Insta Giveaway

It’s been a little while since there’s been a fun giveaway around here.  I’m trying my hand today at a fun Friday giveaway over on my Instagram.  Up for grabs is this 6×6 “We are more than conquerors” canvas.  Head over and enter to win.  You can find me at pitterpatterart

I’m going to try and get another fun giveaway ready for next week here on the ole’ blog so no worries if you don’t have Instagram.  If you are an Instagrammer, come check out the feed and enter to win…and to see crazy cute Kelley pictures.  Muahahahahaha!

Hope you guys have the best day!  It’s the weekend so we’re pretty pumped around here.  Hope you enjoy it!

Happiest of Fridays!

Loving What I Do

It’s an honor and privilege to love my job.  I do not take it for granted at all.  I absolutely love what I do.  I know this is exactly what I am suppose to be doing…and so much more.  This week and last have been busy ones getting orders completed and shipped out and delivered.  Thank you!  Thank you for ordering.  Thank you for trusting me with custom orders for yourself, your home, your children, friends and family.  Thank you for allowing me to create on your behalf.  I promise I create them with joyful hands and a grateful heart.  Such a privilege.  Your orders and kind words mean the world to me.  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!

These goodies are headed out to all over, plus some Tennessee love in there :)

Key fobs.

Name pillows.

Tooth pillow. (I typically do not make these anymore, but this was a local friends’ request)

8×8 Apple canvas.

100 flag mini bunting.

Onesie love…a gift…for a new sweet little chubby baby!

Please please please know how thankful I am for every order and all you wonderfully kind people who even read my tiny piece of the inter webs.  You amaze me and encourage me and I am so crazy crazy grateful.

Happy Wednesday!

Wild & Fancy Kid Free

Today was my day.  Today for the first time in 7 years all my kiddos were off at school while I was home…alone…for a whole flippin’ 5 hours…working!  You guys it was like a vacation.  A vacation where I worked up a storm in colorful fabrics and a mind full of vibrant ideas.  It was grand.  I felt like a legit business owner…none of this juggling 5 million things…just me in my office with my supplies and my order list and it was grand.  Grand I tell you.

I noticed some things about being wild and fancy kid free…some great things.  Like I ran into Joanns to grab a few supplies right after I dropped Amon off and it took me a grand total of 5 minters.  Boom.  In and out.  Piece of cake.  No bathroom breaks.  No prying items out of toddler sized hands.  No fits.  No tears.  Gloriousness.

By the way this was Amon this morning before I took him to MDO.  Check ya later kid!  He’s ridiculous, I know.

*Today I also ate a cookie without hiding around the corner.  I got super crazy eating my cookie right out in the middle of the kitchen…in broad day light.  No dark closets.

*I used the bathroom alone.  No one chatting me up while I did my business.  No Amon trying to “examine” things he shouldn’t.  Nope.  Just me, the toilet and silence.

*I fixed just one, just one lunch for myself and shared with no one.  I even ate it leisurely in my office while I worked.

*I realized when I have zero children in tow I am crazy productive.  Key fobs, name pillows, onesies, tees.  It was amazing.  Uh-Maze-Ing.

*Since the wild toddler human was gone I got extra crazy and left my iron on in between projects.  Oh no I didn’t!

And when it was time to pick the kids up, it was cool.  I was glad to see them and hear all about their day.  Hudson even asked me how my day was and that was just the sweetest.  I went with THIS EASY DINNER (I add broccoli and chicken) served on paper plates to really end the day with a bang.  It looks gross, but it’s super fly.  Finally, soccer practice and baths and now I am just basking in the crazy goodness of my first working day.

It was great.  I do love all my small humans…no doubt…but it was such a good day working.  It made my heart swell.  I enjoy my creative side.  I want to use the gifts God has given me and honestly, my head feels clearer when I get to be creative.  Normally finding time to work is a big juggling act with super late nights and little sleep.  I kind of think I am going to fall quickly, over the top in love with Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Here’s to many more.

Happy Tuesday!

Hello Monday!

You guys this week could not possibly get much crazier.  School is legit in session along with little league baseball, soccer season, work, work and more work and Josh’s fall league.  We are officially for realz crazy town.  Our children will never, I repeat never, do more than one extra curricular activity.  I would die.  There’s no way I could pull it off.  One is enough…and God forbid the boys ever be on different teams.  When that day arrives, we are screwed.  I won’t be able to handle it.

It was nice to have a pretty chill weekend before this insane week commenced.

I got a little work done.

Full Count’s fall league started up this weekend and it was a hot one.  We tried to make it through a double header, but ended up peacing out after the first game.  It was too flippin’ hot.

We made these cookies and I threw in an insane amount of sprinkles because we can.

Harper colored her heart out.

We enjoyed one of our nieces’ birthday party and then made a late night Target run.  It’s really funny shopping with our kids past their bedtimes…they are beyond goofy and hilarious.  And look at my twins.

Then Saturday night Hudson woke up with a mean asthma attack and we struggled to get it under control and then ended up in the doctors office for a good chunk of time Sunday.  They pumped this guy full of some serious meds.  Dude just could not breathe.  #awesome

Oddly enough this is the second weekend in a row we’ve had medical issues.  Last weekend it was Amon, a crushed flower pot on his foot and a giant laceration.  Why was he carrying around a flower pot, well that is the question I would like answered myself.  Washi tape for the win on keeping blood from dripping all over our car on the ride to get him all fixed up.

So how was your weekend?  I hope it was really great.  A pick me up.  The encouragement you needed to plow through another week.

Most of these pictures are from my Instagram.  You can find me at pitterpatterart.  I haven’t done a giveaway in a while, so I’m going to do my best to do one on my Instagram this week.  It’s sure to be fun.  I’ll keep you posted.

Happy Monday.

Rivers And Roads {a little on grief}

Last night we so enjoyed our date night.  It was way over do.  Great friends.  Music.  Humidity induced sweat.  No children.  Good food.  I even got to see my cousin Emily and her fiancé Adam…we always run into them at concerts.  It was a good night.  We went to a free concert in Nashville…two artists being Wild Cub and The Head and The Heart.  We love music.  Josh Kelley, you will be shocked to know, can really jam on a bass if he wants too.

Since Mom died sometimes I have these really emotional moments at concerts.  Sounding a little crazy?!?!?  I remember at a NeedToBreathe concert I cried so hard when they played These Hard Time.  Every morning for 8 days when I pulled into the parking garage at whatever hospital Mom was in, I would put my earbuds in, hit play on my iPod and march through the hospital towards her room with this absolutely blaring in my ears.  It was my anthem.  It was my anthem on Mom’s behalf.

“Give me motivation.  Give me all my hearts desires.  Show me something gorgeous.  Show me till my eyes get tired.  Give me all the drums and show me how to play them loud.  Show me how to move when I can’t feel that you’re around.”

I’m just 3 months out from the 3 year mark of her leaving.  It does get better, but it gets hard in weird ways…in ways you never saw coming.  And actual time changes.  Once I thought three years sounded like a long time, but when dealing with grief…time loses a bit of its weight.  Weeks felt like minutes.  Months felt like weeks.  And years shorten up real quick.  You think to yourself “Surely at the one year mark my heart will be healed” and at least for me I found that not the case at all.  Things just changed.  Around the 2 year mark I began to notice the differences in the places I had been in my healing…the points God had brought me through…from point A to B to C to D and so on.  He had been ever so slowly healing and moving me…sometimes me going on my own with His nudges and sometimes He had to just carry me.  It’s a hard journey.  One which is still not easy, but it gets better…more manageable and I’ve learned to dwell in thankfulness for where God has taken me and grown me and healed me, the hope I have in Him, where I’ve seen unmistakable true beauty in the ashes, instead of camping out in the self pity and as if the world owes me something for my heart ache.  I’ve learned gratitude and compassion and empathy and deep thankfulness.  Do I still have bad days?  Yes.  Absolutely yes.  It’s going to happen.

We’ve had a few teary moments lately with sadness about school and changes in our house and missing people.  One night Harper was weepy and I laid beside her in her bottom bunk and asked what was wrong.  She began to cry and tell me, “I don’t remember how to to get to Grammy’s house.  I used to know and now I can’t remember.”  This is the grief territory were in now.  This place where time is passing and now you realize 3 years has gone back to being a long amount of time when someone you love is missing all which is taking place in that time frame.  We’re forgetting and things are becoming foggy and hazy.  I spend more time than I’d like to admit trying to remember exactly what she was like.  In some instances she seems clear as day and in others like a dream, not real.  So we’re working on supporting and loving and reminding.  I laid in Harper’s bed and with my pointer finger in the air drew her the map to Grammy’s house…talking the ride out, noting landmarks along the way and describing her house with the sloped down hill driveway they ran down to reach the Easter eggs she hid in her  backyard the last Easter we spent with her, to the weeping cherry tree beside her front porch with the deep red front door.

Last night when The Head and The Heart started playing their song Rivers and Roads I had one of those moments…those sentimental moments.  In a sea of strangers on a plot of grass in the Tennessee humidity around some of my favorite people I sang in my heart and soaked up the moment.  I listened as the crowd sang and for a moment just closed my eyes tight.

“Rivers and roads, rivers and roads, rivers till I reach you.”

And I thanked God for where he’s brought me…for not leaving me where I was, for where He’s brought our family and how He keeps after us…taking, moving and carrying us from place to place…reaching after us…for healing and reminding and comforting.  I thanked Him for the assurance I will see her face and hug her neck again.  I know another year from now I will look back in gratitude again for how He’s changed me yet again.  He is so good.  And merciful.  And hope-filled.  And love.  And does not leave us where we are.

So You See…

Tonight Josh Kelley and I have this thing called a date night which we haven’t been on in what seems like forever because of this other thing called life and a whole little quiver of small wild humans, so I’m pretty dang excited.  While making my to-do list for today I thought of some random things I would like to share with you.  They may seem deep and really knowledgeable and if you feel intimated by our family’s grandeur just embrace it :)

*I’ve decided I should get myself a new notepad.  More times than I would like to admit I awake and have my hand reminder tattooed directly on my face.  Yesterday my taxes were do.  Got it!  It’s also incredibly awkward taking such a close up selfie of yourself.  I chose not to make eye contact.

*One day this week for lunch I may have combined 3 sets of leftovers into one bowl for my meal.  And it was delicious.  Some of these were also leftovers from last week, but I feel like we really under estimate the shelf life of leftovers.  Plus I microwaved the crap out of it and feel confident that killed anything living I did not want to consume…no mold and no funky smell = you can totally still eat it.  I told Josh this last night and it kind of grossed him out.  Pansy.  I even made him guess which three leftovers I combined…like a fun game.

*This morning as Solomon put his shoes on for school we had this conversation:

Sol: Mom, you are never going to believe what this kid did at school?

Me: (thinking the worst) What?  You gotta tell me if I’m not going to believe it.

Sol:  While we were eating lunch he threw up.

Me:  That is so gross.  Poor kid.  What did you do?

Sol:  Well I didn’t even notice, but I was wondering “What’s that all over his chicken?”

I die.  Kids are gross.  Puke is even grosser.

*I want to make these Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes like right about now.  I am a lush for some chocolate cake and these look crazy good.  Might try to pull these off this weekend.

(picture source)

*Speech therapy is the bomb.  I’ll be honest in saying I kind of hate doing it twice a week, but we love our therapists and Amon works so hard and it is paying off.  It makes me so teary how far he has come and how he’s just making these leaps and bounds.  Two nights ago I leaned into his bed and gave him his goodnight kiss and said “I love you Amon” just like I do every night, but this time he said “I yuh you” back and I absolutely cried.  Right there, my head pressed against his head, those were the words my heart has been longing to hear from this child.  He had used the potty right before bed so he got a chocolate chip and in my tears I said, “You smell like chocolate.”  And he just nodded his head “yes”.  A moment forever engraved in my mind and heart.  Early intervention and therapists of all shapes and sizes are the BEST!!!

*To follow up that sweet sappy note, next week Amon starts Mother’s Day Out and you guys it will be the first time in 7 years I will be alone…in our house…in the middle of the week…for the day.  No kids at all.  I am dying.  The possibilities are endless.

(Sometimes we eat our lunch in the kitchen floor just because we can.)

*And solely for housekeeping reasons:  If you’ve sent me an email or message using the “Contact Laura” button at the top and I did not reply please know I did not get your message.  I reply to all emails I receive…sometimes it takes me a few days, but I do reply.  I have been having some issues with the button, so please try re-sending it or just email me at pitterpatterart at gmail dot com.

You guys rock.  Thank you for stopping by.  Thank you for reading.  Hope your day is the best.

Happy Thursday!

And So We Bake

If you’ve visited my blog only a handful of times you probably still know how madly in love I am with sweets and particularly baking.  I’ve always loved sweet things…I have a killer sweet tooth, but have not always been a baker.  I was talking to my cousin Rebecca a while back and she made the statement that she thought my baking was a coping mechanism.  And I think she is absolutely right.  I started baking after Mom died.  It was this weird quirky coping mechanism and like a strange form of therapy.  I also quickly realized I could not keep all these baked goods around because I would indeed eat them all, so we gave them away.  I decided baked goods could change the world.  Who doesn’t like a surprise cookie?!?!?

So my heart has been pulled and worried and overwhelmed and straight up sad lately and in turn we bake.  The big kids love to help, but yesterday it was just me and Amon.  He has always had a thing for my kitchen aid mixer and might have been busted swiping a taste test from around the upper edge.

We tried two new recipes:  Mini Berry Tarts and Oreo Cheesecake Cookies and both are awesome.  Totally ones I will make again and again.  You should make them both.  Like right now.  Josh Kelley is not a big sweets guy, but he kind of gushed over these.  Made my day that he liked them so much.

After school we bought some cheap tupperware at Dollar General and packaged up treats.  Then we did some delivering…neighbors, friends and even today our Wednesday speech therapist is getting a little extra “Hey, thank you for your hard work.”

Side Note:  While making a delivery to one of our neighbors Hudson decided to stay inside with Amon while Sol, Harper and I ran across the street.  As I was standing on our neighbors porch knocking on their door I saw Amon emerge from the house onto our front porch.  Before I get emails about what an irresponsible Mom I am :) Amon was still on our porch and he would have had to come down all the stairs and through our yard before reaching the street and I was watching him.  But as I am standing there I did yell at the top of my lungs, “Amon!  Amon get back in that house.” (imagine with a southern accent because I have one)  And our neighbors never answered the door.  So maybe don’t yell like a crazy person at your toddler across the street while standing on your neighbors front porch trying to deliver baked goods.  Sorry Zandrea if I scared you and sounded completely insane.  End Side Note

Now go and bake.  Or even buy some baked goods.  And then share them.  Or just write someone a note.  Tell someone you appreciate them or their hard work.  Keep your eyes open and look for those people who could use a pick me up.  Just this morning in the car rider line at school I thought, “Bless these teachers who do car rider line every.single.day.  They are easily earning more jewels for their crown.  They need a cookie.”

Happy Wednesday!

Feels Like Too Much

I didn’t really want to blog yesterday and even as I sit here I don’t really want to write today.  My mind and heart have been crazy overwhelmed.  I don’t know how to type my thoughts and feelings out through these keys.  I know Satan loves to get in my mind and a hold of my emotions…convince me the world is too much…too hard, too sad, too overwhelming, too difficult for my heart to grasp and my mind to navigate.  Right now I feel that.  It’s heavy and weighted and the words just fail me.

I rarely am up to date on the news, but with all that’s going on in our world right now how could I not be.  The cries are too loud and the voices are too personal.  I think about how we have the freedom to worship as we wish.  Never have I ever feared worshipping Jesus.  The thought is so far removed from my mind.  What a privilege we have and how I absolutely take this for granted.  The world can feel too dark sometimes.

I think about raising my children…two who are dark brown skinned Ethiopians…and how I feel so ill equipped sometimes to be their momma.  I sat on our couch last night and just stared at Josh and cried.  Sometimes the wrong voices in the this world try and drown us out.  How do we do this in the world we are living in?  How do we teach all of our children differently than what the world wants to teach them?  How do we show them everyone should be loved and cared for and cherished despite color of skin, background, where they live, where they’ve been, what they’ve done or where they’re headed.  No margins.  Jesus came for everyone and created each of us in His image.  Each beautifully made.  The end.

I don’t pin myself as a worrier.  My mom was a huge worrier.  Oh how she worried.  Some lessons you wish you didn’t learn from your parents, but this is one my mom “taught” me well.  I saw the worry and anxiety she had and she hated it.  She fought Satan against it.  I’ve even got a sparrow tattooed on my forearm for this very reason.  His eye in on the sparrow…”Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they?”  Matthew 6:26

My heart has been overwhelmed with worry and anxiety and sadness lately.  This morning my Bible reading was on Mathew 6…the whole Do Not Worry section.  I’ve honestly read this a lot through out my life.  I remember my mom reciting it.  Today I took hold of the very end…what we are to do instead of worrying…”But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness.”  His love, His commandments, His heart, His desires.  Go after the things of God over this world.  This is so hard on certain days and when things just absolutely crush your heart and the world seems too big and hard and unfair…like Satan is winning.  Today I am pushing towards seeking His kingdom and His righteousness.  Begging God to do His thing and teach me how He can use me and you and us together.

And because I always feel like other people say things way better than I ever could…3 good reads.

The Stanley Clan: Reframing

Flower Patch Farmgirl:  I Know A Boy

Jamie Ivey: Let Us Be Light