Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Things My Brother Taught Me: Happy Birthday, Bro!

Leslie & Evan (1985)
Today is my little brother's birthday, so I wanted to give a special shout out to him by highlighting "Things My Brother Taught Me". Most of you probably don't know my brother, but if you met him, you would see he's super chill (like the opposite of me) and knows how to make lemonade out of lemons (again, like the opposite of me). Although my laid back, optimistic, carefree brother may not have taught me how to sew a button or make a mean apple pie, he's taught me some invaluable life lessons:

It's far better to give than to receive. 

Since my brother was a preschooler, I remember his generous heart. My mom and dad would give him money for candy at the concession stand while we watched my older brother's [boring] tee-ball games. Most kids would totally cash that in for Air Heads, Jolly Ranchers, or bubble gum. Nope, my little bro would give his candy money away so other kids could enjoy something sweet at the concession stand. Now, I see his unselfish spirit on display by his commitment to his lifelong friends.

Don't be afraid to be yourself. 

God's sense of creativity shines through when he made my brother; he is like no one else I've ever met. He has a magnetic personality that people are drawn to (and often puzzled by;). He is unabashedly fearless to be himself in any and all situations. This is one quality I hope for my children. If only we could live boldly and unafraid for the things we believe and our interests. The sooner this lesson is learned, the better, I say. 

Always have fun! 

As a more tightly-wound, controlling person, my brother showed me that life is too short to try to plan and prepare for everything. Embrace the unknown and spontaneity. I can't think of a better example than the time I went to visit him in Hawaii when we were both in college over Thanksgiving break. (Yes, a midwestern boy going to the University of Hawaii for college -- just another way his spontaneity, fearlessness, and fun-loving spirit comes through!) We didn't plan for a single thing that week, and I've never been on a more fun trip!

Thanks, Little Bro, for all the intangible, invaluable lessons you've taught me. Happy birthday!  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Backpack, Backpack

This post is in honor of my kids heading off to preschool today! If you have young children, you maysing the title of this post in the tune from the show "Diego". If you don't, you aren't missing out on much, so don't worry about it;) Since I try to be supermom in a few things, I decided to make my sons' first backpacks. I sewed my eldest son's bag when he turned two. Of course, subsequent children always get slighted (speaking as a middle child:), and I intended to make my second son's backpack for his second birthday. Well, that was nine months ago, and he started preschool today. I decided better late than never...

Per my previous post, I'm lacking energy and ambition lately (I won't even say I'm lacking time, because that's not true. I feel like I have tons of time. Some days I'm really bored, but I'm nine months pregnant and tired running after two rambunctious boys!), so you'll just get some photos of the backpacks rather than a tutorial. I guess I have to leave the masses wanting, right? hehe. 

In all honesty, I'm really not supermom. I yell at my kids, burn dinner, and rip out seams in my sewing projects. I try to do a few special things for my kids, but no one can do it all. I realize certain things are more important to some moms than others. So, my advice: do the things that you enjoy and are important to you. If you love baking and you'd rather make homemade cookies than buy Oreos, great! If not, run to the store for your kids' birthday treats. If you like to sew, then enjoy making your child's Halloween costume rather than buying one from the store. But don't sweat it if you aren't crafty or don't enjoy these kinds of hobbies. We all have our own interests and giftings, and I hope you are able to find time to tap into those things. 

However, if you are interested in the "domestic arts", then I hope you'll find my blog posts simple, informative, and helpful.