It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day Truths

Truth #1:  Valentine's Day is a legitimate day for GIANT amounts of excitement when you are 7 years old. It's all about the fun and craftiness until you hit about 4th grade and make an extra-special-lacy valentine for the boy you like only to watch him give a large box of chocolates to another girl. *Sigh*

Rowan was up before everyone else in the house today, readying her valentines for our family. She put them all in her library book bag, stuffed her wad of muslin on top to hide them (did I not tell you that hunk of muslin has been everywhere this week?) and then waited patiently in her room until she heard signs of life. We did our little valentine exchange before Brad left for work, then I made her a heart shaped fried egg and heart shaped toast with cinnamon sugar. She skipped all the way to school (until she went down on a patch of ice!)

Truth #2: My Dad read my previous post on the creation of "Grace" and emailed me with this piece of wisdom: "Having a well-thought-out plan always gives you something to deviate from." Oh, so true! This is the profound truth that will help me get through our day of planned out fun. Here's how the plans are shaping up - let's see how it actually turns out:

I am headed to Rowan's classroom party at 2:15. For those who have ever attended a grade school class party you know that well-thought-out plans pretty much just turn to chaos and mayhem. Right after school is our Daisy meeting. So after the kids have been hyped up on sugar and gone party crazy, I get to corral them. Thank you to Kara, my snack mom, for bringing healthy foods today!! 

At our meeting we'll be finishing the work to earn our Considerate and Caring Daisy petal.  Our first activity (after snack and story) will be to reveal who our secret pals are and exchange the gifts we made for each other. Hopefully no one will forget to bring theirs! I have made several backup gifts that can be used just in case someone does forget. A couple weeks ago I got out my scrapbook papers and went to town creating card sets. Here are some samples:

I used a flower stamp (I made it years ago at a stamp-making class in Chicago) on white paper, then arranged it in several ways on pretty papers. They turned out a little more grown-up looking than I'd originally planned, but that's ok. I plan to give a pack to each of the moms that helps out at my meeting today. Considerate and caring - gotta live it!

After our gift exchange, I'll whip out my World Map and hopefully remember to get some pictures of the girls affixing their heritage stars. (Stay tuned...) Then, we'll really get crafty! The girls will be creating party invitations and helping me plan the games and activities for next month's meeting where we'll host the Kindergarten Daisies to celebrate Girl Scout's 99th birthday. Woo hoo!

By the time we get home from our scout meeting, Brad will be home and ready for a valentine dinner. No idea what our plan is there, but I'm sure it won't agree with my waistline! :P

Speaking of my waistline, many of you know that I've lost over 40 pounds since June. Yay me!  Since bathing suit season is almost here, I really will need a new suit. I decided to knit myself a bikini!
Truth #3: Don't believe everything you read, people. Ha ha!! I totally got ya on that one.  NO, this is not a bikini. (I can't even imagine it.) I have been wanting to make ear flaps for my green hat, and finally got them knitted yesterday. Once they're dry, I will affix them to the hat (somehow) and give them long braided tassels. 'Cause being 40 doesn't mean you can't look cool, dude. I made the hat and matching mittens this winter to go with a neck cowl my mom made me last year. She used a totally delicious yarn called Malabrigo, and the whole set is about as warm and nummy as can be. And we are OH so matchy matchy with our winter accessories! (And yes, the greens do not appear to be the same in these photos, but they really are.)

Truth #4: There's just about nothing better than fulfilling a child's dream. For those who have been wondering about Grace, Rowan decided that she should have a dress before we worry about hair. We drew out our design yesterday after breakfast, and Mommy worked HARD. Don't look too closely at the details, but AWWWW - it turned out cute!

LOL! Oh man - you can really see her lumpy head from the back! She really needs some hair.

I remember once when I was a young girl, we were visiting my Grandma Merry and Grampa Wib in Wisconsin. I don't remember what moment brought it on, but I remember Grandma getting teary-eyed and pulling me in for a hug saying, "My cup runneth over." Last night when my girls were making each other laugh so hard they could barely stand up, Rowan started to cry because she was so filled with love for her wee sister and the moment they were sharing. I asked her if her cup runneth over, and she nodded and blinked her giant, brown, watery eyes at me.

Truth #5: My cup runneth over. For all my friends and family who are reading this and are a part of our lives this Valentine's Day - thanks for being you. Big, fat love coming your way!


  1. What? Not a single comment about the bikini gag?

  2. I am JUST NOW reading this - a day late! I guess I went to bed to read last night and forgot to check your blog. Heavens!!!

    I laughed and LAUGHED at the bikini. I KNEW it wasn't a bikini but loved the look and wondered for a few seconds what it WAS, and then remembered your hat. :)

    Such a lovely post, Heather, and the last bit brought tears to MY eyes! :) Of course my cup runneth over! (Even if google blog spell check says runneth isn't a word.) :)