The school year is winding down, and I’m so ready to be done. This week was True’s first experience with standardized state testing, and oh boy was I feeling all sorts of anxiety. I asked her how her first day went, and she said, “It was easy and I was the first one done!” That could have meant something totally great or totally not. I don’t know, either way, it made me nervous. I know these scores don’t really measure all that she knows, but I still feel the stress and pressure of it. Probably because I feel responsible for areas she is weak in, and well, I am responsible. The BFF reminded me that she is a well-rounded child (and if they tested her creative abilities, she would blow that thing out of the water). And I know she is, but I still get worked up over this testing thing. Later on today, we are going to do something fun to celebrate surviving standardized testing week! Sounds like that would make a cute t-shirt slogan, maybe we should make one.
The words from “Brokeness Aside” by All Sons & Daughters captures well what I’ve been feeling this week…
‘Cause I am a sinner
If it’s not one thing it’s another
Caught up in words
Tangled in lies
But You are a Savior
And You take brokenness aside
And make it beautiful
I’m a person who likes things to go fast paced, and I fill up my schedule with to-dos. I feel crazy from everything (and probably complain about it), but I totally do it to myself. I enjoy making myself busy, but too much busy isn’t always a good thing. I see how I often try to find my happiness in something fleeting (projects, social media, obedient kids, everything to go as planned, etc.), but I really am just tangled in lies. The good news is that I know I’m not stuck there! God takes my messiness, covers it with Jesus, and makes it beautiful.
We had a wonderful resurrection Sunday. It was filled with lots of Jesus and grace (Ben and I had a couple of small spats), food, gospel-centered conversations, family, friends, and lots of dessert. Of course, there was also an easter egg hunt. The eggs were filled with chocolate, cookies, and dollar bills! The adults so wanted to join in. Soul gathered the most eggs, and she was so sweet and selfless by giving some of her eggs to her sisters.
All the girls’ dresses were sewn by me, but they picked out their own fabric combinations (well, not Glow). True’s is from a pattern that can be found in my book. I don’t have a pattern to share for the others.
After such a fun spring break week last week, it was hard having to get back into our regular homeschooling routine. We sucked it up and got back at it though (we are totally counting down until summer). Something good that Monday brought: we officially started remodeling our downstairs bathrooms (see here). I’m excited to see it all come together!
There are crumbs on my floor. Almost always. We do try to sweep up under the breakfast table daily (it’s on their chore chart), but it doesn’t always happen. If I cropped out the floor, you wouldn’t see the crumbs. The verse Proverbs 31:30 comes to mind, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Which led me to think of it like this, “Instagram is deceptive, and blogs are fleeting…” I enjoy capturing and sharing a pretty picture, but don’t forget there’s always real life behind the lens, lots of things you don’t see.
For me, behind my lens this week has been a lot of crazy. There’s not a particular project or anything going on, but I think it’s a combination of me PMS-ing and Ben working three late nights in a row (kudos to you who have to do some sort of single parenting gig). Basically, I’m the crazy one. I feel like the Israelites in the book of Judges, continually messing up, asking forgiveness, things are going well, and then bam, I’m deep into loving myself a whole lot (which isn’t a good thing). Lots of sinning on my part, and having to ask the girls and God for forgiveness. Thankfully, no f-bombs have been dropped (at least not that I remember) when recounting my day back to Ben, but I sure was barking out orders like a military sergeant to the girls all day long. Then, when I’m thinking clearly, I’m like, “Ruby! Come on, a gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Duh! You know that!” Oh, it’s such a vicious cycle within my heart. I’m totally not a Christian because I’m naturally good, I’m a Christian because I just plain suck and I know I need Jesus. I’m so thankful that it’s about grace, and not what I’ve done because if that were the case, like I said here, I’d totally be doomed.
There was a sweet moment that came from this #momlife I’m living. It was after dinner Tuesday night, the girls were still working on math, and I was just exhausted. I was sitting on the sofa, singing along with some worship music, and the girls came down to ask me a math question. I said, “Come on, let’s sing together.” This doesn’t happen often (more like never), but there we were, my girls and I were singing to Jesus together. I had my eyes closed, but I could hear Brave clearly (she sings loud like me), and it was just such a special moment. I need to make sure moments like that happen more often, so I guess if it takes us having to go through chaotic days to get there, so be it. I will gladly take the chaos and the sweet, it’s only by God’s grace and for his glory.
Life was insanely busy and so I disappeared. From time to time, I will work as a craft stylist and my most recent job was for Family Fun Magazine. It was two weeks of prepping for our upcoming shoot and just normal busy life with my family. Something had to go, so updating the blog did, and all my free time went towards prepping for the shoot. Don’t worry, I’m made sure to carve out rest time for me and fun activities for the girls. The shoot was this past Wednesday, and I was so tired on Thursday, but finally felt back to normal on Friday.
I hadn’t felt that busy since I was writing my book, but while I love the challenge and rush of having to prep for a big project, I definitely enjoy not being so busy too. You just never know the different things life will throw at you. Sometimes it’s good, bad, sad, and just plain crazy, but it’s life. I’m thankful for all of it!
We are taking the girls to see a play this weekend and my parents come back from their 3 week tour of Europe, so we get to see them tomorrow. Also, excited about getting to gather with church family on Sunday and get refreshed with the word of God. There’s so much more I want to share and other good things I found around the internet, but taking care of taxes is on today’s agenda too. Ugh. Happy weekend friends!
You can imagine how crazy our days are (I’ve shared our schedule here), so it’s natural that I need some “me” time somewhere. On the weekends, if there’s time to sneak away by myself, I’ll go to my craft room to sew. This weekend, things were a bit crazy with Ben being sick, so when there was a quiet moment, I disappeared for a little to play with some fabric and my sewing machine. That’s when I sewed the trapeze dress above (inspired by this dress). I don’t sew just because I want a new outfit (the result is nice perk though!); it is just relaxing for me to do something like that for myself… my own form of “self-care” you could say. It’s partially why I don’t ever do a step-by-step tutorial on the clothes I make because once I start, I just go, and don’t want to stop and take pictures. It’s my time in peace, just me and the sewing machine. I’m thankful I’ve been able to sneak in a few moments like these lately.
On a more regular basis, I try to carve out some “me” time after dinner. If Ben works a regular schedule (he’s been doing more late nights lately and those days are long for me), he’s home and he will finish up cleaning dinner and getting the kids to bed. I take that time as an opportunity to take care of things I need to (e.g. emails, blog, or projects). I try to be done with that around 8:30-ish so that I can chillax a little before bed. Chillaxing usually involves some Netflix, or catching up on one of my shows on Hulu, or I’ll just read. I’ve been pouring over my latest book on antique jewelry (I haven’t even shared with you how much I love learning about antique jewelry… it’s a dangerous hobby I tell you!).
Once I’m relaxing, and if I’m feeling a little hungry, I’ll have a little bit of ice cream. Thus, when Skinny Cow reached out and asked if I wanted to try out Skinny Cow’s Chocolate Dipped Ice Cream Bars (which are delicious by the way), it was easy to say yes. Their ice cream bar was the perfect indulgent treat during my “me” time. Ben will occasionally join me in the ice cream indulging from time to time too. Of course, his serving is probably a lot less than mine. HA!
I know for my mom, her “me” time is journaling and having some chocolate (I’m sure she would like Skinny Cow’s Blissful Truffle Candy Bar). She has stashes of chocolate bars she keeps for herself all over the house, so no one will find them (my baby sister knows where they are though!). My middle sister is a coffee person (Skinny Cow’s creamy iced coffee would be her thing), so that’s her idea of “me” time and binge watching Gilmore Girls. My baby sister’s “me” time would be closing the door to her room and dancing wildly. Ben’s “me” time is out in the garden, though he likes to do that with me, so maybe it’s not quite “me” time. I think he’s such an introvert when he’s at work, so when he gets home he doesn’t need “me” time, and he likes doing everything together (if possible).
One thing I miss doing from college days is eating out alone. I enjoyed the freedom in that, but it’s been many, many years since that’s happened. Maybe I should make it a goal to eat out by myself for some “me” time in the near future. Lives are busy for all of us, so making “me” time is important, for yourself, your sanity, and everyone who has to be around you all the time. Don’t you think?! What’s your ideal “me” time look like?
This post is sponsored by Skinny Cow, and as always, all opinions are my own. Thank you so much for supporting this space and the companies I choose to partner with.
Since we had Monday off, I got some sewing time in for myself this week. Then during the week, I was able to carve out more time here and there for some extra sewing projects. I made another dress, refashioned another thrift store one, and fix some other things that needed fixing (like my Singapore bag). It’s so relaxing for me to get sewing time in.
These past few weeks I have felt a switch in my heart (from the I’m over it kind of mentality to the it’s crazy but happy kind) regarding parenting. It’s nothing I’ve done, but God just answering my prayers, and he has answered by giving me more joy. The girls are still a handful, and I still run around like a chicken with its head cut off, but we’ve all definitely been more joyful. So I guess, I’m running around like a joyful chicken with its head cut off. I’ll gladly take that.
I know the days are long and my time with them is short. In those hard moments, it’s hard to remember that though. I don’t want to take them and this time for granted. Right now is a special time, and I need (and want) to cherish this for as long as they’ll let me hold and mold their little hearts. In a blink of an eye, they’ll all be grown, and I’ll be wishing we could rewind to this chaotic time of our life. Sometimes it’s hard to imagine, but I know that will be true.