blessed is she

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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on failing as a lawyer & gifts

January 15, 2019

I sent resume after resume on the resume paper you’re supposed to send it out on. The employment market had crashed to a smoldering pile of burnt resumes (mine, all of them, probably). My credentials from law school and a federal clerkship, a work-abroad fellowship, all did not amount to the 5-8 years experience required.  So when we moved back home, my husband and I, I was lucky enough to get a special appointment to a position that was part-time and unpaid. But it was experience with a kind and generous boss and collegial co-workers. I mean can you say you’re a co-worker if you’re a volunteer? I drove an hour each way to it. I threw up in the car, in the building, leaving court to do it, on the way home, and every other spot. Early on I was pregnant with my first. Everyone wanted to know how my “job” was going. I couldn’t face telling them I didn’t really have a job. I had a position. So I told them that. Hoping somehow by not owning the unfortunate circumstances of all beginning lawyers I would look like I still had it together. Look like I was still gifted and talented. I was still the me I had felt like in law school. Like I hadn’t failed. I eventually left the position to throw up more and more at home, and eventually, cradle a little babe in my healing lap and say: I didn’t get to pursue that dream but this one is nice. I had begun a small private practice and it…

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Doing Things in the Right Order After Years of Not

June 17, 2018

photo credit I’m finding a new rhythm to my house life, mom life, wife life. I’m finally doing things consciously in the right order. It was 8:32pm. The three youngest are all asleep and as I crept past their rooms, checking on their night lights and blanket situations, I felt it. That siren call of my sewing machine. DO NOT GO DOWNSTAIRS. COME UP! My husband slipped out the back door with our oldest for some night baseball hits at the local park. They waved and I doused them in bug spray on their way out. I had not answered my sewing machine’s call. I had trekked down the stairs, pausing to pick up ten thousand items of dirty clothing, two CDs whose scratches had deepened, and shutting off light switches here and everywhere. I was determined to take the ten minutes of wiping counters and arranging dishes in the dishwasher before heading back up up to the machine and my luscious fabrics. It took twelve minutes, but the peace of mind I experienced with each soggy granola bowl rinsed and stacked was worth it. You see, I’ve spent years indulging my blogging, sewing, writing, texting, scrolling, calling, and venting. All before doing what needs to be done. I supposed the Sisyphean task of having small kids #forever meant for me if I stopped to do a dish, I would have to scrub the kitchen floor and I would NEVER GET A MOMENT FOR ME. Instead I carved habit after habit, year after…

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She’s Not that into You: Making Girlfriends as an Adult

May 21, 2017

How do we do this? I just talked to a girlfriend who’s moving for her husband’s job relocation. With kids from college-aged to kinder. How do we make girlfriends as adults? I can tell you how many times I’ve been in a conversation where a woman has revealed that making adult female friends is the WORST. And I mean, worse than a spray poopie diaper or being out of chai tea latte mix at home. Friendships blossom over shared experiences, challenges, and triumphs. Sports team mates. Roommates. New Moms groups. Going to the same church. But as we enter into adulthood and leave the comfort of the easy-to-meet people school environment, it’s rough. For me, I went through a very awkward period of zero friends when we moved home from Vegas and I was looking for a job. My law school friends dispersed around the country, my college friendships were slim and hadn’t been tended to throughout law school, and my new work colleagues lived far away from where we were living. We set up our first home in a little condo in Minneapolis and spent nights cooking, talking, walking along the river. We joked to my brother that we were “couple’s shopping” in looking for friends who were married that we both liked. But in earnest, we were hoping for friendships. I was hoping for women who understood both my work and being pregnant, which seemed to be exactly zero. I slowly met women at church, but only by approaching them after…

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On Lent and the Feeling of Futile Suffering

April 12, 2017

Another 40 days and 40 nights (nearly) of Lent seemingly gone the way of failure. I sink into my hot cocoa mug, relinquishing the guilt that yes, our family gives up treats for Lent, that Jesus-diet guaranteed to break the monopoly sugar gut bacteria hold on my taste buds. My hot cocoa desires are based in a coping mechanism. Coping with another long recovery. Coping with the broken sleep that even the best little side-nursing cosleeper still bestows upon me. Coping with mental juggling and a touch of postpartum anxiety. I’m no coffee lover, so cocoa caffeination is all I can cling to. But this failure of really giving up treats brought me to another failure: my slow recovery. My pelvic floor took a number when I birthed this big baby and her shoulder dystocia. I’m healing on two fronts: internal pelvic floor and external SI-joints. My pelvis remains twisted and one side of my pubic bone is higher than the other. They’re called symphysis pubis dysfunction  and diastasis symphysis pubis and I know others struggled with this throughout pregnancy and into their postpartum. While I bustled around the country for the Blessed is She retreats, stupidly not even asking for a ride from those carts at the airport, carrying my 18 pounder in the carrier, my ligaments continued to not heal. While I decided to tackle changing over their coats and clothes for spring, sitting unevenly for hours, lunging forward to drag a pile toward me, bending to scoop up stray…

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