WW: September Elevator Project

>> Wednesday, October 1, 2014

You can't really tell from the picture above, but this field is finished now.  As we were driving home from church the day before, I wondered aloud to The Man how long it would be before this field would get harvested.  We both guessed it wouldn't be too many more days.  Turned out, sometime in the 22 hour period between that drive home from church and the drive into town the next afternoon, the job was done.  They were still working on a different part of the field, but my hopes of getting a picture of the elevator with combines working in the foreground will have to wait for another year!

Okay, so it wasn't COMPLETELY wordless... My bad.
To see other (more or less) Wordless Wednesday posts, click here.


A Dress for the Angels

>> Monday, September 22, 2014

A while back, I made my girls spend some time going through their room and TRYING to declutter it at least a little.  After the first cleaning session, Mack said she'd cleaned out the box with the dress-up clothes and put them in the "Donation" bag, but she'd put my wedding shoes with my wedding dress.  She wasn't sure I'd want to get rid of them.

Trying it on for the
first time.
That got me thinking about what to do with my wedding dress.

It takes up a fair bit of space in my cramped little storage area at the top of the loft stairs.  It was never professionally cleaned after I wore it and so it isn't really in any condition for someone else to want to wear.  Not to mention the fact that it's 18 years old.

Two of my cousins have participated in "Trash the Dress" photo shoots, where they don their wedding dresses and spend an afternoon with a professional photographer and a few other ladies in their wedding dresses at various locations, including at the beach and in the water.  I've always thought that looked like a fun idea, but let's face it, that's never gonna happen.  Even if I'd ever actually reach my goal weight (the chances of which are slim to none, given my lack of self-discipline), I'd still be 15 pounds heavier than I was the day I got married.  And it fit pretty snugly then already!  So that's out.

Keeping it for either of my girls to wear down the aisle someday didn't really make sense either.  I realize that it's considerably trendier to use thrift store clothing for special occasions these days than it was when I got married, but will my girls be into that?  There's no way of knowing.  They're going to have their own tastes and want their own lovingly, excitedly sought out dresses, whether they're brand new or not.

Wedding day, February 14, 1997
The more I thought about it, the more trouble I had figuring out why, exactly, I was keeping it.  And while donating it to a thrift store seemed  a reasonably acceptable option, I really had trouble with the idea of someone potentially just using it as part of a gory halloween costume.

I decided to search online for ideas of what to do with used wedding dresses.  I came across a lot of crafy ideas, but I'm totally not crafty and so that wasn't really an option either.  Then I discovered Angel Dresses.

All across North America, there are gifted seamstresses who deconstruct donated wedding and other formal dresses to create tiny gowns for babies who never get to go home with their parents after birth.  Dresses are given to hospitals and then passed along free of charge to grieving parents so they have one less thing to think about when they lose their precious little ones.

Despite living quite a distance from any major center, there happen to be three designated "collectors" in my area, as well as an Angel seamstress.  So after consulting The Man and getting his approval for the idea, I contacted her through my province's Angel Dress Facebook page, and arrangements were made to bring her my dress.  I made the hand-off Friday afternoon.

I thought it would be hard to let go of something that had cost so much money and had seemed so terribly important at one time... but it really wasn't.  Especially knowing how it will be used.  I've been promised pictures will be posted of the tiny gowns created from my dress and I look forward to seeing them.

I like that I have freed up a little more closet space in my home.  But I love that the dress I spent weeks searching for and negotiating for and paying for, and then proudly wearing to say my vows, will be used once more ~ to carefully, lovingly dress a few precious little angels one last time as their parents and families say goodbye.


Practicing Gratitude [9.18]

>> Thursday, September 18, 2014

Oops, I missed last week!  I made a little promise to myself to post Thankful Thursday and Wordless Wednesday on alternating weeks, and last week I did NEITHER!!  Technically, this would have been a WW week, but since Wednesday was yesterday...

ANYWAY, I thought I'd feel like I had a little more time to blog once the girls went back to school, but obviously that hasn't been the case.  I guess that's not a bad thing.  I'm thankful for things that keep me a little more productive and away from this time-wasting machine.

I'm grateful the girls have settled well into their new schools.  So far, they're quite impressed with their teachers and classes.  AJ seems to be fitting in well with her new classmates, but that's presenting a bit of a challenge for Mack.  I don't know if it's the particular age she's at (remember the drama of Grade 7?!) or just her personality ~ or maybe a combination ~ but it seems like she and the friend she transferred with are sticking pretty tightly to themselves.  She struggles a bit on days when that friend isn't in school.  I'm glad they have each other, and I know it's tough to make friends when you're new and everyone else has known each other forever, but I hope they'll end up with some good new friends by the end of the year, too.

I'm thankful my aunt had more tomatoes than she knew what to do with.  And that she was willing to share!!

I'm grateful we've had only one night of frost so far.  And that the forecast for the next week looks wonderful.  But I'm also thankful for slippers, fleece sheets, and sweatshirts!

I'm thankful for a great time visiting our old church last weekend and attending a potluck lunch in honour of friends of ours from there who are moving away at the end of the month.  It was so good to spend time with people we just don't see very often anymore and to hear a great guest speaker during the service on top of that.

I'm grateful for a new haircut that isn't TOO much work, and that makes me feel younger and more "with it" again.  I've had long, nondescript hair for so long that making a change like this always scares me a little, but it was just time.  I'm thankful The Man likes it, too.  He's of the opinion you can't improve on long hair, but I think this cut might have him convinced that shorter hair can be attractive, too!  ;)

What are you thankful for this week?


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