Just livin’

It’s a deplorable state of affairs in our nation, isn’t it?

I find myself wanting to immerse myself in the news, in writing my lawmakers, in sharing all the details that I’m so scared people won’t see and assimilate. They need to SEE IT ALL. If they do then they will understand. They will see how horrible it all is. They’ll see the hypocrisy. The cruelty. My goodness, they’ll see it, right? They’ll see the blatant crimes against humanity. They’ll stop accepting the lies. They’ll RISE THE FUCK UP and fight this disgusting monster making a mockery of our government.

That’s what I want to do. But I can’t. It sickens my soul to wade into the disgusting morass. People are so polarized. Listening to and believing sound bites. Tweets. Partial truths or full-on lies. What have we become? I feel like a foster child with abusive foster parents.

It’s just SO HARD to be real right now. So hard to face it all. At the same time, we have to keep living, working, raising our kids, and trying to eke out some enjoyment in life. We have to. For our sanity.

I’m trying to live my best life. I’m working. I have wonderful sons. I can watch NCIS reruns when I need normalcy & predictability. It’s a comfort. I’ve been re-reading my favorite book series. It’s a comfort too.

Remember when I was like, hey, I’m 42 and that’s a magical number, the answer to the universe and everything? Well it’s been a year of intentional change. Sold my house and bought another. By myself. BAM. I got a meaningful tattoo. BAM. I bought myself a car. BAM.

There were a couple other things I wanted to happen in my 42nd year and, with 3 months left, I’m not sure that’s going to happen but I think that’s okay. I think it’s going to be all right, no matter the outcome.

I’m working on my health. My age is starting to raise a hand and say, hey, recognize me and do something about it.

I’m enjoying my sons. They are so big, maturing like crazy, smarter than they should be, and wonderful. My oldest started his first job. My youngest started shaving. Wtf.

I love so many people. I just love them. I love so much. I love them whether or not they love me. It sucks sometimes. But I’d rather love than not. I’d rather feel love than hate. Yes I get walked on, taken advantage of, and sometimes discarded. But, dammit, what is this life if you can’t lead with love & trust & good intentions? I would rather feel it all than be safe – when safe means lonely, distrusting, and too cautious.

I’m still loving live music. I’m still writing poetry. I’m still trying to be the best me, and be faithful to myself and my heart. I hope you are too.

Here’s a sample of our last few months:

Turned over 100k. And promptly started worrying me with its oil consumption.
Oh hey Redfish Lake!
The new hot & sexy ride

5K for Dravet! It was a family affair
One school year. ONE.
At Live & Counting Crows!!

Let’s just keep lovin’ and livin’ and voting and writing or calling our lawmakers and let’s do it all with balance. To live and survive and thrive with a clean conscience. If I’m doing my part then I feel better. If I’m reading my book before bed every night I feel better. If I hug the people I love I feel better.

DO ALL THINGS WITH LOVE. Intentionally.

Xoxo,

Stef

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Whoa Fall!

It’s been a super weird couple of months, hasn’t it?

I look at people’s lives on Instagram or Facebook and sometimes it just seems so normal. Gathering materials for Christmas decor and making gifts, hosting an elaborate Thanksgiving meal with custom-made centerpieces, or planning & taking trips … it’s just so normal!

In meantime, I can’t find my iron. I’m troubleshooting getting local channels with the digital antenna LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, and I still don’t know where to store excess linens in this house.

So let’s just look at these gorgeous flowers instead (because flowers can start the healing process for all sorts of wounds):

Did I mention that I started renovations on my kitchen too? Because one can never have too much going on. It’s fun living in a house with no cabinets & all the utensils are spilled across the dining room table for 7 days all at the same time your 15 year old son is starting driver’s ed & training and needs to be picked up and taken to school at odd times 3 days a week. That’s fun. Let’s do it again.

But, my goodness, look at those cabinets. Worth every stinkin’ penny.

We WILL do the chaos again as soon as I’m ready to replace the countertop. Soon. Ish.

But, hey, I decorated my living room!

And Nigel the Australian handyman is the bomb dot com. (My son tells me I’m aging myself when I say that. I told him to make like a tree and get out of here). Nigel calls me “mate.”

But, hey, I got new lipstick so WINNING. I got a new book too. Thank goodness for books. And lipstick that makes a woman feel like a million bucks. Or at least half that.

But there’s this. Both above & below. Being realistic means never finding the love again I thought I had. Being a romantic means never losing that hope.

So, also, see below, there’s a couple things in one of my boobs being watched. Every 6 months for 2 years, I think. Have I mentioned my sister died of cancer a little over two years ago and that cancer originated as breast cancer??? But she’s not blood so I wouldn’t share that through family blood with her, but I don’t want to share it through experience either. So far, so good. Knock on wood.

The pic below was just following a boob ultrasound. (Plus new lipstick. A MUST when dealing with this adult shit).

The above pic is of a new little enclave of friends that I’ve been sucked into, willingly, and surprisingly! The dude on the right is a chef. He’s also become an incredible friend. The woman between us is his life partner. The bottle is an awesome brainchild! A new flavored whiskey. I helped bottle the first batch! I touched every single bottle that day and it was an incredible experience.

See above? Fancy hair. That’s really the only remarkable thing about that night.

I spoke recently for law enforcement in the LA area. They gave me this. Experiences like this are fantastic and I think, sometimes, how is this my life?

My boys are … unusually & exceedingly peculiar and quite impossible to describe! And beautiful, loving, sweet, and they keep growing. I never sanctioned that.

But, honestly, how did I get this lucky?

This last one, this little meme, is not for me but for you. You, my friend, my estranged (and sometimes strange) friend, plus all of you who I don’t know, I am praying for your happiness. Your peace. I want nothing more than for you to have peace in your heart, and I want that for myself too.

I pray for your happiness, for your peace, and for your joy, like I pray for my own.

Xoxo,

Stef

I don’t have the words

I’ve been thinking of this blog post for days and I don’t have it. I’m a jumble of thoughts and emotions, good, bad, angry, grateful, and everything in-between. I can’t untangle it all. 

I’ve had my heart yanked out of my chest and then it was danced upon by multiple people. Then someone stuck a knife in my back, twisted, and pushed it in further. Then I got kicked in the gut. 

I lost so much this year. People I loved. I learned that I can love people but they aren’t necessarily going to love me. I’ve learned that I shouldn’t always chase those that I love. Sometimes I should just let them walk away. 

I’m not trying to be dramatic. I’m trying to emphasize a depth of pain – a deep pain that I haven’t previously ever experienced. Like on a pain chart, except it was about a 45 on a scale of 1-10.

I’ve learned that the people I thought would be there for me when I needed them weren’t, but support came from a few unexpected places too.

I’m working on forgiveness. For my own sake more than others. It hurts. 

I’ve learned hard truths: I’m vulnerable; I’m wrong sometimes; I’m a better mom than I am a wife or girlfriend; I’m demanding; I have high expectations. These aren’t good things but knowing them is half the battle. (As they say).

I’ve learned that I’m strong – even stronger than I thought. 

I’ve learned some good things too. I’ve learned I can love harder, deeper & more than I thought possible. I’ve learned that loving is worth it – even if I’m not loved back. 

I feel like I’m searching for a missing piece. That I still have a gaping wound in my side and I’m trying to patch it up. It makes me hurt, weak, emotional. 

Sometimes I say or do the wrong thing based on an emotional response. If I have done that to you then I apologize. I’m trying to figure out how to be strong 95% of the time but I think I’m only at about 60% these days. 

I’m stronger when I feel loved. I have tried to love so much this year. I’ve tried to make love my tonic – thinking if I give love I’ll get love in return. Doesn’t always work that way, does it? 

So, you see, I don’t have the magic words. This year doesn’t fit in a box. It was full of extremes. Death, heartache, pain. It was full of new adventures – new job, new travels. 

I’m just going to keep trying. I’m going to be the best person I know how to be. I’m going to love my boys fiercely. I’m going to do my job as well as I know how. I’m going to try to be the badass I’ve been told I am. 

And I’ll hold out hope that maybe, if I’m lucky, someone will eventually love me fiercely too. 

Thank God for the new year, my sweet lovelies. You keep doing you, I’ll keep doing me. Be kind to each and every one of us. Spread kindness like glitter. 

Happy New Year! Bring on 2016, for heaven’s sake!

Xoxo,

Stef 

Sissy

I used to call her sissy. I barely remember that, and it seems so improbable now, but I did. 

This one thought keeps circling in my head: How do you mourn a sister? 

I can’t imagine it. I can’t fathom it. But I’m doing it. 

Last Sunday, June 15, my sister’s cancer journey came to an end. She was 53. 

Charlotte was about 14 when my mom married her dad, he adopted me and he became our dad. I was just a baby. I didn’t have a childhood without her in it. 

 As a teenager she had to share a room with a toddler. I’m sure that totally sucked for her, and was maybe why she moved out when she was 19. But for 5 years she was stuck with me. 

I remember her high school girlfriends all treated me like I was their little sis too. I’m even Facebook friends with one of them to this day. 

I remember when I was 6 or 7  I thought of her with such awe. She was amazing. She was beautiful. She danced, performed, with big hair and gorgeous leotards, with a dance group and I wanted to be her. My mom tried to put me in dance but I was painfully shy. I quit immediately, except in my own living room … where one time I did a flip and fractured my wrist. I didn’t have her grace.

I was the flower girl in her wedding when I was 7. She was such a grown-up to me. She was only 20, but I was still in such awe of the beautiful, dynamic creature going through this incredible ritual. That’s MY sister? 

When I was 10 years old I became an aunt to this goofball: 

And then these two:  Years ago, when I was barely done being a kid myself, I’d babysit, pick them up from school when she couldn’t, and sometimes take them to gymnastics. I loved being their young aunt.  

It was when I was a late teen and even more after I finished high school, thereabouts, when my sister and I became the adult (ish) version of being sisters. This is when her inappropriate jokes started to make sense. When I understood her “titty twister” threats. When I realized how she could say shocking things and get away with it because she did it with a laugh and a smile.  

 

For awhile we did a lot of things together. Her family plus me & my boyfriend (at the time) went to Disneyland together, Las Vegas for dad’s wedding (where all 7 of us shared 1 cozy room!), and to the lake or camping together. We had the best time. 

 

She lived her life fearlessly. She advocated for her children fiercely. In a lot of ways, she was a role model mother as much as my own mom has been. A younger, more modern mom role model (sorry mom) that I could compare my mom against – and I’d like to think I’ve healthily incorporated both of them into my mothering.

 
She was determined to live her life according to her desires. I really admired that in her. Whenever she wanted something she figured out how to get it. She managed, somehow,  and she gave her kids a wonderful life with myriad experiences. They always knew how much they were loved.  

  

 

Later – after our parents split, and when I moved to Idaho to live with dad & go to college, and then met my husband and got married – my sis and I had some conflicts. I’m not going to go into that, I’d rather forget it to be honest, but I really wish that time had been different. I wish my kids had known their aunt more. I wish she had known & loved my kids. 

But I know I loved her. I loved her light, her positivity, and her bright soul. 

My sissy.

 Tell me – how do you mourn a sister? 

Xoxo, 
Stef

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

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I’m sorry. I simply couldn’t help myself this morning.

A friend on Facebook posted that she made pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes last week and I’ve been thinking of it ever since. This morning I woke up and said yes, this is the day.

I started checking out different recipes online. There were so many variations! When I realized I was out of baking soda that limited my options to using Bisquik instead of a completely from scratch recipe.

So this is what I did, and you’ll have to forgive my rough estimations. This recipe does seems to have a lot room for adjustment according to taste so feel free to be creative!

2 cups Bisquik
4 big scoops of puréed pumpkin (see scoop in the pic)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract (approx)
1 tsp pumpkin spice (approx – I did 4 or 5 shakes)
1/4 cup brown sugar (approx)
3/4 tsp cinnamon (approx)
1/2 tsp ginger
Chocolate chips to taste, I used 1/3 a 12 oz bag of semi-sweet
Milk, according to batter density (about a cup, for my preference)

Okay, I mixed all the above together and added milk. The consistency was too thick for my first batch so I added more milk & it was perfect & moist.

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Then I made homemade whipped cream in the mixer. I always chill my mixing bowl & whip attachment in the freezer first, then threw in a cup of heavy whipping cream, a couple tablespoons of sugar & a teaspoon of vanilla. Turned the mixer on high and it was done in about 90 seconds.

Buttered the stack, added maple syrup & a heaping dollop of whipped cream & it was so so yummy. The chocolate chips were melty & soft. The pumpkin flavor was evident. The texture was moist. Just perfect!

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Enjoy the yummy things once in awhile! Love & light today, my dear life warriors.

Xoxo,
Stef

Busy work

Oh boy. Guys, I’m beat.

I was in California for 8 days, 6 of those days for work. A delayed flight got me home at 2 am Monday night, but then my Autistic dude didn’t sleep all night at his dad’s so I got to hang out with him the next day. No napping for either of us! Work & errands beckoned because my oldest had a choir concert that evening and had grown out of his pants & shoes. So I have been sprinting ever since – between the choir concert, soccer practice, Disney on Ice, the Boise vs. Fresno football game, and the last soccer game of the season, not to mention going to work every day, this worn out girl has had very little downtime!

No surprise I came home from the soccer game today, made lunch for the kiddos, and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Zzzzzzzzzz.

So, since I can’t form any coherent thoughts at this point, I’ll show you a few pics from the last week – from my high school (go Bullpups!), sunrise on my Amtrak ride, my 6 hour time killer at the OAK airport, and some fun stuff with the boys after I got back.

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Emotionally, if you’re wondering, I’m tired, sad, content, lonely, mad, frustrated, thankful, grateful, and occasionally happy. You didn’t think it would be simple, did you?

All my love, light & hope,

Stef

Recent inspirations, part one

As with most people of my generation, I spend a good portion of my day online. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram – they are my daily companions. Not my only companions, of course, but my early morning, late night, midday break companions.

As I cruise around these sites I often find bits if inspiration. Lovely pictures, amazing words, things that I want to remember & feel for a long time to come. I generally save these to my phone to look at & weed through later, and I thought I’d share some of these with you:

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Sayonara 2013!

Adios! Hasta pasta! Bon voyage! 2013 can go suck an egg!

I say that with some disdain, with some negativity. I say it with a heavy sigh. But, in all honesty, 2013 can only be described as bittersweet.

The hardest year of my life has also brought out my greatest strengths. I fell to the deepest depths of my despair. I hit my point of no return. I got to numb and went past it. But without this strife, without the hard decisions I had to make, I wouldn’t be bravely standing here today. For that, I have to be grateful for the journey.

New Year’s Eve 2012 was the worst I ever experienced. A year later I’m in amazement at how significantly my life has been altered. Through pain, peace.

But since making those hard decisions I have experienced amazing joy & hope & satisfaction. A peace in my soul amid the chaos still rolling around me.

Through all that pain I experienced I have no anger left in me. Sometimes exasperation, frustration, but no anger.

I am still very sad. I still love my husband. Not in that first-romance-roll-in-the-hay way, but in a father-of-my-children and former-best-friend way. I miss that companionship sometimes very much.

It’s been a year of firsts. Or firsts, again, if that makes sense. I haven’t lived on my own in 15 years! I’ve never been separated with a likely divorce looming ahead. I’ve never had to really imagine or experience being “single” at this age, and with children. Not to mention with a mortgage, student loans, credit cards, wifi complications, cell phones, instant messaging, Facebook, data packages, middle school fundraisers, 4th grade school parties, soccer registration, business trips, and the insane and constant desire to just be on my couch, in my jammies watching NCIS reruns.

Side note: I hear so many divorced women say they never date, never meet anyone, etc., but I have to say that I think it’s just because they are exhausted!! And I don’t blame them! Jammies. Couch. Blankie. Remote in hand. Oh yeah, baby. Sometimes that’s all I need to bring my anxiety to its knees. Jammies, a blankie & a diet Pepsi: the modern mother’s anxiety-armor. (Substitute wine where needed!)

Some days I need more. Some days I crave more. And I know it exists. There will be love & romance again one day. But, hey, that’s a post for another day & another time.

For now, let me just say: I’m stronger today than I was yesterday. I’m sadder, yes – because something broke that I never wanted to break and all the glue can’t fix it – but I’m oh so much wiser too.

2013 – you had your place & time. Buh-bye!

C’mon, 2014! Let’s do this. It’s our year.

All my love,

Stef

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The evolution of break-up grieving

Some days I look like this:

Working, kicking butt, taking names. The usual.
Working, kicking butt, taking names. The usual.

I would say most days I’m content, working, doing my job and being a mom. I have friends, I have family, I have support. I can take the hard stuff in stride, I think, most of the time. But sometimes I wonder if I’m just faking it. I wonder if I’m putting on the “I’m getting by” face and it’s really masking the grief stages.

I think a break-up is very much like mourning the death of something. The death of a dream? Losing that love, that support, that unconditional “someone is there, even if it’s not perfect” quality that we all get in a long relationship. That “hi honey, how was your day?” greeting. That “it will be okay” hug. That “I’m there for you even though I’m really mad at your stinky ass” support.

Today I look like this:

This is sadness.
This is sadness.
This is mourning.
This is mourning.
This is grief.
This is grief.

Some days, like today, I look like this:

This is heartbreak.
This is heartbreak.

Some days, like today, it feels like it will never stop, never get better, never be okay.

Will I ever look like that girl at the top again?

Logically, yes, I know I will. I will pull it together. I will get over this heartache. That’s what my head is telling me.

My heart . . . my heart is stupid. My heart can’t be trusted. My heart is grounded until further notice.

The 7 stages of a break-up are very similar to the 5 stages of grief. I’m reproducing some good points from an article here (without permission, I should add):

1. Shock: “What the hell just happened?”

Shock is the body’s natural protection against pain. And when your relationship first ends, you just might not want to deal with what’s coming next. It may be too scary, too lonely, too confusing.

  • Do prescribe yourself calming cures like meditation or long walks.
  • Do not freak out. You will make sense of all of this!

2. Denial: “This is so not happening.”

Denial is rejection of reality and a storage of feelings. The thinking is that, if you don’t accept the heartbreak, then it didn’t really happen, thus leaving hope for reunion.

  • Do open up to a journal or trusted friend to begin unleashing fears, identifying unreasonable thoughts and more.
  • Do not minimize the situation. Pretending your breakup doesn’t have to be dealt with will lead to emotional numbness and leave you stuck.

3. Isolation: “I just want to sit in this all by myself.”

Dealing with the dissolution of the relationship. You may replay the relationship over and over in your mind. Your thoughts may feel very scattered and disorganized. You may draw your blinds and not even want to leave the house. Sitting in darkness feels better than going outside and admitting to the world that, yes, it’s over.

  • Do take regular showers and create reasons to face the day (work, social activities).
  • Do not indulge in self-pity by letting irrational thoughts like “No one will ever love me again” take over.

4. Anger: “I hate you for breaking my heart!”

In this stage, your heart goes from sad to raging mad. It becomes fueled with anger towards your ex for whatever his part in the breakup was, and/or toward yourself for your part. The deeper desire here is often to place blame.

  • Do feel, write or talk about your anger.
  • Do not act on it.

5. Bargaining: “What will it take to get him back?”

Sometimes involving prayers, this stage is often about getting your ex back. Desperate to negotiate with yourself or your ex, you may go to extreme measures to make deals or become something else (thinner, less jealous, etc.) to make amends — when in truth, it is just about making the current pain go away.

  • Do create a self-love list complete with what makes you happy and things you want for your future.
  • Do not include wanting your ex back in the above list!

6. Depression: “I will never get over him.”

You realize the magnitude of your loss in this stage of grief, and it can feel all too overwhelming. You may wind up in a state of deep sadness that can even resemble mild depression. At this point, recalling what your life was like prior to your relationship or what it could be like now can be hard

  • Do surround yourself with positive people and lots of sunshine.
  • Do not fall victim to unhealthy behaviors such as binge eating or drinking.

7. Acceptance: “I understand why I was with him, why I’m not now, and that I will be better than just OK.”

The acceptance stage of a breakup makes all the other really tough ones worth it. The sun begins to shine, and you begin to feel like yourself again, ready to move onward and upward.

  • Do celebrate getting through your breakup.
  • Do not be surprised if you still feel moments of sadness from time to time; it’s normal. Just keep on your positive path!

With love, sadness & pain,

Stef

P.S. I’m trying to remember these things today; maybe you should too:

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#handmadechristmas

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, before I had kids,  I enjoyed crafting. The process of deciding on a project, getting the supplies and then putting it all together for a purpose. So fun. I loved thinking, “wow, look what I made with my own two hands.” Then I got married, had kids, and time for crafting was non-existent. Such is life.

Before I moved to Idaho and and before I met my husband, I had a teeny, tiny adorable apartment in my hometown in California. The building was a house in an old, beautiful section of town that had been renovated to hold three apartments. I loved it. It had a laundry room in the apartment but I didn’t have a washer & dryer so I instead put all my craft supplies there. I had a dresser (that I had painted and stamped all over) that kept my stuff: one drawer for my paints, another for my stamps & brushes, etc. I didn’t crochet, knit or sew, and I still don’t, but I would love to learn! Paint was my preferred tool then, but I have developed a deep love & admiration for my glue gun since that time.

But then I sold most of my stuff and moved to Idaho and my crafting fell by the wayside.  I did some things over the next few years – I made my bridal veil, I decorated Christmas trays one year when we were broke & barely getting by, and occasionally I would paint a yard sale find, but no big projects.

Then, flash forward about 7 years after my youngest was born, and I couldn’t remember what a personal hobby was much less recognize what *I* wanted to do. The kids had gotten older, a little more independent, and they didn’t need mom every second of every waking hour. It was in this time that I realized I had forgotten some of the integral parts that made me who I am, or who I was, before I became a mom-monster. Something had to be done.

So, first, I started reading blogs. That’s how I found my friend, Joni, who I am constantly in awe of for her incredible crafty talents (forgive her lack of new posts – she’s a mom of wee ones again, but she does post a lot of crafts on Instagram). She had a lot to do with pushing me towards being crafty again (whether she knows it or not).

This was my progression:

  • I liked writing so I thought I would give that a try (and here you are – still working on that one).
  • Then I played around with jewelry. I like simple beading but don’t have the patience to make the really intricate stuff.
  • Then I started playing with felt. So pretty, so versatile. I’m still crushing on it big time.

I jumped into felt in a huge way and decided I was going to do almost an entirely handmade Christmas this year. Every moment thereafter was about making ALL THE THINGS I could with felt. I’m not an expert by any means, but I got better the more I played with it and I just loved the process if creating something for someone in particular. I customized according to what I thought fit them, their style and their personalities best.

Here, in no particular order, are some of the things I have made in the last 2 months. There were quite a lot I didn’t get pictures of in my rush to finish and mail packages. Others I photographed and later embellished and mailed without re-snapping a pic. But I think you’ll get the idea.

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For my niece and her first solo apartment (this one is still my husband’s favorite)
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This ended up going to one of my sons’ teachers. My son loved it and chose it for her. I really just wanted to make something with a rainbow.
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For my in-laws. Love.
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For my mom & stepdad. It looks a little lopsided in the pic because of the way I had the wreath turned, but I think in real life it’s straight. I hope. Eek.
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Ornaments! This one was for my niece and I made one, with their initials, for her, her husband and three kids, and my nephew, his wife, and daughter. I hope they liked them! I meant to write my name and the date though and totally forgot before I mailed them.
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For my dad & stepmom. My stepmom really likes gold, silver and pretty, shiny things so I tailored this for her specifically.
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For my brother & sister-in-law. Simple and beautiful.
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BOISE STATE BRONCOS!! I had an idea to make a wreath with BSU colors and I loved it. I had a choice of BSU fans to give it to and I choose my boss and his wife. I’m told she’s putting it in her classroom. 🙂
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For my sister-in-law, Susan. Susan is going through cancer treatment right now and I thought this tote bag would be great for her trips to the hospital. Her favorite color is purple, and her next round of chemo starts on Monday. (Pray for her, please).
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This was for my Grammy. I actually embellished it quite a lot after this pic was taken. I add more roses to the sides to balance it more and a few more shiny little “ornament” balls. I adore my Grammy.
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Hey, that’s me! And one of the first pins I made. I think i gave that one to my mom – but I honestly don’t remember!
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My niece. Isn’t she adorable? She was totally cool with wearing this hat too. She’s the daughter of my sister-in-law with cancer. Love you, little girl baby.

Pins, wreaths, ornaments, hair accessories – I loved making it all. I’m having so much fun doing this that I think I’m going to continue past Christmas and make MORE THINGS. I’m carving out a crafting corner in my house as a permanent residence for this on-going project and I couldn’t be more excited. The boys even had the idea to get me craft supplies for Christmas because they are enjoying the things I’m making as well.

The process of making and giving these presents was so rewarding for me. It helped me to recognize my talents – other than working & mothering – and that I can be creative in this realm too. Special thanks has to go to Pinterest, though, for all the wonderful design ideas. I can’t wait to play around and create new designs! And if you normally get gifts from me you can pretty much assume, going forward, they will be along these lines so I hope you like them. 😉

Happy crafting!

XOXO,

Stef