Saturday, December 29, 2012

Part 1- My mommy story

I have kept you waiting with this story because I knew it would be a long one and it's one of those stories
that is vulnerable, and dear to my heart because it changed this heart so unexpectedly and so profoundly:

I am a mom. But I never identified myself as a mom type.

For a long time I believed that it was simply how I was made. Though I was really pretty good at meeting the kids needs, and learned a lot about discipline and keeping order from Chad (my amazing husband) it was as if there was some part of me always trying to get that responsibility stuff out of the way and get on with my own thing for the day. It left me constantly cranky and frustrated from day to day trying to get time for myself and only having a bit left for me. On top of that I had an extremely hard time enjoying fun time with the kids. I didn't want to get down on the floor and play, or read a book or play a game. When the job/schooling/ feeding was done I just wanted to get some time alone to do what inspired me...and as my readers know that list could be endless...endless.

At some point it occurred to me how much I wanted my attitude to change about parenting, fully aware that I couldn't change it myself. The pain that I put on myself, and my kids, and even my husband by wanting to get them out of my way so I could do something more fulfilling started to become more apparent and really broke my heart and opened up my soul and spirit to a change that I had guarded myself against for so long.

I started to yearn for change where I could still be "me", but also the "motherly type". I started to see that maybe I missed something before. When this occurred to me I started to see the vision of myself slowly unveil as God had made me to be. A motherly type that wholeheartedly gave and loved her kids and balanced her own needs well. I remember some healing taking place in my heart and a vision that God gave me for my life with my kids. I saw myself standing in the kitchen cooking and doing my usual work and my three kids floating around me like happy clouds, the light all low and calm, everyone just satisfied. It was a vast contrast to how they had always seemed to me....hanging heavily on me from every limb, and me feeling painful under the weight of them.

Two specific things really contributed to this realization: First, I ended up with some really good mentors who poured into me and helped me get lots of healing through Christ. I started hearing his voice for the first time (absolute life changer) and getting to know Him personally through being able to talk with Him, and hear Him answer, and palpably see and feel Him work in me and others. Amazing. Just a life changer. Like any good relationship with any good being is...but, you know, this is God...the goodest.

Number two, and most surprising, I started reading "The Weigands" blog. Casey Leigh made me cringe at first, and I mean visibly. She was just so sugary about how much she loved her kids, and even though she was an artist, and didn't have a ton of money, she and her husband (with their supermodel and Ashton Kutcher looks) wanted bundles more kids. I mean, women like this were the reason I never stayed more than two days with any "mommy meet up" group. (No offense to anyone I ever met at a meet up! ) I don't even remember how I found her blog, but ewww...I hated reading it at first, but even so, something kept drawing me back. I didn't know what at first...but I know now. I couldn't see it at the time, but somewhere in her was the vision God gave me. To be a God-loving, passionate, child-snuggling parent, and a passionate inspired artist..and (maybe even) feel pretty doing it. I had been inspired by others in my past who could do this, but they were no longer in my life to encourage me. And suddenly there was one up in my face every single day (if I wanted her to be). The more I read her blog, the more it touched me in a place that I had never known was even there because of lies I had believed, and the resulting blindness the enemy put on me. It was a place in me that was slowly getting healed, as God continued to reveal the lies I had believed about myself, break them, heal my blindness, and begin to see the truth. There are few things worse than being lied to...unless it's being lied to and acting on that lie for years at a time until one day you start hearing and listening to the voice of truth...and you're free. Good thing God doesn't let any of it go to waste.

Some of the lies that I believed my whole life were as simple as mis-defining myself as only an artist-type, and not a mother type. Some were lies I believed about other mothers or the role of mothers as being annoying, stupid, sad little martyrs, non-glamorous doormats, deceived into thinking that mommyhood was what they wanted when they were missing out on their real passions.  Other lies were as deep-seated and scary as being always afraid of hurting others and therefore being in an exhausted and torturous mode of constant protection...protecting others from me. What all of these lies have in common is that all of these began as suggestions about my life whispered to me by the enemy at specific points in my life (remember that whispering serpent in Eden?) and I grabbed onto them as truth at those times and held them throughout my life. It wasn't until I allowed God to shine the light into the darkness that the truth about them (and me) were brought to the daylight and I saw them for what they really were. It wasn't until I started seeking God on the truth about my motherhood that it occurred to me that all those lies had my mothering in common. And I praise God for his redemption because if I had continued believing those lies, not only would I have been a miserable human constantly trying to fill the mother-shaped hole in myself with artistic endeavors that could never fill them, but, even worse, while I was busy doing that Satan would be filling my own kids mother-shaped hole in them with whatever he could conjure to destroy them. He really does "prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)  I'm proof of that. But Jesus "himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."(1 Peter 5:10b). And I'm also proof of that too. 

It was when my youngest son, Vander, was still a baby that this healing began in me. And I love to think about how God's timing works if you let him do it because there was no way I could prepare for Vander...and it was his coming in many ways that spurred and that solidified change in me. God works in mysterious ways...and many times, much like he did with something as big as the redemption of humanity, those ways start with a tiny baby.

(continued...Part 2- Vander's story)

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Posts from Christmas past

Since it's been eons since I've posted on my lovely blog I thought I'd send out a pretty little reminder of Christmas past. Here are some of the posts and projects that years past have brought.

Hope you're enjoying your happy elfing! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Heart/ Politics

I have spent way too much of today thinking about my own politics...and guess what....the bible says " work out your salvation with fear and trembling" not "work out your own politics with fear and trembling"...the bottom line in my head today is this...our politics are not going to be the salvation of ourselves or any other person (chances are). People eagerly awaited the coming of Jesus to be the fix to the political problems of the day, and yet when he came he fixed the soul and left the government and politics pretty much the same...and was crucified for it. I fear very much that those who cast their vote in the Christian arena consider the task of voting as a big part of what it is to "being the church". If it is a part, it seems a small one.  I have not even decided if I will vote or not and already am seeing people ready to crucify me if I don't...I consider it a good way to die socially if I am so led.

These are just the musings of a mind that is seeking truth...I'm okay to be wrong, or fail...but I'm not okay to pretend to understand it. I await more revelation. God bless all of you wherever you are in your heart and in your head.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Super Easy Trash Can Redo

I had a trash can that my mom bought me a million years ago and it just doesn't go with my style, so I decided to redo it quickly. I liked the idea of keeping the black script on it so here's what I did. I used painter's tape to cover everything I wanted to keep.

 Then I just sprayed that sucka down with some black spray paint from my garage. I waited about an hour and took the tape off....and yeehaw!

 New shiny trash can...for free! More later folks! Go redo everything!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I have inventory!

I am hereby proud to announce that my online Etsy shop, kittymclewin, now has actual inventory! Go take a look...and tell your friends. More to come!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

a whole new era

I came back from a gorgeous Labor Day weekend family getaway just in time to start a whole new life. My husband has started school again after 11 years, I am gearing up to do more field trips this year and a different form to my homeschooling with the kids, my daughter is starting Audio Integrative Therapy, and the biggest change of all....I am sending my 3 year old to a Special Ed class in a nearby preschool. At 3 hours a day, 5 days a week....this homeschooling mom is a bit in shock still. I am currently trying to help my son (and myself) with the transition and also get it together from missing Monday here (which is generally a very full day). More on this later. Right now, even though I am aching to write that post I've been promising, and tell you all why I made this choice for my little man, I must go try to schedule what a normal day will look like once we're in the swing of things. For this week, I am thankful for my family and friends nearby who have shown my two oldest a good time while I am bringing Vander to school, leaving him at school, crying in my car, shopping, tying up loose ends, scheduling, sneaking back to school to watch him in the window of his class, running more errands, and then rapturiously picking him up from school. The first week is hardest and I am confident that he and I will get into next week with more stability. It's just those baby steps...with my moment at a time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Just a little something extra

Do you ever want to give a bottle of wine to someone and it just doesn't seem "gifty" enough? I had the same problem around Mother's Day this year and I went rooting through my drawers and found yellow yard sale stickers. It hit me to pop them all over the golden bottle of grigio that we were bringing for lunch...a few sticks, a little loopy ribbon, and Voila! A festive little treat of a gift! So simple, yet it really jazzed it up a notch.  Do you folks have any quick fixes to punch up presents? Do tell. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Visit

A dear friend came back this week after a year of being gone, and I drove over to hug her and catch up. Good times. We've both changed so much in a year. If there's anyone you haven't seen in awhile go catch up this weekend. It does the soul well. Til next week, friends.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cha, Cha, Cha, Changes

                Hey folks...I updated my blog. I'm very happy about the look and layout, and I even put the links to my DIY  projects and my Recipes up on their respective page. Yahoo! I hope you enjoy the organization!

Monday, August 20, 2012

playlist, huh?

So I saw this great little piece of art on the Anthropologie facebook page the other day and it had a link to this playlist here for Spotify? Guys, I am an avid Pandora listener, so Spotify? Someone educate me because I downloaded it and had some fun with the playlist, but I have no idea what to do next. Is this a Pandora-like deal or what? C'mon folks, do not make me read the website or directions or something...gimme the cheat.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I'm sorry to be rude, but I really mustache

Some of you may have noticed my mustache teacup that keeps popping up in my photos. I love it so much and I made it right here at home. All I used was an Ikea teacup, a sharpie, and an oven. You too can make your own funky cup by following the simple instructions from the gals at A Beautiful Mess right here . Have fun, be creative, and send me some pics of your work! I'll post them for the world to see. Have a happy and artistic weekend!

Thursday, August 16, 2012


My cousin, Debbie, had this great little idea. She decided to write a letter...on paper, with ink, and an envelope and stamp (shocking, I know!)...and send it to one of our cousins (of which we have mmmmannnnyyy). Then she instructed said cousin to write one of her own and put both her letter and Debbie's letter into an envelope and send it to the next cousin on the list (me). When I got the letters I was enchanted. What a great idea. There were two handwritten letters, and even some of Cousin #2's cute little business cards and a brochure from the company she sells bags through called Thirty-One. So I got out some stationery, blew the dust off, and layed on my bed (yes, with coffee and magazine to thumb through) and wrote the story of my recent life on paper. Then I sent it off to the next in line. Soon I'll be getting a big envelope full of the rest of the letters as it comes back around. 

One of the best things about this little penpal experiment is that these cousins are the people I spent every summer with as a child. My grandfather owned a strawberry farm and the whole family would gather there nearly every summer day of strawberry season, and work the farm. My cousin's and I (mostly girls aside from my brother and my cousin Josh) would run off and spend the day playing pretend, and feasting on sun-warmed berries and fudge pops while the grownups worked and the boys rode bikes. I think we all get to thinking about being together around this time of year, so this was a perfect, more intimate way to satisfy that urge. We all live far away from each other with families of our own now, and we don't always have time or money to travel back to the homeland, but this chunk of handwritten love full of summertime ponderings of the heart from all my gals makes everyone seem much closer. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

birfday shirt

This is an extension of the birthday post. My husband finds the coolest gifts ever and this is no exception...and yes, that is Abraham Lincoln riding unicorns. Locals, if you haven't visited the new art shop Kitsch then you're missing out on very sweet stuff made by Virginia artists. Stuff like my tee. Nuff said...oooo and double score.... Hall and Oates "You Make My Dreams" just came on Pandora! It's the little things. :)))))

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

right now

This is what I'm busy doing right now. Taking a break. 

Today my kids and I did an archaeological dig in our sandbox. They were really incredibly good at it. We used string to mark out sections and they carefully dug, sifted, and brushed all of the items I had buried. Then we talked about each one and what questions they would each answer for a person who wanted to know more about our culture and society in the future. There are few things more satisfying to a homeschooling mom than her kids answering her questions with far more insight and thought than she expected! 

This year we're doing a lot. Last year was a homey kind of year. No one loved it but we got through. This year my inspiration is overflowing so we're out to see the world, and to let it see us too. It's gonna be a good homeschool year. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

33 years old

I had a birthday on July 20th and let me tell you it just ended...2 days ago. I have been so spoiled by my friends and family this year. After people and gifts kept popping up all week unexpectedly at my house that just spoiled and suprised me, I took off for a road trip all alone on my way to visit  my bestie and sis-in-law in NC.  I slept in, ate beautiful food, shopped at artsy shops, drank fantastic red wine, and enjoyed quality time with my friend.

When I got home I had a loverly birthday dinner that my mother-in-law gave for me...and later that week I spent some time with a couple of special gals at The Cheesecake Factory...I was excited cause I found a way to rock my new hippy dress with my flower wedges for that date! (not easy to do!) 

It's been an amazing birthday. Thanks to all who made my 33rd a long and happy occasion!