From the beautiful bouquet of roses from my family on Mother’s Day . . . . . no words can express how much I treasure this expression of their love for me, the Mama in our home!
Please join us today for WORDLESS WEDNESDAY at Create with Joy! Link up your blog post today so the other bloggers can stop by and visit you . . . . and then take a few minutes to get to know some of the other participants in this week’s WORDLESS WEDNESDAY at Create with Joy! Hope to see you there!
We have seven beautiful daughters! This Mother’s Day it was my daughters who are my inspiration. From sweet emails, cards, and text messages, to a lovely family dinner, to this gorgeous bouquet of flowers, my daughters (with Daddy’s help, of course!) brought joy and blessings to my heart.
Raising daughters can be challenging . . . . . all that potential for drama, emotional highs and lows, pouting and whining, rolling of eyes, and growing up way to quickly. Wear this, not that. Eat this, not that. Go here, not there. Do your homework, clean your room, NO you may not trim you hair on your own – there is no end to the constant challenge of keeping them alive long enough to graduate from high school.
But at the end of that part of the journey, our daughters can become our best friends. And if we are fortunate, even a daughter-in-law will become a best friend, too. All in different places in life, all walking their own pathway through life, all becoming the amazing women that God has planned for them to be.
Is it always easy? Is it always joyful? Is it always smooth sailing? Of course not! But I am grateful that God has blessed us with all of our daughters (and daughters-in-law) who bring so much wonder to our lives. We love you all, and today you inspire me to be the best I can be. To be a better mother, to be a better woman, to be a better friend. I love you! Mom
Please join us today for Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy - it’s great fun to link up your blog post for today so that the other participants can visit you! And then, when you take your afternoon coffee break, you can visit some other bloggers and make a few new friends this week at Inspire Me Monday at Create with Joy. Hope to see you there!
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Any woman who has been a mother for more than two or three minutes will tell you that motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened in her life. But about two or three minutes later, she will have to admit (if she is honest!) that there are moments when she asks herself, “What was I thinking????”
So, much like Charles Dickens in his classic tale of war, love, loss, and redemption, in which he tells a tale of the best of times, and of the worst of times, many mothers will understand when I say that my “lives” as a mother have included some of the most joyful moments a woman could imagine. But I have also experienced the heart break and pain that frequently accompanies us along this journey called “Motherhood.”
As a young mother, I believed that somehow I would figure out how to be the one and only “perfect” mother . . . . I would never let my children see me without my hair combed, and would certainly never, ever let them know that mamas sometimes are tired, or sad, or . . . . Good heavens! Mamas actually get mad sometimes, too. But that was never going to happen to me when I was a Mama.
So as the sweet little babies came along I began my journey to the land of “Motherhood Perfection.” But it didn’t take long before I realized that this was going to be a bumpy ride with many challenges along the way. Never fear! “Super Mommy” would come to the rescue, fix every scrape and bruise, kiss away the pain, and bandage all wounds with a smothering of “Mommy Kisses.” And so I tried . . . . and tried . . . . and tried.
But as the years went by, somewhere along that rocky road I lost my way. One day, apparently, I wandered off into the Woods of Motherly Discouragement and couldn’t find my way back. For a very long time. You see, all those years of flying through the air with my Wonder Woman cape billowing out behind me had gotten me nowhere. Except exhausted.
And as I wandered around in the fog of confusion wondering why all those “Mommy Kisses” had apparently not fixed anything, I began to doubt myself. I began to ask questions such as, “Why did I waste all that time trying to “get it right,” only to find out that I did it “all wrong?”
Sitting on a rotting log in the shadowy Woods of Motherly Discouragement one day, I poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father and asked if He would be so kind as to give me a clue where I went wrong.
That was the moment that the sun broke through the dense canopy of that wooded prison of my heart, and I knew that it wasn’t all my responsibility to make my children happy. It wasn’t my job to be the epitome of “Motherhood Perfection.”
It was my job to love my children, pray for my children, tell them about the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, teach them right from wrong, respect and responsibility, dress them, feed them, hold their hand and wipe their noses . . . and hopefully keep them alive long enough so that they could, in turn, travel that rocky road of their own journey through life. Wherever that might take them.
Suddenly, I was free. No longer would I wander through the dark and gloomy Woods of Motherly Discouragement questioning the wisdom of the choices I had made for the past 30 years. And in that moment of freedom, God called me to another journey of motherhood.
This time with a strong, loving, and faithful man who we call Daddy – a man who walks with me through every valley and on every mountaintop. A man who comes looking for me when I start to wander off, just in case I’m headed back to the Woods of Motherly Discouragement.
This time, my life as a mother reflects the confidence and joy that comes with understanding and believing that I am NOT perfect, and I never will be perfect, but that’s OK because only God Himself is perfect and that was a ridiculous standard to set for myself in the first place.
This time, I’m a different mama because I’m a different woman. God has set me free from the fear of failure, the insecurity that comes with striving for perfection, and He has given me the opportunity to be a Mama to our beautiful daughters who understand that their Mama isn’t perfect, but they know for sure and for certain that they are loved.
A Tale of Two Mothers – one young, vulnerable, trusting, and believing that the message she was hearing from her community was the truth. She believed that in order to be acceptable to God and those around her she would need never make a mistake, never be sad, never be angry, and certainly never, ever allow anyone to know if any of those horrible things should ever happen.
The other mother – me. Vintage Mama – a mama who knows that there is no other job in the world that God honors more than that of Motherhood. And so I continue this journey, no longer seeking the land of Motherhood Perfection, nor wandering in the Woods of Motherly Discouragement, but resting peacefully in the joyful place where “normal” is OK, no Wonder Woman capes are allowed, and it’s no big deal when Mama makes a mistake. I hope you live there, too.
Recently I discovered this amazing website where you can get coupons and find great deals for everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, your family needs or wants! From cars, babies, books, and beauty products to clothing, computers, jewelry, and even wedding gowns, NerdWallet has it all. And right now they are hosting a great contest for Mother’s Day . . . . check it out and enter to win some really BIG prizes:
Overall Grand Prize $1000
Best Craft/DIY $100
Best Purchase $100
Best Experience $100
Best Recipe $100
HURRY on over to NerdWallet and enter TODAY because the contest closes tomorrow night!
Here’s my entry for one of our favorite Mother’s Day gifts that we made for our Grandma last year . . . . .
We made this Mother’s Day Banner Card, “Keys to Grandma’s Heart,” with some of our scrapbooking paper, FREE alphabet letters, scraps of ribbons, lace, braid, and yarn, and added some vintage buttons. Then, for fun, we added a little key or lock to each of the letter tags! A few other embellishments such as a crochet flower, a couple of tiny accordion-pleated medallions, and some 3-dimensional paper flowers, and we were ready to finish up the project.
The final step for creating this fun Mother’s Day Banner Card was to attach each of the embellished letter tags to a coordinating fabric strip (ribbon works great, too!), complete with loops on each end for hanging. A matching fabric flower was attached to the hanging loops, and there you have it!
A beautiful, personalized banner card for Mom or Grandma. And one of the best things about this project is that it can be folded up and mailed in a regular, padded envelope! Super simple, inexpensive, yet so beautiful! This Mother’s Day Banner Card will be a treasured heirloom that Mom or Grandma will be proud to display all year ’round.
The beautiful letters we used on this banner card are from our dear friend Sheryl at Granny Enchanted . . . . you can find amazing alphabet letters along with TONS more digital designs for embellishing your scrapbook pages or cards – just like our “Keys to Grandma’s Heart” Mother’s Day Banner Card.
And if you would like to make your own Mother’s Day Banner Card like our “Keys to Grandma’s Heart” (of course your banner card could spell out “MOTHER,” or “MAMA,” or “MOM,” or “NANA,” or whatever you want it spell!) you can find the FREE tutorial right here on my blog at mamas*little*treasures!
Please run right over to NerdWallet and enter the Mother’s Day Your Way contest TODAY! Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with other bloggers and maybe win the GRAND PRIZE! I would love to stop by and see your entry for the Mother’s Day Your Way contest!
It may seem strange to some people, but one of my MOST favorite things to do in the spring is to wash the windows. This morning the sun is shining and it is absolutely PERFECT outside our little lake house. Not too hot, not too cold, not windy or rainy . . . . just PERFECT!
So, since I had noticed the other day that some of the windows were not just yucky from the snow and ice of winter, but they also had huge water spots from when the girls were washing down the deck. Our well water is, of course, hard water, so when it gets sprayed all over the windows, it leaves those really big spots.
I did try to get the girls to wash down the deck ONLY and not spray each other . . . but that only lasted about two seconds until one of them accidentally sprayed the other one with that ice-cold water from the hose, and then the giggling started and there was no end of water going everywhere. Until they were thoroughly soaked and shivering and covered with grass and mud. At least the worst of the winter debris was cleared off the deck, but the mess those girls brought into the kitchen – well, that’s another story for another day of spring cleaning!
I’ve always loved to wash windows. Being outside in the spring sunshine, fresh air, and all of the newness of springtime makes me feel full of joy and hope. I’m looking forward to getting all of the window boxes filled this weekend, and I even think I might get the front porch painted. We’ll see, it’s not very big so it wouldn’t take long to paint it, and it would just really brighten up our front yard. This will be the first summer in a while that we’ve been able to do much yard work, so I’m really anticipating so many projects.
Next Thursday I’ll post another Thursday Favorite Things post on another one of my spring cleaning tasks . . . . because, spring cleaning in all of its facets is certainly one of my most favorite things to do! I hope you can join us today for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner. It’s great fun, and you will make so many new bloggy friends! Stop by and link up to the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner.
Since we made our first Mother’s Day Banner Card last year for our Grandma, we’ve been talking about other banner cards that we could make. The list is endless! We made a new GRANDMA banner card, a MOTHER banner card, and a FATHER banner card . . . . and now we are on to designing and creating a few more!
For Father’s Day we will be creating a GRANDPA banner card, and then, just because it is SUMMER we will be making several banner cards in summery themes: flip-blops, sunglasses, umbrellas, shells, fish, and whatever else we can think of to celebrate summer. How about banner cards for birthdays, graduation, anniversaries, a new baby, a WELCOME banner card . . . . and probably (since we are already planning a few SUMMER banner cards) we’ll make plans for AUTUMN, WINTER, and SPRING banner cards.
Fourth of July, Christmas, Valentine’s Day . . . . there’s no end to the themes that will inspire us as we create even MORE banner cards. But here’s the fun part: since we’ve received requests to turn our banner cards into KITS so that you can make your very own banner card for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or any other day that you want to CELEBRATE, you can now purchase banner card KITS from the mamas*little*treasures Etsy shop!
So here’s what’s inspiring me today: Check out the MOTHER and GRANDMA banner card KITS at mamas*litttle*treasures and make your own banner card. And then I’m going to be busy as a little bee getting the kits ready for the Father’s Day Banner Card KITS. Give it a try, it’s great fun!
Please join us this week for INSPIRE ME MONDAY at Create with Joy and tell us what is inspiring you today! Hope to see you there ;o)
When I don’t get to participate in some of these fun blog hops, I really miss the opportunity to connect with all the other bloggers in this great community in cyberspace. I’ve made so many new friends along with way, which might seem strange to think that you could actually develop a true and lasting friendship with people that you have never actually “met” in person. But my experience has been, that over the time I’ve been working online with the Ruby for Women community and magazine, and connecting with other bloggers through my personal blog here at mamas*little*treasures, God has brought a few people across my path who have become truly near and dear to my heart.
One of those people that I have found to be a kindred creative spirit is Sheryl at “Granny Enchanted.” You would not believe all the beautiful designs she creates for digital scrapbooking, as well as images that she shares FREE to her online friends that can be printed out and used for traditional scrapbooking as well as card making projects, or anything else that you want to do with all of her charming designs.
Every time I visit her blog I think of new projects that I want to do using her creations! If you are crafty and looking for inspiration for your next project, I would encourage you to visit Granny Enchanted and take a peek at everything she has available. But even more than the creative charm of Granny Enchanted, I encourage you to visit her and get to know her generous, sweet spirit.
I love Friendship Friday because that is the one time in the week when I get to look around at all the treasured connections that God has brought into my life through the miracle of technology. I am so grateful for this opportunity to make new friends that I would never had had the chance to meet without the internet.
I hope you have a chance to visit Granny Enchanted, and get to know her . . . . and then join us for the Friendship Friday Blog Hop at Create with Joy where you can make even more new friends! Hope to see your there – and if you join in, please let me know so I can stop by and visit your blog this weekend. Love, Nina
I think that I can honestly say, after analyzing the situation for many years, that Thursday has to be my favorite day of the week. That is probably because that by Thursday I’ve managed to survive Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday and by Thursday I can slow down long enough to take a breath, look around and take inventory of all the stuff that I neglected on the first three days of the week, and make a plan for recovery. And then actually have time to do a few of the things that I really want to do . . . . such as working on my next craft project!
Since we’ve been working on putting together a business plan for Ruby for Women, it has become apparent that I need to bring all my various projects under one umbrella, so we are creating the different businesses as kind of subsidiaries of Ruby.
From now on, when I design or create something for my Etsy shops, it will all be promoted as “by Ruby” so when you see that little logo, you will know it is me! Thanks to my business consultant, Michelle Miller, my rather untidy brain has just been organized a bit better for future reference!
Today, THIS Thursday, my favorite thing to do is to create the Mother’s Day Banner kits and then get then in the hands of another kindred spirit who will make them up so we can sell them. We’re planning (because this needs to be done very quickly!) to make kits for the Mother’s Day Banners that spell out either “MOTHER” or “GRANDMA,” but we can also make them available by special request for whatever you might want your Mother’s Day Banner to say!
Here is my stash of stuff and junk that I am going to use in the kits – and then there’s the little vintage white metal bucket that I found at a thrift shop in Michigan last weekend. That’s staying right here in my sewing / crafting room, but all the other stuff I picked up at Hobby Lobby. Here’s how it works in case you are interested ;o) When I sell something in one of my Etsy shops, or when I get paid from one of my freelance writing or editing jobs, I invest that money into more supplies.
Now all I need to do is turn this treasure trove of ribbons, stickers, buttons, bows, butterflies, and crochet flowers into a few kits and see if we can sell them. Then I’ll go buy more stuff, and make something else, and see if I can sell that, too . . . . and on and on it goes! Supports my habit, but even more than that, maybe one day my little hobby will pay for the groceries. We’ll see! I’ll keep you posted on my progress. For now, I’m off to work on the Mother’s Day Banner kits so stop by my Etsy shop and pick one up to make for YOUR Mom or Grandma!
I’ll post pictures as soon as they are ready, so be sure to email me if you are interested. In the meantime, please join us this week for the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop at Katherine’s Corner. It is great fun and you will meet so many new blogging friends. Come on over and join the conversation. Hope to see you there!