What Keeps Me Going

Fridays on this space are dedicated to sharing what keeps me going... A moment, a photo, an event or a memory that stands out against whatever might have gone wrong or felt dark in the last seven days.

This week, I am having such a hard time just picking one thing... After over eleven total hours of travel time on Tuesday and Wednesday with an almost two-year-old in tow, I spent a lot of time clinging to the happy thoughts. When a super poopy diaper threatened our ability to board a plane on time. When the overly attentive flight attendant seemed far too eager to find something wrong with how we were holding Addie or how our carry-ons fit under the seats in front of us.  When an ugly attack of IBS hit me and I prayed to make the next exit and find a bathroom in time. (I did--phew!) When Addie refused to fall asleep on any of our flights.

During all those moments of frustration and panic, I kept thinking about all the fun we had with my sisters. Most of all, the fun that Addie had connecting with her aunts and watching them fall in love with her even more. I have shared much about those moments this week, but one that keeps coming back to me, that stands out above the others right now, is the night before Addie, Emily and I left Omaha.

Addie was sleeping soundly in Kate and Seth's office, Seth was watching a show on the History Channel about pawn shop owners (which made for really interesting background noise) and Kate, Em and I were hard at work on Addie's birthday banner. This banner started out as an idea that I got from seeing so many other bloggers out there create similar things for their kids' birthdays. I kept thinking that my girl needed one too and that it had to be beautiful and timeless so we could use it year after year.

Before our big trip, I asked my sisters if they would mind helping me put it together, as I knew it would take me forever to do it by myself. Of course they agreed and added their creative ideas to make it better than I initially envisioned. We made a few extra trips to "Oh Bobby!" and added some steps into the process with another color of fabric layered over the pattern I picked out earlier. A disaster in paint colors threatened to throw the whole thing off, but a persistant Kate kept mixing pinks and whites until the right shade swirled through.

We sat together for a few hours, stenciling, painting, collaborating and admiring. No deep discussions were held and no major problems of the world were solved. We simply worked together, around the kitchen table crafting and creating in each other's company. There is such a comfort in spending time with people who know you so well that conversation is no longer necessary for your bond to grow. We were quite tired when we finished painting those last letters, but it sparked fantasies of one day living in the same town or city and getting to work on projects together like this all the time.

I must say, the (almost end) result is breathtaking. I love it!!! Addie will probably be too young to really appreciate it this year, but I hope that in the years to come it will be part of her birthday tradition to get out the banner that was crafted by her mom, aunts and yes, her Memere. Aunt Em is going to sew the fabric rectangles to some binding tape and my mom volunteered to decorate the edges of the brown fabric with pink embroidery floss--then it will be complete.

At some point I plan to put together a tutorial for how it all came together. First I have to remember where I saw the tutorial that started this whole thing so I can link to her as well and give credit where credit is certainly due.

In the meantime I have to thank my sisters once again for their amazing help in making this project a beautiful reality. Thanks to my mom as well for offering to take on that last little step that will likely be the most time consuming, but will also add the perfect touch to make it stand out even more.

Such great memories have already come from this banner and it hasn't even been used yet--Oh the magic of crafting!

I would love it if you joined me in sharing what keeps you going! Leave a comment to let me know you're participating and each week, I will include a list of everyone who is playing along.

**Special thanks to my dear friends Jenn over at Raising a Kid, Katie & Lee, and also to my amazing mom and dad for sharing incredible inspiration last week. I can't wait to hear what stood out this week for you all!


Auntie Em said...

What kept me going this week?

My husband and his unconditional care. Tuesday night, when I arrived at home from Omaha, I wanted to take a bath in the worst way. But the hot water was not cooperating. Nathan insisted to boil pots of water until the tub was full of piping hot bubbles. The process took a little long, but his sweet work meant the world to me.

Plus he made me homemade blueberry muffins for the next morning. Man, does he keep me going.

Love you, sis,

Kate said...

My sisters' visit got my week off to such a wonderful start, but after saying goodbye to them on Tuesday, I was worried that the rest of my week would be spent wallowing in self pity and missing my sisters and niece. So what kept me going? Working on sketches, samples, and bids for two new custom bridal party jewelry orders! I love the challenge of designing something beautiful that will add to a bride and groom's special day and will hopefully become a treasured piece in each bridesmaid's collection.

Ah, the healing balm of crafting!

Katie said...

What kept me going this week?

Taylor announced this week that she would like to have a little sister. In discussing the imaginary little sister, I asked where she would sleep. Taylor replied, "in Jake's room of course." So I responded, "boys and girls can't share a room."

My beautiful daughter then stated, "but you and Dad do!" I laughed so hard I was crying! So true Taylor so true.

Dennis said...

Some things don't change that keep me going...the Lord...the love of my life...and a blessed life. But this week, I got to see two of my daughters and my sweet little Addie who loves her Pepere' and "Puppy."

TRO said...

Three things were the highlight of my week: Listening to my grandbaby singing "Wubby" (Rubber Ducky) in the bathtub at the top of her lungs, rubbing the feet of the soon-to-be-mommy of my second grandbaby, and reading the wonderful blog about three fabulous sisters whose mom I am blessed to be. Payoff for 27 months of pregnancy!!

sara said...

Once again, you all are awesome!

Mom, thanks for making me cry with yours. I never knew you liked rubbing my feet so much. I'll have to ask you more often! :p

Us said...

I just wrote out this whole long comment, and then my internet quit. I can't bear to write it again. But it had something to do with overhearing my parents play with Sadie and how happy they all were! It was fantastic!

sara said...

Oh Jenn, I hate it when that happens! I will agree with you as far as hearing parents play with their grandbabies. There is something so magical about it. Here's hoping it won't be long before you are blessed with that sound again!