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?


FMF: Ready

>> Thursday, September 11, 2014

5 Minute Friday is "sort of a writing flashmob" hosted weekly by blogger Kate Motaung.  Each week she selects a subject and your job is to write about it for 5 minutes and link to her post.  Whatever comes to mind, even if you aren't sure what the subject is about, don't know anything about it, or haven't ever really thought about it.  Just write.  For 5 minutes.  Doesn't that sound fun??

And there's only one rule:  After you've linked your post, you MUST visit the person who linked up before you and leave a comment on their post.  (Of course, you  may visit any or all of the others, too!)

Okay, ready?  Today's topic is:

Ready, set... GO!

Haha, "ready!" Are we ever really ready for anything?  Do we even know what that means??  It never seems to matter how much you prepare for something, when it actually happens (if it does), there were always things you didn't anticipate, didn't expect, had no clue were coming.

And yet, despite not knowing everything there is to know, we can feel very ready for some things.  Like for a new outlook on life, a new stage of development in our children, new shoes.  Oh wait, I didn't just feel ready for those... I KNOW I was ready!  :)

But it's comforting to know that regardless of what preparations I make physically, emotionally, and mentally for anything that may or may not be expected in my future, or how well I anticipated what I needed to do in preparation, in one sense I am always ready, always equipped.  Because no matter what comes my way, I know the God who has everything under His control.  Everything.  And nothing comes as a surprise to Him or catches Him off guard.

With Him firmly holding my hand, I can't possibly be more ready.  For anything.


Wanna join in?  Click the link at the top of the post to visit our hostess and other bloggers linking up for this 5-minute writing frenzy!


WW: August at the Elevator

>> Wednesday, September 3, 2014

More Wordless Wednesday here


Ends and Beginnings

>> Tuesday, September 2, 2014

This is it... the last day of summer holidays. Tomorrow the girls go back to school.

I know time flies.  I know summers always go the fastest. Statistically, it makes sense.  The two months of summer make up an increasingly SMALLER percentage of our lives with each passing year. 

In any case, here it is: the end of summer.

I'm sad that this is a summer I feel like we're all kind of happy to put behind us.  It just didn't work out the way we wanted it to and it was tough to have a positive, proactive attitude about it.  All those good intentions I started out with never became reality.

But it's also the beginning of a new school year.

The girls are excited; they're both starting new schools. And they're starting at SEPARATE schools for the first time ever. Both have good friends who are making the switch with them, so that will provide some security amid the sea of new faces and spaces, but they're still anxious. I am a little, too.

Their return to school would normally be the return of a predictable routine for me, too, but next week I'm beginning a part-time/casual job at the same firm where I've helped out during tax time the last three years, and so my hours will vary from week to week.

And with both beginnings comes the worrying about whether or not we're making the right decisions.

Beginnings and ends.  I'm trying hard to see this season as an exciting beginning rather than a sad ending.

But so far, I'm having limited success.

Back-to-School Joke 


September Daybook

>> Monday, September 1, 2014

Outside my window... it's not as bright this time of day as it used to be.  I've been having my quiet time an hour later than usual all summer, but even that light is waning.  Wednesday's return to school will push my quiet time to its regular time an hour earlier again, so I'm pretty sure I'll need the lights on...  ::sigh::

I am thinking... I should probably try to do something special with the girls today or tomorrow since these are their last two days of summer holidays.

I am thankful... for the weather we got this summer.  After our long, cold, wet spring, we were a little worried we might not get summer at all this year.

In the kitchen... nothing special so far.  My tomatoes fared horribly this year, but I hope to find some at the farmers market this Thursday so I can still make a small batch or two of freezer salsa.  (Thanks to a rare, good crop last year, I actually still have several containers from last year's batch.)

I am creating... nothing.  I'm not terribly creative!!

I am going... to start a new job next week!

I am wondering... if I should try to accomplish much today and tomorrow, or if I should just relax these last two days with the girls at home and worry about getting stuff done once they're back in classes.

I am reading... Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider, When Will My Life Not Suck by Ramon Presson (yes, I'm still working on the same ones from last month!!  August was not very conducive to reading, it seems.)

I am hoping... it won't be too difficult to establish a weekly routine, even though my job is casual/part-time and my hours will vary each week.

I am looking forward to... a little extra money in the family coffers

I am learning... (slowly) to view life differently

Around the house... still overwhelmed by clutter!  But I'm working at developing the habit of tackling small spots a few times a day.  I've unloaded four massive garbage bags full of clothing and a large box of books off at thrift stores over the last two weeks (I didn't FILL them all in the last two weeks ~ no, they've been accumulating for a couple of years ~ but I finally got rid of them!), I'm in the process of filling another bag of clothing, and I packed up a box of mugs and other various kitchen things yesterday.  And I've got "thrift store run" scheduled into my day planner for Thursday THIS WEEK.

I am pondering... how the truly good things in life always require the most effort

A quote that caught my eye...
It's not a recent discovery, but it struck me anew a couple days ago
when I was looking through my photo files.
One of my favorite things... fresh corn on the cob!!

A few plans for the rest of the month: clean out the garden, paint my front door... maybe refinish my dining room and living room tables

A peek into my day...
Since packing up my souvenir shot glass collection 14 months ago in order to repaint the kitchen, these babies have been sitting in a box.  Yesterday, as part of my kitchen decluttering project, they were finally released from their dark prison, washed, and put back where they belong!

Click the Simple Woman's Daybook graphic at the top of the post to visit our host and other daybookers, or link up your own daybook. (except they're posting tomorrow instead of today!!)


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