Cluttered

I am not, and never have been, a very organized person.
By organized, I mean NEAT.
It is not uncommon for you to see stacks and stacks of paperwork {albeit neat stacks} piled high all over the house, and me frantically digging through them trying to find some bill that is due today or an important letter that I “lost” in the pile.
I have a messy drawer. Several of them in fact.
My clothes are hardly ever hung in the closet…they usually end up in some kind of pile over the wingback chair and ottoman in our room or my dresser in my closet.
And let’s not even talk about my laundry room. :(
But I promise…I know the general location where everything is. Just finding it is a problem. But it is always there.
My lack of organizational skills is the thing that will cause me to have a nervous breakdown someday. My poor mother about pulled her hair out thanks to my pick up skills. If I heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “If you would just learn to put things back where you found them, you wouldn’t have this problem.”
But for some reason my Mom never understood that putting things back meant time and, thanks to my GREAT ability to CRAM a million and one things into a day, time was something I was always short of.
Never mind the amount of time it takes me to find things, however. I guess you can say it more than likely all comes out in the wash anyway.
SHEESH.
I know it has been said over and over that “An idle mind is a devil’s playground”…but I’m going to switch it up a little….
“A cluttered mind is a devil’s playground”. And I can prove it.
I find myself cluttered not just in my organizational skills…but at times mentally and emotionally as well.  I’m sure you have been there. You might be the neatest and most organized person on the planet, but if your mind is cluttered…FORGET IT.
I ran into a friend the other day during a MUCH needed shopping spree at Trader Joes {seriously, even the manager asked me how I got all that food in one cart}
My friend and her family attend a church one town over. The church has a very upscale elementary school, which her little boy attends. Since my husband is a pastor, I get a lot of “pastor stories”…you know… “my pastor did this and I can’t believe it what do you think I should do?” stories.
Well, my friend, who I love to bits, started sharing with me some frustrating and very hurtful things that her pastor has done recently. Her eyes started to tear up about some of things that were taking place…frustrating things that were obviously very hurtful to her and her family. She explained that since these situations had occured, she hadn’t been to church and how she missed it. She also said that she didn’t want to stop going all together because her son loves it and she didn’t want to harm her his spiritual growth.
And then she said it….
“Amy, I want to see God through all this CLUTTER.”
Wow.
Sometimes we forget that we live in a world that is completely human. When things go sour we so quickly want to point our fingers at people…but people make mistakes. We are not perfect. Just like how I will {probably} never be neat or organized.
I AM A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE.
And we live amongst other sinners saved by grace. Unfortunately, until God returns, it will be that way forever. We live in clutter. And it’s our job to find God through it all.
I will never forget about 9 or 10 years ago…I lived at home with my parents. I had just completed my credential program, I had no bills outside of my cell phone and small car payment, and I worked full time as substitute teacher. Money, for once, was not a stress. I had plenty of extra to spend on the weekends out with friends or on a new outfit.
But one day, I recieved a notice from my bank stating that my account was overdrawn by $600.
I WAS HORRIFIED… and I cried myself a river.
I laugh about it now, cause I know I had the money to pay it. Really, it was nothing then {of course now a $600 dollar oversight would be DEVESTATING, ha}, but I remember thinking I was such a loser. Kicking myself for balancing my checkbook wrong and missing that one particular LARGE bill that sent me over the edge. I sat outside on my parents back porch overlooking the Santa Rosa creek and cried and cried.
My brother Brad, who is a finacial genius and has always seemed to understand numbers better than me,  sat down with me and listened to me cry. I remember telling him that I was a loser and how in the world could I miss this? I remember telling him that I must be horrible with money. He said to me, “You’re not horrible with money…obviously you care and are still trying. Someone who is horrible with money wouldn’t even care, notice or fix it.”{see Brad you have great words of wisdom, even though after your MBA you would probably say that was bad advice, ha! :) }….
I think about that advice a lot because it makes me realize…
I’M STILL HERE.
Do you hear that world? I haven’t given up! So take THAT! I might be an organizational loser, but I still continue to pick up my house every day, straighten my little piles, and search for my paperwork. When my wingback chair starts to fall over due to the massive amount of clothes hanging from it, I put things away. When my closet is bulging at the seams thanks to my pile of clothes, I hang everything.
I’m not giving up.
So to you out there who feel burdened down by the CLUTTER…I challenge you, don’t give up. Keep fighting. Find God through it all.
And when you start to feel overwhelmed and think you are a loser, remember my brother’s advice…
You’re still trying.
Romans 12:2
 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Here’s a GREAT video of jake dancing  and playing his guitar to Jesus Freak, by Toby Mac. I think he was about 20 months here. I love the mess behind him! Wow! Seriously, I’ve gotten better about that mess, ha!….but he doesn’t even notice it {probably cause he created it, haha}. He’s too worried about being a “Jesus Freak” to care. God let me be like that.
And in closing…
My mind has been sooo cluttered lately. And so has my blog and pretty much everything else in my life, for that matter. I am sick of hoodies being mixed in with my family history. So I am starting a new blog for Evy’s Tree. To be honest, this is something I really didn’t want to do, but I think it will be best for my cluttered state of mind. I need some boundries between Amy and Hoodies. The blog is not up and running yet, but if you want to go over and follow it so you get notifications when it is current, then click HERE.
AND…if you and I are friends on facebook, I am no longer sharing Evy’s Tree info on my personal page. There is now a fan page. If you want to keep up with my little hoodie biz on facebook, I encourage to become a fan, if you haven’t already, by clicking HERE.
And lastly, thanks to my extreme frustration with my cluttered home, I am doing some spring cleaning. On Friday eve sometime, I will be listing a bunch of original hoodies and tees for cheap via paypal links on this blog. I will also be listing some of my personal items that I want to sell, such as brand new JCrew boots, some used Prada shoes, a Ralph Lauren tote and some kids stuff. I thought I would give my friends a chance at getting the stuff before I listed it on ebay. If you’re interested come back on Friday or send me an email.
I love you, my blog friends. Let’s see through the clutter together! :)
xoxo

New Hoodies for Spring

Just a couple of new hoodies:
The Brilla in Red
$49.50
Sizes available:
S,M,L,XL
This hoodie is limited and will not be made again. I have ONE hoodie per size.
The Brilla- Stripe
$49.50
Sizes Available:
S, M, L, XL
If you are interested in a true to size XL and XXL, please let me know
And …
The Mini Brilla- Red
$39.50
Sizes:
2,4,6,8
This hoodie is limited and will not be made again. I have ONE hoodie per size.
And lastly…what do you think about these?
Mini Spring Love
Made this one for a friend, but I am considering making some to offer in the shop…yes?
Mini Kate in Chocolate
I had one size 2 ordered by mistake so I thought I would make it into a Kate. It’s sold, but would anyone be interested in others? could do sizes 2-8
These will all be listed Monday night sometime.
Tee’s are listed. You can see more info about them HERE
xoxo

Tee Shirts!

Well, ladies and gentlemen…here they are.
The very first of my tee shirt line.
The Ribbon Tee
American Apparel charcoal polyester blend tee with a vertical pale pink organza ribbon twirled off the left shoulder. Finished with a pink bead.
Availble sizes: Small, Large
{runs true to size}
$34.50
The Kate Tee in white
American Apparel polyester blend tee with delicate hand cut jersey flowers on the left shoulder.
Available sizes: Medium, Large, X-Large
{runs a size small, I suggest ordering a size up}
$34.50
The Kate in Coffee
American Apparel polyester blend tee with delicate hand cut jersey flowers on the left shoulder.
Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large
{runs true to size}
$34.50
The Lacey
My favorite tee. American Apparel polyester blend in Apricot color with ruffles and lace combined to run vertically down the right shoulder. Just stunning!
Available sizes: Small, Medium, Large
{runs small, order one size up}
$34.50
I have ONE tee per size listed.
All tees will be listed in my shop by tonight sometime.
I have a couple other little tees for you and for your little one as well, which will also be listed.
Two new hoodies for mom and one mini hoodie will be listed tomorrow sometime, with a little blog blurp to follow. :)
Hope all my dear blog friends had a fabulous weekend!
xoxo

Toddlers…*SIGH*

The last 24 hours have been rough as far as my toddler is concerned.
 I AM SO DONE TODAY.
And it’s only 10 AM. :(
Lord help me.
My sister in law, Bryony, called me the other day and we chatted about some parenting books that she is reading to help with her newborn and his sleep patterns. She read to me the following excerpt from the book  The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg.
We were DYING. Seriously too funny. Since we both have a three year old within 6 weeks of each other, we seem to pass through the same stages of toddler life within a pretty close time frame, so we really, really could relate to this passage. I asked her type it out and email it to me.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
The Toddler Miracle Diet
Consult your Physician Before Following This Regimen
DAY ONE
Breakfast: 1 scrambled egg, 1 piece of toast with grape jelly. Eat 2 bites of egg, using your fingers; dump the rest on the floor. Take 1 bite of toast, then smear the jelly over your face and clothes.
Lunch: 4 crayons (any color), a handful of potato chips, and a glass of milk (3 sips only,then spill the rest).
Dinner: A dry stick, 2 pennies and a nickel, 4 sips of flat Sprite.
Bedtime: Throw a piece of toast on the kitchen floor.
Snack
DAY TWO
Breakfast: Pick up stale toast from kitchen floor and eat it. Drink half bottle of vanilla extract or 1 vial of vegetable dye.
Lunch: Half tube of “Pulsating Pink” lipstick and a handful of Purina Dog Chow (any flavor). One ice cube, if desired.
Afternoon: Lick an all-day sucker until sticky, take outside, drop in dirt. Retrieve and continue slurping until it is clean again. Then bring inside and drop on rug.
Snack
Dinner: A rock or an uncooked bean, which should be thrust up your left nostril. Pour Grape Kool-Aid over mashed potatoes; eat with spoon.
DAY THREE
Breakfast: 2 pancakes with plenty of syrup, eat 1 with fingers, rub in hair. Glass of milk; drink half, stuff other pancake in glass. After breakfast, pick up yesterday’s sucker from rug, lick off fuzz, put it on the cushion of best chair.
Lunch: 3 matches, peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Spit several bites onto the floor. Pour glass of milk on table and slurp up.
Dinner: Dish of ice cream, handful of potato chips, some red punch. Try to laugh some punch through your nose, if possible.
 
FINAL DAY
Breakfast: A quarter tube of toothpaste (ant flavor), bit of soap, an olive. Pour a glass of milk over bowl of cornflakes, add a half cup of sugar. Once cereal is soggy, drink milk and feed cereal to dog.
Lunch: Eat bread crumbs off kitchen floor and dining room carpet. Find that sucker and finish eating it.
Dinner: Drop pieces of spaghetti onto back of dog, insert meatball into ear. Dump pudding into Kool-Aid and suck up with a straw.
REPEAT DAYS AS NEEDED!
Jake’s playdough snowman that he made a dinner the other day…which I am quite sure he ate more of the playdough then the mac and cheese.
xoxo

Coming Part II

Apparently I had more to say after that first post this morning…
oh boy.
I have limited material but I have enough for one, maybe two more size brackets {S-XL} of the Grey Brilla.
I have the listing up in the shop for you to preorder/purchase, but please be aware that they will not be shipped out until May 3rd.
Again, is anyone interested in an XL or XXL? Please email me if so. :)
And The Anchor from the previous post is also up and listed. Again, you may purchase today/preorder, but they won’t be shipped until May 3rd. I do have at least two more size brackets {S-XL} of this item.
Once the preorders for BOTH the Anchor and the Grey Brilla are all sold out, that will be the LAST for these two hoodies, unless someone happens upon more of this material? :)
Also, I have created a facebook fan page *SIGH*. I have been persuaded. I really didn’t want to do it, but I am sick of my poor facebook page being littered with Evy’s Tree items. If you are not already a fan, I would love for you to become one by clicking HERE so I can stop advertising on my personal fb page. :)
And lastly, don’t forget, several new hoodie styles and tees  being released the week of April 26th-for both women and girls. I’ll post some pics this weekend for you.
xoxo

Coming….

So excited to report that I have found more anchor material.
There will be a full size range of The Anchor coming soon, hopefully the week of the 26th if I can get my sewing toushy into gear.
I might even have enough material to do some Mini Anchors in size 4-8.
And curious…would anyone be interested in a size XL or XXL in this hoodie? Comment or send me an email.
xoxo

I Might Be Brainless, But At Least My Hair Looks Cute…and a giveaway

I know, I know weird title.
But I’m brainless. I just had to share that.
I am so beyond mad at myself right now. I mean, seriously, I went to college, graduated with TWO degrees, recieved a teaching credential, taught elementary school, and managed to be a successful functioning adult for crying out loud. But it seems since I have had kids and quit my job, my brain has turned into mush.
Am I the only one who feels this way?
I forgot to do something VERY VERY important. I won’t bore you with the details as it probably won’t seem that big of a deal to you, but really, I am so sick of forgetting things. I need to start taking Ginko Biloba. Has anyone ever taken that? Please tell me it works?!?
Anyway, Brandon is patching up my mess as we speak. Surely someday I return to the smart, organized, on top of it Amy. I hope.
But for now I will be the sleep deprived, overworked and {if I do say so myself} loveable Amy. The mom who just spent the last 20 minutes kissing Jake’s foot after the chair fell on it and then covering the owey up with a Lightening McQueen bandaid. The mom who will spend her very exciting morning at Trader Joe’s trying to remember her grocery list.
I know you wish you were me. Come on, admit it. :)
So on to the title of this post.
If I’m going to be this braindead, I might as well package it all up with some cute hair accessories. For Evy, that is, not for me. Cause I kinda look silly in hair accessories. They just aren’t my thing. But Evy, well, since she doesn’t have much hair, its all about the accessories.
So I wanted to show you a couple and end it by telling you about one of my awesome friend’s giveaway.
First…
I am so very honored about this:

That is a beautiful headband that my friend Prenice made to match my Mini Brilla hoodie. Prencie has an adorable accessory shop called Princynparis and she very kindly offered to make a matching headband to match my most popular hoodie. She even made a clip so mom could get one too! Head on over and check it out by clicking HERE.

And them my little girl…

Isn’t she precious? She is wearing an adorable headband by Dainty Button. Dainty Button is run by my friend Charity and, like Prencie, she makes the most adorable accessories. Evy is wearing THIS headband. Here is a side view of it. I love my kids. They are best ever.

And last but not least…
A GIVEAWAY!!

Aren’t these adorable? They are made by my VERY talented friend Jenni. Jenni is someone I met through the blogosphere and is such a good friend. I can’t tell you how great she is…she sends me BOXES of Lola’s clothes for Evy. I mean, seriously, isn’t that awesome?!?

Anyway, Jenni made these FABULOUS clips and is giving some away on her blog. Please stop on by and enter the contest by clicking HERE. I just hope I win! :)

And in closing…if I am supposed to do something for you and I walk right up to you and carry on a conversation with you and not even mention the thing I am supposed to do for you{ahem, Danielle}, that’s a big clue:
I have forgotten.
So please, if you don’t mind, remind me. I’m really sorry. I don’t mean to forget.
And if you are one of those people who overdose on Ginko and have the memory of, of…sheesh I can’t even remember what animal has great memory!!! Anyway, if you are like that whatever the name is animal, please don’t tell me what I need to do to fix my problem. Due to the fact that I might break down in tears, only people with bad memories and sympathetic hearts may comment on this one. HA.
xoxo

Confessions of A Foodaholic

First things first….
Happy Anniversary to my dear, dear, dear friend Soshawna and her husband Elton! Wow…SIX years!?! I want to say it seems like just yesterday but to be honest, it seems worlds away that we both got married. What happened to us? I look back at these pictures and wonder, “Who IS that Amy?!?”
Me ironing SoShawna’s dress and my dad helping. He went with me to Hawaii for the wedding, to help me get there because I was DEATHLY sick with Broncitis. We had the best time. :)
Because THAT Amy knew how to use an iron. THIS Amy {2010 version} barely uses an iron unless its for her hoodies and I can’t remember the last time I bought spray starch- which used to be a staple on my grocery list.
HMMM….
So thank you dear friend for writing on my facebook wall this morning and reminding me it was your anniversary, ’cause you know me with dates…oh boy. HA. Happy anniversary to you and Elton. I hope you guys do something wonderful today…SANS KIDS!!! :)
Anyway… now that I got the most important preliminaries out of the way, all this turning the book back to 6 years ago has got me thinking.
About me and who I was then and who I am today.
And mainly about food.
I know that’s crazy to think back about yourself and come up with food, but I have a confession to make:
I LOVE FOOD
Seriously. Am I the only one?
I have had this love/hate relationship with food pretty much my whole life. I was known at one point in my life, to devor a whole bag of chips and salsa, an entire plate of fresh out of the oven chocolate cookies, an entire loaf of french bread lathered in butter, a leftover cheesecake sitting in the fridge, etc, etc.
I really, really love food.
But see, I also love to look nice. I like to be able to fit into clothes…and trendy clothes, which translates SKINNY because we all know that trendy clothes come in SMALL sizes. :(
So I have a constant battle on my hands: food or skinny?
Oftentimes we point our finger at the media {that alone is whole ‘nother post}, for all the pervasive glorifying of the unhealthy and un-natural “waif” look. The overall look of “Hollywood” is so unrealistic and unattainable for the “normal” person- it makes the natural beauties pale in comparisson to the painted, airbrushed, programmed look of the movies stars and supermodels.
As a youth pastors wife, I feel so frustrated for our young girls who get this type of brainwashing daily from TV shows, magazines, movies, billboards, even literature that is passed around at school. They all portray the “perfect” woman as tall, lanky, flawless skin… so unfair.
Call it crazy, but the battle is real. I know because it affected me.
As a teen and an early twenty something, I was on the front line of that battle. Fighting with counting calories, exercising, starving myself at night, eating only salmon and veggies for a long period of time…basically trying anything to make myself fit into “that” mold.
Food was the enemy, and if I mangaed to lose a pound a day, I was the victor. By the time I was 25, I somehow got my 5’7″ frame down to a mere 115 lbs…TINY for me. Sure, I looked FAB in pictures, but who are we kidding….I’m not a supermodel or a movie star. I’m a normal person who lives in REAL LIFE and in real life I’m sure I looked quite scary.
Right around that time I started dating Brandon. Bless his heart, he’s never had to count a calorie in his life. Have you looked at my husband lately? Seriously, how does a 30 year old man FIGHT to gain weight? Something is just wrong about that. But anyway, when I met him he thought the whole food battle was insane and just wanted me to eat a meal without worrying where it would end up on my body.
He taught me to not just love food, but love the eating of it too, and for once in my life I felt free. He never once complained if I ate too much or if I gained a couple pounds. In fact I don’t think he ever noticed if my weight flexuated. {At least that’s what he says…either that or he’s just a smart man and never says, ha!}  I would constantly ask him in the beginning of our relationship, “Can you tell I gained a couple pounds?” and he would look at me like I lost my marbles. And then he would go into the “you are fearfully and wonderfully made” and “God would never want you to focus so much on this” speech.
So I ate. And I didn’t worry about it. And I gained a little bit, but actually, not as much as I thought I would.
Food and I became friends.
Sooooo {don’t you just LOVE my loooonnnnngggggggg blogging?!? ACK!}…
Here I am, 33, *GULP* 34 in 3 short weeks, years old and I am ok with me and food. But now I have another problem. With age comes health concerns. Just overall wanting to live healthy so my kids have a mom thing. You know, live long enough to see my grandkids, etc. And futhermore, I am SICK of not being able to fit into my clothes thanks to some baby weight still left. I actually can’t stand it. I would just like to be able to wear a piece of clothing ZIPPED UP for once. {Yes, that is why I am always wearing long tanks, ha!}
So I am picking up the food battle sword once again. But this time, I’m not going to get crazy about it. I am starting with just eating right and exercsing, which I HOPE will help me lose my last little bit of baby weight and be able to fit into my clothes, hehe. This is such a hard balance for me as I don’t want to tip into the unhealthy fight with food. I have a wonderful food and exercise plan, that I can do all at home and takes no more than 30 mins a day, given to me by my friend Emily, who is a personal trainer. She has me on track. Really, I am trying to talk her into selling, for a small fee, her plans to moms who can’t make it to the gym or afford a personal trainer. She is awesome!!!
So there you have my wonderful food and weight diatribe. You can thank SoShawna for the trip down memory lane. And Emily, now you know. Ha.
And in closing: Hello, my name is Amy, and I am a foodaholic…..who is whole and fully loved by God-despite what I look like, saved by grace and lives completely in Him. That should say it all, I guess. :)
xoxo

Puppies!!

We have had an exciting week, that’s for sure!
Brandon had this week off. It was WONDERFUL! I forget what it is like to have all four of us at home for days time as we NEVER get a day anymore to just lounge around it seems. You would think that with both of us home we would have the most immaculate house on the block.
Nope.
Instead, the kids AND Brandon wrestle around, throw pillows, toss cereal at each other, race through the house and cause all kinds of rukus. The dishes get piled up and the laundry overflows- but we sure have fun.
So it’s all good.
But something very, very exciting happened this last weekend and I must share it with you. My sister and her family have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of a litter of puppies. Their beloved dog Bella has been waddling around for days and poor thing, has seemed awfully miserable. Well we found out why…after over 12 hours of labor, Bella delievered FOURTEEN puppies…yes, you heard me…that’s 14!!!!! Amazing. My sister, her family and some of her good friends were up all night last weekend delievering these precious bundles. Apparently it was quite an ordeal as several of them were breech and my brother in law had to resuscitate them. Unfortunately, one didn’t make it…but they were left with 13 healthy little puppies for all their hard work.
Bella is a beautiful throughbred, papered Golden Retriever. If you are familiar with the breed, you know that the amount of puppies she delievered is unusually high. Poor Bella is feeding non-stop and my sister and her family are helping relieve the load for Bella by bottle feeding as well.
Wowsers!
So since Brandon had the week off, we coudn’t resist driving over to Santa Rosa to spend some time with the new additions. Jake was especially excited. Here’s some pictures of our visit.
Jake seeing the puppies for the first time.
Checking out the litter….
The proud momma and some of her babies.
My beautiful sister and my Evy
Evy’s first look at the puppies…
These puppies get LOTS and LOTS of love. They are all held constantly. My nephew Brandon pretending to sleep like the puppy.
Upclose of one of the puppies. Isn’t he beautiful?
Jake’s first attempt at holding the puppy. He said,”Look at his little fingers Mommy!”
Me getting in on the fun.
Can’t stand the cuteness of these things. They smell sooo yummy!
Jake told my sister, “I have my own puppy!” and then asked Brandon to go get his fave stuffed animal from the car. He had to have him in the pen with the other puppies.
Jake’s puppy joining in on the feeding fun.
Finally, we had to get Evy in there for a touch.
If you are interested in the puppies, Pam and her family would LOVE to have you come by and check them out. The puppies are all purebreds as well and papered. They will be ready for a good home in 7 weeks. Please feel free to contact my sister, Pam at  pdoug447@gmail.com  if you are interested.
Hope you all had a wonderful week!
xoxo