drats

Okay, so I posted late on the 2nd and yesterday missed out completely due to spending all my waking hours at a holiday sale in Seattle with my Mom and many talented artists. It was a fun day, but I was too tired to post anything when I got home.

Do I feel bad? Not really. It would have been a lame post anyway if I had tried since I felt tired and uninspired. Someone asked why I would choose December of all months to commit to writing a daily post and I said I like a challenge, but the truth is I’m just crazy; in a good way!

It rained so hard last night that our roof was leaking an upbeat melody into the pots that catch my indoor rainforest. I’m thankful it’s sunny today even if it’s colder than I like. I prefer a warm beach to a snowy mountain, so I will bundle up and make it through these cold months until I can escape to the seaside under the warmth of the sun. Dreaming of the beach keeps me going…

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Hawaii is my future destination. A life on the beach is my dream.

 

In the mean time, I count my blessings. I have a loving husband who makes me breakfast and gives me sweet lovin’ morning, noon, and night-whenever I want it. Our children are healthy and wonderful people. My extended family and in-laws are awesome. I have phenomenal friends that make me a better person. We have a home, food, warm clothes, and all our bills paid. I’m thankful for all that I have! It’s not to say I don’t want for more, just that until then I am happy and grateful for all I have now.

Okay, I’m off to decorate the home for the holidays! Enjoy your day!

Hugs,

~Tillie

 

 

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Gratitude

Having gratitude for things large and small just makes life more enjoyable. It’s a matter of “glass is half full versus glass half empty” kind of thinking.

There have been moments that I’ve struggled to be grateful for all I have, but thankfully I don’t dwell there and I have surrounded myself with people who help lift me up when I’m feeling down or overwhelmed.

This Thanksgiving is the first of what I’m sure will become our new normal with children growing up and moving off to college. Our oldest child is not coming home for this holiday and will be gathering around the table with new friends and welcomed into a family meal on the other side of the US. I’m grateful she will be fed and cared for in our absence.

I think I will start a new tradition of placing a picture on the table of those that are missing from our time together so they will be with us in spirit. And I will make sure my camera is out and handy to capture all the new memories we’re making today.

I am thankful for all the years we’ve gathered as a family and all the friends that have joined us in breaking bread with much joy and laughter. It’s been great and I know it will just get better and better, but we may have to accept that it will be different in the future and our table will grow with pictures of those we love who can’t be with us in person but who will be with us in spirit.

Wishing you the best this time of year! Stay grateful! ~Tillie XOXO

Thanksgiving 2015

Read This

These cold, rainy days are perfect for getting caught up on your reading list. I seem to gather books wherever I go and end up waiting until autumn and winter to read them. But I read them quickly, one after another, so I am always in another world or learning something new. I read everything, too; cookbooks, biographies, fiction, non-fiction, craft books, smut, comics, old and new.

I want to share three books that are worth putting on your reading list.

First, is a novel by Jason Skipper, a local man who teaches at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. It’s call Hustle. I read it in one day, but it was so good that I may just re-read it. It’s about family and how every generation has its personal struggles, but it shows that love is the healer of all wounds.

The second book I think is worth a read this winter is Falling Into Place by Hattie Kauffman. Hattie was the first Native American journalist to report on national news channels. She’s a member of the Nez Perce tribe of Idaho. This book is her memoir with a focus on God’s love and how she overcame addiction. I had the honor of meeting her in Tacoma a few years ago at the Pierce County Prayer Breakfast held at the Tacoma Dome. She was the keynote speaker. It was a wonderful speech that moved me to tears and laughter and gave me hope that all things are possible with a little faith.

My third and final recommendation for a book you can’t put down is In the Company of Mules by Jody Foss. Not only have I met the author and believe she is one of the coolest and truest women of the earth but she loves mules like me! I enjoyed reading this memoir of her two-month-long mule ride from Sandpoint, Idaho to Newport, Oregon all by herself. Jody paints a picture with words and you feel like you are right beside her taking in the beauty of the trail. She also met many interesting and kind people on her 600 mile journey through small towns of the Pacific Northwest. There are nuggets of wisdom from old-timers and personal accounts of a time when settlers and Indians co-existed. This is a story of a woman brave enough to strike out on her own and tough enough to see it through to the destination, but it’s the journey that is life-changing.

Spend some time with these authors and I promise you, it’ll be time well spent!

My, my, my…

Well, I am back! After what feels like ages, I am tapping at the keys and here to fill you in on what a busy – insert the word “unfocused” here – person I have been.

I have finally finished some carriers for my Etsy shop: Petz Couture. They are awesome and I hope they find a good home soon!

A good friend of mine is about to have her third child. A little girl this time and I’ve knitted and crocheted some darling dresses for her. I absolutely LOVE making baby things! They are soft and small and will be filled up with a sweet new baby. Yes, I love babies and, no, I don’t want to have another. I look back on my days with five small children and wonder now how the hell I did it?! I know for sure I can’t do it now. I like sleep way too much to go back to those sleep-deprived years.

BIG NEWS: We have decided to move somewhere warm. It’s been something my husband has talked about over the years, but I was resistant…until now. I think I’ve hit that age where I realize I’m not getting any younger and life is to be lived in the now. Putting things off is so easy to do, yet sometimes the day never comes when you actually fulfill those wishes and wants. So we are living in the “now” and planning our next adventure. Details to come…

But what I am most looking forward to at this very moment is a vacation with one of my daughters to Florida to see family and soak up some sun!!! Spring break on the beach is a dream come true. Can’t wait until it’s just a Tuesday on the beach, you know?! Soon it will be a daily event with my family. This makes me happy and excited for our future!

I will be posting some giveaways as we get closer to our move. I’m packing light and keeping it simple for this adventure. Plus, I like paying-it-forward when I can.

Wishing you a wonderful day and a peaceful night!

~Tillie

 

My Top 10 Moments of 2015

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The year is coming to an end and I think it’s a great time to start a “Top 10 moments of 2015 countdown” blog posting.

This list is a personal one. It’s specific to my heart and the best moments in my year. It’s hard to choose from all the great times I’ve had, but that’s a nice problem to have, right?!

Without further ado, here’s my #1:

May 24th, 2015 was a stellar day because not only was it my 37th birthday party, but it was a house-painting party and my wonderful friends and family showed up to lend a hand. It transformed our home from yikes to YES!

 

I’m not going to even mention how long it was in this state, but I will say that every time I drove up to our house I would grit my teeth and shake my head, wishing I could get it at least painted one complete color(and not purple, even though it’s one of my favorite colors).

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I never thought so many of our family and friends would be willing to come over and paint with us on a holiday weekend with a chance of rain, but it didn’t rain and everyone showed up with their painting clothes on. It was so amazing! The party started at 12pm and by 8pm the house was completely painted, even down to the trim. I am forever thankful for their time and effort. It’s made a huge difference in my life to come home and smile, not just because it looks SO much better, but because of the love that went into each paint stroke. This will forever be one of my favorite moments in my life. We laughed and talked and listened to the boom-box and warmed up by the fire-pit during breaks. Good times!!!

What’s your “Top 10 Moments of 2015” list?  It may sound easy to narrow it down to 10, but trust me, it’s not!

My First Creations

Let me start from the beginning.

My first creations that I am the most proud of (and love to pieces) are my kids! From the moment I met my husband, Evan, I knew he was to be the father of my children. He had no idea, but I knew and that’s all that mattered.

We were blessed with five amazing children that have made our lives better than we ever dreamed possible. All of them are so unique and talented in their own way. I can’t imagine what life would be like without them.

That saying, “I’m so crafty I make people” is one of my favorites. I wear it like a badge of honor and I’m proud of the stretch marks I have to prove it.

My little loves are not so little anymore. They have grown into people I look up to, figuratively and literally.

Emma is now starting her senior year of high school. She’s a force to be reckoned with in running. Her long legs and endurance have earned her recognition in athletics, along with many awards and medals. Emma has always been my outgoing and tenacious child. She has a big heart and has decided she wants to be a Pediatrician. I think she will be amazing!

My oldest child, Emma.
My oldest child, Emma.

I always said that our children just got sweeter and sweeter the more kids we had. It may be true or the fact that we actually knew what we were doing and what to expect by the following child…either way, they were sweet and fun!

Faith was born a week before Christmas and I swear Emma thought she was an early present, and she was, for all of us.

Faith has always had a soft spot for animals. She is the child who could-and would-talk me into adopting new pets. We’ve had dogs, cats, birds, chickens, ducks, sheep, and horses. That’s just the list of pets I said “yes” to. Then there was the monkey, ferret, chinchilla, hedgehog, and fish I said “no” to. Her career goal has never changed, she still wants to be a Veterinarian. She is a kind and big-hearted person who comes off quiet, but is really loud and silly with those she’s comfortable with.

My second child, Faith.
My second child, Faith.

Hershal is the middle child, and yes, he exhibits all the great “middle child” qualities textbooks warn you about. This boy has been the entertainer in the family since he could walk. All the kids would put on plays or music performances for the family, but it would be Hershal who would steal the show everytime. He commits to the character and is funny beyond words! In fifth grade he was in a school play put on by Tacoma Musical Playhouse. He did so well that they asked him to be in one of their mainstage musicals, Ragtime. He’s now into basketball, and quite good at that too, but I would love to see him continue his acting since he’s a natural performer.

My third, and middle child, Hershal.
My third, and middle child, Hershal.

Our fourth child, Rubin, was the sweetest and cutest baby of all! No kidding, this baby was smiley and cuddly and had cute fat-rolls that made you want to squeeze him all day long. And I did! He’s still as sweet as ever, but he’s grown into all that skin and is such a natural at sports. Rubin has always been the child to give me a hug or kiss when I need it most. His kindness and humor makes him liked by all who know him.

My fourth child, Rubin.
My fourth child, Rubin.

My last human creation is Birdie, the sweet and tough girl we call the baby of the family. Birdie is the culmination of sweetness and silliness she learned from all her siblings. Maybe that’s it, the reason they all just got sweeter and sweeter, they learned it from the older kids…aha! That’s it! Thank goodness Emma was so sweet and passed it down to her brothers and sisters!

We found out Birdie has Type 1 Diabetes right before her 8th birthday. She really is a strong little girl! She does her finger pokes and her insulin shots all by herself. She never complains or feels sorry for herself. A true inspiration to me. Birdie has decided, at the age of 10, that she wants to be a doctor of Diabetes and help others to care for themselves.

My fifth child, Birdie.
My fifth child, Birdie.

To say I’m proud of my children would be a huge understatement! They are my reason for breathing. It’s been fun watching each grow and become their own person. I’ve been blessed with the task of raising these kids and I know in my heart that through them, I’ve done my part to bring the world beauty and love. My children have been and always be my best work. Everything else from here on out is icing on the cake!