I hope they see | a mother’s prayer

I hope they see

There are days I look deeply into two sets of little eyes,
wondering what memories will keep.

And although I know there’s nothing I can do,
to make the good ones stick stronger,

There are some things I certainly hope for.

I hope they see my smile,
more than they see my furrowed brow.

I hope they hear me sing,
more than they hear my voice raised.

I hope they see my eyes,
more than they see my phone.

I hope they find me patient,
more than they find me frustrated.

I hope they see less money and more time,
less busy and more heart.

I hope they see more actions and less words,
less stress and more hope.

I hope they see me try, and fail, and try again,
And when my cracks are all made plain,

I hope they see my imperfections,
And decide to love me anyway.

I hope they know my love for them runs deeper,
than I ever dreamed it could.

And more than anything, or anyone,
I hope they see Jesus, working real inside of me.

It's Momplicated Archives


What’s on My Plate | Meal Hacks for the Every Woman

What's On My Plate

Oh, I have such a love-hate relationship with food. Meaning of course, that I love it so much I hate not to eat. Everything. But I’m pretty certain my doctor’s serious this time about me dropping a few pounds, so I’m back on Weight Watchers. Again.

After the initial week of feeling like I might starve, I’ve reached down deep for the personal discipline that’s been buried for the last several years and have managed to shed nearly ten pounds in the last six weeks. What’s more exciting, is that for the first time in a long time I’m actively trying to plan ahead and feed my whole family better. You know with real food and vegetables and all. So far we’ve all tried things we’ve never tried before, and some of them are sticking.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still crushing the cereal to get the most out of my cup-and-a-quarter’s worth of points, but we’re making progress, and I think that’s the point for me this time around.

When it comes up in conversation that I’m back on Weight Watchers the first thing I get asked is what I’m eating. Which is valid. The way the program is set up, you likely could lose weight eating your points in ice cream each day, but I’m trying, choice by choice, to behave myself.

On most days I’m targeting fruits for breakfast, veggies for lunch, a solid dinner early evening, and room for snacks at night (because, doctor or no doctor, without those I’m certain I would call it quits forever).

Over the next several weeks I’ll be posting pictures of what I’m eating with links to recipes that:

  1. taste good,
  2. are easy to prepare, and
  3. make sense on the whole weight-loss front.

I know I’m not the only one trying to make some new habits. Let’s be better together.


DIY Tote Bag | The Tote of Many Prints

The Tote of Many Prints

I’m kind of a closeted Vera Bradley fan (seriously, who doesn’t love a pretty quilted print?). I just can’t work myself up to actually pay for one. I’m kind of matchy-matchy, and tend to gravitate towards more practical solid colors for my everyday purse. But with a tote, I feel like I can get my statement on, and try something a little more daring for a change.

Tote of Many Prints

The tote itself is constructed in much the same way as the Princess Purse, but with a little less frill, and a little more grown-up common sense. Each 14″ X 15″ tote is made of quilted fabric, lined and accented with the patterned fabric of your choice, is both washable and reversible (for my braver, more fashion-forward friends), and is simple enough for a beginning seamstress to complete on their own.

Tote of many prints

What you need

  • 22″ cut of quilted fabric (off the bolt)
  • 15″ cut of patterned fabric (also off the bolt)
  • Thread to match your quilted fabric

How to Make it

1. Pattern and cut your fabric.

Step 1 - Cut Your Fabric

I’ve been making lots of bags for friends, so the fabric pictured here is way more than what you’ll be purchasing. Just FYI.

Out of the quilted fabric, cut one piece 39″ long X 14″ wide for the body of the bag (hint: create a pattern for a rectangle 19.5″ long X 14″wide and place it on the FOLD before cutting), and cut two pieces 36″ X 3″ for the handles.

Out of your patterned fabric, cut one piece 23″ X 14″ for the liner of the bag (hint: create a pattern for a rectangle 11.5″ long X 14″wide and place it on the FOLD before cutting), and cut two pieces 6″ long X 14″ wide for the bag accent.

2. Pin & seam all fabric pieces.

You will pin fabric in this step with the “right side” of your fabric facing “in” for all steps except C. If you’ve purchased double sided quilted fabric it won’t matter which way you pin :).

Step 2 - Pin and Seam

A. Pin along the right and left sides of the patterned fabric (which should measure 11.5″ X 14″, with the fold along the bottom), and seam.

B. Fold each quilted shoulder strap in half long-ways, pin the open edges of the fabric together towards the right (which should measure 36″ X 1.5″ with the fold to the left), and seam.

C. Pin 1/2″ along the top and bottom of each rectangular patterned fabric accent piece (so as to finish the edges) and seam.

D. Turn the seamed patterned fabric, and both quilted shoulder straps right-side out.

E. Seam along both edges of the shoulder straps to flatten and strengthen straps.

Close Up Shoulder Straps

3. Attach patterned accent fabric and shoulder straps to tote body.

Step 3 - Attach accent fabric and shoulder straps

Place the finished patterned accent fabric 7″ from the bottom fold of the tote body on each side and pin (hint: take care that they match correctly on each side before continuing).

Slipping the edge of one shoulder strap 1/2″ underneath the top of the patterned accent fabric, pin in place 3-1/2″ from the side of the tote body. Do the same for the other edge of the shoulder strap on the opposite side of the tote body. Complete this step again for the second shoulder strap on the back of the tote body.

Seam the pinned patterned accent fabric and shoulder straps to the tote body following the guide left by the finished seam of the patterned accent fabric (completed in step 2C).

4. Seam the inside of the tote to the outside.

Step 4

Pin and seam the tote body together (taking care to match the patterned accent fabric - right side in – and avoid the shoulder straps) on either side.

Pin and seam tote body (with patterned accent fabric and shoulder straps still facing in) to the patterned fabric (turned right side “out”). Seam, leaving space to turn the entire tote right side out.

Step 4B

Once the tote is turned, finish off the hole by tucking the unfinished ends “in,” pinning, and seaming to close.

5. Finish off the tote.

Step 5A

After you’ve smoothed out the fabric for both the insides and outsides to lay flat, finish the tote by running a seam along the top.

Step 5B

Measure 3.25″ from each side seam of the finished tote and pin straps in place. Sew straps to bag (following the seams that are already in place) and you’re done!

Gift Ideas

These totes are great for everyday use – think library, thrift store, coffee shop, gym bag – but are also great for personalized gifts. By changing out the patterned fabric and/or adding a few extra items you’ve got yourself a very unique, very thoughtful gift.


New Mom

  • Pick a new momma’s favorite color, or correspond the accent fabric to match the gender of the baby she’s having. Include a few diapers, a box of DIY baby wipes, and the instructions she needs to keep making her own.

Back-to-School / Book Lover

  • Print and bind a 2014-2015 (FREE) planner and toss in one of this summer’s best-sellers or a gift-card to their favorite bookstore.

Coffee Afficionado

Spa Bag

  • Throw in a manicure/pedicure kit, some matching colored polish, bath salts, and a few facial treatments to give a friend the spa treatment at home.

The possibilities (as I’m sure you can guess) are pretty endless :).

So we’re trying something new . . .

Photo Source | Photographer

Photo Source | Courtesy of cienpies.net | Edits Mine

Something I never thought we’d do.

Something that excites me and terrifies me, in the most profound of ways, at exactly the same time.

We’re homeschooling Elijah for Kindergarten.

It’s crazy to type those words out, because now it feels real, for real.

No more planning. No more talking. No more wondering.

We are ALL in.

Curriculum purchased. Basement re-done. Schedule re-evaluated.

We-told-the-school-we’re-not-coming – kind of “in.”

And that’s a little terrifying.

Then I worry what people will think. If this makes us too different. I worry what Elijah will say when he’s old enough to know better. I worry if I’m enough and if I’m capable of making this year meaningful. Worthwhile.

But there have been so many families, of brave moms and dads and amazingly talented kids, who have called me to question if this way might be a good way for us.

I don’t actually know for sure, except that I am so compelled, I need to try, to find out.

We might decide at the end of this school year that this was an interesting experiment. We might decide its worth another go. Either way, I’m excited to take this adventure – because somewhere in the deep-dark parts of my heart, I know there is the possibility we might absolutely love it.

Although that surprises me in about a million and a half ways, I’m going to run with it.

So here we are, day one of homeschool.

Deep breath.

Hello Kindergarten. It’s been a long, long time . . .

It's Momplicated Archives

FREE Downloadable 2014-2015 Planner

I’ve been feeling a bit untethered lately. With our summer story winding down, running headlong into a brand new fall schedule, and my love-hate relationship with my current planner . . . it’s no wonder.

Yes, I still use a paper planner. I’m the kind of organized-creative that needs something tactile I can shuffle around to see the biggest picture possible, rather than being limited to viewing one screen at a time. I’ve tried everything from my iPhone to iCal to the way-back-when-Palm-Pilot and I just can’t do it.

But I also get a little picky with planners. I need white space, less lines, and for the people at Day Timer to stop telling me what headings to use to categorize my life, or what holidays I should celebrate.

So I made my own – and I’m sharing with you.

You’re welcome. :)

Free & Downloadable 2014-2015 Planner

This 17 month, 2014-2015 planner begins with a two-page calendar spread, followed by a two-page spread of monthly goals. All the headings and content are completely up to you – AKA you can change your mind from month to month and not scribble all over the page.

Monthly Goals

Each week of the month is given a two-page spread as well, which includes Monday-through-Sunday schedule blocks, meal planning, and weekly to-do lists.

Weekly Spread

A new centeredness has entered our home and it’s because I gave myself space to plan in peace.

Thank goodness.

To download your own 17 month, 2014-2015 planner click the following link:

2014-2015 Planner

I took mine to a local print spot, had it run double-sided in black and white on a slightly thicker paper, and coil bound for good measure. Color was a bit pricey for my taste, so I opted for some pretty pink Sharpies that were on sale. Win-win.

Linked Here: Living Well Spending Less