another post you never expected from me.

here's a topic that you probably thought i would never talk about.  
it has to do with football.  something that generally, i could take or leave and not really care about.  it's a story about cultural trends.  unlearning what you have been taught by the mores of your community.  it's about learning your lesson and paying your penance.  it's about a second chance and about grace extended.  it's about not wasting talent and using the gifts God gave you.  it's about the pointing of fingers and the judgment we place on others who do things we don't understand.  

randomly, i am talking about michael vick.  
(google him if you need to but withhold judgement for the moment, if you can)

like i said, i am not really a football person.  but i am a fan of the comeback story.  i am a fan of athletes, who are looked up to by many, publicly learning their lessons and showing their fans that they can change and grow as people.  

i am not a football person, but i have gotten into more than one heated debate with others about this football player.  this man, who grew up not far from where i went to high school.  who could have easily been a classmate had this or that detail been changed.  this player who played (what i am told was excellent) college football one town over from where i went to college. 

this man who participated in dog fighting and terrible acts that surrounded this "sport".  people are so easy to dismiss him,  to throw him under the bus forever.  despite the fact that he has paid his dues and from what i can tell, is working hard to make his life right.  to use his bad decisions to teach others. 

people hate him.  hate his actions.  are appalled at the fact that he would ever be allowed to play football again.  they find him despicable and not worth any sort of human consideration.   

and i get that.  i really do.  the things he did were and are wrong. 
a terrible misuse of the responsibility of another being. 

what i don't get is that some of these same people have no problem with the athletes who have raped women or beat their girlfriends...but i digress.

what i think is that people who don't get this culture just don't get how anyone would even think that dog fighting is ok.  what they don't get is that where he grew's a culturally acceptable thing.  
he grew up in an area where animals are killed for food regularly...where hunting occurs for food and sport...where the local police force would show up for dog fights...i can honestly tell you, that if i, in high school, had stumbled upon a dog fight somehow...i don't know if i could have told you that it was wrong, legally...even if i would know it felt wrong as an act. 

i know that i could go back to the town where i attended high school and take a poll...and that poll would tell you that dog fighting is ok...entertaining even. 

it's just the state of things in some areas (of the south?).  

now i am not saying that a wrong should be overlooked. 
i am not saying that dog fighting should be ok. 

i am just saying that you can't understand why someone does the things they do unless you can understand the complex trail that got them to the point of committing some act. 

i think i have compassion on him because i get it.  i understand him in some way.  i can relate.  not because i have ever seen or participated in dog fighting...or any illegal act. 
but because i will be the first to admit that i am still unlearning things that i was taught.  i just came to the realization that it will probably take me the second 18 years of my life to undo the damage and "learning" i endured for the first 18.

i have a feeling it's a similar story for him.  it's a long road to change what you grew up with.  
you can read more about my learning curve HERE.   

i get that you want to be judged for who you are TODAY not who you were in the past.  or better yet not be judged at all.  each day you can rewrite your history and get a little closer to the person you want to become.  i am personally praying that he is on that road. 

 what pains me the most about his story is the self-righteousness with which people judge him.  each person that i have gone back and forth with is certain that they are so much better than him, that their sin is so less wrong.  and often times have said as much.
micheal vick's story reminds me that we are all wrong.  that we are all sinners and blackened with the same shade of gray that sin leaves on our hearts.  it helps me to be thankful that my shame isn't spread out on the nine o'clock news.  maybe if it was, we would all be a little less quick to condemn him.

was he wrong?  yes.  are we all wrong at some point? yes.  
are we the judge?  nope.  

  do i judge when i shouldn't?  yes.  sadly.  but i am on a learning curve there too. 

it just takes one step in front of the other to get on a new path.  and micheal vick reminds me to think twice about my assumptions and to be thankful that my name will most likely never be in a headline. 

and since i am also full of sin, i will pray for his best and withhold my judgement.

isn't that what we should all do for one another?

school valentines.

 if you asked moses a year ago why he wanted to go to school...he would say "valentines".  he had no idea what valentines day was about...but he liked the idea of getting a mass amount of fun mail.  like mother like son, i guess.  when i saw this idea on [dandee] a few weeks ago and knew they would be perfect for him to take to his class.  
i got the balls from target for $2 for a pack of 16, in the valentines section. 
the treat bags were $2 (i think) from the party section of target for a pack of 50.

i made the tags in picnik and printed them out on card stock.

i can't wait for him to have his dream come true 
and experience valentines day for himself. :)


20 minute crafter. freezer paper stenciling.

 have you done this yet?  you should.  and you can.  and it requires no sewing whatsoever.
 here is what you need:
freezer paper (not wax or parchment) 
i found mine at giant for about $3.75 for 75ft
surface that you want to stencil on
image that you want to use as a stencil
(for this example i googled an image of a dinosaur and printed it out on cardstock--if you have a cricut you can cut your freezer paper out right on the cricut!)
fabric paint
foam brush
 cut your stencil out...and trace it onto the non-shiny side of your freezer paper...
OR cut your image out via cricut with the shiny side on the cricut mat.
 cut out the interior image...the outside of the image will be your stencil.
 iron onto your stenciling surface with a hot DRY iron, shiny side down.  be sure to get all the edges.
 before you start a piece of cardboard behind the surface you are painting to prevent bleeding onto the back of the shirt/bag/etc.  start with a light can always add more paint but you can't take it away...and if you use TONS of paint it may bleed. 
 add as much or as little paint as you would like...i was going for a vintage-y kind of look for this shirt.
when you are done, gently peel the paper up...and let dry.  

ta-da!!!  easy, quick and simple!

imagine all the possibilities...bags, pillows, shirts, bibs, etc. :)

have fun!

right now.

 something just struck me.  the light was hitting the kitchen and windows just right.  filling the house with the beautiful early morning golden sun.  and i wanted to remember it all as it was.  no cleaning up first or making things just so...i wanted to remember everything the way it was right now.  
 our landing zone just inside the back door...featuring my anniversary gift and hoho in the background.
 the view from the kitchen. my new chairs make me smile.
 i love this spot.  this sunshine.  those curtains.
 the preferred method for watching TV.  in his snowpants.  aka "fireman suit".  that he has worn on top of his clothing for more days than i can count.  we haven't had snow for weeks.
 my station.  my pile of ironing in the corner.  my new sewing machine.  i never told you that i took back my other new one and upgraded again to the viking sapphire 835.  i just wasn't gelling with the other one.   
 my favorite photo collages of the boys that i do every year.  reminds me that a year goes by in a heartbeat.  way too fast.  i have a four year old and a nearly two year old.  crazy.

my minimal valentines day decor.  pompom fringe and vintage valentines. 

back to cleaning.  happy friday!

re-upholstery a la glue gun.

 if you are a "real" re-upholstery may want to avert your eyes.  this is a redo whilst making do with what I had on hand.  though...i may be willing to bet you that you can't tell the difference once you are sitting...  
 here's a before, next to an in progress chair.  we went to visit our uncle b last weekend and i kindly stole acquired these from his garage.  he thought the red was just fine.  i thought so too.  if i were going to put them in a dental office...they had a goodwill sticker on them of a whopping $5 each.  
 i did not take off the red before i put on the houndstooth.  i took one look at the bagillion staples and just had a feeling that my patience would not tolerate the removal of so many staples.  the fabric i used is upholstery weight so you can't tell...and because i didn't start from scratch...i had to use a glue gun in some places...once i stapled where i could.  
 my favorite part may be the part you never see...a fun fabric covering the bottoms.  
it's fun just knowing it's there. 
i'm pretty pleased with my unconventional re-upholstery style.  :)

what i wish. num 17.

Welcome to "What I wish I could tell you" anonymous platform for bloggers to share what they don't feel free to share on their own blogs.  If you have a story/thought/ache/hurt/feeling/secret/prayer request you want to get out, feel free to email me at ricracandpompoms @  You will remain anonymous to all but me unless you choose otherwise. 
The author of this entry has chosen to stay anonymous.  Say hello to anon #17: 

What I wish I could tell you is that I dont know what I should do.
I realized we dont want the same things anymore. Maybe we never did. Maybe we were so excited about the idea of moving forward that we never looked very closely. I dont know if we have anything in common. I dont know if I can live each day knowing that I have to sacrifice all of the things I want and have so many expectations put on me.
I want to live in new york. You dont, and you think I want to live there because it is where she lives, but it isnt. It is where I feel the most like myself. I never wanted ot move away, but I was too young to make that choice, and I want to go back. I hate this house and this nowheresville town we live in. I hate having to drive 20 minutes to get anywhere and I hate being in a place where there is no culture. You love new york. It feels like you only say never to hurt me. I would settle for a 'maybe someday', but you wont even let me have my dreams.
I want to travel. Not just to see your parents in middle america- but to see the world. I want to go to Egypt. It has been my dream since I was 10. You have made it clear that you will never go. You have said you will not be OK with me going alone or with friends. I would never keep you from something that would so easily make your dreams come true.
I want to foster parent and adopt. Im not saying I wont put myself through the torture of fertility treatments so that we can try to have our own baby- but I feel so strongly that my children are already out there waiting for me, and you tell me that you would never even consider it. You say horrible things about these children, who I already work with and love. Dont you see how we can offer these kids a chance? They are good and caring and lost and alone. THey dont act that way because they are bad, but because they have nothing worth trying for. Im not saying I cant be flexible on age, or even that it has to be one of the kids I work with. I know you want to be a dad to little ones, but what is wrong with 6 or 7? What If my condition prevents us from EVER having a baby? will you change your mind?
I want to celebrate christmas. I realize we are not christian, but I want to and have always wanted to. I want so much to put up a tree and sing christmas carols, and go to christmas plays, and wake up on christmas morning that It hurts. Every year it hurts more. I KNOW you feel the same, and have since you were little. But, you say that your family would never understand. Why cant you see that I am your family too?
I want a day, just one, where I dont feel like I am under your thumb. Where I dont feel obligated to give in to your insane neediness and constantly rub your shoulders or cuddle. I need space. I want one day where I can purchase something small without getting the third degree. We are very comfortable, and I work too and feel I should have the freedom to purchase these things without explaining myself. I also wish I could have a day where you did not constantly comment on my salary or the fact that I love what I do and dont have plans to make more money in the future. You call it having no goals. I call it contentment. I have lots of goals- you just dont share any of them.
I am not happy. But, I love you. I dont know what I should do.

Want a turn to share?  Email me at ricracandpompoms @ 
Feel free to comment and encourage or just relate and assure.
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