Saturday, October 31, 2015


I'm beyond exhausted. Forget the nearly four decades I've spent raising children. I'm just talking about this week.

I don't know how many hours of sleep I've averaged, but with The Princess working about four nights a week, sometimes until 4 a.m. (I HATE late-night drive-throughs!), I am more sleep-deprived than a mom of newborn triplets (and a heck of a lot older). Last night I slept a maximum of four hours, and that was probably one of my more restful nights.

It's 12:36 a.m. and here I sit, waiting, waiting, waiting.

And it isn't just the lack of sleep that's taking a toll...the stress is killing me. I'm drained physically, mentally, emotionally and any other way possible. And that's just from the kids who live with me. I won't even address the other factors.

This weekend I will "celebrate" my birthday. Already my modest plans have been changed several times, and without enough sleep, I seriously doubt I will feel like hiking tomorrow. Is a short hike in the mountains really too much for an old lady to expect for her birthday???!!! 

It's turning out to be the fabulous weekend I've been told I deserve. Happy birthday to me.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Numbered Birthday Shaker Card

My granddaughter was celebrating her 13th birthday (yes, I would now have two teenage girls under my roof...again), so I felt her card needed to reflect that milestone.  And since I'm still working on my shaker card skills, I thought I'd give that another try.

Using my Cricut Explore and the Design Space software, I designed a rectangular card front, then sliced the number "13" from it using the Cricut cartridge Hello Kitty Font. I backed the cutout with a piece of acetate to make a window, then adhered foam tape to the backside of the paper around the number to form the border of the shaker area. I put a generous amount of chunky glitter and microbeads within the foam tape border, then sealed it by attaching the solid pink background paper. I glued the constructed shaker front to a standard card blank, then finished by decorating the front with a strip of patterned paper topped with a single small cupcake.. The number "13" that I had previously cut from the card front was used to dress up the outside of the envelope. After all, turning 13 is a pretty big deal!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Driving Miss Crazy


As I pulled into my driveway at 12:30 a.m. tonight (this morning?) after dropping Chatty Cathy off at a sleepover (long story), it occurred to me that I might be close to losing what's left of my mind.

A week ago The Princess was in an accident that totaled her car. Luckily she wasn't hurt and it wasn't her fault.  She finally got a rental car on Thursday.  On Friday she was rear-ended by another student after leaving school.  Again, I feel fortunate that no one was injured and that it was the other driver's fault.

But dang.

And since my husband and I aren't looking to start chauffering her around again, we spent Saturday desperately looking for a reliable, inexpensive car that wouldn't require one of us to sell a kidney. (I doubt there's much of a market for body parts with this much wear and tear.)

Today (yesterday?) was spent driving Chatty Cathy around.  The chauffering started immediately after church and didn't end until the day was over. Literally.

I'm tired.  Raising children is exhausting. And apparently neverending. My husband and I no longer even pretend to be anything other than two ships passing in the night. It's sad really. I thought we planned our lives a little better than that.

Unrelenting stress is driving me insane, and I'm pretty sure it's a short trip from here.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Human Emotions

In defense of loving mothers everywhere, myself included...

Frequently I use my blog as an outlet to express my frustrations with life, especially motherhood. I forget that occasionally my blog is actually read by somebody. The primary reason I don't use my full name, or link my blog to other social media outlets, is to avoid embarrassing or hurting someone I know. But I am a human being with real human feelings (although it often seems that moms aren't considered "real" people), and I do sometimes say things that are very real. A person, even a mother, can only take so much.

Mothers are human beings, first and foremost. We don't stop feeling once we have children. As a matter of fact, our feelings become much more intense when we have children we love more than life itself, and nothing hurts more than giving all we have to those children only to receive hateful comments, disrespect, thoughtlessness, and never-ending blame in return.

There isn't a derogatory name that hasn't been hurled my way at one time or another in my 37 years of child rearing. It hurts, especially when I've tried to give my best to my children. I'm sorry if my best wasn't everything they thought they needed, but it was all I had to give. I had a childhood, too, and it made me who I am, for better or worse. Mothers aren't robots, created solely for the purpose of handing out wishes and rainbows and problem-free childhoods. We come into the job carrying the weight of our own baggage. Some loads are heavier than others.

I have been accused of thinking I'm perfect, usually in response to correcting one of my children or when using my own experiences to teach life lessons. I have never once thought I was perfect. I am actually quite hard on myself, always wishing I had done one thing or another differently and being painfully aware of my shortcomings.

I have always loved my children, even in moments when I didn't like them very much. But even mothers are allowed to hold their children accountable for their own actions and choices. Actually, I'm pretty sure that's one of the most important aspects of the job.

God made me, loves me, and gave me the same human emotions He gave every other person He ever created. Becoming a mother didn't remove my ability to feel pain. A mother's heart doesn't just break when her children suffer; sometimes our hearts break when our children inflict suffering on us.

I try my best to observe the Golden Rule---to treat others as I would like to be treated---but in my humanity I sometimes fail. As a mother, I have an obligation to do my best to raise the children with whom I've been entrusted so that they will hopefully become kind, responsible, mature adults. Almost no one gets through childhood without a few bumps and bruises. Parents receive on-the-job training. Children don't come with instruction manuals, probably because no two children are exactly the same.  Most parents do the best they can with what they know, what they've experienced, and what they think each child needs.

Life isn't perfect.  Not for children, not for parents. We can take our childhood experiences and learn from them, or we can use them as weapons against those who raised us. Only one of those choices will make you a better person. The choices you make as an adult are what define you. You alone are responsible for what you make of the life you were given, even if you feel you deserved more. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Never Alone

Have you ever felt alone?  I think we all have at one time or another, even when surrounded by people.  Sometimes I think that's when we feel it most.  Right now I feel completely forgotten, hurt, unloved...very much alone.

But we will never be abandoned by God.  He cares.  He's there for us, day or night, every single day.

Other people will let us down.  And we will disappoint others.  But that's because we're all human and imperfect.

God is perfect.  And no matter how much or how often we fail, God won't fail us. Maybe He won't give us what we want, but He'll carry us through anything we face. All we have to do is ask.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Birthday Card Money Holder

My granddaughter needed a last-minute gift for a friend (do children ever plan in advance?), so we ended up with that most personal of all gifts---cash.  Luckily, most children are perfectly okay with receiving money to buy something they really want.  I love those kids.

I thought it would be nice to at least make a card to hold the money, so I had my granddaughter choose paper and the sentiment. I had recently purchased a cool die from Papertrey Ink, the Zipper Border Die, and thought this would be a good opportunity to try it out.

The card base was made from a piece of cardstock folded into a matchbook shape. I figured out the height and width I wanted, and cut it after doubling the height (for a top-fold card) and adding a couple of inches to fold up across the bottom.  

The "happy birthday" sentiment is from the Cricut cartridge Martha Stewart Birthday Cake Art. I cut a decorative border across the bottom using a Fiskars border punch, which I then backed with a small strip of white cardstock.  I used my Martha Stewart Custom Stamp Setting Kit to create the "pull" stamp for the tab area of the tear strip.  

After I assembled the card elements I had my granddaughter write a message inside.  I enclosed the cash, then used my ATG gun to seal it up so that the money could only be accessed by pulling the tear strip.

I never heard, "You ruined my life!" after my granddaughter returned home, so I can only assume everything functioned as expected.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I'm sitting here at 11:30 p.m. on a Saturday night wondering how I got here. I'm waiting on my two granddaughters to return home from their evening activities, and the earliest I can expect either of them is 1 a.m. My husband just went to bed after I finally convinced him that since I can't possibly fall asleep until both girls have made it safely home, there is no reason we should both be sleep-deprived.

Where are my golden years? 

I love these two girls more than life itself. But I'm watching my life slip away. It seems I'm always playing a waiting game--waiting for someone to need a ride, waiting for someone to get home at night, waiting, waiting, always waiting. But time doesn't wait for me. I'm not getting any younger.

I need peace. I need rest. I need a few good years to reconnect with my husband after decades of endless childraising. 

But time is almost up.

I'm more exhausted than ever. I haven't slept all week. I won't get enough sleep again tonight. And the only times my husband and I spent together all week included one or both granddaughters.

I'm waiting on a break.  And a little of the life I worked hard to achieve.

I find myself frequently telling the girls that life isn't fair. That no matter what we do that is good and responsible and kind and ethical, we will sometimes watch others who didn't do the right thing receive what we feel we deserve. It's simply part of life in a sinful world. We can't let it change who we are. The truth is, we might never see our reward until we get to spend eternity with God.

But the waiting isn't easy.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Beach-themed Mason Jar Candle

I found an adorable beach-themed mason jar candle on Pinterest, and since I'll probably never achieve my dream of actually living at the beach, I decided the next-best thing was a candle reminiscent of a sandy beach covered in seashells.

Okay, that isn't quite true.  This project will never replace the soothing sounds of ocean waves, or the peaceful, shoreline view of water meeting sky.  But it will have to suffice for now.  And it is cute if I do say so myself.

The original design can be found here.

Even though the project was titled "Mason Jar Candle Holder for a Beach Wedding", I have neither a wedding nor beach trip planned any time soon, so I'll call my project "Beach-themed Candle to Soothe the Soul and Guilty Conscience of a Stressed-out Grand/mother Who Needs to Use Some of Her Massive Craft Hoard".

On second thought, I'll just call it "Beach-themed Mason Jar Candle".

I started by using blue craft paint to color the outside of a clean, empty spaghetti jar.  After the paint had dried, I made a candle inside the jar (as you can see, I clearly needed more wax to actually fill the jar). While I waited for the candle to harden, I colored some Diamond Dust with Adirondack Alcohol Ink to give it the appearance of sand.  When the candle was ready, I brushed a coat of Mod Podge around the bottom couple of inches of the jar, then coated it with the Diamond Dust.  After everything had dried, I sprayed a few coats of clear sealant over the entire jar.  While waiting for the sealant to dry, I used my glue gun, clear glue sticks, and silicone molds to create the shells, sand dollar and starfish, which I painted with a variety of acrylic craft paints for a more natural appearance. The final steps were to tie jute rope around the top of the jar and attach the shells to the jar using my glue gun.

Have you been "Pin"spired lately? What did you make?  And how did we survive before Pinterest???

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cupcake Birthday Card

This simple birthday card was made using a cupcake from the Cricut cartridge Simply Charmed. I added a few shiny heart-shaped "sprinkles", then finished with a little glitter glue on the candle flame.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Octopus Birthday Card

Once again I'm waiting for my creative juices to flow or my energy level to rise. It could be a while. Until then, I thought I'd share a card I made last year but never posted.

This little octopus is from the Cricut cartridge Birthday Bash, which is one of my favorites. I also cut a flag from the same cartridge, then stamped it with a birthday sentiment.

I have to say the little guy appears to be struggling--or juggling.  Either way, I admire his tenacity.

Thanks for visiting!

Friday, October 2, 2015


Sometimes in life we can be hurt in ways that threaten to consume us. Even time seems incapable of healing those hurts.

I've been dealing with just such a circumstance. Today I felt completely powerless. I couldn't move past the excruciating pain deep within my soul. And for some reason, maybe because I couldn't see past my anger at the injustice of it all, God seemed so very far away.  And I honestly wasn't spending much of my effort seeking His presence.

But now it's quiet, everyone is in bed, and this day's particular trials are behind me. And I can finally feel God's love and care. Tomorrow might be just as difficult as today, but I pray for the wisdom to seek the power I need before I reach the point of hopelessness and despair.

Thank you, God, for your grace and mercy, and for loving a sinner like me.