot in her yummies. I have PILES of checklists… somewhere. All of my knitting, sewing and watercolor projects are stored in my head and on Pinterest, but mostly my head. I rarely eat an actual lunch but if i do make a lunch, it usually turns into a three hour dinner project because my presence is a popular one and is called upon often. In fact, the only thing in my vision of an ideal day that is somewhat true is my daughter sleeping through the night while I blog… which I’m doing right now. Go figure.

So what is it? Is it procrastination? Is it resistance? Pure evil realizing that I’m almost always on to a great idea? It feels that way sometimes.

I picked up this book called The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. He talks about Resistance in our lives, but as though it were a person. He reveals all the ways that Resistance might appear in our lives. Procrastination, you best friend holding you back, or a pile of accuses at the ready. He explains that it’s not beginning something that is the problem, but rather sitting down to do it.

Some nights, when we are working our way upstairs and getting settled in for bedtime, I contemplate leaving my laptop downstairs. My version of “sitting down” is getting set up in bed with my macbook, and a notebook and pen so I can organize my thoughts of writing topics. It’s something I enjoy, people read and they enjoy as well and that brings me happiness. And still, every night I contemplate leaving my blogging tools downstairs. It’s an argument in my head.

“…Tomorrow”, “This is going to take two trips”, “I’m tired, I want to just sleep”, “Lillian is going to be fussy”, or my favorite: “What is the point of blogging anyway?”

But this book, The War of Art, it has been helping me to recognize the difference between when I would rather have a night off because I actually really am tired, and when I am just experiencing the Resistance.

There are all these thoughts flying at me that I have learned to identify as Resistance from this book. The only problem is that I have yet to finish the book because I’m resisting… I think that I’m afraid that it will help me. I am afraid of succeeding from this book. But I will still sit here and recommend it to you because I feel something about this book that Resistance can’t even disguise. I know that there is truth in this book. We are all walking around, denying ourselves in some form or another. The people who deny themselves very much seem to be the ones sleeping on the streets. The people who deny themselves nothing or very little are the people who enjoy their lives to the very fullest.

The brain is the strangest thing in this whole world. It can spend a lifetime studying itself, but never truly conclude anything in the end. I can think of ten things at once, but in that moment, not have it together enough to figure to write a to-do list, in ONE place and enjoy the process of this beautifully complicated life.

Maybe I never truly feel like I am finished.