the post where i whine about charlottesville.

I think I got to the core of my gloom. 
I hate Charlottesville.  Mostly because I feel like it hates me back.

That is the long and short of it.  Ever since we moved here it has been a series of painful events for me.  I feel like I am doing my best to throw things against the wall but nothing sticks. 

We moved here from Radford.  A place where, on every corner was someone we knew.  Someone we went to church with, someone who knew us and loved us.  My pastor was like an adopted father to me...who knew each and every hurt I had and prayed for me on the same level that your best friend would.  I had been at that church since near the beginning and knew most of the souls that came through the door.  Most of them had been in my home...or I had taught in Bible study...or who had taught me.  We were a network of friends and family...a church choosing to build relationships with each other.  There was no end to the people I could call on to help or talk to or be with.  Loving and being loved was easy and effortless...though it still took work.  It was like there was no end to building relationships and there was always room in the circle for more.  It was wonderful.  

Fast forward to Charlottesville.  I have been through a number of churches and Bible studies and mom's groups.  And have nothing to show for it.  I have put myself out there time and again and still have an empty lonely place to call my own.  I have lost the energy to continue to try.  It just hurts TOO much.  I have been told (literally)that what I have is not enough...that there is no time for me...that it just won't work.  Rejection over and over again is painful.    

I was crying talking to Doug about this last night and I gave him this comparison...imagine your blowing bubbles...sometimes you get those bubbles that just stick to each other and build up together and become this huge massive collection of bubbles...still individuals but collectively unit.  That is Radford.  Then you have the other kind of bubbles...the kind that float around alone and when they bump up against each other they pop...unable to group together in a healthy way.  This is Charlottesville.  I can remember the first time I hugged someone was like I passed along the plague...I can vividly remember the look I got.  I have gone from a hugger to a non-hugger.  That is sad to me.      

I have lost my ability to build relationships here.  I have tried and pushed myself and continue to hit wall after wall.  I hate this place and miss (terribly) the place we are from.  I know the answer is not to move back there.  Not that that is even an option, nor something that I would even choose if given the chance.  

I am just at my end.  I am tired of trying and being rejected.  I am tired of not belonging where I live.  I am tired of being at a church where we can come and go unnoticed.  I hate that we are at a church where not everyone knows and loves my kids...which is something we would have had in Radford.  I hate that there is no one here I can call "just because".  I don't know what else to do and I am so. tired. of. trying.  

I long to be part of a community.  A tight knitted one.  Where I am loved and needed.  I am tired of this life in Charlottesville and I am longing for what is next. .   

I also hate that I am not content.  I hate that I am so resentful of the place that Lord has undoubtedly brought me to.  I want to learn the lesson the Lord is trying to teach me here SO I CAN MOVE ON.  I know that sounds ridiculous...but when have you known me to not call it like it is?  This is where I am right now.  This is real and this is my life.  Right now.  

I feel like in Radford I had x but was missing y.  Now I have y and am missing x.  I just want to be where x and y can live together.     
I HAVE however gone from crying "How can I get out of this (here)?" to "Lord, what DO you want me to learn from this?"  I am trying.  I am seeking.  I am still hurting.  I am still knowing that this is part of the process.  That shaping and forming is not meant to be painless. 

I just want to be content.  And done already.

So I am not sure of the point of writing all of this...other than to share and relate.  And document the process so that one day I can look back and say "ahhhh-ha!".  I realize that this may be my most whiny post ever...shining a light on just how pathetic I may be.  But that is OK with me...because at least it's all true and real.  And I am OK with sharing the ugly, lumpy parts of being a chunk of clay that is being sculpted into something better.  

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,
"Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

turn your childs art into embroidery!

Over the summer, Moses' drawing skills and changed by leaps and bounds.  I LOVE LOVE LOVE the cute little smiley faces that he draws and wanted to capture them in a way that was better than stuffing papers in a box.  So...
I collected a bunch that he had drawn...and asked him to draw me a bunch.  I was very careful not to give too much direction...I have learned that that will only change what he would naturally do.  Once I had as many as I thought I would need, I traced on top of each drawing with a sharpie...being careful to keep the original artists integrity in tact. :)
I then cut them out...and taped them onto a piece of paper that was the size I wanted the final product to this case an 8 by 10. 
I taped the 8 by 10 to the (clean) counter and then taped a piece of white fabric on top.
Then I traced each one with a cloth pencil...something that will wash/wipe off. 
Now I've started to stitch away...stay tuned for the finished product. 


20 minute crafter. {photo ornament}

Hooray!! At long last I have another 20 minutes crafter for you!!
Now this one is a Christmas one...and I know it's August.  But if you *really* want to make things to give as gifts...*this* is the time to start...and not in mid-December.
So here is what we are making...cute little photo ornaments for your tree!
Or to give to grandma...or teachers or anyone who would just LOVE a photo of your child...or pet...or you! :)
Here is what you need:
one 4 1/2in by 6 1/2in white piece of white or light colored fabric
one 4 1/2in by 6 1/2in piece of patterned fabric
approx 9in of ribbon
a 2 by 3in piece of vinyl
(i get it from Joann's...i don't know the gauge...but get something in the middle range...not too thick and not too thin)
either a set of letter stamps and ink pad
fabric pen
Step one...stamp the name you would like on your fabric...practice on paper first to get a good feel for how hard to press and make sure everything is spelled correctly.  If you are using a fabric pen...practice first! :) You can lay the vinyl in the middle of the fabric to get an idea of where to stamp. 
Step two...using a zig-zag stitch go around the bottom three sides of the vinyl.  
Step three...fold your ribbon in half and pin it in the top middle of the piece you just sewed.
Step four...lay your patterned fabric on top of what you just did...right sides together and sew around the perimeter leaving a two inch or so opening.
Step five...clip the corners.
Step six...turn right side out and stitch around the edge...leaving the opening.
Step seven...stuff and sew closed...either by hand or with your machine.
Yes, this photo is sideways...sorry.
Add a photo and you are done! :)

Enjoy and have fun!
I'll answer any questions in the comments!

so far.

 two brothers.
58 hours. 
6 baths. 
two times running the steam cleaner before 8am. 
12 loads of laundry. 
6 or so outfit changes per child per day. 
2-3 per adult.
three kinds of saltines. 
ten hours of sleep per adult for the last two nights.
10 different kinds of clear liquids.
30 hours or more of children's programming. 
two rugs hosed off out in the yard.
one terrible diaper rash.
and one thankful mama.
and I am not thankful because it's over, because we aren't sure it is...though once it IS over (which we are ever so gently hoping it IS) I will be thankful. 

I am currently thankful that this is the worst we have ever had it.  That in a few short days our lives will be (God willing) back to normal.  That in a couple of days my boys will be back to their normal, wild and crazy boy selves.  That in his almost four years on this Earth we have only had to take Moses to a non-well baby visit three times.  Aaron has never gone. 
I am thankful that we could get in the car and just buy whatever it was we needed or thought we needed to help our boys get better.  I am thankful that we didn't have to think twice to buy everything we thought they could/would eat to help them get back to normal.  I am thankful that they are normally super healthy and happy boys.  I will take our last 58 hours over some of the things that other parents have to deal with on a daily and sometimes forever basis.  

This whole time they have been sick, I have had such peace and knowledge of God's presence.  Not saying that it was easy(because it hasn't been)...but it was definitely God that has helped me to clean these messes...messes that otherwise would have normally been impossible for me to clean.  I could almost hear God saying "One minute at a time...this too shall pass". 
God has been gently reminding me how good I have it with these two boys...these two, strong, fast growing boys who rarely fall out of the high percentiles for height and weight.  

These last couple of days God has gently nudged me and brought to mind people to pray for...who have kids who are always sick...who are fighting more difficult things than a stomach bug...who have kids who never came home. 

I am thankful for this stomach bug.  
And even though I am totally drained beyond drained...I am thankful that at least this was Doug's weekend off.  And even though I am weary at the thought of starting up this next cycle of work at below zero physically, mentally and spiritually...I will take these problems and give thanks for them. 

One moment at a time.

I am also thankful for clorox wipes, my steam cleaner, a working washing machine and a temporary gut of steel.

So if you are waiting to hear from me...or you just think of me...please be praying for us to be on the all sorts of ways and on all levels. 

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