Spring Preview Week of Giveaways

Can I tell you I am SO EXCITED FOR SPRING!!!
I have got to say first and foremost, I love Spring. Could have something to do with the fact that I am a Spring baby myself…May is the best month in the world, Ladies and Gents. Seriously.
{However I won’t mention that my birthday usually gets clumped in with Mother’s Day and how Evy’s birthday now trumps mine by 6 days, ahem}
Anyhoo…
Spring is awesome. And so are Spring colors. Nothing better in my opinion. So because I love Spring so much, I am beyond excited to share with you the new Spring colors and looks coming. I have several new Brillas, Lacey Zip Ups, Simples and tees coming your way that I think you will love. I am especially excited to show you the brand new Evy’s Tree made from scratch Cozy Wrap. So perfect for those rainy days out running errands. Trust me, you will want one in every color!
Digressing, as usual…
So the Spring Preview Week of Giveaways…
I confess, I was supposed to get this blog post out yesterday and start previewing items today but it has been so foggy here {Valley fog is ungodly and stays for days with no break} and I have not had one chance to take any pictures. Plus our church has had a our Landmark Conference all week long, which of course we were all involved with. And then this morning {and this is by far the most exciting bit} my sister in law Charity went into labor and just gave birth to a precious baby boy. If you read my personal blog, you might remember this post, so you will understand why we are all happy and excited for this birth.
All that to say I am running a day behind. I know I know, no shocker right. I am ALWAYS a day behind. sheesh.
Anyway, TOMORROW MORNING, Tuesday, February 1, you MUST log onto this blog and onto our facebook page as you will have TWO chances to win what I am previewing tomorrow. Here’s how it will all work:
1. Everyday this week, starting Tuesday, I will be posting on facebook ONE picture of an item with a link to this blog post with more pictures and details regarding it.
2. There will be TWO giveaways. One on this blog and one on the facebook page
3. To enter in the giveaway on facebook, you MUST CLICK THE SHARE BUTTON underneath the picture I posted on the page announcing the giveaway and sharing the picture and blog link with all your friends and then come back and COMMENT UNDER THE PICTURE saying you shared. The share button is located under the picture like this blurry {sorry} screen shot shows:
THIS IS NOT THE PICTURE, THIS IS JUST AN EXAMPLE
4. To enter in the giveaway on this blog, you must do a daily blog post {can be very short and/or mixed in with your personal content} using one picture from the daily blog post and linking back to this blog and then come back and say that you did.
5. Don’t have a facebook page or a blog? No problem, just send out a mass email with a link to the daily blog post to all your friends and come back and comment under anonymous on this blog saying you did. PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR CONTACT INFO SO I CAN GET AHOLD OF YOU!!
6. For extra points, follow this blog and say that you did/do.
7. Can you do all of them? YES!! Here is the point breakdown:
Share Facebook picture, comment under photo/1 entry
Share blog post, comment on daily blog post/1 entry
Mass email, comment on daily blog post/1 entry
Follow blog, comment on daily blog post/1 entry
8. There will be TWO WINNERS chosen every morning and announced with the next daily blog post previewing a new item. You will only be able to win once, if you win, you are out for the week. :) What do you win? Your choice of size and/or color option of the item previewed that day.
CAPICHE?
Questions? Comment below and we’ll clear it up.
To get you ready for the fun, here’s a little picture taken of the scenery that my brother in law David is shooting for all the tees {there are about 20 different tees}….
And here is me with my brand new beautiful dress form. I am so excited about it, it arrived just in time. This picture says “TIRED” and “Ohhhh, that’s why I joined Weight Watchers Online” {which I did by the way, and lost a 1.5lb in the first day, whoohoo!}
Oh and that wrap I have on…that’s the Cozy Wrap{not the official name yet, ha}…will debut in others colors as this was our test run on a remnant of material.
So hang in there with me. Spring is coming I promise. I look forward to sharing it with you and will you please join us for the giveaways? Tell your friends, your neighbors, tell everyone! :)
xoxo
PS…almost forgot, the items previewed this week won’t be available for pre-order in the etsy shop until February 7.

Fall SALE….and shop info

Hello everyone!
I hope you are all alive and kicking. I have a bunch to inform you on, so grab a cup of coffee {or tea, or whatever it is you drink :)} and enjoy all the following:
1. HUGE FALL SALE going on over in the shop. Originally I was just going to mark down the fall items that I had in stock, but then I decided I would just mark down EVERYTHING I have in stock! So all my holiday items{with exception of Valentine Hoodies} are 40% off, fall items 20% off and items that are year round are 10% off. Sale will end February 4. Please remember: ONLY THE ITEMS I HAVE IN STOCK ARE LISTED. I will not be re-listing any year round items at the sale price. Also…not everything that is in the shop will be returning for Spring. What isn’t coming back you ask? Here are the items NOT returning to the shop, which means once they are gone, they are gone:
I have had several questions about some of these so let me answer them:
 Are you still going to have a Pink Polka Dot Brilla for Spring. Yes, I will have a pink polka Dot Brilla, however, the pink polka is much lighter than this one here, and it will be on a white hoodie. I will also have a pale blue polka on a grey hoodie and black polka on a black hoodie. The bright pink polka like the one above will not be made again, as long as I can’t find material for it that is.
Will you be doing the lacey tee and zip ups again? Yes, the lacey tee and zip up will most likely always be a staple in my line. It is one of my favorite items! :) The only ones that will not be returning will the be the red lacey zip ups and the long sleeve tees. I will have a large variety of colors in short sleeve lacey’s and perhaps some 3/4 length sleeve ones. For the Zip Ups I will have the following colors: black, brown, white, grey, army, and navy. For minis I will have the following: black, brown, navy, white and pink.
Will the simples be returning? Yes, I will always have simples as well. The only thing that won’t be returning will be the limited editions as Mrs Darcy and I work together to have new limited edition each season.
Will you be making the Black Zebra again? I have to be honest, I do not wear animal prints. However, I am always on the look out for good animal prints for those of you who do. The black zebra that is pictured above will not be returning {I think I only have one size 4 left!}, but I will have a very sweet black giraffe print that will be paired with a turquoise ruffle on a black hoodie. That will be previewed during the Spring Preview Week on the 31st.
Will the Black Jackie be returning? Yes. I have lots of that material and will carry it over through the summer and hopefully next fall. The Chocolate Jackie will not be returning.
Will you have a 3/4 and/or elbow length sleeve hoodies? Yes! For spring there will be a 3/4 length sleeve option available for all hoodies. Hoodies will come stock as long sleeve, but for a small fee {$7 or under, still playing with the fee} we will shorten your sleeves to a desired length. You can add that option to almost all the hoodies debuting in the Spring.
Hope that helps some!!
2. Have you entered in the Fabulous Fun Finds Best Of Giveaway yet? If not, you need to! Heather of FFF is amazing and always finds the best stuff to team up with and give us all an opportunity to win some pretty cool stuff. Evy’s Tree is participating in the giveaway, which means you could win an in stock hoodie of your choice! Not bad, huh? So head on over by clicking HERE and enter!
3.  I have spent over 12 hours {and 100 + listings!!} reorganizing the shop all by size options. I’m not sure how this will work, but will try it for this sale. I hope that it will make shopping for you a bit easier…no worries about adding size in notes to seller, you just purchase the size you want and you’d be done with it.  Also, you will know exactly what I have in stock as the item re- lists itself if I have more of it in stock. If you want to purchase two of one item? No problem now as long as I have it! But my fear is that with so many pages to search through, it might make shopping a bit of a cluttered mess for you. I am wondering how you feel about this? I covet your thoughts and opinions on this subject and would REALLY like some feedback, either by comments on this blog and/or fb or even an email. {I can’t promise I will return all the emails however! :)}….either way, would you let me know how you feel about the size listings?
4. Let’s talk shop. Oh boy. If you follow my personal blog, you might already have guessed this was coming, but I had a long talk with Brandon about my work load. I know its crazy, but I work from about 8 AM until close to 9:30PM, sometimes into the wee hours of night, with breaks of course. Either my laptop, my blackberry or my ipad is connected to my hand at all times. I even sleep with my blackberry. I think most of you would agree, this is not a healthy way of living.
So I have been trying to streamline. And here’s what I have come up with:
Email hours: I have email hours now. I am trying to only return emails between the hours of 9-5 on weekdays only {Mon- Fri}. Chances are, if you email during off hours, you will get an auto reply saying I am out of the office. Please respect this and if you receive this email, understand I am trying to give my undivided attention to my little ones and my amazing husband. Thank you in advance for your patience in this area.
Shop Hours: I am strongly considering setting shop hours. The shop would be open Monday- Friday, but will close Saturday and Sunday. I’m curious, would this be a problem for you as the consumer? Typically, weekend online sales are never very good as most of you are out and about enjoying your weekend, not sitting at a computer. But I am wondering what your thoughts are on this.
No backordered items:  It is very likely that I will not be listing any backordered items. Which means I will be carrying in stock items only. I prefer to get items to you quickly and efficiently and it is a big headache for me to try to keep track of orders that need to be made as well as run the shop. When you order something that is in stock, I just pull the item and ship! That way I can keep all my seamstresses working on keeping the shop stocked instead of playing catch up. I really am leaning towards this option but will keep you all posted on this….
5. Lastly, DON’T FORGET: The Spring Preview Week of Giveaways!! I will be previewing all my new Spring items on facebook and here on this blog starting this Monday, January 31. You are not going to want to miss this. EVERY DAY you will have a chance to win something! Not bad, huh? I am very excited about this collection. Previously, I had to create items based on the color hoodies I could get my hands on or the material I could find. This Spring, I am so happy to announce that the things I am introducing to you are completely ME. They come from my heart, things I would wear {well, maybe with a few exceptions :)}, and items that I think will be cherished by moms and non moms alike. I’ve very excited.
Well, that’s it from me! Thanks for listening. I hope you all aren’t feeling a little overwhelmed by all the reading. Thanks again for your love and support. It means the world to us!
xoxox
OH PS….the shop will be closed tomorrow morning until the evening. I will be selling Evy’s Tree at Ladies Day Landmark for those of you who will be there….come see me! My prices will be at near wholesale, just for that day only.

Convicted

This morning, as I do every morning for about ten minutes or so, I woke myself up by browsing my google app on my phone. Usually I try to catch up on some of my blog reading, since I never have time to do it during the day (and which is why I hardly ever comment since I have the hardest time commenting through my phone). Sometimes I read the news and I almost always I glance at my emails to see what kind of day my day will be(I always can judge my work load by my massive, or lack of, emails). One thing I never do is read my Bilble first thing. I know some might criticize me for this, but I use my phone reading to make myself wake up. Something about reading perks my mind right up, something about words do that to me…but it does take quite a while for my mind and eyes to work properly. Like at least 15 mins! Ha. Half of the time I can’t even remember what I read. So I reserve my Bible reading for when my mind and eyes are more awake.

Anyway, I digress….

So this morning, while I was scrolling through my blog subscriptions, I came across Jake and Mandy’s current post Wants and Needs.
….(I’m posting this from my iPad so hopefully the link came up right)…

WOW! Do you read their blog? If not, you should. Jake and Mandy are acquaintances of ours, they attended Bible College here in Stockton and I met them while they were here. After Bible College they worked at a local church in Merced where they felt the calling to work with missions(hope I’m getting this story right!). Anyway, last year they sold everything, drove across country to live with Mandy’s family so that they could raise funds to spend a year abroad. Through a series of events they ended up in Uruguay. They just arrived there a couple weeks ago and I have been following along with their adventures through their blog.

So back to their current post. It’s AMAZING. It will bring tears to your eyes and will remind you what life is really about. It also made me think…and remember. Remember that passion that forced me into youth ministry and made me love it so much. It made me remember my calling. I don’t think I’ve ever shared on this blog why I work in youth ministry, but I think today would be a good day.

It’s very simple, really. When I was 12 years old I had a dream. I’m not one who really claims having dreams often. In fact I’ve only had a handful of dreams through my life that I think I actually remembered when I woke up! Ha. Anyway, when I was 12 I had a very vivid dream. In the dream I had long hair, something I didn’t have at the time, but something I cherish now. In the dream I was in my then backyard, which was a huge courtyard surrounding a pool and a tennis court (Lower Ridge Rd property for those who have known me since grade school). In the backyard was hundreds and hundreds of young people and I was walking around talking and mingling with them. Praying with some, laughing with others. Again I say, it was by far one of the most vivid experiences I have ever had.

When I woke up, I KNEW what God wanted me to do with my life. From there on out, when someone asked me what I wanted to do with my life, I told them, “Be a youth pastor’s wife”. As time went by I did other things, worked in the retail world, went to school, became a teacher, but I always volunteered with youth in some way, shape or form. They were my heartbeat.

When I started dating Brandon, he was working in the city and I was teaching. Youth ministry was never brought up. But one night, Brandon and I were talking on the phone and I will never forget what he said to me…”Would you ever consider coming to Stockton and working with the youth at CLC(his home church) with me?”

It was at that point I knew what I was supposed to do. See Brandon knew he was called to work with the Stockton youth, and I knew I was called to work with young people…and well, the rest just clicked.

We got married and 6 months later Brandon stepped into the roll of youth pastor at CLC. We have been there ever since.

So back to Jake and Mandy’s blog….

After I read it I started thinking about my calling. Remembering that same passion Jake and Mandy feel about missions, except mine was for youth. Part of me was convicted. I have been so busy, with my kids, my new little business, that often I feel like I haven’t been able to be the youth pastor’s wife I was meant to be. But today, during my daily Bible reading was about Joseph. And I started thinking about how he knew what his calling was(to save his family) but he went through so many different stages in life. Sometimes I’m sure he wondered if he would ever accomplish what he felt called to do. But he does. And I thought about me. And how callings, although remain the same, do morph and change. And how right now God has lead me down a road that is more focused on my kids than on young people.

But the calling is still there. And young people will always be my heart beat.

And then I started thinking about how people must look at me. What they must think. How they must wonder what’s going on when I sit in the back row at church with my crazy kiddos. How I barely make it on time to church thanks to my kids. How I spend most of youth service outside, thanks…once again…to my kids. How I work, thanks to my kids (and God, this is His business). And wow, it got me thinking…how many of you think I have forgotten my love for teenagers? Or maybe even, God forbid, think my spiritual fire has gone out? Maybe even thought I was (such a horrible word) backslid?

Be not deceived…my calling, my love for God, my PASSION, it’s still there. And always will be. But right now, God has allowed my calling for young people take second base to my kids. Like Joseph, the calling is there, but you maybe can’t see it completely at the moment.

And then, I felt CONVICTED. See, I used to judge those so harshly who maybe had been in the ministry, but moved on and did something else…maybe because they needed to support their families, or they felt God close a door on one ministry and they were waiting for another door to open. Like Joseph. Like me.

So God forgive me. And to those of you who I have judged, forgive me. And if you are one of those people whose ministries have changed, maybe morphed, keep your head up high. You are still called. You are still chosen. You are still loved. You are not less of a person or not good enough. You are like Joseph. But just remember…don’t forget your calling while you are waiting in the prison. Stay true to it. Always remember it, because in that memory you will find the passion it takes to succeed in life.

Like me. And like my youth ministry calling. It keeps me going. It gives me life.

Much love to you all….

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

How Are You…

….REALLY?
You know, I find that phrase {How are you?} very interesting. This past week I have been asked that by several friends and before I responded, I hesitated. I mean, come on, do you REALLY want to know how I am? Well, I’ll tell you. I’m:
Tired
Stressed
Frustrated
Insecure
Annoyed
Tired {oops did I say that one already???}
I’m sure you’ve been there too…but you know, you never say. I mean who really wants to hear all that, and to be honest, {here’s my skepticism stepping in} I have a hard time believing anyone really cares?
It’s funny I feel this way, as when I ask it, I DO care. There are very few times I ask someone flippantly how they are. Usually I just say, “I hope all is well” if I really don’t want to know all the juice in their life. ha. But if I ask, “How are you?”, I usually really mean it. 
So why do I second guess other people asking me? And why do I feel I can’t really say how I am?
I’m sure, if you are a woman, you completely understand the VERY WIDE range of emotions that we feel on any given moment of our lives. Almost anything can affect our moods, even the moon. {if you don’t believe me, think about how you were feeling on Wednesday night when there was a full moon…right.} In fact, I don’t always feel the above listed emotions. Most of the time I feel:
Happy
Blessed
Thrilled
Giggle-ly
Chosen
Elated
HAPPY
And on those days, I can tell you that with no fear or regret. Strange, huh?
Anyway, this is all really rambling compared to what I really want to talk about in this post, but it’s definitely a prelude. Because you see, I have two jobs {I know we talk about this a lot}. First I am a mom, and second I am a…. hmmm?? Not really sure. ha. Anyway, I work. 
And both jobs require A LOT of attention and time. And I think, since I seemed to start my second job right after I started my first for the second time, I have been living in a VERY chaotic state for quite some time. But I’m beginning to feel a little more balanced. I feel like my head is starting to think a bit more clearly. I don’t feel so completely overwhelmed and I do feel like I have control of my life not the other way around. That is a GOOD feeling.
So back to the beginning of this post. The past week I have been feeling a bit down, thank you very much. A couple things happened that really made me frustrated, annoyed, insecure about myself and really just TIRED. Sheesh. So instead of dwelling on it, I have been focusing on two things:
1. Faith.  
I love the NIV’s version of Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the confidence of what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.”
2. Organizing!
 Ha! I know crazy. But my life is so amazingly packed that I am looking for ways to streamline, simplify, etc. Which brings me to the point of this post.
I work out of my house. You should it on a daily basis. Today my little couch in my living room, where I do my daily devotionals, looked like this:
What I love about this picture is you see my slipper there in the corner, which apparently got moved from where I keep them thanks to Evy, and the kids little laptop over by the window…probably put there Evy as well as she likes to pretend she is on the computer while I am. {Side note: I do wonder if being on this computer almost 24/7 like I am is going to give me some sort of cancer?? ha. I seriously would love to do a little research project on THAT one!! :)}
Anyway, I have talked about it for well over a year, maybe even longer, but I am going to take some drastic measures to make this little work area that I practically live in more organized and palpable for me to live in on a daily basis. Want to hear my thoughts? Well, thank you! 
So my dining room table and sideboard. I work off them. I LOVE them. They were my Nannies. I forget the name of them, but they are very well made and are worth a lot of money. But they are a medium color wood. Right. I’m not really a medium color wood kinda girl. You can read more about my thoughts on them from this post.
I LOVE WHITE, as most of you know, and I have gone back and forth about painting that table and sideboard white for years. See the last week or so I have started thinking more about my work environment. You know, how can I make myself a little more at peace in a very chaotic world? And the first thing that came to my mind was this table. Crazy I know. But seriously, when I step into the world of Rachel Ashwell Shabby Chic, I FEEL AT PEACE! 
 All images from shabbychic.com

So I think I just might take the plunge. I think I’m finally going to do it. Paint the table and side table. Just have to ask Dad first. Oh boy.
But what I AM going to paint is my computer cabinet. I don’t really have a picture of it for you, but is a very dark wood, probably mahogany. I got it because our room, amazingly enough, has dark wood accents. Its the only place in the house that does. So the cabinet matches the room very well. But I no longer work out of my room. I work out of my living room. And I have the perfect place for the cabinet, where I could house all my paperwork, printer etc. 
The only dilemma is that it’s right where I put the Christmas tree every year. :( But no worries, I told Brandon it couldn’t be that hard to move the cabinet once a year, right?? ha!! 
Anyway, I want it to look like the cabinet below {minus the glass windows}, in fact I want the whole room to look like this:
image shabbychic.com again
And before I move on, let’s talk about the sofas in my living room. They are in desperate need of new slipcovers, so I’m going to see if I can get my mom in law to help me make some, as well as get new stuffed down cushions for them…. 
OK…
Lastly, my Evy girl. She’s kinda driving me nutso as she is INTO EVERYTHING. Jake never opened one cabinet. I can prove it as we never even put locks on the cabinet. Evy…well, you can’t leave one thing on the counter as she will find her way to it and you don’t want to know what she will do with it. So I am determined to make her room more play friendly. You know, someplace I can lock her in and she can’t get out… {oops, did I say that?}
So for her 2nd birthday, my parents are going to go in with us and get her the pink pottery barn kitchen. Who DOESN’T LOVE Pottery Barn Kids? Seriously awesome place!
all images from potterybarnkids.com
So in order to fit that in her room, we need to move things around a bit. Also we need to make the room a bit more kid friendly. I’m doing this by emptying out her changing table/cabinet and putting baskets in there for her to pull out and put all her toys in. Also the hope chest from my Grandma will house all her dolls and lastly, I’m going to find a bookcase like this one {or might as well find one that needs to be painted while I’m painting all this other stuff, haha} to put all her books.
I’m also going to make her one of these to hang behind her door for her gazillion hair bows and clips
But I want it to look like this one that is on the door. Same colors would be awesome
And someday, when its time for a bed, she’ll get something like this frame. I LOVE this frame! But her room will be all shabby chic, I have to say I’m a bit sick of the bright bedding! oh boy.

 There you have it. I feel so much better about my life just thinking about all this organizing! ha. 
So I guess I should close with this: if you ask me how I am…
I am a little stressed, tired, and a bit annoyed, but I have hope that everything in the future is going to work out and I have faith in God that He has my life worked out completely. So with that said…
Let the organizing begin!

Oh PS…my book keeper Jen? Well, she’s pretty much amazing. She organized my entire filing system, which was a CHORE. Thank you Jen! I step forward! xoxo

Valentine’s Hoodies

Hello everyone, let’s talk Valentine’s Day for a minute. :)
I have very fond memories of Valentine’s Day. I must have been in grade school before the pre-made Valentine cards were really popular because my friends and I always made ours. My mom always got these white heart paper doilies and we would make the cutest little Valentines. I would then go through the bag of conversation hearts and tape two {each person always got two! ha} hearts that said exactly what I felt towards that person. Like the guy I liked ALWAYS got “I love you” and my friends got “Call me”, etc! ha. I have no idea if anyone ever figured out the hearts were meant for them, or if they ever read them to begin with, but it sure was fun! I’m hoping to make some valentine’s with my kiddos this year as well.
Also, my mom made this amazing strawberry cake in the shape of a heart. If you follow my family blog, you will probably see that come up sometime during the month of February. :)
So ok, hoodies…
Confession: I do not like red. Sorry! I think it has something to do with my pale, freckly skin and dark hair, but it just does nothing for my looks! :) I can appreciate it though and I actually think red looks really cute in it’s place. So for the Valentine’s Hoodies you will some red mixed in.
Also, I must admit, I’m not much of a holiday clothing person. I really feel its a big waste of money to buy a holiday sweater and wear it for one day only {or one week, or however it is you do it :)}. So this holiday I did you a little favor: the “themed” hoodies a much cheaper than normal. At least $15 cheaper. How’s that for a deal? :)
And the rest of the hoodies are ones you can wear throughout the year but switch up a little…I think that’s a good trade off, yes? So here we go:
The Valentine Day Simple Collection {all brooches from Mrs. Darcy}
$72.95
Sizes S-XL, Unisex large, xl available
 
The Red Simple Valentine’s Edition
10 available- any size
Red simple with a lovely orange, hot pink and red silk brooch
The Grey Simple Valentine’s Edition
10 available, any size
Lovely grey with a silk pale pink brooch finished with mint green toile and a pearl.
The Black Simple Valentine’s Edition
5 available, any size
Black Simple with a beautiful houndstooth flower with red and black velvet flowers alongside, and black velvet ribbon.
The Love Collection
$49.50 adult
sizes S-XL, Unisex large, xl
$39.50 minis
sizes 2-6
 
The Grey Love
I have a little soft spot for this one. It’s super cute in person and oh so cozy. The eyelet lace trim I used is a poly blend so it will stay nice and crisp even after washing.
The Red Love
This is definitely a fun one. Despite my dislike for red, I have to admit, these are DARLING. They look like little Valentines. I’d have to say, if I was still teaching, I would probably get this hoodie to wear on Valentine’s day in the classroom. The kids would LOVE it!
And lucky for you, I sewed these at like one in the morning and wasn’t really thinking clearly, so I made a couple mistakes on the heart part. It’s not noticeable, but in some areas it does pucker a little, which makes it not perfect. :( So these little babies are up for grabs for a little more than cost. Hope that someone out there can love them. :)  I have an adult size small and a mini size 4.

Sizes



I’m not entirely sure how many Love’s I will be able to list. I have to run to another fabric store and try find more eyelet lace trim, I bought Joann’s out! :) I will keep you posted. As for when these will all be listed, I am planning on putting them in the shop Friday afternoon around 2 PM PST.  If it will be a different time, I’ll do an update on facebook and also post a little note on the blog.
See you Friday everyone!!
xoxo

Happy Birthday Jacob!

Today my precious little man is four years old. FOUR!?! Can you believe it? I have no idea where time has gone, but I sincerely could not imagine it going at all without this little boy. He truly is so full of excitement every day!
Did I ever mention that Jacob was induced? Well, he was. Not because he was late but because Brandon was scheduled to be out of town the week Jake was due, and although he had a backup plan of not going, my Dr gave me the option of inducing Jake 5 days early. So I took it. I was sick of being pregnant, I mean come on, who isn’t that last week? Right, it’s silly I know. 
Anyway, I went into the hospital the night before the whole procedure and had that cervix loosing stuff. Sorry can’t remember the more polite name for it, but anyway, it kicked my labor in gear and I went from a 1 to a 3 pretty painlessly, in fact I felt practically nothing at all. My Dr came in a broke my water around 3 or 4 cm at 8 am and I was given pictocin. I was in active labor for about 4.5 hours when something went wrong. Jake’s heartbeat stopped. And then it would start again. And then it would stop. 
Alarms went off and nurses came running in, turning me hoping to get Jake back to normal. My Dr came in a few minutes later and quickly informed me of my greatest fear, they were prepping me for a C-section, Jake had the cord wrapped around his neck. I was dilated to a 7. They stopped my labor and rushed me down the hall, passed me onto the cold, sterile operating table and just as the Anesthesiologist was about to give me the spinal tap, my dr hooked Jake’s heartbeat up to the monitor and it was normal. She quickly checked me and I was a 10! I went from a 7 to a 10 in 15 mins. {Did the same with Evy, guess that’s my body’s way of getting things done. :)}.
My Dr, bless her heart, stopped everything, and told me we were going to try to deliver Jake right there on the cold table. 30 minutes of pushing later, I had a long, skinny, screaming boy. He came out talking and really hasn’t stopped talking since! :)
Anyway, I say all that because have you ever thought about how much your children are like their birth stories? Oh boy, that Jacob, he will dilly-dally all day long, but when I pull out the “spoon”, that little boy kicks it into high gear. HA! And Evy, well someday I’ll tell you her birth story, but in a nutshell: she was 6 days early and came in 2 hours. Right. Determined and curious about life would describe that girl. 
So back to Jake, that kid. He is the sweetest thing on the planet. And he will just make your heart melt. At least he will eventually. Before the heart melting he will most likely make you so irritated at him that you could just hand him over to the first gypsy bandwagon to knock on your door {my threat to him constantly, ha}. But I sincerely never could. He is such a keeper and I love him with my whole heart!
So his birthday…
I believe that birthdays should be the best day of the entire year as you usually don’t have to share it with anyone and your parents can afford to spoil you rotten. And Jake got spoiled today. I loved seeing his super happy face all day long. It just made my month!
We started the day off by taking Spiderman cupcakes to Jake’s class…too cute! And we finished the day off with family and Jake got to pick two friends {Ava and Alayna counted as one, ha} over for a superhero themed party which included cake and gifts. Oh, and I’m going to confess here, I am so tired to edit any of these photos. I’m sorry, I’m not the best photographer, but if I wait until I have edited all these pictures to post them, um right, there would never be a post. So brace yourself, but very raw, someone dark and unedited photos coming at ya. Hopefully you can appreciate the spirit of it all! :)
The class waiting for us to arrive…

Getting fitted for his birthday crown… this is Miss Becky, Jake’s teacher. He loves her!

SO excited!
Brandon seemed to think this random picture was very important. ha. Very Toy Story-ish if you ask me. What does this doll do at night?  :)

Seriously the sweetest thing ever. He kept hugging me and saying, “thank you Mommy!!”

 Picking two toys from the birthday box

He chose a silly straw and some sidewalk chalk

Miss Kris helps Jake pass out the cupcakes

Jake’s cubby, with Pug, his fave stuffed dog who went to school with him today and his birthday gift from Miss Becky.

Singing to Jake…

Best day at school, ever!

 Guess what was the first thing he wanted to do when we got home?? ha.

Mumsy and Evy waiting for Jake to open his first gift of the evening before all his friends arrived. 

Yup, a Spiderman costume to wear that night.
Excited to see Grandma

My dear friend Elisha brought her two girls dressed like SuperWoman. Jake was SO EXCITED to say the least! 
The gang, minus cousin Angel, Dylan and Jude. 
L-R: Cousin Scout, Jake, Alayna, Ava, Dawson and Evy

Jude spent most the night searching for the foam letters and trying to run away from Evy, who was so excited to have someone there her size!! :)

WOWSERS! Total chaos!

Wolverine ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins.

Waiting anxiously for cake and blowing out the candle

Happy group!
Auntie Charity and Uncle Bryson. Did I mention Auntie Charity is about to have a baby any day? She’s looking pretty good to me!

Everyone’s got to check out the gifts!

And the winner gift for the night. THESE TOWELS. I know crazy. My kids needed towels so badly that I ordered two for Jake and one for Evy. She has the mermaid. I have not bought Jake towels since he was a year old and Evy has never had her own. It’s time. 

Dawson loved the pirate one!

Last but not least…the spiderman glove from Elisha and girls. Came complete with two cans of silly string which Brandon promptly started squirting around the house, to the kids delight. Right. You can see my thrilled face in the background!


Thank you to everyone who made Jake’s day super successful and thank you Jacob, for being a part of my life. I love you so much!
xoxo

My Life…

So it’s been a while. How are all you fellow bloggers? 
It’s been rather hectic around here. Evy’s Tree turned one on January 8. Can you believe it? If you have been following this blog since the beginning then you more than likely remember my crazy start and spastic lifestyle following. I talked about it on the Evy’s Tree blog, which you can read HERE. I celebrated the one year adventure with a day long sale in which I sold SIXTY NINE hoodies! That’s the most I’ve sold in one day, putting my year sales close to 750+ hoodies. Pretty amazing….and to be God be the glory since this is definitely His business and not mine. I feel so honored that He would trust me with it and have really enjoyed where He is taking it.
All that to say, I’ve been meaning to blog, but just never had a few minutes to do so. I really have so much on my mind…thoughts, ramblings, ideas, kid stories and more importantly, I have my Christmas and Disneyland pictures I want to show you all {if my sister would just upload all the pictures to Kodak I could actually share them! ha}. Keeping my fingers crossed I will be able to do this very soon.
In the meantime, we over here have been battling sickness right and left. I’m not kidding…my kids seriously catch every virus there is under the sun. And I promise, we wash our hands, sanitize, take massive amounts of immune boosters and whatever else we can do, but apparently it isn’t working. My Dr keeps telling me its because of Jake’s first year in school. I’m hoping that is true and that next year it won’t be so bad.
This week Jake caught the cold first with a runny nose like a faucet and lots of coughing and sneezing. I felt so successful that I FINALLY got him to learn to blow his nose and was so hopeful that this time we wouldn’t get a sinus infection like usual. On Thursday he seemed much better and went to school, but when Brandon picked him up, Jake complained that his ear hurt. 
Sure enough…ear infection. FAB. 
Also on Thursday, Evy came down with a low grade fever. I kept her home from day care and watched her. Fever rose to over 101 on Friday, so got her in to the Drs for an ear check. Nothing. Friday afternoon she woke up from her nap with a 103 + temp, which stayed with us through Friday night and into Saturday morning. Thankfully our Dr’s has an urgent care open on Saturday mornings so I took her in and good thing I did as she also had an ear infection. Later last night her temp rose to 104.8!!! YIKES! I have never had one of my kids with that high of a temp. I frantically called my sister {who’s a Ped’s RN} and asked what I should do?? {Yes, I know I momentarily claim insanity, I really did deep down inside know all was well, but it’s so nice to have someone to panic to, ha!}….
One long night later {Evy woke up every 1.5 hours screaming}, and one good throw up later {I think every bit of milk she had on Friday came up}, her fever finally broke this morning and she seems much better.
Thank God!
The bummer about this whole sob story was this weekend was our youth’s first Winter Prayer and Bible Retreat. The retreat is for high schoolers only and was open to the first 30 people who signed up. It was designed to be very intimate and a time where kids could focus more on prayer and Bible reading, ask questions, interact with each other and just all around grow a little closer to God. The retreat was from Friday night to Sunday morning and Brandon had packed it full of classes, devotions, etc, that apparently the kid didn’t even have time to frequent the snack bar, which is AMAZING! ha. Jacob Perieda, a long time friend of ours, was the speaker and oh boy, I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t looking forward to this weekend! I had my mom in law all set up to watch Evy so I could go up with Jake and enjoy it. 
And….guess who had to stay home?!? ME. 
WAHHH!
I was super bummed. Brandon took Jake anyway and I spent most of Friday near tears that I was going to miss it. I’m sure all of you have heard my frustrations about not being able to be involved like I would like with our young people. Well, I really started feeling sorry for myself. But Friday night, as Evy held onto me so tight while sleeping, I thanked the Lord. I was so thankful that I was able to be there with my precious baby girl and I felt so grateful that she wasn’t sick all the time and that for the most part I have a healthy baby. And that God has given me the the amazing opportunity to be a mother. 
Plus it’s one of the first weekends that Evy and I have had alone. And boy, did we have so much fun! And so did Jake and Brandon…
And so I entitle this post, “My Life” as I am realizing this week {ok this year} that my life is my kids. And you know what, I’m ok with that. I some pretty awesome kids. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world….
Evy LOVES to play kitchen with her new Christmas gift from Auntie Brittony and Uncle Shawn.

The motto for this blankie should be, “don’t leave home without it” as she drags it EVERYWHERE.

Oh wow, my house. Daily occurrence here… :(

Muscle man showing off. He’s going to have to do a lot to make those skinny little arms pop up. ha. Skinny Bones is what I call him.

“Mr. Potato Head and his bucket of fun…”

Caught jumping on the furniture, those little boogers.

Caught again, this time fishing in the dirty dishes…

And tossing the water all over the kitchen. FAB.

And my husband, have I told you how awesome he is? Last week he organized my spice cabinet…
And he lets the kiddos crawl all over him. They love him so much!

Well folks, that’s my life!
xoxo

Happy Birthday!!

Yesterday, Evy’s Tree turned one year old!!
Before I get carried away down memory lane, I just wanted to inform all my blog friends 
that everything in the shop is 30% off!! 
That’s right!! So head on over by clicking HERE and enter HAPPYBIRTHDAY in coupon code box upon checkout. The savings ends tonight at midnight.
Anyway…
So WOWSERS! We are one. Amazing. Unbelievable. I am in awe. You see, it seems like only yesterday that I posted these pictures on my family blog:
The Rainbow
 
The Whimsy
The Hoot
The Brilla
And I asked my blog followers what they thought about them. Did they like them? Could they see them being sold? Or worn? I did a little giveaway {ahem..SARAH PLEASE CLAIM IT!! ha} and told my friends that if they left a response they could be entered into a drawing for a free hoodie.
I got 118 responses. I was blown away that that many people were actually interested. I also got gobs of emails of people asking me if they could purchase one from me RIGHT THEN. As the above hoodies were made with Target hoodies, I think I went to every Target within a 45 mile stretch from my house and bought them out. A week later I put a paypal link up on my family blog. I sold 15 in 30 minutes. A little overwhelmed, I took the paypal link down and went to work trying to see if I could even do this….
It was such a shock to try to finish all those orders. But finish them I did. I entered into the world of 3AM-ers {or later sometimes}, and was up at the crack with the kiddos. You can see from the above picture how exhausted I was. This picture was taken around 2AM. I remember clearly how tired I was! ha.
And then my house…
Hoodies suddenly exploded into my life and they have been here ever since. HA. Except now I just know how to handle them better and they know their place…which is the gazillion storage bins I keep them in! :)
Anyway, I never dreamed I would make it a year. Much less actually make a legit busniess out of it. Since January of 2010 I have sold nearly 700 hoodies/tees. Wow. Just writing that makes me shocked.
I don’t talk much about it on the Evy’s Tree blog, but I’m sure many of you have figured out that I am a Christian. I believe in divine intervention. I FULLY believe in God’s hand on your life and his directional guidance. One of my favorite passages is Matthew 6, and verse 33 always hits home for me:
“Seek the kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” 
 
At this point in my life, I am BEYOND confident that this is true. You see, my husband is a youth pastor and I am 4th grade public school teacher. When Jacob, my firstborn, came into this world, I took my maternity leave and when it was time to go back to work, I spent a lot of time in prayer about it. At the time, my husband own a fencing company that he managed on the side to make some extra income. When I prayed about going back to work, I kept having these impressions that I should quit my job. This would have been a HUGE leap of faith for us as we got our health insurance through my work and my salary was a hefty amount of our living expenses. But as I set life up to go back to work, things didn’t feel right. Brandon and I talked about it and we felt very confident that if I quit my job, I could make just as much running the fence company from home than I could working at school.
So I quit. And wow. Life started happening.
The economy crashed. The housing market came to a screeching halt. We had a large sum of money set aside and we ate it all up in the one year. Pretty soon, we found ourselves in debt, frustrated and very concerned that God had maybe forgotten us. {Ok, disclaimer, I think I felt this more than Brandon. He NEVER looses faith and that’s the truth! ha}
Two and a half years later, Brandon and I prayed about the direction God would take us. He felt very confident that we should close the fence company down, and our target date would be December of 2009. In 2010 I had decided that I would start subbing full time and then apply for my job back with the district come spring. But God had other plans…
You can read about the series of events that happened from that point on starting HERE….
And here I am.
This morning as I was getting ready for church I starting thinking about Evy’s Tree. And how GOD NEVER FAILS. He never forgets about you, even when you think He has. Here we are today, with a litlte thriving business that has met our needs beyond what we could have imagined. Sure, it took many large steps of faith to get there{and LOTS of support from family and friends}, but I’m here. And I’m sure there will be many more large steps of faith to take in the future!
I have no idea what God has in store for Evy’s Tree. But whatever it is, I won’t forget. I won’t forget how much He has taken care of me this year. How He surprised me with a little job that enables me to be home with my kids. How He taught me that if I SEEK HIM FIRST…He will give me all I need.
So I encourage you all….if you are in need of something, seek Him. Ask Him what He wants you to do, and then follow that voice. It might seem silly, but do it. It will be worthwhile in the end.
So thank you everyone. Thank you so much for buying and loving Evy’s Tree. God has truly used to you bless me…
And more importantly..my family.
I love an appreciate you all! Please pray for me this year as I continue to hold God’s hand throughout the growing of Evy’s Tree!
 This came on the radio this morning on our way to church. Jake got so excited, he said, “OH MOMMY, we sing this in preschool. I LOVE this song!” I started crying when I realized it was the PERFECT song to celebrate the Evy’s Tree first birthday with. Enjoy!
xoxo