Thursday, August 08, 2013

Fear Has No Future

Jason and I celebrated 20 years of marriage in June, but since January, we've been dreaming and planning out the details for a trip to Spain, just the two of us.  We have spent hours and hours looking through books, reading reviews, mapping out our adventures, talking about it on date nights, road trips, in bed at night.

The destination and trip itself will be awesome, no doubt, but dreaming and anticipating have been part of the fun, as well.

Picture from AskFranciso

Except for the part where we realized it was about time to write out a Will and Trust...that part took the spark out of the trip, at least for me, for a good week.  My sinuses were clogged and swollen from crying, imagining not being the ones to raise our children, these gifts God loves more, but has graciously entrusted to us to love, nurture, and fan to flame the awesomeness God placed within each of them...

...and I almost cancelled.

"Sweetheart, we can just get a hotel downtown for the weekend..."  Forget the part that I've dreamed of going to Spain ever since I was in college when Profesora Calderon first sparked my romance with the language and country.  Forget about how we were going to do this trip for our 15th but then Jason lost his job and we knew it probably wasn't financially wise to travel on "credit."

I have come to terms, as I have for years, but clearly needed a reminder, that God knows the number of our days.  It doesn't do me or anyone else any good to live in fear of the "what if's?"

There is no freedom in fear, nor is there a future.  I knew a 90-something year old who harbored many fears...sure, in years, she lived a long life, but she was crippled by her fears, not experiencing what freedom in God's love has to offer in a full life.

I have spent many hours praying and pleading, asking God to be gracious to our family and reunite us again to continue to live out the purpose He has for us on this earth...and I trust Him and have peace this will be the case...

So, do I hope to relax, sleep a little longer, go on 24-hour dates for two weeks straight with my husband, in a beautiful country, surrounded by people God created, all rich with stories, experience the smells, sights, make new memories, and see pretty much the whole countryside of Spain?  Yeah.  I do. And I'll miss my kids like crazy, wondering what they are doing at such and such a time.

But this is good for my marriage, a celebration of friendship and love and thankfulness, and it will be good.

If this were my last post, on this blog, ever, not just my last post prior to leaving for our trip to Spain, I'd want to leave the world with this:

God is totally, completely, 100% in love with you.  Don't try to understand it, just accept it.  Please stop looking around at all that is wrong in the world, in yourself, and everyone else.  Instead, find the good and as you do, allow your eyes to be turned upward to look at The One who made you, to see it as an expression of His love to a broken world.  He knows you intimately, has good in store, like deep down heart-good, and He sees a bigger picture which your head and heart are now allowed to contain at this time.  He loves you.  Love begets love...not war, back-biting, gossip, slander, politics, isolationism, competition, or elitism, nor pride or self-seeking. Love begets love, and God. Is. Love. He is love and is in love with you, totally, completely, 100%.

That's all...

(*We may blog from Spain, but the #loneviajera won't be for it, and for a super fun blog by this girl, one of our date nights in Barcelona...)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Recycle Those Pillowcases, Girls!

I'm a thrifter.  I love thinking outside the box and have been recycling, or upcycling, or repurposing old clothes or sheets or parts of clothes for a very long time.  Once I made Emily and myself skirts from a pair of Jason's khaki's he had cut off...and I've even stooped to make myself workout shirts out of Jason's old pitted out white-T's, cutting out the pits, obviously...

But let me tell you, old sheets and pillowcases are the best!  I have yellow and white checked gingham pajama pants from my Grandpa's sheets, cornflower blue with rose bud pajama bottoms from 1974 (the sheets from my childhood bed), and when Em was little I used two of my favorite pillow cases to make her a sun top and super wide-legged flare bottom pants.

In 1993 when we got married, Ralph Lauren bedding was ALL THE RAGE ;)  No, but really, every. single. piece. of. bedding. we. had. was prepster, for sure.  Remember when mixing plaid and floral and stripes and solids and paisley's was super cool?  And then when Ralph was mixing up the patterns with rustic western themes, this Arizona girl got all giddy and bought up some o'dat.  Mixed up on our old 4-poster log bed and it was very Taos-esque, Southwesternish, even in the Midwest.

About 9 years ago I made a pillowcase skirt by simply cutting off the end which is sewn shut, folding it over twice, about an inch in width, sewing it and lacing it with a drawstring.  I stitched an antique handkerchief onto it...dang that thing was cute...I think I recently gave it away...anyway...

I've had these pillowcases forever and have wanted to use them to make a skirt or dress but they have just been sitting in my pile...for a very long time.  But, with Spain around the corner, and my goal being to wear a sundress almost every day, I thought why not whip one up?

Here goes (hope you are easily able to follow along with the instructions):
Pick your favorite pillowcase.  This is circa 1993, old school Ralph Lauren bedding, probably from his Taos collection ;)  Oh, and it's a KING SIZE case, which gives you ample length with which to work.

Fold the pillowcase in half length-wise (so it's narrow)  Use scissors or your handy dandy cutting mat and fabric slicer to cut the sewn end of the case off.

Sorry, I don't know why this one is horizontal, but then turn the pillowcase inside out and use the natural fold, as well as the seam as your guide.

Fold the fabric over one inch, the part that will be the top of the dress.  The cuff or ruffle on a pillowcase will be your natural hem at the bottom.  

Find a random piece of good elastic in your sewing box, or actually buy some for this project.  I happened to have a piece that, when pulled taught, was the exact width of the pillowcase, so decided to try it and see if it would work.  I kind of wing it like that...but it worked, so you can follow these instructions ;)  

At the natural seem, with one inch of the material folded over but not sewn down, sew one end of the elastic on securely with a zig zag stitch.

Then, pull it tightly and sew the other end to the natural fold on the opposite side of the pillowcase.

I have a base on my machine that can be removed for sleeves...remove that if you have the option, but otherwise, fold the elastic over one more inch and pull it taught with both hands, guiding it slowly through a straight stitch on your machine.  DO NOT SEW THRU THE ELASTIC BUT NEXT TO IT, so you are creating a pocket, basically, for the elastic.  (Sorry, I'm not sure I'm a "technical" writer...)

On the front side of the top hem, you will have one seam from sewing the twice folded one inch roll all the way around.  I then wanted to stitch a few rows of thread on the top front edge for a little extra touch.
***Note, when I tried it on, it was a little loose, so, tomorrow when I have a few minutes, I am going to pinch one inch on either side of the top hem, probably centered over each breast, one, to make it stay up better, and two, to bring some of the poofiness that is going on in the back around to the front to add dimension, if that makes sense???

Add a belt and some boots, and a partial afro since I haven't used a blow dryer all summer but am trying to be "natural", and there you have it.  A pillowcase dress in less than 20 minutes, but that I've had hanging around for 20 years in the linen closet.  I'm taking this little number to Spain to eat tapas and drink wine with mi esposo.