An Open Letter to the Woman I Overheard say, "There's nothing she can't do; she's perfect."

i'm not sure if it was meant to be a private thought passed between yourself and your friend, or if you said it just loud enough for me to purposefully hear, but i heard it, nonetheless. i almost opened my mouth and put you on the spot right there, but i stopped. maybe it was my courtesy as to not embarrass you in front of the other women shopping my booth. maybe it was because in order for you to really know the depth of my answer, you would have had to spend at least 5 full minutes with me face to face, and not rely on the perfect world of FB to know my story. 

you see, i'm pretty sure you've heard this before, but there is no such thing as 'perfect.' not unless we're talking about Jesus here, and i'm very well sure you were not. i can't pretend to know much about you, because, well.... i don't KNOW you. i would hope that you wouldn't expect to KNOW me from what you apparently pour over, about my life on social media. i don't know you, but i'm pretty sure i can assume you have some crap in your life. do you think i don't? do you think i don't have piles of laundry and pain that runs deep? don't we all? so why would you for one second think i'm perfect? now i know you may have a rebuttal; you may have just been making that statement under your breath in jest. but i can tell you, i didn't take it lightly, and i'll tell you why.....

i'm 40 years old. i spent the first 33 of those years obsessed with perfection. thankfully we didn't have social media outlets back then to show you all how amazing i was. 'cause let me tell you, i most certainly would have. you would have bet your life savings that i was 'perfect' because i did everything in my power to be so. until. until my perfectionism turned me into someone i loathed. Jesus began a work in my life that flipped my perfect world on it's head and i've never been the same, and WILL never be the same. i am most certainly NOT, perfect, and i will be the first to tell you that i'm not, and not only that, i'm FAR from it, but i do still struggle with moments of perfectionism. so you may have to give me some grace. 

so you think there's nothing i can't do, huh? sure, i can use power tools, and fix a lawnmower, change tires and probably your oil if you asked me. i can paint a beautiful mural, make a mean toffee-nut latte, bake fresh bread and grind wheat to make baby cereal. i can give you some money if you're hungry and sew you some clothes. i can even recite Scripture if you'd like to hear it. that is the most important of all these things, by the way- the Scripture, not the reciting..... 

but there's a much longer list of the things i can't do, and since you wouldn't know that by the pretty pictures i post on FB, let me enlighten you. oh, and let me know if you want to see my piles of laundry and cobwebs in my bathroom... they are there, and i don't mind proving it with an instagram picture (with the 'nashville' filter and the hashtag #dirtyhousewivesofindianapolis). i just think pretty pictures on instagram are way more fun to look at than dirt. unless it's a photo of a farmer plowing dirt, then that's way up there in my ''pretty-pictures-on-instagram meter.''

oh, about that list: some of these may need some explaining....

i CAN'T feed my kids-
-now don't get me wrong, i don't mean the kind of 'not feeding them' as in, we're starving. although, we did spend several years as a one-small-income family (our choice) on food stamps and rounding up all our children to take them to the food pantry once a week or we actually may starve. i'm thankful to those years that taught us contentment, and resourcefulness. remember the rice i ground? way cheaper than boxed baby cereal. and healthier i may add. 
what i actually mean is, i can't stop what i'm doing to feed my kids. i have a problem. it's one of the hardest things for me to do, to stop in the middle of something that i'm doing, or making, to make something for my children to eat. so my default is to have them make something. problem is, i haven't taken much time to actually teach them how to cook, so it's often super healthy food like corndogs, frozen pizza and deli meat sandwiches. lots of pride in this momma for big accomplishments like that! sad thing is, i know how to cook, and how to cook well. my momma cooked everything from scratch and i know how too. are frozen crap foods bad necessarily? they are to me when they are being consumed out of necessity 'cause mom can't tear herself away from her sewing machine long enough to cook up some supper. menu planning is amazing, but for me, i get depressed even thinking about the grocery store. i hate grocery shopping. i'm sure you can relate. you didn't actually think i was good at everything, did you now?

i CAN'T remember-
-yeah, us mom's can't remember where we put our keys, and where our favorite shirt went, but that's not what i'm talking about. i can't remember what my children looked like when they were growing up, a movie that i watched last week, an important conversation i had with my husband, wonderful memories i made with people i love, a back and forth text last week about a vintage refrigerator, a trip i took, friends that i have (yes, you read that right), a book i read, a conference i attended.... it's gone. there have been times i sit on the toilet and honestly can't remember if i peed yet. i joke that i have early onset beginning signs of dementia... and i actually am not joking. it's scares me, and i hate that people have to stay on me about stuff because of it. i just forget. a lot. 

i CAN'T keep my house in order-
-just to name a few: come see me- just pick a random day of the week and here's what you'll see.... the windows have been cleaned 1 time in the 7 years we've lived here. there are cobwebs throughout the house, and my husband is horrifically afraid of spiders. the floor is so dirty that i feel it's pointless to even mop, because there's no way i'd ever get through all the layers of dirt by doing so. i've even considered just sanding the whole floor down just to have a do-over. (now i CAN do that!)  i'm not even joking. our couch cushions smell like dog. it disgusts me. the covers zip off! do i wash them? no. there is constant clutter and i haven't washed the kids' sheets for, well.... let's just be honest here; months. yes, they can do it themselves, but they don't because i don't think to tell them. and they're kids, so they don't think about it either. the list goes on. there's no excuse. 

i CAN'T not grab my phone first thing in the morning-
-i don't think there's one of us reading this that likes that about ourselves. there's guilt there- let's face it. what about my phone makes it so hard to reach for my Bible first thing in the morning, BEFORE i check my business emails and fb... and how many people like the pretty pictures i post on IG. there have been times i just plain didn't bring the li'l sucker in my room at night, and that helps, but it's a constant struggle... and it's one i lose quite often. 

i CAN'T handle germs in public-
-now you'd think my house would be pristine and germ free, but MY germs are ok. see? i'm not ok. i feel germs, i 'see germs,' and i can't handle them. restaurant menu's are the worst. ugh. i carry hand sanitizer with me in the car, and not only me, but everyone in the car my gets a 'squirt' upon entering the car, every time re-entry happens. if i don't feel my hands are 'clean' it's all i think about. when i'm out with the kids, they pretty much can't touch anything. i'm sure they get sick of hearing, "don't touch that! ISH... so many germs!" 

i CAN'T always go-
- yeah- that's right, i can't go. sometimes i can't go out with friends. i can't go to a meeting. i can't go for a walk. i can't to to target with my family. my world would crash down to ever take my kids downtown on a sunny afternoon to walk around or go to the 'big' library. that one is so, so hard. 
why you ask? i struggle with anxiety- self diagnosed of course. there's no reason i shouldn't be able to go, but i can almost bet, many times we have something planned, about an hour before go time, i panic, get scared and end up on my bed in tears. you wouldn't know this about me, 'cause well, to be honest- i don't think of snapping a picture or pulling out my cell in the middle of one of my whiny tantrums- the kind that my husband has to swoop in and save the day by either hugging me until my world is back on it's axis, or getting feisty with me and telling me to basically, suck it up, and God's bigger than this. (oh, and then there's the 'we-rarely-go-anywhere-together-as-a-whole-family-because-that-just-seems-too-stressful-to-me, CAN'T..... let's just not go there tonight, ok? that's too much for one paragraph)

i CAN'T get out of bed some days-
-and not because i'm tired. 

i CAN'T love people-
-i like people, don't get me wrong. and i actually love many people. you may have noticed me at my booth, milling about helping customers, giving hugs, talking with women, crying. i love some people, just not all of them. i'm learning, and growing in my love for people, but i'll be honest, i'm pretty prejudice. i grew up in northern wisconsin, and up there- we're all 'alike'.... it's something that the Lord has been refining in my for a few years now- but i catch myself often- i'm trying to see all people on level ground, and although i've come a LONG way, i've not arrived. 

i CAN'T be free in intimacy
-spending so many years as a child and young adult, doing so many things i shouldn't have been,  really puts a damper on Godly intimacy with your spouse. patterns that form are hard-broken in this life of mine. it was all so wrong and now it's supposed to be all so right... with the man i love so deeply... it's just all screwed up, and it's a struggle. 16 years and counting... and you thought i was so confident. 

i CAN'T say i've been a faithful wife.
-that's a tough one. but, can you? probably. trade ya!

i'm going to stop there. i think you get the idea. there are a LOT of can't-do's in my life. i promise this is just a small sample. we all have them. i think if you look at someone and think they are perfect, maybe it's because that's what you want to see. i mean, i think we're all adults here, and i think we all agree that we all have crap. we all have crap and we all have amazing. my amazing just happens to be different than your amazing. my amazing is all because of Him... my Father who graciously forgives and restores. who instills gifts and insists on perfecting me through HIS ways, into the likeness of His Son. so let's call it what it is. i'm not perfect, but i know the One who is, and i'm clinging to Him to use my cannot's to keep me humble, and my cans to show His glory. 

so, please be more careful about who you look up to. i promise, you don't want someone else's struggles just to 'look' perfect.  

..and if you're interested in seeing another side of me, here's an old blog i wrote... that is sometimes still true. 


Craft Lib Sneak Peak, Winners & announcement!


first, i want to say a HUGMUNGO THANK YOU to everyone who commented, shared and liked my giveaway- you guys ROCK! it's amazing what can be accomplished by sharing a little love around social media! if you haven't noticed by now, i REALLY like doing giveaways- it's so fun to bless someone with a little bit of happy! i'll get to the winners shortly, but first a few FUN THINGS...

as many of you may know, i have a little bit of a break until my next Craft Liberation weekend getaway in Nov, so i've been having a blast with my family, AND having fun doing some projects that i've have to put on the back burner for awhile. i've been stepping out of my comfort zone, and just digging in and STARTING a few things i've put off for too long. 

here's what i'm talking about:

see this beauty? i had been looking for something like this to go under our tv for a long time, and just so happened my neighbor was selling hers last fall! it started out dark brown, then i primed it, not realizing that i was going to use chalk paint for it... it was a long process, but after having it sit with white primer on it, i took the plunge and whipped up some chalk paint, and went at it. i LOVE the finish!!!! distressing was time consuming, but well worth the outcome!

my inspiration was from a photo i had made into a huge canvas print. the photo was from one of my FAVORITE photographers, Andrew Alexander, of Off The Beaten Path Photography. it hangs above our piano.

i am in LOVE with this color! ellie thought we should stick with the original hardware- and i agree! if you have wanted to make your own chalk paint, DO IT! it was SUPER great to work with, and NO PREP (even tho i had already primed it ;) pick a BOLD color, one of your faves, and GO FOR IT! you won't regret it as long as it's a color you love. :)

also, i decided to surprise Joel for an early birthday gift, and re-model the bathroom! some of you may know, we rent an old, very small (under 1000 sq feet/7 people) home... that we LOVE! even though we just rent our home, i decided to spend the money and just do it anyway! we have LOATHED our bathroom for years! gah! the thought of anyone going in there was embarrassing. the pink toilet and sink just made the situation worse, by not being able to decorate it with anything even slightly eye appealing. so, with weeks of planning with my awesome friend, and tool-hoarder, Anne, we waited for my husband, Joel, to head out of town for a daddy daughter date with the neighbors, and we went for it! look at this deplorable BEFORE shot:

 14 hours later, with just minutes to spare, WE DID IT! ceiling, walls, toilet, vanity, mirror, light fixture, towel bar, rack, and all the accessories! (we were missing a part or two for the new plumbing, so our neighbor who was in on the surprise, is coming to finish connecting the new plumbing under the sink)... but we did it! AND JOEL WAS SHOCKED!!! i'm so happy i was FINALLY able to surprise him with something! SUPER thankful to my awesome friend, Anne, who is KILLER at this kind of thing... we work well together as a team and i'm so glad we go to do this together- i would have never been able to pull this off myself! WHOOO HOOO for breaking out of comfort zones! (not that anyone was comfortable in our green and mauve bathroom) 


i could seriously sleep in there now. it makes me so happy! wonder what it would feel like to have an updated kitchen. hmm.


here's a sneak peek from the last craft lib! it was UH. MAZE. ING!

we had a WONDERFUL time! what a beautiful group of women. i miss you girls of Craft Lib #5!!!

i JUST booked my first date of 2015! i have decided to only hold 4 craft weekends next year, so if you are interested in attending the winter one, Feb 20-22, sign up fast! i am only taking 10 people this time, and it's first come, first served! make sure to email me at: thelemondime at yahoo dot com, to reserve your spot! also, there is more info HERE

FINALLY! the WINNERS picked by random.org are:

the wire-headband
#142 Christina Turley

the scrappy bunting 
#56 Kim Bolte

the necklace
#60 Megan Trackwell Wendell

the BAG!
#35  Kellye Knaper Herbert 

***please email me your address at: thelemondime at yahoo dot com so i can ship out your goodies!!!



Craft Liberation #4: The REUNION!

so, if you remember last year, in the early months of spring, the idea of having a crafting weekend getaway came to life in the hills of brown county, indiana. it seems like so long ago, that i started planning my event, but in reality it wasn't. this year has been a whirlwind of excitement, hard work, dedication and really, fear. i can't tell you how fun it was to watch God work in and through the last four craft weekends! the women who came were exactly who was supposed to be there... there were NO coincidences. at the end of my very first Craft Lib, the girls decided to have a reunion the following year. all but three made it back, and it was beautiful thing. God filled those three open spots with new women... the perfect fit.

this girl. she holds a SUPER special place in my heart. i LOVE this picture of her.... and i'm SO thankful to God and to her for her role in helping me get Craft Liberation off the ground. She is going to focus on other things now, and is moving on from being a part of these weekends. although it will be different without her, i am super happy for her. she always tells people ''you're a force'' but it's HER that's a FORCE. a force for GOOD, for JOY and for LOVE. i will miss her there. isn't she beautiful? her soul is even more so.

my daughter, Ellie... she's such an amazing help to me- i don't think i could do this without her. <3

 there were a few special things waiting for the girls who had been to the very first Craft Lib.... like green ball jars filled with flowers, and 'difference maker' key chains to pass on...because they made a difference in my life. 

the name tags are always one of my favorite parts of the weekend....i think these were my favorite. 
i heart tiny paper flowers.

as always, generous Sponsors sent lots of fun SWAG for the girls!
(more on the sponsors soon!)

giveaway items were AWESOME!

of course, there is always something special waiting on their beds when they get there. this time, my right-now-favorite chocolate bar and a wire headband! i LOVE making them- so fun to wear too!

 when the girls started to arrive, it was like old friends who hadn't seen each other in a year! :) here's Laurie's sister, Becky! she is a RIOT. craft weekend is never the same without her... and if you know her, you'll know why ;)

i mean... see?


 Laurie, sorry for the star across the forehead, but i thought it just fit you perfectly... the 'star girl.' she's responsible for the starry-ness of the cabin. frankly, it's the perfect touch.

ok, so apparently i never got a picture with my sister (gah!) so i had to import a bright green one from my phone... but hey... at least i like green!
this is my sister Keri- she travels from St. Louis. she'll be attending her third craft lib in november :)

more arrivals!
Rebecca was new to the group. look at her! she's so precious. she put her headband on right away and it's PERFECT for her!
she's headed to Rwanda soon with Noonday! you can see more about all that here!

my sister's friend Stephanie. aka: Wonder Woman

a friend we've know since grade school! she traveled from Wisconsin! Christine!

ok. so you've come to know Patty, our cook! 
she rocks. in all ways. 
she was busy prepping dinner while we hung out. some roasted veggies for the pasta!
(ok, an apology needed here... i think this is the ONLY food picture i took! i have NO idea what came over me! i know. lame. sorry!)

i see Laura! her and Steph are the other two who were new to the group. Laura is HIL. AR. IOUS. 
talk about witty!

this is Melissa. look at her intently listening, armed with her camera. she's has a quiet spirit, and is a great balance to all the 'crazy' this group brings. lol! 

there's her sweet smile!

 after intros and dinner, we got right to sewing our bags! well, the new girls made the traditional 'liberation bag' and the returning girls got to make a fold-over clutch, complete with a zipper! the tutorial we used is HERE.... so go make ya-self one!
look at their concentration!

 here's Allison! 
she drove from Michigan!

 Anne gettin snarky ;)

 Keri follows suit!

 Rebecca was the first to flip her bag!

Andrea's clutch!
isn't it CUTE???

then there was coffee in the morning...
and Roni! she came late on friday and i don't have any pics of her :( it's a LOT to remember for me... sorry Roni! 

Traci relaxing with a sewing book after breakfast.

 Saturday morning we head to into Nashville for shopping, right after we take some pics of the girls with their new bags!


(my bestie!)

(Anne's bestie)

(she just moved to Georgia. we'll miss you girl!  :)

then there's THIS chick. 
she pretty much ROCKS. 
i love her.
a lot.
just call her drama. but in a good way. :)


 my beautiful sis, and recent
Air Force Retiree!!!....
yep. that's right!



RONI and BECKY didn't get in on those shots (their bags may have not yet been finished? i don't remember. ;)

 sorry girls... but this was too funny not to post!
does Laura have a big bug on her back or something? is Andrea mad at the photographer?
that's better!
happy girls. <3


Brenda Kay from Madeline's in Nashville is always so good to us. 
she's a doll! she and my sister met during craft lib #1 shopping, and now they share quite a bond.

here they are talking to a lady who came in the shop! what a team! they ended up encouraging her so much... hugs and tears followed.

checkin' in at home

i wont say anything here.
you all know me...
i'm doing this for all the animal lovers out there, ok!?
Roni? you too?

 gotta admit, the tiny homemade dog bones are cute. but that's all you're gettin' outta me! (i posted this pic for Zig!)

once back at the cabin, we eat, show off our buys, then it's straight back to crafting! 
or relaxing.... like Traci ;)

these girls were looking for the best scraps while they waited for the next craft to be set up

meanwhile, i sent Ellie out to find fresh moss 

ok.... here comes a FLOOD of pics. 
everyone LOVED this craft, led by Laurie!
the pics are all too great NOT to post... so if you're not into succulents and mini mushrooms, pass these up. ;)
here's Laurie's examples. EEEEK!

it was blue day, apparently. ;)


this was REALLY a lot of fun!

OOH! can't forget the little yellow birdie!
(and prepare yourself. there's more where these came from at the end of the post.)

 next up! 
here's Ellie, sorting the stencils

 yes, there were power tools involved!

even Ellie got in on the action!

Beck's making house numbers! 

meanwhile, outside... peeps just can't get over the cuteness!

 Anne is whittling sticks to make a cross!
this calls for a sweet b&w edit.... meaning the color on the photo was so messed up i couldn't fix it and ended up with this. 
a good fake fix :)

 Steph is super serious about her work. she studies and plans carefully. that's probably why her work was so nice and neat, and AMAZING!

now onto necklaces!
ruffles and pom poms!
(that's supposed to be pom poNs i know, but i think people these days don't know that. i mean- if you're older like me you would! these are the things that keep me up at night. lol)

i used to make these bowls YEARS ago as gifts... i saw them in Target recently. not as pretty of course... weird tho. ;)

and... one more sign for Christine.
that flower thingy? Laurie made that!
it's SO. COOL.

drum roll......... 
here's all the crafts!!!!
these girls are SO talented! it happens every time.... they always surprise themselves!

there's that ROSETTE! eek!

 it's time to say goodbye. 
this part is always hard. 
Craft Lib #4 girls...
you blessed me in more ways than i can count. 
thank you for being there for each other, and the new girls too....
what a great thing.


*there MAY be a spot open for the June 20-22, 2014 Craft Lib!* contact me right away if you are interested! there are NO other spots open for this year. if you are interested in getting on a waiting list for a future Craft Liberation, please email me at:
thelemondime at yahoo dot com

more info HERE

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