fighting resistance in pursuit of joyful outlets

November 23, 2019

The good news is that you guys really love handmade sewn things from my little shoppe. (That’s pronounced “shopp-ey” according to my sister.) Almost all the dresses are out! One of the caps is out! A bunch of the bibs are down to just one set! The leggings are flying! If you’re still in the perusing market, what’s left is here. I’m so grateful, you guys. My shoppe is this in between-place for me. I see lots of small makers who have built an empire of outsourcing their production, or they work full-time with kids in childcare sewing and produce the most gorgeous things! I sew in the cracks of the day that don’t already belong to Blessed is She. The bulk of my day is uncooperative sweet lil no-neck aliens, housework upon housework, and meal prep & clean up. That’s my calling; that’s my vocation; and it’s hopefully my path to sanctity. I cannot describe how parentally challenging yesterday was so we’re hoping there are some jewels in my crown for being a pro-level apologist to children post-yelling. So when I sit down to sew, I often think, No one wants your concertos here, Mary–that line from Pride & Prejudice from Mrs. Bennett to her unfortunate daughter Mary who’s a bit of an outcast. No one needs your sewing here, Nell–so many other more well photographed, perfectly serged, amazingly packaged works out there. If you encounter resistance a lot–that feeling that you shouldn’t bother doing something you want to do, know…

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sewing, thanksgiving, and three months of school

November 19, 2019

I have been a busy bee.  Mostly because twitch two kiddos in school, one in nature school a few mornings a week, and one who loves to read and color on the walls with a marker (Lord, beer me magic eraser), it’s just hopping. But also because Blessed is She’s Advent + Christmas book that I’ve worked so hard on is available and SO GORGEOUS. The 42 writers’ stories blow me away. The daily Scripture, the questions (hat tip to Beth), and the prayers (written by moi) are all so doable for the seasons and help crack open our tired hearts. Get yours by Monday to have it ship in time. BUT also because I’ve been sewing for 6 weeks a really fun batch of caps lined with cotton sherpa (AH IT IS SO SOFT AND ORGANIC), linen dreamy dresses, and bibs. Oh, yes, and leggings, too. But I’m splitting up the leggings. The two holiday ones available in every size will be with the rest of items on the site on Friday at 10am CST and then the mis-matched pairs will be on my instagram on 9am CST Cyber Monday. Our Thanksgiving will be really festive with family in town and staying with us. It makes me so so so happy to have a bustling house with little kiddos and late nights talking with my sister and her husband. The years go by and the kids grow and we resign ourselves to buying pie crusts from the coop, but…

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4 steps to keeping my kids screen-free

July 19, 2019

Oh, the irony! Is it ironic? Nell is super excited about her new blog design (thank you, Jamie!) and yet her own kids have zero access to screens.  Wellll they get to watch the occasional movie, but we don’t own a TV, gaming system, or devices. We have one battered old laptop, one newer one, and one very almost dead desktop I’m hoping to get data recovered from. And two iPhones. Everything is password protected and the kids don’t know those open sesames. Why? Why deprive our kids of what ostensibly seems to be cutting edge, skills they’ll need, and also, what everyone else is doing socially? Because increasingly science and researchers tell us what we kinda knew but hoped wasn’t true as a society of exhausted parents looking for something for their kiddo to do that’s enriching and not fighting us/each other. Screen time is damaging to their developing minds. Social media is damaging to their emotional development. We are performing an experiment on this generation of kids and we simply don’t have enough data to know it’s safe to allow developing brains tablet, gaming, online socializing, and passive consumption of screen time in the levels we’re letting in. SO soap box aside, maybe you’re here to shift your own strategies as a parent, and maybe you have great tips for the rest of us. Here’s how we live screen-free for the kids. (Had a great discussion on instagram right here.) REPLACE // when we’ve watched a Magic School…

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whole parenting goods

leggings, bibs, skirts, caps, and quilts OH MY

December 13, 2018

Hi friends!! So I didn’t get anything out before now but I’ve been sewing my tail off to get a sweet bundle ready for you FRIDAY! Or Thursday. If you’re a subscriber to my list, you get first dibs (huzzah!) Thursday night. The rest of y’all get it Friday! On Instagram, I’ll list these little bundles of bibs & leggings Friday at 10:30 cst. On my shoppe, the quilts, caps, and skirts! There are too many variations and quantities of the latter to do it easily on insta so off to the web we go! The caps are lined with organic cotton flannel, the skirts have wide-elastic and some lace!, there are only two colors of quilts left! The bundles of organic knit leggings are in twos and the organic cotton flannel backed bibs are too. Everything is ready to ship, priority mail! Thanks for all your support, friends. It’s such a joy to make for you and your lil loved ones. Thanks for letting me be part of your holiday celebrations.    

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Wall quilts, missed doctor appointments, chipotle on the floor and more

October 16, 2018

Let’s start with the juicy and messy story, shall we? I had had a day of it so decided to spend our once-a -month-or-so eating out budget on Chipotle last night. It’s a mere four blocks away so I loaded up the stroller and bundled everyone up and off we trotted. They managed to say polite in line and we made our way to the closest available table as my double stroller couldn’t weave to the far corner, where we probably belonged to contain everyone. I stashed the stroller and all the hats, mittens, and coats in a corner-ish spot while hissing to the toddler/baby/whatever you call a 22 month old to STAY ON YOUR BOTTOM. The hipster dude a table over with wireless headphones didn’t even look up, so I figured I was doing a great job. Then came the juggling of the tray that the kind cashier had stacked the meals on–in an attempt to make more space at the table, I urged my oldest, eight going on 15 (the eye-rolling kinda out-to-lunch but super sweet kind of 15 year old) to set it over there on top of the trash but not in the trash and now that I’ve poured apple juice for everyone, please also, put the jar in the recycling area, again, not in the trash. He went to set his big burrito down to do this task. He somehow dropped it face down on the ground instead of inside his recyclable dish. As I reached over to…

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Letters, Fall, School, Sanity, Sewing

September 6, 2018

This is probably a 7 quick takes but I may only have enough steam for 6! Joining up with Kelly and the ole gang because she hosts the best party on the internet. 1) Letters If you haven’t joined the 41, 538! 38,718 Catholic women on the internet who wrote to Pope Francis, I don’t know what’s holding you back. These are women from across the spectrum of politics and social justice, education levels and employment. We are the wide tent of the Church respectfully requesting answers. Please, check it out. 2) Fall It’s sweater weather, on a much lighter note. My favorite very short season. I love autumn in Saint Paul. I love the crisp mornings, brisk walks, and cool evenings. I love that I can go outside without my sweat sticking me everywhere. Fav season but it lasts about three blinks. 3) School The big kids are launched! I cannot tell you how relieved I am to see our first grader loving it up. She has had moments of frustration and exhaustion but she recovers her mood more quickly than ever before and still awakens at the crack of dawn, awakening me too to “ZIP ME UP” a la Lucille Blueth. Our fierce, snuggly four year old will do two mornings of nature school and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd with mama and toddler baby sister as classroom “helpers” though how much can I help when I’m prying her dead grip off the easter egg tray? Otherwise it’s…

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