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Sunday, May 30, 2010

Farm Chicks Peek

I feel a little like I'm going back to the first day of school. There are going to be some amazing people and booths at Farm Chicks 2010 and to be there as a vendor again after so many years, well I'm a little nervous, and more than a little in awe. This is the show that gave me my start. When Serena and Teri gave me a booth way back when in 2004, they really gave me a path as a stay at home/work at home mom that I have followed and mapped ever since.

So this week I've been creating, and tagging and cleaning and remembering, and looking forward. Can't wait to see you there-make sure to come and say hi to me and my friend Christy, Ballyhoo Girl in our Joy Harvest Hollie/Funky Junk booths #190 & 191. This is going to be some weekend!!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Making Work Work

I am like many, many other moms of this age: a stay-at-home-work-at-home-mom. It's what I want to do and love to do and most days do well. There are days and weeks however that the very fiber of my being is stretched and pulled so that my life and I resemble no one or thing that I know. Needless to say, this is one of those weeks. One of those endless weeks where nothing seems to gel, plans fall apart, work goes undone and my house, well I just try to close my eyes as I walk through all of the messy, messy messes.

I imagine in my mind that I have it all together, and some days I actually think it helps to live in this bit of dream world. But then it becomes painfully clear, when one more thing is stacked onto my carefully balanced tower and it topples, that no, I do not have it all together. In fact I'm barely holding myself and family and home together.

Here is my schedule today (and most days this week, month, year...):
7-7:30 a.m. Wake up or be woken up by one of three children. This week I have had little sleep during the night because littlest brother is sick with various viruses and infections. But he's on the mend.
7:30-8 a.m. Drag myself out of bed and get littlest a bottle, yes I still let him have a bottle at 19 months. It's pure survival around here. I make breakfast for the boys and say the same thing I say every morning. "I'll get you your juice in a minute, I'm trying to get your breakfasts ready first!"
8-8:30 a.m. Try to get myself a healthy breakfast and (thank you God) a cup of coffee. Then race upstairs to shower and get Finn (littlest) dressed. And oh yes, make Haden's lunch, late again...(he has to take his lunch every day because of multiple food allergies.)
8:30-8:50 a.m. Leave to get Haden to school on time, that's at 8:50ish, but our arrival time varies day by day depending on all of the above factors.
8:50 a.m. Breathe a sigh of relief as we drop of biggest brother at 1st grade. Today would have been middle's preschool, but Liam now has the same persistent cough and throat pain as littlest. Great. So he stays with me today. We drive to an estate sale I spied in the newspaper. Some really good stuff, but really unwilling seller...if you have a sale, don't you want to just get rid of your junk?!?...
10:00 a.m. Home for Sesame Street for middle and little and off to fold three baskets of laundry, as well as oldest's bedding from him throwing up last night due to uncontrollable coughing. Great, now they are all sick. I'm trying to deny it because that is pure misery, especially when I'm sick with the same energy sucking sickness.
11:45 a.m. Lunch, finally! We're all tired and starving even though we had snack. Oh yeah, we're sick, that's why we're so wiped out. My lunch after two littles lunch, and I glance at a magazine trying desperately to feel like an adult for a minute. Oh, I have multiple phone calls I haven't returned yet, either.
12:45 p.m. How did it get to be this late...I emptied and loaded the dishwasher again, cleaned up the boys lunch, ate mine and got us upstairs for nap. Of course littlest needed held the whole time. (Note: In the back of my mind all morning are the cool finds I have in the trunk of my van, waiting for my attention to mark and clean up for the sale I'm setting up for TOMORROW!! Trying to not panic.)
1 p.m. Ahh...littlest fell right asleep, his cough is better, but then he's on antibiotics, which I'm sneaking into his bottle because he won't take it outright. Middle is happily playing Legos and I'm going to attempt to nap.
2:30 p.m. Time to wake up littlest because we need to pick up big brother at 3 from school. (He can't ride the bus, though he'd love to, because the bus company won't administer Epi-Pens in case of emergency. Nice.) I don't need to wake up because I just laid in bed and thought of how yucky I felt (this version of sickness sucks) and how much I needed to get done.
3:00 p.m. We get Haden, drive the whole 3 minutes home and I instruct oldest to play and watch littlest like a hawk, or lose DS & Wii time. They then do races down our sloped driveway on push toys (all three)stopping just short of the road. Now I get to work marking about three items, boxing the rest I got done earlier in the week all while taking a quick inventory (with my eyes only) of what I can pack up in the morning. (In my head I get really excited for a minute because I have some super cool junk to take with me this weekend and for Farm Chicks next, so I take some pictures...yea me!!). I spray paint one section of my cart that needs it (when the boys are down the driveway) and then that's it for work. Everyone is cold and tired and hungry.
4:00 p.m. I have a snack and Finn has a snack and Haden plays Wii Lego Star Wars while his dedicated brother Liam watches.
5:00 p.m. Dinner time (Note: I'm spoiled, usually Mark, a teacher, is home by now and helps hold/help whoever needs it, usually me, but tonight he won't be home until 9). I manage to make pancakes while the boys "play together". I don't really know what they did.
6:00 p.m. Baths. Teeth brushed. Stories. Jammies. Night Time. Well, they all get to bed about 7 for my sanity, but Haden and Liam read for a while and Liam keeps coughing and now I can't get him awake to take some medicine. Poor guy.
9:00 p.m. Mark just got home, and I'm working again, but I love my work, the writing, the relationships with other junkers and creative women online, the everything about it. I love my family work life too, the boys, the cooking, the laughter.
I just don't feel like I'm doing any of the work I love very well right now. But as Scarlett O'Hara and my mom always say, "There's always tomorrow"...or something like that. And Mark brought home Diet Coke for me, so my sore throat will be coated with my magic elixer while I try this mix all over again tomorrow. Things are looking up.

PS...I'm going to have Mark just read this to tell him about my day. It'll just be easier on everyone.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Birthday Girls

I've been noticing that reading my blogs it looks like I have an amazing social life...restaurants, shopping, junking road trips, oh my! However, it's only because my two lovely sisters and my equally lovely mother have had their (annual) birthdays three weeks in a row that I have been wined and dined and galavanting around town like a lady of leisure. And Funky Junk provides such wonderful opportunities to "work" outside the home in so many satisfying ways!

This week is the annual Lilac Parade and Festival in Spokane, WA where I and my family lives, and just in time, our lilacs are blooming, the sun is shining, and May is being beautiful! Our birthday girl finale for the spring was my sister Heidi's birthday this week. For some early birthday fun, I invited her to meet with some new and awesome junking friends, Timi of Come Junk With Us and her friend Laura. We met at the Peacock Room at the gorgeous historic and fantastically renovated Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. Timi was visiting from beautiful Snohomish, WA getting plans laid for her junk junket, coming over with a caravan full of shoppers for a weekend of fun at The Farm Chicks in June. We had cocktails, Laura had the Lilac Cosmo and I had the Cherry Blossom...yum!! We like to buy local. It was such a great time to laugh (really hard) and talk "business"...I told you my "work" is pretty great.

On Heidi's big day, I finished some projects at home in the morning (read: fold mounds of laundry, wrap the birthday girl's gifts, do dishes and have our oldest Haden watch a DVD while I do all of the above. All, well.) while Heidi and my mom got a head start on shopping downtown. They visited The Fringe And The Fray where Heidi got a vintage vase, and Tangerine, a super cute boutique where Heidi picked out a yellow tank (it's the color of the year, you know!) and a white cardigan. I raced to meet them for a fabulous lunch at Scratch-that is going to be our new repeat place to eat!!! I'm still remembering all the food I wanted to order but was too happily full to! I gave Heidi her gifts from me, mostly vintage finds, as Heidi is a modern girl with an old school appreciation.

We then made our way downtown for some extra birthday shopping and finally met at Downriver Grill on Northwest Blvd. for Heidi's traditional birthday dinner there. Love the DRG burger and fries with Wow. After dinner, we went to Heidi's vintage home on Audubon Park for cake and presents and all of the goodies she made for us! Who throws their own birthday party? Well, Heidi did and made it look so stylish, we all just hung around the table to eat the sweets and treats and laughed and talked until we were ready to go to bed to dream of lemon candies and Cupcake wine.

What a beautiful day with a beautiful girl. Heidi is one of those designers who I just eat up her work. She made eye candy for all of us to savor, but being with her and her generous spirit is always the real treat.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I Heart Spokane (Spo-can)

Well, it's official, I love our fair city. This week as spring has been blowing it's way into being, I've had the opportunity to get out and about around town to some of my favorite spots.

For my mom's birthday on Thursday I went again to lunch at Madeline's (yum Rueben and yum-yum lemon merangue tart!) in downtown Spokane, (across the street from the funky fun Thomas Hammer Coffee shop) and shop at two of the best spots for gifts and gifts for me- Atticus Coffee and Boo Radleys. My sisters and mom and I found some super cute finds including "Keep Calm and Carry On" products and awesome reproduction clocks that would make me happy to tell time by.

My dad took my two little boys on a walk to Riverfront Park while we shopped, the perfect choice for all of us! I've gone to that park since I was a child, even attended Expo '74 when I was all of 2, and my husband was there at a big 4! (We say we met there). By they way, I have quite the burgeoning collection of Expo memorabelia.

Friday night my husband and I actually got out on a date night (my sister is trading baby sitting for cat sitting), had appetizers and drinks at Twigs-such cool restaurants- watched a real movie (Babies), and even experienced a taste of our first First Friday! Apparently there is night life out there! We have small children and like to sleep at this time in our life, but it was really fun to know that a whole world of cool things to do exist in downtown Spokane at night.

Saturday (today) was a day made for junking, or I made the day into a junking day. Either way, my friend Christy was up for a turn around the city, so we hit some super fun estate and garage sales on the North Side, then stopped by to see my sister at Starbucks and discovered pink donuts!!! Please, must they tempt me more? I even had a custom drink (that's what they called it) to be poured into my "new" pink 2003 Starbucks mug I had just picked up at a garage sale.

We didn't have enough carbs, so we headed out to Chaps. Ah, Chaps. It would have been enough just to sit and adore Celeste Shaw's (the owner and proprieter extrordinairre) inspiring decorations, but I had to have one of their amazing cinnamon roles too. We also saw one of the new life size Farm Chicks signs while out there! (My Joy Harvest/Funky Junk booth and Christy's Ballyhoo Girl booth will both be at FC).

We headed to the Sister's Sale on the south hill...our "one" stop for the day, and had fun picking out a few treasures to take with us. Those girls are so fun. Christy and I also discovered that we truly are junk addicts, as we rationlized numerous sale stops along the way "home".

After small breaks home to hug our children and husbands, we met at Christy's house where I salivated over her junking finds and scrapbook inventory-there should be some really fun items at her booth at Farm Chicks. For me to buy, then we'll see what's left!

We headed out on Hwy. 2 to Airway Heights for a fun, fun Girls Night Out event at Gardenstone. Kelly Tareski was a perfect hostess with the mostest and cutest pink tutu! We got to see Emily from TinyBelles and ran into our friends, Debbie & Shelley, two of the Mermaids of the Lake girls! We had so much fun talking that we decided to take our talk on the road and hit the Rusty Moose down the road for some burgers and martini's. And yes, I had my very first ever Cosmo-so martinilicious!! Those Mermaid girls are so fun, and such creative, beautiful women. It was the perfect thing to do and perfect people to be with on Mother's Day Eve.

Now I'm in bed eating some cookies with pink (of course) frosting and feeling so grateful for this life that I lead, the boys who make me a mother and the people that God has placed in my very full and lovely life.

I heart Spokane and I heart junking. But I really, really heart my boys- my husband and all 3 of my "hearts outside of my body".

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Hooray!

Every May Day when my sisters and I were little, our mom would pick spring flower bouquets straight from her garden, wrap them in saran wrap and send us on our way. We would take the flowers, hang them on our neighbors doors, ring the doorbell and run like the wind to hide, leaving a beautiful surprise for our neighbors to find.

Since I have had my own children, I have tried to continue this lovely spring tradition on, usually with limited involvement from my rough and tumble boys. But today, I included them in the process. I'm not going to say it was smooth and neat, but it was a highlight of my day, and a kind act and memory of leaving beautiful surprises for their neighbors and aunties.

1. I gathered our materials-pretty much from the far corners of my house. Scissors, adhesive (I used scrapbook glue dots), hole punch, wax paper or plastic kitchen wrap, vintage clothes pins, twine, ribbon (vintage, from my vast collection), vintage wallpaper scraps (though any sturdy cardstock will work).

2. I rolled my wallpaper into cone shapes, and secured the top with a clothespin, then used my glue dots to secure other points of the paper. I then punched a hole on each side of the top of the cone and tied ribbon to form a "handle".

3. The boys and I cut fresh flowers from the yard and I made small bouquets. I wrapped the stems with a pouch of wax paper filled with a little bit of water and tied with twine.

4. The wrapped bouquets slid into our cones, and I added our "Happy May Day" tags-mine were written by my seven year old. I think that's it!

5. Now the fun part. Haden delivered one to our next door neighbor, and rang the doorbell, and even said "Happy May Day"!!, I delivered one to my sister (we drove around North Spokane for our extended delivery area), Finn (and I) delivered one to my friend, and Liam delivered our last gift to my youngest sister and her husband's door. (he asked me not to ring the doorbell, and he tiptoed).

A beautiful afternoon filled with beautiful surprises.