Tuesday, January 29, 2013

its official i've reached delirium: 9 days of the flu song

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8                9
yep that’s where i’m at now.....               way                  over                 here                 ....9
9 days beaten down by this horrible, terrible, no good, very bad flu
well as a few little birdies have told me
lots and lots of you have fallen victim to this vile ickiness
so you can all chime in on this old favorite song

on the first month of 2013 my archenemy gave to me

oh lets just skip to the end
everybody now...

9 miserable symptoms 
{dizziness, headache, chills, deep cough, sore throat, extreme fatigue, burning back, shortness of breath, nose schizophrenia - stuffy or runny, can’t make up its mind}
8 pairs of pajamas 
{i have christmas pjs like its nobody’s business}
7 episodes of downton abbey 
{to wrap up season 3 - once you start you can’t stop}
6 pathetic sickies 
{yep our last survivor fell victim this morning}
5 superheroes 
{thanks mom, aunt rhonda, kelli, amanda, and leslie, couldn’t have survived without you}
4 boxes of frozen waffles 
{breakfast, lunch, and dinner - side anecdote...don’t want to digress too far from this catchy tune, but loved this insightful response from Felicity our 2 year old 
Dad: you want another waffle Felicity?  you’re going to turn into a waffle 
Felicity:  dad, i don’t want to go into the toastah.  its hot in therah’.  i’ll get stuck.}
3 seismic waves 
{thankfully owen was healthy most of this time so we could finish his science fair project: seismic showdown}
2 soup deliveries 
{really no substitute for soup when you’re sick - the stereotype en actuem - now i’m making up latin, hey i’m practically delusional at this point}

and 1 trip to the urgent care 
{where i was additionally diagnosed with bronchitis, yippee, and i get to be on breathing treatments that send me into a jittery frenzy}

so there you have it folks

9 miserable symptoms
8 pairs of pajamas
7 episodes of downton abbey
6 pathetic sickies
5 superheroes
4 boxes of frozen waffles
3 seismic waves
2 soup deliveries
and 1 trip to the urgent care

a classic already
and i've officially reached delirium

here's my miserable failure at the 'dressing up' movement these past 9 days

{spicing things up with some fiery socks and lickable pants}

{some of that homemade #2 made by a #5}

{leaving the house...for school drop off.  only have to look normal from the waist up}

{oh shoes AND no pajamas...too bad these shoes are in the urgent care}

hope to see you on the other side
where my sanity resides

how have you been staying healthy and sane?
or have you joined me in delirium land?

Friday, January 18, 2013

downton abbey style: advocating the 'dress up' movement

i too have been swept into the allure of downton abbey
its grandeur, its beauty, the fascination of that time period where excess met destitution
and of course the beauty of the clothing
one of my favorite 'coffee table' books is decades of beauty: the changing image of women 1890s to 1990s by kate mulvey
expression of socioeconomic, political, and artistic movements through fashion is such a fascinating topic to me
downton has represented these fashion trends so beautifully
as you may have inferred from my tutorials of mr. bowlerman & miss charleston appliqué and my gatsby girl headpiece , i have a particular lovefest with the 20s
straight line chemise, drop waists, pleats, cloche hats, short hair

as a relatively new mother of a girl,
it has already been evident that I would easily buy something for her before i would for myself.
i'm working on creating more balance in this equation
as truthfully i enjoy new, stylish clothing myself
'dressing up' also seems more readily acceptable amongst little girls than women
my talented seamstress sister in law Karen is a self-proclaimed advocate for the 'dress up' movement
and wrote a great post on this notion of 'dressing up for you' on her blog Sew Stitchin Cute
she writes
As a stay-at-home mom I sometimes feel like I don't have the "right" to dress nice because I'm knee-deep in little kids all day, every day. But so what? Why should only those with a job outside the home be able to dress nice? Why is it that when I wear a skirt or *gasp* a dress do people ask "where are you going?" or "do you have a hot date later?" Why is it such a stretch to believe that I like to dress nice for me? And my hubby? or that I just really like skirts and dresses- I always have....Now, I'm not saying that everyone should dress this way. I'm just saying that you should dress in a way that makes you feel good about yourself and gives you confidence. The outside should be a reflection of the inside (as hubby always says). And if that means you're considered to be "overdressed" by other's standards to drive carpool and pick up groceries at Wal-mart, so be it.
i am also one that enjoys dressing nice.  lately i have been disheartened by some of the morphing i mentioned in my 'acceptance' post, in part the morphing of my body shape.  it takes greater effort to get those few clothes on the hangers that fit, to be thrown together in some sort of stylish way. 
but i'm working on it...
both through physical exercise and in the process, exercising some creativity with my wardrobe

for the little girl in your life who may be donning more stylish clothes than you have seen in years,
you may join me in my elation at the discovery of these incredibly elegant dresses for little girls
that just rang out downton abbey
the delicate colors, flowing pleats, vintage lace, and luxurious touches of pearl and sequin
these amazingly affordable dresses come in sizes 2T to 6 and are now being pre-sold over in my new friend Kendra's shop
Adorn Me Girl
filled with modern and vintage adornments for you and your little one

aren't they stunning?
with prices ranging from $26 to $36 you'll need to hurry...
to guarantee stock in your darling's needed size, you may only pre-order til tomorrow night, 
saturday, january 19th til midnight
afterwards she will carry remaining stock on hand

and for those of us who can't fit into the pleated sequined peter pan collar dress
here are a few pieces to incorporate into your wardrobe
lets think about jumping on the 'dress up' movement

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

thank you

how do i transition from such a weighty post as my last...
to express gratitude of course
i wanted to thank all of you who responded to my admission of deep struggle with the acceptance of my husband’s illness
to those who took the time to reach out to me through email, text, Instagram, Facebook, doorstep surprises, and straight up hugs
some of you with just a few simple kind words to let me know that you care about me, that i was on your mind and in your heart
others of you sent me lengthy personal messages sharing your own trials and battle with acceptance and how you were struggling or how you overcame
lessons of growth, lessons of triumph
oh how i needed to hear all of these
i even received a few that challenged me to really think about difficult issues that emerged from my words, which helped to remind me and some even to reshape my ideas of God’s will, God’s nature, suffering, and our personal mission here on this earth
i’m listening 
i’m pondering 
i’m being stretched and it hurts a little
but i know that through my Savior’s strength and enabling power of the Atonement, i will be made new to rise to my heavy task as i submit and accept
submit and accept, the essential first task at hand

this reminds me once again of my favorite scripture
i think people have favorite scriptures for various reasons: peace, reassurance, reminders, encouragement, resonance of truth, displays of courage
mine reminds me that Heavenly Father is aware of me and my struggles and reveals to me a way that I must live in order to be happy
and as i have lived my life in this manner i have witnessed miracles of a renewed fervor, faith, and energy for life
a fullness and a joy 
yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord
with patience
to ALL the will

thank you again for the extending of your hands and lives to help me through this

Sunday, January 13, 2013

acceptance is just out of my grasp

while i have been mending and feeding my soul over this past while,
some other parts of me have frayed and morphed into someone else
in some ways i miss me
i miss things that i once was
or at least i perceived myself to be
things i took pride in being
my mom keeps telling me to give myself grace
that this has been a rough year and that my situation is difficult, 
and that once i’ve accepted it, then my joy will be greater
oh how wise she is
but how do i finally give in to acceptance 
when it seems like i’d be giving up
the ‘it’ i am referring to is not in regards to my daddy being gone
the magnitude of that trial continues to manifest itself in my life daily
and although i know that i will see him again,
my heart aches for him to hold me and tell me in a way only daddy can that i need to stop ‘stressing’ and that hard and unexpected things are just all a part of life
that may sound unfeeling, but it wasn’t at all
he wanted me to be happy, above all else, happy
and he knows that i can’t be happy when i worry about things i can’t control
boy, how many times i heard him say that
and oh how he would say it in such a kind and gentle way, never harsh or condescending
the ‘it’ is the fact that my husband is sick and i hate that i can not control his disease
oh and i know that hate is such a strong word
{one we do not use in our house}
but i hate it
his unrelenting pain he suffers so greatly
his self-imposed guilt he carries
his sleepless nights due to immense pain
his struggle to get out of bed in the morning and then up at any other time in the day
his deprivation of some of his fulfilling hobbies and dreams, our dreams
but oh how i love
his optimism he holds ever so high
his unyielding will power to get up...and put one foot in front of the other
his faith in the awareness of his Father’s eyes upon him and His hand in the health that remains
his love for his family that keeps the smile on his face as well as his hands on the car wheel as he drives off to work

i do not say this to embarrass him, as i’m sure i am doing
i only say these things to praise him
he loves our life together, all of us, and he never ever thinks of himself as being deprived, but sees things in such a more grand perspective than i
he is disappointed when i see only what is lacking
and i’m trying oh i’m trying to be as good as he is
and some days i get closer than others
it has been nearly four years and i still have not reached a complete acceptance that he is sick and will only continue to get more sick and conventional medicine is not our path
i just haven’t quite let go of what i thought our life would be together now and in the years ahead
i have not accepted that this could be what God would want for us, what He would want for him, such suffering
but Mike sees his life in such a beautiful light
he sees the blessing of walking and moving about with his body full of innumerable scars 
he sees the empathy he has acquired for others and their trials
he sees the compassion 
he sees the humility
he sees the can-dos

i am eternally grateful for his courage, for his faith, for his peace he has with his disease
and especially, that despite his own suffering, he is carrying me as well
he is carrying me in the midst of my defiance, my frustration, my denial
i am creating great resistance with these dragging feet of mine
and its not fair of me to do it any longer
i long to embrace God’s will for him
but i am scared as to what that will entail
i pray that i may be lifted to the task, to be the wife of this man who shines forth with the testimony of Christ’s infinite power and strength
i pray that i may give up my expectations, my dreams of what i thought would be, for the stirrings of God-like qualities that may take their place inside of me as they have in him
oh how i pray

fifteen years i have been by his side and i keep reminding myself of what the prophet of the Lord has said, 'the future is as bright as your faith'
as i look back on photos of us together i know that to be true...
our future is as bright as our faith and our love

{to read more about our journey with MS click here}

Saturday, January 05, 2013

cooking isn't about me

one morning last week i didn’t feel like having sugar cereal again so i decided to cook eggies for felicity and i
she wanted to ‘cuhluh’, pink is her favorite, while we waited but those darn eggs weren’t cooking fast enough 
{mike’s voice chimes in... you cook eggs low and slow}
so i asked her if she wanted to come watch the eggs cook
as i held her while i stirred the setting eggs, 
my heartstrings tugged and my selfishness melted some
ooohhh briana marie
cooking isn’t about you
it isn’t about what you can or can’t do
its about so much more than that

imagine the thing that makes you feel at your most insecure
the thing that you feel most inadequate about 
that seems to bring out the worst in you as you watch yourself fail, attempt after attempt
that is me and cooking
oh i can’t be that bad, you say
oh trust me {and my poor family} its like that

unfortunately i have become a stereotype
oh there’s backing for it
hair caught in egg beater...yep...it happened
fire ignited fried tortillas
blackened bottom pans from boiled out water
crunchy burnt macaroni and cheese
sugar cookies resembling trodden dirt after the run of the bulls in spain
{right now my family is saying...oh and don’t forget about the time...}
oh there’s been some successes or at least some ‘get by’s along the way
but truly i’m tired of being the stereotype

how tired am i really?
i really have to care to change
and it can’t be because i want to be better at it
it has to be because i realize why i must be better at it

holding felicity in my arms stirring those eggs really brought one of those reasons straight to my heart
my daughter
do i want her to struggle as i do in feeling useless in this domestic duty
it is my responsibility to help her become a homemaker
and my hatred and paralysis in regards to cooking will only be a barrier

my mother and my sisters all got the cooking gene
it just skipped me
my 'amazingly gifted in the kitchen' mother tried and tried to help me growing up and still now, but to no avail
cooking is not common sense to me
show me something and ask me to sew it and i can visualize the steps beginning to end in my mind
but cooking...

this is yet another example of the mercy and love of a Heavenly Father, who knows his daughter
i met and married Mike
lover of cooking
a gourmet
for years he delighted in creating the perfect dishes and presenting them in a beautiful fashion
his domain was the kitchen and i stayed clear out
he has practically every gadget you could want
it was his joy to plan out meals for the week and come home, relax, and cook for us
we were even the perfect pair of party hosts

as i have watched this disease consume and deprive him of things that he loves
this has been one of the most difficult aspects to see the loss of
as i mentioned in my thanksgiving post, to witness the lengths he delivers to try and hold on to things in his past life that he loves, nearly kills me
so what can i do for him
what can i truly do for him
cook for him, cook things that taste good, that maybe he would have made

oh so easily said
i have tried over these past nearly four years since his diagnosis to step up in the kitchen
those of you who entered my ‘girl’s got no skills’ contest were invested in helping me and i have been so grateful for your recipes and encouragement, it was just what i needed at the time
but notwithstanding my ineptitude in the kitchen, things have become increasingly difficult with his dietary needs
a paleo/primal diet seems to suit him best
so off i try again, here in 2013

as i try again this year to magnify my love for my family by relying on the strength of my Savior to raise me to the task of family chef,
i am seeing little things that are helping

having pretty things in my kitchen
i just realized this week that i have been slowing taking over the kitchen, putting things in it that i love to look at, 
i didn't know i was doing it, it just happened
its not mike’s kitchen anymore
it must be mine
and i love being surrounded by pretty things

wearing a feminine apron
oh this may sound so silly but an apron sort of serves as a barrier or a mediator between the food and me...
right now we haven’t quite become friends
a pretty apron between the two of us seems to make the food more friendly

freezer meals
i have a saint of a friend, a wonder woman in fact, who introduced me this past year to this time saving version of cooking
oh how in debt i am to her for sharing her talents
alas she moved this week and i am trying to figure out what i will do without her
i am scared to attempt them alone, but they made such a huge difference during difficult days

receiving genuine praise
in my first attempt in this new year to make a meal for my family, i have to say it was a success in my eyes
dinner was nearly complete and on the table when Mike got home from work
he had laid out a meal plan for me this week, doing all he can to help me in this endeavor
and somehow the food tasted yum and he made sure to praise me repeatedly at the table
it became contagious and the boys followed
how my heart was warmed and a sense of confidence washed over me
oh how i love my husband

its going to be a battle i know
fighting my greatest insecurity
there will be tears and days i want to give up
but i hope my heart will tell my hands and feet on those days why i am doing this

your encouragement has raised my spirits over these past years
i would love to hear about the little things that help you create success in your home at mealtime
and even what you deem as a success
pretty please

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

gatsby girl new year's headpiece tutorial

happy new year to all...
whether building onto the best of 2012
or forgetting it ever happened
here's to

clean slate
fresh start
building blocks
new beginnings
lessons learned
fiery resolves

last night i got a chance to do something i love
dance the night away
one little catch...i was a chaperone at a youth dance
so i did some dancing...some hand stamping, poured water cups...little more dancing
embarrassed the kids i'm sure...passed out party blowers, picked up half-eaten chocolate pieces
but i loved every minute of it
i have a deep love for teenagers being a sunday school teacher of 16, 17, and 18 year olds
{catch a glimpse of their awesomeness at the bottom of the post}
they were actually happy i was there
even calling to make sure i was going
love it

well i wanted to add a little flair to my chaperone attire
so i whipped up some headpieces for my sister and sister in law and i to wear to the dance
inspired by all these fabulous headpieces i am seeing derived from the great gatsby
oh how i would have adored my closet living at that time

so i present the gatsby girl new year's headpiece
visual skeletal tutorial
just the bare bones
would be happy to answer any questions

tulle: 9" x 11" folded lengthwise  |  silver foil candy cups

gathered and stitched tulle  |  hot glued ribbons and feathers

love my silhouette

first attempt with glitter glue - have a lot to learn

elastic cording stitched at ends then stitched to tulle piece  |

wishing you a happy new year from the sister chaperone brigade
hope you spent time doing something you love with people you adore

oh i love these guys...


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