Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Rag Quilt Up for Grabs

This is a rag quilt I just completed...well, minus the last step of washing and drying it.  I still don't have that super-awesome ruffled fillyness (I know, that isn't a word, but it should be) that comes from a trip through the washer and dryer.  But you get the picture.

First I had a pile of pretty purple, pink, and teal patterned cotton fabric "sandwiches," with a layer of light pink flannel in-between. 

Then that pile turned into this!

Message me if you are interested in making this baby your own.  The quilt costs $80 plus shipping.

This post is linked up to http://www.conniekresin.com/2015/11/linky-tuesday_24.html.  Go check out other awesome quilts there.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Memories

How come we forget to say hi
Until we have to say goodbye
We always remember to snap selfies
But forget to capture true moments
I used to wonder if I was missed the moments
In pursuit of a picture
Until I searched for a picture of a moment
And didn't find one
And with those other pictures I scrolled through
The moments came flooding back

Like being almost perfect...make that good enough

Like our last Christmas at "home"

What running in a college meet felt like...a blur

The moment I knew he was the man I would marry
Yep, that was the one
HE was the one
Right there on a miserably cold hike
On a trail we were not supposed to be on

Walking down a bridge toward a future unknown

Learning what real teaching looks like
And wishing I could relive it again

Tasting victory for the first time in a while

Becoming a part of a new family

The family photo that wasn't complete without him
And will never be quite as complete again
Memories of front porch sitting

That time when he got down on his knee
And I said yes


And TRUE DEEP stand-the-test-of-time-and-distance kind of friendship

And that first dance with THAT boy that won't be the last

Baby makes three

And one more makes four

But what about those moments not captured?
The ones that you can't quite grasp?
There is just a little taste
But you want more
Guess I need to take more pictures

Friday, November 13, 2015

If Only Hashtags Could HEAL

I wrote this angry prayer not so long ago after the terrorist attacks in Paris. But it seems the #hashtags# keep coming. The latest one I saw was #HealOurOrLANDo plastered across a billboard in Chattanooga.  A touching gesture and attempt at       solidarity. One city struck by terrorism extending an embrace to another now facing the same hoping a billboard means something. What else is there to do? Yes, it happened here, too. We know the pain of having to say, "stuff like that just doesn't happen here." That statement is beginning to lose its shock value. Too many people have said the same thing. But what can we do? Now we both have a hashtag to go with our city. How tragic it is that cities are literally trending by terrorism? #Orlando is no longer just recordings of vacation memories. It's no longer just smiling faces by the beach. Now is survivor photos, memorial photos, photos of people sobbing,  artistic expressions of grief. What can we do? I know. We will give it a clever hashtag. That will fix it.

#If Only Hastags Could Heal#

They were just out for a night on the town

They were just raising a toast at an office party.

They just wanted to rock out to their favorite band
They were just enjoying a pleasant meal

They were just getting pumped for the big game
They were just cheering on the OSU Cowboys

They were just going to class
They were just perusing degrees for a shot at the American Dream

They were just reporting the news
They were just preparing for their big day

They were just doing their jobs
They were just enjoying time home between deployments

They were just going to church to learn how to be more like you
They were just black

They were just going to see a movie
They were just enjoying their popcorn and Coke

They were just going to school
They were just little kids


PS-I really pray from the bottom of my heart that this doesn't make anyone doubt the God that I pray to or his goodness or his faithfulness or his love. My prayer is that you know it's okay to ask why.  Jesus asked why that time, too. I figure if he can pray an angry prayer I can, too. But don't ask me why, God hasn't answered me yet.

3 Reasons (I THINK) My Pageviews Have Skyrocketed

Lately, I am enjoying devoting some of my time to blogging about life and teaching and parenting and making things.  And for some reason, people have started to notice.  Today I learned something pretty exciting.
I made my first post on this blog almost EXACTLY two years ago...11/18/13.  These are the stats I just pulled from my blog today.
Pageviews today: 73
Pageviews yesterday: 9
Pageviews last month: 1,494
Pageviews all time history: 6,569
Truth is...I am still trying to figure that out.  I have a few ideas, but really, I am not positive of anything.  Here is what I do know.
1.  I started trying harder.  I really love writing but had strayed away from it for a while.  I got distracted by the munchkins and the orders and the life.  But then I realized something.  Why not write about the munchkins and the orders and the life?  Why not make my distractions work to my advantage.  It's easy to write about real life.  I decided to let all of you in...whoever you are.
2.  I reached out.  I stopped caring whether or not I would drive my friends crazy if I tagged them in a link on Facebook.  I stopped thinking, "am I posting too many pictures of crocheted mermaid tails?"...INSERT PICTURES OF CROCHETED MERMAID TAILS

I stopped wondering if you guys were looking at your phones or ipads or computer screens thinking, "another quilt, Meredith, really?"  Because, frankly, I don't care if some of you get tired of it.  If some of you aren't tired of it, and feel what I have to say is worth reading, or what I make is worth seeing, then it is okay if a few of you have had enough of me.  There is that red block button you can click if you get tired of seeing my name. 

2.  I got a little lucky.  Somehow, some pretty cool people stumbled upon one of those pictures that I posted and decided they needed what I made. 
And then they decided they liked what I made.  And then they decided to tell their 5 bajillion fans and friends that they liked what I made.  And then those fans decided they wanted to be pretty cool themselves.  And then I got very busy!

3.  I got real about my feelings.  I started writing about my frustrations.  I started writing about all of the things I have to be thankful for.  I started sharing my imperfections.  I like when people are real with me so I figured I would give being real a shot.

All of this traffic has led to more orders than I have ever had.  I love making pretty things.  Making pretty things makes me feel pretty good.  Hence the name Feel Good Friday.

PS-If you are in my little neck of the woods this weekend, come to the Soddy Elementary fall festival from 10 to 3 on Saturday, November 13th, 2015.  I will have a table with all kinds of yarny and fabricy things that would make fantabulous Christmas gifts for someone you love.

Have a fantastical Friday, my friends!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

6 Reasons Why I Loved "The Snoopy Movie

1. I loved the COMPANY.  My two-year-old has been struggling to have "nice hands" at daycare lately.  He seemed to have gotten over his biting phase...knock on wood...and transferred right into hitting his friends for no reason. This has been one frustrated embarrassed mommy/teacher. But with the promise of seeing "The Snoopy Movie," as he likes to call it, he "turned it around." This week he has had nice hands and a nice mouth. So this afternoon a dear friend of ours watched our four-month-old and Mommy and Daddy took Shea on his first solo date since becoming a big brother. He even lugged his new Snoopy to the movie with him. Insert awwwwwes here.

His old Snoopy had to be banished to his closet because he had chewed on its nose for so many nights we were afraid he would chew it off in his sleep. Pause in remembrance of "Blue Snoop Dog." Thanks Blake and Kaitlyn for the dearly beloved almost furless friend.

2. Charlie Brown and Snoopy love baseball just like Shea.

3. Snoopy looked oh so cuddly. I am not obsessed with animation or special effects or design, but all of those things in this movie were fantastic! Despite having very modern animation, it still seemed very comic-cartoonish. We watched the 2-D version of the movie so Shea and I wouldn't have seizures, and still Snoopy looked like you could reach out and touch him. For some reason I noticed that Snoopy had just enough peach fuzz on the top of his head to make him appear petable.  

4. It seems my teacher friends and I aren't the only ones who hate standardized testing. But they still threw in "standardized testing type vocabulary," like diversified portfolio, conspire, aerodynamic, intellectual superiority, reproach. Get those kids ready for the ACT early why doncha. 

5. Charlie Brown had a pretty cool quilt on his bed.

6. Spoiler alert- sometimes the good guy gets the girl.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Best laid plans...

My dear friend just wrote a post about what it feels like to teach future generations of young people (If any of my students are reading this, that is what you are so stop complaining that a teacher is calling you that. It is a term of endearment.) Go read what she said before you read what I said....


Seriously...read before you proceed!

I have taught far too many "Sadies" than I would like to believe in just five years of teaching.  They have different stories. Their baggage is different.  Their pain originates from different circumstances. Their stereotypes have different lingos.  They speak a different language.  Their yo is a y'all and their glock is a rifle. They come from different types of "rough neighborhoods." The thorn in their side comes from a different vine. But the stories are the same...empty plates, absent fathers, incarcerated mothers, pain that is driven to addictions, insecurity that breeds disorders, neglect that leads to rebellion.  

I tell these students to turn their circumstances into motivation to succeed. The question is, will that success be enough to change the direction of their future? I sure as heck hope so...and pray so...and NEED so.

I would love to say that teaching them is a joy, that I love going to work every day. At times that is true. But it is also painful and exhausting at other times.  Seeing progress in these students is exhilarating.  My heart races when I see something has finally "clicked" in those hardened minds. Sadly, I must admit that often a voice whispers, "I hope the world doesn't break them."  And I do that often, I hope. And I pray. And I love them. Because what else is there to do but love them and teach them?

And hope and pray that my lessons and prayers will be enough.

PS-Now let me say this before I get hate mail: this is not just about the small town that I teach in. I am not saying that this is every child I teach. I am not even saying that this is the majority of my students.  There are amazing parents and hard-working families whose love comes in the form of taking on every extra shift they can get to provide for their families and wishing they could be home more than they are.  There are many students who go home to stable happy homes filled with love and enrichment and home-cooked meals. Many students come to school with full bellies and hearts, eager to learn and take the world by storm. More power to ya...that was me, too. But it is this other group of students that weighs heavy on my heart at night because they don't have all of those things.  
And I say y'all, too, it was just a play on words. I'm not hating. This is my community I'm writing about. I'm raising my kids here, too.  I just pray that somewhere along the way something or someone figures out how to ensure that hard work and determination and dedication lead to some form of success for EVERY CHILD...EVERYWHERE...not just in my tiny corner of rural America.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I would be YELLOW

If I was a color, I would be yellow...

No, not in the physical sense of the word.  I do not want yellow skin.  I don't wish to be jaundice.  I would like to keep a healthy liver, thank you very much.  That jaundice is a messy thing.  No bilirubin lights for me...parents of premie babies, you know what I mean.  I have been there.  Click here to read the story of our little NICU baby.

I mean if I could personify a color, it would be yellow. 

Yellow is the color of sunshine.

Yellow is bright and fun and not scared to stand out.

Yellow says, "here I am.  Take it or leave it."

Yellow is unapologetic.  What you see is what you get.

Yellow tends to be a bit obnoxious.  Oh well.  See if I care.

Yellow is, "uplifting and illuminating, offering hope, happiness, cheerfulness and fun."...according to psychologists that is.

Yellow is the color of creativity, and I would like to think I am creative...if I do say so myself.  I may not be a lot of things, but creative is one thing I am.

Yellow is speedy...this is both a strength and weakness.  When I get an idea in my head I tend to chase after it with abandon.  This drive has proven to be my greatest strength at times, andmy biggest flaw at others.  It gets me to my destination faster, be it victory or defeat.

Yellow is impulsive.

Yellow is great for children.  It grabs the attention of the minds of kiddos who are always on the move.  It is the color of youth.  "Tiny humans" like it.  And I am a HUGE fan of "tiny humans."
            And for those of you who thought that was a Grey's Anatomy reference, it was.  I love that
            show, even though they keep killing off my favorite characters (spoiler alert).

And, last but not least, yellow is the color of smiley face stickers.  Who doesn't love a good ole smiley face sticker?

Some scientific findings about color came from THIS WEBSITE.  I found this website to be very informative.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

DONEday Sunday

Sometimes I have to take a break from big projects to work on some smaller ones. That is what I did this weekend. Ask if you are interested in making any orders.