A Little More Light

A Little More Light

I found this floating around on FB after the tragedy at the Boston Marathon. It’s truth rang so strong in my heart that I had to share here as well.
It also goes along with a post that I have been meaning to write for several weeks now, but as life would have it, I have been extremely busy with my own projects, and have put this idea on the back burner. Time to bring it to the front.
In the last month, I have made yet another couple of hats for someone who recently found themselves having to begin chemotherapy. I hadn’t thought about it too much prior to this point, but I have made nearly a dozen hats this year for friends, family, family of friends, and children who were undergoing chemotherapy.
So here’s my call. Thanks to a friend of ours (whose son has recently gone into remission, thank God), I have found a clinic that accepts hat donations. They have them in a big box in the clinic and the children can go pick out hats from that box. You may put your card on the hat so they know where it came from or you may leave it blank and know that you are bringing some light to a child here in Charlotte, NC. I would like to be able to bring in a BIG box of hats, but I can’t do it all by myself. If you would like to offer up your time and talents to a very worthy cause, please contact me at joyfulmamadesigns@gmail.com and I will give you more information as to where these hats are going and when I plan to deliver them. Thank you all! Now go on and share some light today ūüôā

Below is one of the hats that I made for a family member of a friend who has just begun chemotherapy. You can find this free pattern at www.playinhookydesigns.com¬†under “Brain Waves Beanie”. It worked up quickly and, as seen below, can truly be made for both male and female.

Joy's Hat-corrected 2

Here is the second hat that I made (for the same person). This one is my design and if I could get my act together, I would write a pattern for it! Both hats were made from I Love This Cotton. I figured the cotton was a lighter, more natural fiber that would be good for spring and summer. These hats were made for adults and I used just one skein of yarn for each hat.

Joy's Second Hat 1

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Sweet Newborn

Another¬†amazing¬†photo shoot by¬†Christina of Bees Knees Photography (in Belmont, NC). She’s an amazing photographer and I’m lucky enough to have her as my neighbor! Thanks for the shout out. The blanket and baseball hat (his dad is a baseball coach) were a gift that I made for another neighbor’s newborn grandson.

Bees Knees Photography

These are a preview of some newborn shots I took this past Sunday.  Isn’t he the most adorable little guy?? His big sister is quite proud of him too.  Such a sweet family!  Thank you to Maria Hartemann of Joyful Mama Designs for the blankets and the hat. Check out her site at joyfulmamadesigns.wordpress.com.

Christina

         

                           

 

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The Beauty of Friendship

I have been so very blessed in this life to have made some really amazing friends. This is a process that I think we take for granted throughout our childhoods¬†as our days are filled with possibilities.¬†I don’t think we truly appreciate the friendships that we have until we reach a point in our lives when we have to make new friends. I think this is one of the most difficult transitions that a person makes when they become a mom, and even more difficult if they choose to become a stay-at-home mom (or dad, dad’s are certainly not excluded from this). I remember going through a phase after my¬†son was born and the novelty of having a new baby had worn off. People stopped checking in with you on a daily basis, the visits had ended, and the husband¬†had gone¬†back to work. Now what? It was just me and my baby boy (a very demanding and exhausting baby boy) for nearly 7 months. Finally I enrolled in a “Little Gym” class. Well, technically, he enrolled, but let’s face it, it was more for me ūüôā I relished the weekly adult interaction and began to depend on it for my mental well-being. I will never forget the day when, after one of our last classes, another mom came up to me and asked me for my phone number so that we could get together outside of class. It was like…honestly, I can’t describe it! I immediately called my husband to tell him about it, and then felt a little weird for being so transparently excited.

I recently read a blog written by a new “virtual” friend here on WordPress. If you haven’t heard of Momentum Of Joy, please go check her page out. She is an amazing and insightful writer. But recently she wrote a post about friendships http://momentumofjoy.com/2012/06/05/day-6-getting-my-way/¬†that struck a cord with me. What I realized, and hope she realizes too, is that yes, our children might be our primary link¬†when making new friends these days, but there is so much more to it. Our children will go to different schools, meet new kids every year through being in different classes, grow up a little, discover new things about themselves along the way, change some of their friends, and continue to do this until adulthood. I, on the other hand, don’t choose to do that anymore. I am too old (not “old”, just too old for that). So what my small, but very close group of friends and I just realized (prompted by our children not getting along one day) is that our children may have been our reason for meeting, but they are not our reason for being and remaining friends. If they were, next year when they went to different schools, and different classes yet again, what would happen to us?

I have worked hard to surround myself with like-minded people who bring me joy (not drama) and I am not willing to give that up. So here’s my response to that post.¬†I don’t think it matters where¬†the children go¬†to school or if they remain¬†close friends.¬†If you have been lucky enough¬†to find some friends that bring that joy into your life, then be friends with them. I assure you that even when the kids fight, make new friends, go to different schools…when you decide to hang out with your friends and their families, the kids will play. They will have fun and they will get along. Why? Because their parents have friendships that matter. Children are flexible and loving by nature. They will be ok. I promise. So take care of you and cherish the friendships that you have. And if you feel like expanding that circle, then take a chance. You never know…maybe your “best” friend, the one that you will pick up the phone¬†to call when you’re 80-something,¬†is waiting just around the corner for you ūüôā

Maria

Pure Joy!

Image

It seems that every couple of months I have to remind myself of what is really important in this life…in this moment. For now, the most important thing in my life is my¬†family.

My neighbor, Christina of www.beeskneesphotographync.com, captured this moment while my daughter and her son were running around in the backyard being silly. It’s one of those moments that you can step back and look at (after you’ve yelled at them to be careful) and you realize, this is it. This is what matters. Those moments of pure joy that make the rest of the worries, pains, complaints, and everyday stressors just melt away. It is moments like these that make me think, I choose to be a better mother. I choose to drop all the have-to’s and to-do’s of the day and enjoy these little moments of pure joy when they pop up. I choose to on occasion put down what I feel like I need to do and spend some quality time with my kids…make them smile, or if I’m lucky a full blown belly aching giggle-fest. Maybe, just maybe, if I do this more often I will start to notice that there are more of these moments of pure, God-given joy than there are worries. Maybe.

So thank you Christina for having your camera in hand and capturing this moment. It’s a much better reminder than my mental picture. And, quite frankly, sometimes I need a concrete reminder of what this life is all about ūüôā