I sometimes (ok, often) dream of being one of those popular bloggers like Nat the Fat Rat (or Hey Natalie Jean as her blog is now titled) or Chris Loves Julia or Decor and the Dog, but then I think about the fact that I am terrible at keeping this blog updated. Also I'm rarely in project mode or house beautifying mode or any mode really that would be interesting to read about. Soooo scratch that off the bucket list.
Oh wait! Last month I did whip up this wee outfit for my little dear:
|ISN'T THAT TO DIE FOR|
All it is is a 2T boys' shirt from Target clearance for $1.88! I literally just laid a onesie that had a fit I liked on top of the shirt, and sewed the sides and sleeves in to match it. The headband and scarf are from two old shirts of mine. The scarf requires no sewing (!), just cut off the bottom hem of a shirt, and then cut off however much you want (below the sleeves). Voila, instant baby infinity scarf. The headband was a little more complicated, but only slightly. Same premise as the scarf, but cut off three strips instead, sew the ends together, braid them, and sew the ends again. The tights were $5 from Target. (I've recently discovered the beauty of using thick tights as pants for my skinny-legged little gal.)
As I've mentioned before, my sewing skills reside somewhere between those of a kindergartener and a rabbit, approximately. BUT even I was able to make this! I am not exaggerating or being humble when I say that ANYONE can do it. Even your mom! Probably your dog! I am improving a tiny bit though, such as I can usually sew in a straight line these days! I'm planning on making Gracie's Christmas dress the same way.
I just love me a well-dressed baby. Some folks would say "She's a baby, dress her like one!", but look, I only get to pick her clothes for a very short percentage of her life! She isn't always dressed that cute anyway. Often she looks like a straight up Oliver Twist ragamuffin. But I do love dressing her up and showing her off when I get the chance. And there are some strictly "baby" clothing items that I love, such as jumpers and PJs and of course there's not much better than a babe in nothin' but a onesie. But, I'm also all about baby skinny jeans and boots and pea coats.
Anywho. Oh, I got a job! I don't think I ever mentioned that officially. So there's this local magazine called Growing Up in the Valley and I write a few articles for it. It's not a ton of money, but I can do it from home, I'm good at it, and I'm getting back into the habit of having deadlines. It's good for me.
In other (sad) news, my parents had to put down the family dog a couple weeks ago. She had a chronic respiratory problem that made breathing difficult and she was basically slowly suffocating. It was awful. She would have been 11 in January.
Other than that, there's not much going on. Yet. But we are super excited for Gracie's first Christmas. We don't do Santa at all in our house, and we really want to instill in our kids that Christmas is not about the presents. The materialism that exists around this time of year makes me a little sick. A few weeks ago I was at the store in the layaway section picking up a diaper bag we'd ordered online, and I was in line behind this lady who had a shopping cart literally overflowing with toys that she was putting on layaway. I really am not meaning to judge her, because for all I know she was getting that stuff for Toys for Tots or maybe for a needy family who can't afford presents of their own. And it wasn't really about her in particular; the situation just got me thinking about what a waste it all is in general, really when you think about it, I mean like physically, bad-for-the-planet wasteful. And not this lady specifically, but just the materialism of society in general. I mean how long are those toys gonna last? How long is the kid gonna be interested in them? And how many thousands of parents are buying these cartfuls of cheap toys every single year? How many parents feel like they have to do that, like that's all Christmas is, stress and spending and rushing? I just started thinking about that and it made me sad.
Christmas is supposed to be about something so simple and so wonderful and so important, and yet somehow it's been twisted into this season that's all about getting and being busy and decorating and hosting and not much about Christ at all. It's so ridiculous and such a waste. So for starters, we've decided to only do four gifts a year: something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. That way, I feel like a lot more thought goes into the gifts and isn't it so much more fun to give a gift you've worked hard on? Also, I want our kids to appreciate and really take care of what they do have, and for us, I think fewer presents will help out with that. Something else we want to make a tradition is doing some kind of service around the holidays, whether it's donating to a charity or ding-dong-ditching to a family in need or volunteering in some way.
Don't get me wrong! I have no problem with parties and fun traditions! If you dig those, do 'em. We have those too. (Though, does Santa really belong at a church party? I think not. But that's a post for another time.) I am just looking for ways for us as a family to draw closer to Christ this time of year, and I want to have traditions that are at least in some way applicable to His life. And I think Christmas can still be the most magical time of the year in doing so.
What do you guys think? Does your family have any good/fun Christ-centered traditions? I'm so open for ideas. And also, speaking of which, do you have any good/fun Christ-centered Easter traditions that don't involve jellybeans or baskets or bunnies? Unless you can tell me how jellybeans and baskets and bunnies tie in to the Resurrection. I haven't been able to think of much, but I could be missing something.