A Bouquet of Lovely Flowers

When I recently saw a post about a floral subscription from Bloomsbury Lane Farm, I was intrigued. While at first I thought it might be a little extravagant to have fresh flowers every two weeks, I also thought about how I LOVE to support local farms and businesses and how much those flowers would brighten my days.

Little did I know how much I would need those flowers on the very first day of my subscription, and how my perspective on those flowers would change.

There are some days that put a lot of things in perspective. Like how life has the potential of changing dramatically in an unexpected moment. Thankfully, our lives weren’t changed dramatically. Just a few of our plans, and just enough to fine tune our perspective.

We are grateful for our children and their families every single moment of our lives. Of that, one can be sure. But sometimes we get to hone in on what exactly we are grateful for. Today I was reminded that I am grateful that our daughter and her husband are raising confident, happy, obedient and compassionate children.

Children who can go with the flow when the plans of the day with Granma and Granpa suddenly change, and are happy to do something different.

Children who know how to make the best Get Well card anyone could ever want, and who know how to give the most tender hugs at just the right time. Such great kids. Such great parents.

We are also grateful for good friends. The kind that bring dinner and a little laughter at the end of a very long day, even when I tried to refuse because it seemed silly to not do dinner myself. So glad they ignored me. I really needed that help.

Grateful for story time with littles, complete with giggles and snuggles. Grateful for friends who give gifts that keep on giving- long after the unwrapping. Gifts that come alive and ripple to the ones I love every time I read them.

Grateful for an attentive and kind neighbor who rather than going along her merry way, made her way to lend a helping hand. Grateful for the owner of The Chicken House for her welcoming smile, easy conversation, and contribution of a few extra blooms for a thank you for my kind neighbor.

Grateful for a clutch of flowers, and the realization that maybe they weren’t just for me. That getting a lovely bouquet of flowers every two weeks means I have more than enough to share. More than enough to express a little bit of gratitude.

And grateful for the realization that sometimes our lives are made a little easier by the summation of all of the little things from all of the great people. A bouquet of lovely flowers.

Love All Around- The Block

Last week my sweet friend, Lee Monroe- aka May Chappell, sent me a note asking if I could do a little something for her. I would have likely said of course no matter what she asked, but I was especially grateful to be asked to be a part of making her Love All Around block.

One thing I’ve learned from my faith is to make the most of all that is good, and to minimize the power of all that is negative. And let’s face it, there is a lot of negative out there.

Don’t misunderstand me. In no way am I implying that sticking one’s head in the sand is the way to go.  Pretending all is well when it isn’t simply allows the thing to stick around, or worse, become more powerful. It takes purposeful action to make a difference. Everything we say and do begs the question, “Is this making the situation better, or worse?”

I have to be honest. I am excessively sensitive. I get overwhelmed by all of the negativity that hits me in the face everyday. It makes my chest feel heavy, and I have to take a minute to remind myself of all that is truly good and beautiful in the world.

But that’s the thing that’s so amazing. It turns out that there are way more beautiful and wonderful and happy and positive and loving things and people in the world than there are hateful, sad and negative. Really.  There are. And the great part is that the more you fill the world with genuine kindness and love, the less room there is for the other stuff.

I know that sometimes we hurt. Deeply. And sometimes we are afraid. Often with good cause. Both hurt and fear are powerful reactions, and both can lead to anger and hate.

We can’t help being hurt. We can’t help being afraid. That’s just part of being human.  But we can stop from being angry, and especially from hating.

There’s a moment when we decide. When we choose between peace and anger, between love and hate. That moment is where the power lies. That moment is when we begin to change the world.  For good or for bad.

So, maybe take a minute or two to slow down.  Maybe make this block, and allow yourself to think of ways you can be the one. And maybe you can also be reminded of what you already know.

520 in 2014

I have a tendency to set crazy goals.  I do this for a reason.  They are often almost not attainable, and again, I do this for a reason.  I am competitive.  Not athletic, but competitive.  I want to make the goal, but if it is too easy, it is boring.  So I set my sights pretty high.  One of my goals is to do 520 hours of service in a year.  That’s 10 hours a week.  I’ve never come even close to meeting it, but I know I will one day.  Before I started this project, I was up to 106 hours.  Way behind schedule, but I’m working on it.

2014-05-23 10.46.33Before you think I am terribly altruistic, I must explain that I had some selfish motivations on this particular project.  I wanted something easy to work on for a minute because I get tired when working on big projects and I need a break.  Also, I wanted to test out a couple of things- machine quilting with a new walking foot, using basting spray instead of pins, piecing batting with a fusible tape and making bias binding with a ruler I bought a while back.  All worked out well, and I learned quite a bit.  I’ll expound on the techniques and tools in another post, but for now, here’s the finished quilt…

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Click the pic for more info on Project Linus

This quilt will be donated to a local chapter of Project Linus via the Relief Society at my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We have a goal of donating 200 blankets and/or quilts by the end of 2014, so I need to get crack-a-lackin’.

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For this sweet quilt, I used the Ziggy Baby pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew.  You can click here for a link to the website, which includes info about purchasing patterns.  I like that the site offers the pattern in both a paper and PDF form, so you can click and print for immediate satisfaction!  I also like that this pattern actually is two patterns, one for a chevron style quilt, and the other for a “step” quilt.  Two for the price of one is often a good thing.  Also, this particular quilt came as a kit that I purchased from one of my favorite local quilt shops- Intown Quilters.  You can click here for their website, and I think you will be glad you did!

Well that does it for this edition of 520 in 2014.  Oh, and this quilt took 24 hours from cut to bind, so I am up to 130 hours.  Still lagging a bit, but better than last year at this time-

Want to join me on my journey?  Post on Instagram with the hashtag #520in2014 and let’s see how you are spreading a little kindness in your part of the world!