Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Birth of Something New

Many of you who know me know how passionate I am about birth in every aspect. I love attending them, hearing about them, processing placentas, seeing birth pictures in all of their raw and gritty glory, and even giving birth myself! I have attended two births already this year and have a third on my calendar due in the next two months. I am finishing a placenta encapsulation today and my third birth will also include a placenta encapsulation. Placentas were never something that I intended to get into, but I quickly became aware of the need for an encapsulator in our area and...well...see a need, fill a need! Encapsulating last night and this morning, I realize that I love processing placentas, as well! When I text the owner of today's placenta asking for permission to use pictures on my blog or Instagram, it hit me that a great way to bring birthy awareness to the women of our community is by featuring the women that I serve on my blog! Each mama that agrees will write her birth story/placenta experience and be featured in a blog post. Some mamas may feature pictures, some may not. I really look forward to this new venture as a great way of documenting the amazing families that I work with, as well as sharing these lovely families' stories with any of you who read them! Stay tuned for some amazing stories!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Junk today, repurposed tomorrow...or later

If you are like me, you are a major procrastinator. No? Okay. Don't rub it in. Now, I don't procrastinate on purpose, mind you, somewhere along the line of cooking supper washing socks, "mom, can I have another glass of milk", completing the day's school work, "please go to bed, mommy is tired", fall into bed routine... it just gets lost in the cobwebs of my brain. I fall asleep thinking, "oh man, I really wanted to craft that today...*snore*"

You've been there, right?

Right?!

We have a tv stand that started as a cabinet when we first got married, eight years ago. In the plethora of moves, this poorly crafted (read: cheap) cabinet became less and less sturdy. The wardrobe portion that surrounded the tv and had doors on it became very, very wobbly. About two years ago, I asked Mr Crunchy to remove it so the crunchies wouldn't hurt themselves. Surprisingly, the stand itself remains quite sturdy, despite the enormously heavy tv that used to call that stand its home! Rest in peace, Hernia Maker. Next to go were the two drawers. They just did not hold together anymore and were difficult to open, not to mention nigh impossible to shut. So, I decided that I would remove the drawers and we would measure and cut wood to lay into the empty spaces and have shelves instead. Do you think we've done that yet? I hear you laughing, you have projects like this, too. I know you do. When I dismantled the drawers, I was surprised to find that the bottoms of these drawers were made of very thin wood. Holy crunch, I could repurpose them! Imagine my giddiness, imagine my unbridled glee! I already intended to repurpose the drawer fronts, now my possibilities were endless! So endless, in fact, that they leaned up against the wall. For months. And months. Mr Crunchy kept asking when I was going to put them to use and I would shoot him the look because I just had not had the time. I hear you laughing again, crafty mamas and frustrated daddies. You exchange this legendary "look", as well.

Well, today I can proudly announce that those cast off items have been put to use! Mr Crunchy is so pleased and excited to see that I have finished something! I am so proud of this project! I really love how everything turned out. My original plan had been to add grout powder to the paint and create chalkboard paint, but regular old trusty craft paint works fantastically without it--yippee!



Once drawer bottoms, these have become lovely chalkboard "shutters"! I haven't decided fully, but I think that they will find a home flanking the living room windows, hence referring to them as "shutters". I  also really love the bunting, I think it is a nice touch. Why are some pictures in the yard and others inside, the former being well lit and the latter being poorly lit? Simple, really...I ran out of paint and had to finish after Mr Crunchy came home from his night class and the children were in bed. Then we were gone the entire day the following day and today has been delightfully rainy, which doesn't typically lend to great photos. See? It's not like I try to procrastinate, it just...happens. Let's dub this accidental act "procraftinating".

Anyway, the top of the tv stand has now been painted a lovely minty aqua with teal and berry colored arrows painted in the bottom left hand 
corner. I also used Psalm 127:4 along the bottom edge to finish it off. I really love the finished product and I'm quite sorry to say that I don't have better pictures.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Laundry and dishes and--stop arguing!

After lunch today, I pick up a very sleepy baby and snuggle her until she is lulled into dreamland. After I am sure that she is down for the count, I inform the big girls that they should be quiet or else and I frantically begin to do a few chores. In the space of less than twenty minutes, I start a load of laundry, prep the next load, fold all of the laundry on the couch, aka the laundry holder, and unload/reload the dishwasher. I'm feeling pretty good about myself and about to tackle the living room floor when one child notices her big sister playing with an item that belongs to her. This item inspired a huge fight that Mr Crunchy had to deal with before he left for work, so I am super irritated that it is once again the reason for discord. As I am approaching the bedroom to reprimand the girls, Crunchy #2 lets out a huge scream of frustration towards Crunchy #1. Awaken Crunchy #3. Awesome. My "on a roll" has come to a screeching stop. The bigger girls are sent to clean their room while I snuggle Crunchy #3 back to sleep. I am now trapped beneath a sleeping baby and the kitten who adores her, unsure if I should be frustrated that I can't complete my tasks or happy to be snuggling. No matter, I've accomplished some housework, at least and she won't be a baby forever. ♡ To the mama out there reading this with a sleeping child on her lap and a house that looks like a FEMA disaster, you are not alone.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Goin' to the chapel

My husband's (aka Mr Crunchy) uncle is getting married soon and our three daughters will get to participate in his wedding! Mr Crunchy's uncle and fiance√® have requested that all of the great-nieces wear solid white dresses and that all of the great-nephews wear white shirts and khaki pants. How adorable is this going to be, right? All of those little kids (because it's a BIG family) lined up next to the bride and groom!  But, holy crunch, do you know how hard solid white dresses are to find? Ridiculously so. We recently ran all over town looking for said dresses, only to come up wanting. Enter, Matilda! Who is Matilda, you may ask? Why, she is my beloved sewing machine, of course! I purchased three long sleeved solid white shirts and two and a half yards of lightweight muslin and set to work to make t-shirt dresses. As I began measuring, the big girls specified that they wanted maxi dresses, so maxi dresses it is! I love making t-shirt dresses, they literally take less than 30 minutes per dress! There are dozens of tutorials out there, but the gist is to cut your shirt about three inches down from the armpit and use 1.5 to double the measurement of your child's hips in fabric in width, and your personal preference in length. Gather your fabric and pin to the shirt, stitch and add a sash. Tra-la! Some people serge the hem, but I use a traditional hem since I don't own a serger. After the wedding, I plan to trim the hem with a burlap and lace ribbon, add a coordinating bow to the front of the sash, and shorten the sleeves, adding a ruffled cuff that will make the sleeves 3/4 length. I may even add a ruffle at the neckline. These dresses will then be our holiday dresses, as I prefer non-traditional colors for holidays. I simply feel like they get more use out of them that way. I really love when I come across a project that is so simple and quick! How adorable do they look in these?!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Darkness

There are two kinds of darkness in this life.

The first one is comforting. It is the sort of darkness that envelopes you in a welcoming and soothing way. It is warm, soft, and cozy. You feel as if someone (the Father) is wrapping you in a fur coat and protecting you from the elements, from wild things that purpose to bring harm to you. This is a safe place.

The second is unlike it in every way. The second kind of darkness is cold and lonely. There is no comfort, no reassurance here. It is dark and cold, an unforgiving place. There seems to be no end to this space and this lends to the crippling fear that clutches your heart. This emptiness is so profound that you aren't even sure if there is a floor. You begin to fear that you are merely resting on a pedestal suspended precariously above an eternal abyss. You get the sense that you may be mere inches from the edge of this pedestal, but your fear grips you so tightly, that it paralyzes you and you are too terrified to stretch your fingers out and feel for the edge, so you merely huddle in your precarious place, quaking and shivering with fear. You have no idea how large this expanse is, the silence seems to echo in the emptiness, lending even more to your terror. Your heartbeat seems to vibrate your body, its pace fast and hard. You are vulnerable. You are alone. You are without hope.

I don't know about you, but I have experienced both places of darkness, one soft and warm, one empty and cold. But there is good news if you are in the place of emptiness: God wants to pull you into His warm fur coat and carry you to safety. His footsteps are solid, but soft. If you listen, you can hear him approach. Do not be afraid of His touch, He doesn't mean to scare or harm you, but to being you into His arms and carry you to safety.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Mayhem

Have you ever noticed that people go CRAZY over Fridays and the end of the workweek? They anticipate sleeping in, partying, eating out, and overall general merriment. Such is not the case for a stay at home mom. No. We stay at home moms half look forward and half fear Fridays. Why, you ask? Because our kids know that it's Friday. They know that Daddy will be home all weekend, that there's always some sort of activity going on, be it a birthday party, a church event, or a sporting event. They get excited about the things that Fridays and the weekend bring. This makes them behave like crazy people. Wait a second...kids always behave like crazy people. Let me re-phrase: this makes them behave like crazy people on CRACK. I see you through the screen, mama. I see you nodding along, chuckling under your breath, your hair a mess and your eye twitching. You know. You feel me. You are counting down the moments until your husband comes home from work so you can pee by yourself, right? Shhhh...don't laugh so loudly. The kids will want to know what's so funny and the answer, "an internet article" won't satisfy them. I know. I know because I am you.

Every Friday I rejoice that it's nearly the weekend, but, being a stay at home mom, I don't get a weekend, so I'm pretty sure that the only reason why is because my husband will be home for a few days and I really enjoy being with him. Heck, maybe the kids will fall asleep at a decent hour and we won't be too tired to have sex! But moms don't get to sleep in on Saturdays. I often get after my husband for sleeping in on Saturday mornings. Why? Because I'm jealous. Oh, I'll freely admit it. But after getting on to him a bit, I remember that I should leave him alone to sleep in because someone should be able to, even if it isn't me! After all, he deserves it as much as I do. Gone are the lazy Saturdays of old, however. We usually have to be out the door by noon to whatever event is going on that week. Not so tomorrow, however. Tomorrow it's 8:15. I'm really not sure how I'll pull that one off, too be honest. Saturdays and Sundays are a flurry of getting little girls dressed, doing their hair, finding shoes that somehow become lost in the middle of the night, and eating a nutritious breakfast, which is easy for the baby, who still breastfeeds. Half of the time, we run out the door with a box of organic cereal and two cups, plus a toddler who is crying because she wants milk in her cereal. Yeah...milk in the minivan...no mas.

Does the madness ever end? Why do stay at home moms still crave the weekends? Because it brings family togetherness, I suppose. It doesn't matter if we are playing a game of Story Cubes in our living room, or singing loudly to the Frozen soundtrack while driving, we are together. That's what matters, right? Right? Now pardon me while I go make yet another cup of coffee.

Happy Friday! (Maybe that is more like an insult...I haven't decided yet.)

Let's Start at the Very Beginning...

Welcome to Crunchy in Kentucky!  In this blog, I will be exploring crunchy living,  home birth,  breastfeeding, parenting, marriage, humor,  writing,  and,  most importantly,  chasing Jesus.  Join me on this crazy ride of Holy Crunch!