Thursday, May 31, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 23 Weeks

23 weeks.  I definitely feel more pregnant with my bump hard to hide now.  I can no longer suck my tummy in and kicks are aplenty.  One day there were none and the next, it's like she's a professional soccer player.  The mister even got to feel one last week!  I feel them mainly at night when I'm laying in bed trying to relax.  Perhaps it's my position that makes them easier to feel?  Or maybe that's just when she's more active?
Physically, I'm doing pretty good aside from some pesky hip pains at night.  I battled hip issues before I even became pregnant but they are certainly more pronounced now, especially on days when I'm incredibly physical.  I visited my chiropractor for the first time during this pregnancy yesterday and I will certainly be keeping that up until our lady is here.  In a way, I feel like I've hit a plateau with weight gain in the past week but I'm sure that will be discredited when I visit my doctor next week ;)  I'm still having frequent nosebleeds but that's something I've just gotten used to and my gums bleed MUCH easier than ever before.  In fact, I had my teeth cleaned on Tuesday and was floored by how much blood there was.  I was assured that it wasn't me, just the pregnancy :)
I've had a pretty easy go at this whole pregnancy thing so far but honestly, I don't think I'll miss being pregnant when this is over.  The attention I'm receiving is beyond strange to me and perhaps it's because it's something that I feel quite private about (yes, I sense the irony as I write about my pregnancy on my public blog).  I feel like I haven't been writing as much lately but that's really due to the fact that whatever filter I had left is completely gone now and I don't want to scare you off with my bluntness ;)  It's a side effect of pregnancy that I oddly enjoy though.  I'm still easily annoyed with people but I'm doing well with keeping my mouth shut and trucking on along :)  The mister is still being beyond fantastic with everything and for that, I am ridiculously grateful.  He gives me the confidence and strength that I lack in this.
Over the past holiday weekend, the mister and I visited my folks' cabin for a night.  Before we left town, we ran by a few sporting goods stores to look for some random fishing stuff.  Leave it to me to find a dress/skirt that I couldn't live without there.  The skirt from above came off of a half price clearance rack at Sports Authority for $15 and I couldn't love it more.  I actually went back and bought two more because a) they are multi-functional b) um, clearance rack! c) I can wear them throughout my entire pregnancy d) I can wear them AFTER my pregnancy e) mega comfortable.  I could go on, but I won't :)  

The top above was given to me by a friend in college.  She lived some of her childhood in Indonesia and that was once a dress she wore in her younger days.  She passed it along to me and I wear it ALL of the time.  It's another old one that I I would have never thought would be a pregnancy staple.
And one to show you the skirt as a dress.  It ties around the neck and is perfect for summer!  

While at the cabin, I did some swimming/floating with the beast for the first time with this new body.  I'm hoping to use the same swimsuits I've been using the past few years, just with a larger gut sticking out between the pieces ;)  I'll spare you those pictures!  That was definitely the highlight of my weekend - spending time relaxing in the water.  I can't wait to introduce our lady to water!   I've a feeling that she's destined to be a water bug :)  Also while at the cabin, my mom helped me follow my first pattern - a vintage maternity tunic.  I sewed it up that night and it was a success!  Well, aside from an askew pocket.  I think I'll make a few more of those tops and try my hand at another vintage maternity pattern, this time a dress!
So in sum, I'm still here, alive and well and so is the kid in my belly.  And the beast, well, the beast is still getting his share of belly rubs too ;)

Friday, May 25, 2012

Going South

I started this post MONTHS ago but never got around to posting it for some reason.  I've always wanted to share more of my past travels over here but am nervous about making that jump.  And I don't know why.  The fact that I HAVE traveled like I have is something that I'm incredibly proud of and is something that has truly helped form who I am today.  So today, I'm taking the jump and am beginning the process of sharing these transforming experiences.  I hope you enjoy.

I reluctantly went to college.  I really (really, really, really) wanted to take a few years off but due to some parental insistence, I went to college right after high school.  I had a few scholarships from my past affiliation with the Methodist Church and spent my undergraduate years at Oklahoma City University.  I had a idealized idea of what college was - go to class when you wanted, wear your pjs to class and party your tail off!  Well, I never wore my pjs to class but I sure partied hard and rarely went to class.  I was that 18 year old.  I lost my scholarships and was moments away from moving back home to reevaluate things.  Luckily, I was given one last chance and got my act together.  I learned to learn.  I learned to enroll in classes that actually interested me.  I learned the importance of time management.  I learned how to get the best out of schooling.  I truly believe my collegiate hiccups are life lessons that allow me to be a good teacher...but that's another post. 

Once I shifted my view on school, I found myself enrolling in language classes left and right.  I had always been fascinated by communication between people.  I had learned some Spanish as a small child, taught my sister what little Spanish I knew when we were children, went on to take Spanish electives in high school and in college I finally realized how important that language was to me.  I just *got* Spanish.  After a few years in college, I finally declared that beloved language as my major.  I later grabbed a minor in French and intended to work in the Travel & Tourism industry but ended up graduating right after 9/11 when finding work in that field was close to impossible.  Again, that's ANOTHER post.  

During the summer of 2000, after my Sophomore year of college, I was given the opportunity to study abroad.  I had spent a week in Mexico once before for a mission trip to Juarez when I was younger but nothing quite like this.  I traveled south with Nika, a teacher and friend, and another student who would be my housemate for the next month.  I was terrified and thrilled all at the same time.  
My house parents were both teachers at our small language school and their two daughters taught me daily the importance of patience when learning a language.  I walked nearly six miles a day to and from school, ate  (and fell in love with) cactus constantly, got used to frequent power outages, experienced my first earthquake (on the third floor of a salsa club, at that!), and stuck out like a sore, throbbing thumb in our little village nestled in the mountains -Tepoztlan.  I experienced my first bout of culture shock, learned what it feels like to look completely different than those around you, learned firsthand the difference of time values in other countries and discovered how frustrating it can be to struggle with communication; all factors that I believe have allowed me sympathize with what my students encounter upon arrival into the United States.

We took side trips to Acapulco, Cuerna Vaca, Las Estacas, Taxco (my heart!), and, of course, Mexico City.  Right as I was feeling more comfortable with my communication capabilities and feeling at home in this town, it was time to go home.  I was crushed.  This experience changed me.  I was hooked on experiencing other cultures for myself.  
There are so many things that I could say about that time, that experience, the change that occurred inside of me but honestly, words fail me.  Mexico will always be a part of me and I will forever consider myself lucky that it shared itself with me.  I can't wait for the day that I am able to share my love of the country with my mister and daughter.  Algun dia!  

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Where The Wind Comes Sweeping Down The Plain

My fourth Blue Dome Arts Festival is DONE.  
The week leading up to the show, I was beyond stoked by the weather reports - sunny, beautiful temperatures and no signs of a storm.  Well, apparently I missed the reports of a WIND ADVISORY!  I've done shows in 100+ temperatures, monsoon downpours, but never a show with 45+ mph wind gusts.  Intense, to say the least.  
My sister spent the majority of Friday helping me set up and man the booth until Sarah, my booth mate, was able to join me.  Being five months pregnant, I was a little concerned about signing myself up for such a labor intensive ordeal but was glad I did.  The only time that I really questioned my decision was Friday evening while lying in bed wondering if my hips would ever recover.  For me, the first day of multiple-day, outdoor shows is always the hardest physically.  This was no different.

Friday was a wee bit windy but nothing like Saturday would prove to be.  Some of those aforementioned wind gusts were the cause of the death of some arts, our booth included. 
Saturday afternoon, two particularly strong gusts FLIPPED OVER two of our tables. The mister and I had stepped out of the booth for a short while, only to return to our booth resembling the aftermath of a tornado.  It was cray-zay.  I'm the type that normally won't even pack up thirty minutes early for a show, regardless of the circumstances.  At this point, I was contemplating packing up a day and a half early and heading home.  Physically, fighting the wind wasn't something I was sure I should be putting my body through and emotionally, it was just plain draining.  We rallied though, took our booth down to its bare bones and stayed through the entire show.  I'm so glad we did :)
With the help of many bungee cords, lots of twine, helpful neighbors and quick reflexes, no other catastrophes occurred.  
Sunday was a breeze, pun intended, with no major gusts and a brief period of wonderfully cooling rain.  The mister and I were actually able to walk around for a bit to enjoy the show and check out the talented artists which is my favorite part :)
I can't even count the amount of friends that stopped by our booth to say 'hello'. THAT made my weekend. And being set up with friends down our stretch of road was equally as enjoyable...although I did find myself coveting their ice cold beers from time to time ;)  
Within the next two months, I have two more three-day, outdoor shows I'm committed to.  Crazy much? Yes, yes indeed :)  I'll be set up at a new show in Bixby, OK on June 22-24th at Vintage Market Days and of course I'll be set up at my favorite, Woody Fest in Okemah, OK, from July 11-15th.  Hopefully the weather will be a bit more forgiving at those shows for myself and my growing belly :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

This Weekend - Blue Dome!

I have been busy, busy, BUSY the past week preparing for my first big show of the year - Blue Dome!  This will be my fourth year to participate and I'm anticipating my best year do you like THAT optimism?!  I'll be set up on Elgin, right between the Blue Dome and Dust Bowl Lanes, smack dab in the middle of the street.  This will be their biggest year yet and it looks like the weather will be the best we've had for the festival in a loooooong time.  Consider me thrilled :)  
So come, support your local artists and say Hello!  The bump and I would absolutely LOVE to see you!  

Friday & Saturday 11-8
Sunday 12-5

Monday, May 14, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 21 weeks & Mother's Day

Well, I'm honest-to-god, for really-real showing now.  There's really no hiding it.  It's SO bizarre.  I'm having a hard time believing that I'm just going to continue to keep growing and growing and growing.  I've felt little flutters here and there but nothing externally yet in regards to kicking.  I'm working at ignoring the 'tidbits' that I don't care to hear and just trucking on along with this thing, hoping it flies by!  
 Yesterday was Mother's Day and I was truly surprised to get Mother's Day wishes myself!  I spent the majority of the day in my new workspace busting out LOTS of new pieces for Blue Dome this weekend!  We took an early afternoon break to head over to my uncles' house for some KFC, tres leches and family time.  I could have done without the KFC but whatevs ;)  Later that evening, the mister and I headed to the airport to pick up my sister who is farting around Tulsa for the next week.  In fact, she'll be playing a show on Wednesday at The Hunt Club if you're looking for something to do!  While we were at the airport, our wonderful, new-ish neighbors (also expecting their first!) rang and had a pet sitting emergency so around 11 p.m. last night, we welcomed their small, white, terrier guy to our household.  The beast and him had only met through the fence before so it was quite an experience getting them both calmed down so we all could sleep last night!  Someone (ME) is mighty sleepy today as a result.
My wardrobe options are shrinking daily, pun intended.  But it's making me be more creative when it comes to dressing.  It's also making me do a few repeats here and there, too!  Yesterday's outfit was a super comfy one (one of my requirements for a grand ensemble) and perfectly suited for a low-key Sunday holiday.  

The sweater tank came from Victoria's Secret nearly 15 years ago!  When I was in high school, I loved ordering clothes from their magazines (no, not the slutty clothes ;).  This was one of the few pieces to remain in my collection.  I have a pretty sweet picture of me partying in this top at 18 years old with a pixie cut.  I'll have to hunt that one down for you...  I found the handmade, vintage skirt for a quarter at a garage sale on Saturday (that I thought should have been marketed as an outdoor estate sale!).  I wasn't sure if it would fit or not but after a quick wash and fitting session, I was pleased to find it would work just perfectly :)  I love its weight and that pattern is perfection, to me.  The cardigan is an old Target clearance rack find, the shoes are my new beloved Birks and the necklace was made by me yesterday morning for the Blue Dome stock!
 I'm imagining that this week will be a busy one with show prep, sis in town and work but that's ok - I thrive on the hustle and bustle...with a nap here and there :)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

To My Moma

A big 'ol Happy Mother's Day to my Moma!  Yes, Moma.  Everyone tells me I spell her term of endearment incorrectly (even this computer) but that's how I've always spelled it - phonetically, ya know.  My phone auto-corrects it to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art, I assume) but you know what, It's a name that deserves to be capitalized!
I've had people wish ME a Happy Mother's Day today which has somewhat thrown me for a loop but has also served as a reminder of what's to come.  I've been thinking about those memories of MY Moma that have always fondly stuck with me and I wonder what memories will stay with our little girl.  Will she love having her mom wash her hair in the kitchen sink, like I did?  Will she feel like she can openly rant about religion and politics to me like I do to my Moma?  Will she learn to love animals with all of her heart like I learned from my mom?  Will we laugh together until we have tears streaming down our faces as Moma and I have done?  Will I be able to teach her how to kick ass at card games, how to make up recipes on the fly, or how to drive defensively?  My Moma, teacher of plenty and embracer of all, makes me strive to be a committed, compassionate, successful mother.  Thank you, Moma, for motivating and inspiring me to be half as good as you :)  
Happy MOMA'S Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cleaning House & A Question

First off, a big fat THANK YOU to your feedback on my last ranting post!  I feel so much better having gotten those things out and knowing that I'm not alone :)  You guys are kinda, really awesome!

This week, I've pulled myself up and out of my grouchy funk and have been cleaning, organizing and rearranging like a mad woman!  I know, I know, everyone says that I'm nesting but honestly, I'm not so sure!  Over the past five years of teaching, whenever I'm on break from the classroom I always seem to go on these rampages!  So far this week I've overhauled my office at work, rearranged our bedroom (with the help of the mister, of course), purged SO many clothes (online yard sale coming soon!), completely emptied my dresser and relocated those clothes into a new area, and worked more on emptying out the front bedroom to allow for a nursery!  And you should hear what all is still on my mental to-do list!
 ALSO, I've been preparing for my first show of the year - Blue Dome Arts Festival in downtown Tulsa next weekend!  This is my first of three three-day outdoor shows in the next three months.  Yeah.
 My light switch plates are always a big hit at this show so I've been making a million new ones just for it!  Today I'll be starting on 25 new vintage pattern plates which are probably my biggest seller of the plates.  I only use the covers of the packaging, leaving the actual pattern untouched!  Over the years, I've scanned all of the packaging before I cut it up then I print out the imagery and pattern details, stick it with the actual pattern and have stuck them back in a box.  My goal was to learn how to follow a pattern and put these puppies to use but that has yet to happen.  

So since I'm in the midst of this purging/cleaning/organizing fit, I'm ready to get rid of the patterns.  But I'm not sure how!  Should I put them in my Etsy shop with the disclaimer that the original packaging is not included, should I just give them away to whoever wants them or should I just recycle them?!  There are probably close to 100 of them...  HELP!
This last pattern shown here just cracks me up :)  Beefcakes! 

Monday, May 7, 2012

One of Those Outfits: 20 Weeks & Pregnancy Reflections

I'm now halfway done with this pregnancy.  This first part has flown by, for the most part but honestly, my due date seems an eternity away.  
 I've hit a point this week where my patience is gone.  I've received the infamous unsolicited parenting advice here and there, sure, but more so, I've been hearing from every direction people telling me exactly how my life will be once our lady is here.  That I'm crazy for wanting to go back to teaching in the spring, that I'll never want to do another craft show again, that I must be off my rocker for running another Alliday in December, that I will never love my animals the same way I do now, and sadly, much more.  I've smiled, nodded and given my canned responses just as many times as I can.  I've hit my limit.  

Yes, I realize that life will change in ways I can't imagine.  I'm just blown away by how some people think that they know how my love will be distributed or how they absolutely know what my interests will be in the future.  And when these predictions are followed with a laugh, well, I truly want to flip my lid.  But I haven't.
 Up until a year or so ago, I never planned on having children.  I was a huge proponent of adopting (and still am) but I never saw myself as the mothering type.  Having children was never on my life to-do list.  Even though I'm in the midst of becoming a mother right now, it's still an idea I'm getting used to.  Hitting this halfway point, I'm finding myself often filled with fear and uncertainties about the delivery process, maintaining a life where I do not lose myself, and raising a well-balanced, independent and cultured woman.  Being filled with these thoughts and feelings and being bombarded with the opinions of others about my life has left me emotionally exhausted at this point.  

My mister has been tremendously supportive and really, I think I've handled everything quite well up until this breaking point.  One thing I've noticed in myself throughout this is that I've been more blunt.  My filter is gone and in a way, that's been wonderfully freeing.  I think there are probably some who aren't a fan of that change but that's where I'm at.  Don't get me wrong, I'm excited.  Terribly excited.  I'm anticipating her arrival and am ready to get this show on the road but it is all scary at the same time; it's the unknown.  
I figured I would unburden those I have been venting to lately, remove my filter here and unload on you all.  Perhaps this is normal to feel these frustrations at this point.  Perhaps not.  But it is what I'm going through.  It's heavy, man.

In regards to my attire worn above, I wore a dollar Flea Market dress which I'm sure will get much wear this summer, long 80's Flea Market necklace, new Birkenstocks and a heart necklace from my childhood I recently found.  There are dents on either side of the hollow heart where I would bite down on it.  My teeth still perfectly fit in those indentions.  Perhaps hers will, too.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Down It Came

The other day, I shared the story of the sign.  Much reminiscing about its journey has been happening around these parts, leading to my dad digging around and locating the batch of photos he took on the day the sign made its trip to the ground.  I found the photos to be fantastic so I thought I'd share them here, as a follow up to my last post :)
Remember, nobody knew if the 3,000 pound sign would make it down in one piece.  I can only imagine what was going through everyone's head at this point.  I know what my brain would have been saying, and it wouldn't have been pretty!
My dad said that while he waited for the sign to come down and while he snapped photos, two different women tried to convince him to give the sign to them.  They all later realized that they had gone to elementary school together.  
Perhaps my favorite picture of the bunch, my dad fifteen years ago on the day he got the sign, much like the photo I took last week.
And yes, once its new home is complete, I will share it here too :)
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