Tuesday, September 28, 2010

... of a new doctor

So, at 26ish weeks, I got a letter from my OB saying that he was going to be starting his own practice and only doing gynecology. He is moving offices mid-October and would see his OB patients through the end of the year, but then he would be done. I could have stayed with him, but I kind of wanted a doctor who actually wanted to deliver my baby and not one that was biding his time until he could be done delivering babies forever.

My 32 week appointment is with a doctor that all my friends have gone to for years and absolutely love. I'm glad to be switching, but I'm just hoping that Abram waits long enough that we are able to have a few meetings before D-Day.

Anyway, this was really just an excuse to post a new picture (I've had some requests). So here you are.

Monday, September 27, 2010

... of naming another child.

It sounds really absurd when I say it out loud, but Quinn and I have had a talk or two about names we like, other than Abram. Not like we are thinking about naming this one something different, but, like, we are naming our next child before this one has even had his first gulp of oxygen.

We already know what we would name a girl. That's been decided since we started dating. Weird. But true. So here's the backstory, so you don't think we're crazy:

I have two of the most amazing grandmothers in the history of the world. They are the most incredibly Godly women I've ever met. My parents even say that they think the reason we turned out so well is by God's grace through my grandmothers' constant prayers. So, of course, I have always been sentimental about my grandmothers and wanted nothing more than to name a child after one or both of them. But therein lies the rub.

(Sorry,Grammy), but my grandmothers have the most Southern sounding, interesting names I have ever heard. My dad's mom was named Velma Ardelle (but went by Ardelle) and my mom's mom's name is Rita Wadene (but goes by Wadene). My parents always joked that they thought of naming me Velma Rita... I think both of my grandmothers would have objected. So, while I was in college, I realized that if I took the end of both of their names (ardELLE and wadENE) I could put together a pretty cool name: Ellene. It was settled in my mind... long before I met my future husband. I would have a girl named Ellene.

Then I met Quinn. I think it was on one of our first dates that we were talking about how his grandmothers were amazing women of God and one of the only reasons he turned out like he did was because of their constant prayers. And he shared that one of them had passed away fairly recently. I asked what her name was and he said: "Ellen". I couldn't have asked for a better husband (for multiple reasons), but one of them being that his granmother's name was part of the name I had already chosen for my daughter! His other grandmother's name is Virginia. She is wonderful. And if we are blessed with a girl someday, her name will be Ellene Virginia Smith.

Whew. There's the girl story. That one was easy for us. The boy names... not so much.

Long before we were actually having a baby, we would throw out boy names to each other, but we could NEVER agree. One of Quinn's most memorable suggestions was Jethro. Shot down by Anaka immediately. I was an edgier name girl, which he didn't like: Maddox, McCall, things like that. No go with Quinn. So when we started reading Genesis together after we found out we were having a baby, and we both liked Abram, we grabbed it and stuck with it.

The other day, Quinn (who had been reading one of C.H. Spurgeon's books) came out for dinner and said: "What about the name Spurgeon?" One look from me and he knew how I felt about that one. I really like names with meaning and naming kids after faithful people, but they have to be good names, ya know? But while reading the introduction to the Puritan prayer book "The Valley of Vision" (which is an amazing book, by the way), I saw that many of Spurgeon's prayers were included and they cited his whole name: "Charles Haddon Spurgeon". "Haddon!" I told Quinn. "We could name the next one Haddon!" He agreed. At least for now. We'll see what happens when the time actually comes... if it actually comes.

Anyway, I started looking up Spurgeon quotes, because his prayers were so amazing. And I found one that I ended up using for a piece that might just end up in the baby's room...

Friday, September 24, 2010

... of a new banner

In my last post, I included a picture of the "banner" for my etsy shop. It's what goes at the top of my etsy page and is the closest thing to a logo I really have. My friend, who is a very saavy business man at the ripe 'ol age of 27, judiciously commented on my banner by saying: " it looks like it says Jew Smith". Huh. I never thought about it, but I guess if even a few people think that it looks like something other than the name of my business, then it's probably not a good font, right?

So I chose a different font. Hopefully this is better... although, it's not quite as whimsical as the other one, which is why I liked it so much. Let me know if you have an opinion. I would appreciate all the help I can get.

And thanks, Adam.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

... of starting a business

After more than six years of people constantly telling me: "You should sell these!" after I give them handmade gifts, I have finally made the first step toward actively pursuing that goal.

It wasn't until, maybe, two years ago that I found out about Etsy. If you don't know about Etsy (most of you probably do), it is an ebay-like site for all things handcrafted and vintage. Sellers establish their own "shop" and pay small fees to list items that are handmade, vintage, or supplies to make handcrafted items. I have been an Etsy addict for at least a year now, buying everything from sewing and crocheting patterns to vintage toys and clothes. But never selling.

Until now...

I type this all dramatically, but I haven't actually sold anything yet. I've just listed a few things that I've been meaning to for quite some time now. I guess that's why I'm "on the verge" of starting a business and not actually starting a business. I'm pretty scared of what it would be like if I really could have a business making things for money. It sounds... busy... but I guess that's why they call it a "business". Up until this point, I have either gifted or traded everything. I have sold a total of three handmade t-shirts over the years... oh, and a baby blanket and shoes to my mother and her friend, but that's it. Now I am putting myself and my stuff out there for all to see and (hopefully) buy.

My next task is finding my niche. I make a lot of different things, but I don't know what people want the most. And I don't want to continue making crazy amounts of random things. Slowly but surely (and not so slowly that I don't get a good start before the baby comes), I will try and get SewSmith started so I don't waste all of these crazy ideas that God really only knows where they come from.

The first item I listed in my etsy shop.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

... of completion

My mom always used to get frustrated with me when I was younger, because I had this "bad" habit of starting a new book before I had finished the one that I was reading. This lead to the starting of hundreds of books and the actual completion of, maybe, half of them. At the time, I didn't see why it was a big deal: it was my prerogative, right? I wasn't hurting anyone else by not finishing The Number One Ladies Detective Agency (MOM...) However, now that I am 27, willfully unemployed, and a self-proclaimed "crafter", my previously benign habit has turned into an aspect of my personality that no longer affects just me.

I could name at least 20 things that I have started making or doing that are all in the final stages of completion, but haven't been touched in at least a few days (if not weeks or months). To name a few:
-a pair of angel wings for a photographer friend of mine need about 20 more minutes of work
-a pillow for Abram needs to be closed up on the side (literally 5 minutes or less)
-the clothes that I have decided to donate or try and sell need to actually be taken out of our bedroom and to the stores
-the 30 or so items that I want to try and sell on etsy need pictures taken of them and to actually be listed in my shop
-the quilt that I just made for Abram needs a few more quilting stitches done on it, but it's already folded up and in his room as if it's ready to go.

That's just a couple. I am pretty proud of that quilt, though. I've never made a quilt before and, for some reason I decided that it was time to try. I think my justification at the time was that I had sheets and a crib skirt for the crib, but no blanket. So I scrounged up fabric that actually ended up matching everything quite nicely.

The easiest (but most tedious part) of a quilt is definitely the top. It's the pretty part that everyone sees and (hopefully) ooos and aaahhs over. That took 2 days and a total of about 8 hours. The harder part that I didn't count on, was making the "quilt sandwich" (technical quilting term... not kidding), which is where you put the top, the batting, and the backing together. It's hard because it gets all puckery if you don't do it right and it can really mess up that beautiful quilt top that took so much time. I took the easy, but more puckery, way out and did an inside out flip, rather than a border. Next time, I will do the border. Definitely worth it. So here are some pictures of the "finished" quilt. I wish I had taken more of the process, but alas, I didn't think ahead.

Unfortunately, the number one person affected by my inability to complete a single project, is my husband. The poor man lives in a house filled with yarn, fabric, pins, scraps, blankets, pillows shoes, and shirts that rarely gets cleaned unless people are coming over. I guess my son will be a co-sufferer soon enough. But maybe that will be a good thing for Quinn. He will get to look at Abram and shake his head as I show them the latest thing that "I've been working on", but they both know I will never actually finish.

Oh, and here's a picture of Abram and I at 28 1/2 weeks...

Friday, September 3, 2010

... of being "that pregnant girl".

Quinn and I visited Pepperdine a few weekends ago when we were in California for a wedding. That campus is really beautiful and I didn't think about it enough when I was there. So we decided that it was small enough and beautiful enough to warrant doing a walking tour rather than a driving one. Luckily, the students were a few days away from being able to be on campus for move in, etc. but there were still a small amount who were looking around with their parents or had been working on campus. As I was walking down lower dorm road on this gorgeous day with my wonderful husband, we passed by two girls who gave me a brief startled glance before overting their eyes. "What the heck?" I thought. "Do I look that old? Is there something on my face? Am I dressed wierd?" And then I realized: I was a college-aged looking person, with nothing on my face, dressed completely normal, who was also definitely 6 months pregnant.

I taught high school for 3 years and taught/saw more pregnant girls that I can count. While high school pregnancy is (sadly) becoming much more frequent, college pregnancy is something you just don't see very often. I surmise that this is because having a high school diploma is a benchmark; you reach it and you can get much better jobs; Public education is free and if the girls can phyisically make it through before and after the baby is born, there is nothing else to inhibit them. College, however, is expensive, it is not mandatory, and it is demanding. This is especially true of a private, Christian university like Pepperdine. I never saw a pregnant student at Pepperdine.

So the startled stares from these girls made sense and it also made me completely self conscious.

Then, this week, I visited a past student of mine on her small, private, religious college campus... still definitely 6 month pregnant, still college-aged looking, and still very self-conscious. I voiced this to Chelsea as we walked on the populated sidewalks. I wanted to make a sign that I could wear that said: "I am 27." Since I couldn't do that, Chelsea and I just walked from one building to the next saying: "I can't believe I'm 27!" and "Too bad you're 27!" and the like as loudly as possible. I glanced behind me at the girl who had been walking behind us for a bit, who was grinning as she turned toward her destination. Well, if nothing else, at least the situation made me mildly entertaining.

This has prompted a change in my pregnancy dressing decisions. Up until that point, I had been purposefully wearing tight shirts so that my little ball of Abram was obvious and whether or not I was just "putting on weight" was never a consideration for onlookers. I now realize that if I am going to be on a college campus (as I did send the costume shop my resume)... I'll wear the ambigous, long, flowy shirts and hopefully reduce the amount of stares at my little ball of Abram and assumptions as to what kind of girl I must be to be pregnant at a Christian university.