Thursday, May 14, 2015

burn & shine

I read a quote the other day that resonated with my heart and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it.  When that happens it's a safe bet that it will eventually be lettered and hung on my wall for me to see often.  Sometimes these little quick sketches turn into the artwork I offer in my shop!


"Does the sun ask itself, 'Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?' No. It burns and shines. Does the sun ask itself, 'What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?' No, it burns and it shines. 'Am I as big as suns in the other galaxies?' No, it burns, it shines."
- Andrea Dworkin

The day that I read that happened to be a day (one of many) that I was in a funk of comparison.  A day of struggling to view myself through the lens of the Gospel.  Sometimes the other lenses I see through are called Not Measuring Up, Never Enough, and the popular Their Opinions Matter.  If I am not very careful and diligent it is easy for me to forget what the Gospel says is true of me and start to only care what the world (or let's be honest - what that one particular person at any given time) thinks about me and my character/worth/____fill in the blank____. After a day or so of unchecked thoughts and laziness in the Taking Every Thought Captive Department my mind can become a veritable landfill of garbage and suddenly I have no worth and everyone hates me and so on and so forth. UTTER GARBAGE.

Maybe you sometimes struggle too?

Here's some truth for us:

-In Christ, we are a new creation.

-Our security and significance are found in Him alone.

-He is working everything for our GOOD and He will complete the GOOD work that He has started.

-ANYONE'S opinion of us (for good or bad) is insignificant - we are the beloved bride of Christ - children of the Most High King - and NOTHING can separate us from His love...least of all the opinion of man.

-We are all in this together!

So, friends, let's remind ourselves and each other often of the TRUTH, and let's keep growing together.

I'm putting on the lens called Work in Progress - the one that helps me preach the Gospel to myself daily and reminds me that I am NOT perfect, but He is perfecting me, and what He says about me is all that matters.  I'm praying that for you, too.

Let's take our cue from the sun and just burn and shine.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

SHOP LAUNCH

The Moonpie Designs Shop is officially open!

It did not occur to me until just now that this is one part of my dream for this business come true! All the praise hands!

It has been my prayer all along that MPD will serve to uplift and encourage you through words and The Word written beautifully.  I believe in keeping scripture and things that point us to the Gospel in front of us at all times, and I'm honored to play a roll in helping you do that through the artwork you choose to place on the walls of your home and workspace. Thank you for your encouragement to keep pushing forward to make this a reality.

To celebrate the launch of the shop and Mother's Day that's coming up, use promo code MOTHERSDAY at checkout for 15% off your ENTIRE ORDER! Promo runs until midnight April 28th.

Place your order by April 28 to ensure delivery in time for Mother's Day (May 10).

LOCALS: Leave me a note at checkout and I will refund the shipping charges if you want to come pick up your goodies.



Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring Craft Market 2015

Yesterday I participated in my first Craft Market. It was a fundraiser for Christ Community Church's summer mission teams to Romania and Kenya. The Market went really well and was so much fun!

Since it was my first one I had a lot of prep work to do to get ready and since I am a Master Procrastinator, this meant that I was literally working up until set up to get everything completed. I don't know how to do things any other way. :)

Two days before the Market I called my friend Ange to see if she could come help me organize my brain and run some errands.  She ended up being such a blessing and single handedly got all of my prints packaged and ready for display/sell, and kept me from going completely insane.  She also calmed me down when I was completely freaking out about my booth and display and how on earth I was going to make that happen.  Staging and styling are NOT my gifts, but they are her favorite part and she shared her wisdom and inspiration with me and helped me make some ideas a reality and basically just convinced me to calm down because it would all come together.
Thank you, Ange!

At this market I had 4 products: canvases, globes, banners, and prints.

The canvases, globes, and banners are all hand-painted.  The prints are reproductions - my original lettering and design with some graphic elements added and offered in 3 sizes (5x7, 8x10, and 11x14).

Unfortunately I only took one picture - I was busy talking and running the booth and just forgot that I should probably do that!


I'm pleased with how the booth and display turned out and am already looking forward to the next one! Thank you to Kiley Rikard and the CCC Romania team for doing a fabulous job organizing inaugural Spring Craft Market!

Stay tuned this week for the launch of the Moonpie Designs online store!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Perkinson Adoption Auction

The Perkinson family will journey to China soon to bring home Esther. Esther is a special needs 4 year old who was abandoned at birth.  They are holding an online auction as a fundraiser to help the get to her. This is a fun way to shop, and there is a Moonpie Designs item up for grabs! You can find the auction on their   Facebook page: Perkinson Adoption Happenings Please like the page for auction details. 
Auction starts April 15 and runs to the 21st and will be at http://on.fb.me/1HvhMTd.  

You can follow their story on the blog:  perksofbeingaperkinson.blogspot.com 

Give them a follow.  This C.S. Lewis quote, "Courage, dear heart" banner in black, white, and metallic gold is one of the items being offered.  Below are some of the others items available for bidding.






Friday, February 13, 2015

A Birth Story: Isla Joy

She came on a Thursday.

The day before she came we saw our midwife for what I hoped would be the last weekly check with her in my tummy.  I got my wish.

All day Wednesday I had contractions that were annoying - mostly because I had a ton to do to get the house ready for baby and house guests. You see, we decided to do ALL THE THINGS in the 2 months before she was born.  Those things included planning a vow renewal ceremony (read: mini wedding) for our 10th wedding anniversary and completely renovating our kitchen. We had been living in complete chaos and disarray and our new flooring had finally been installed which was the last major part of the renovation and this momma was in full nesting mode.  My sister and brother in law were there keeping Evie while we went to our doctor's appointment and they stayed and helped me get the nursery and guest rooms cleaned and prepped just in case baby girl decided to come a week early - unlike her older siblings (Silas came right on time and Evie was a week late).

I timed a few contractions while I was cooking dinner, but by the time dinner was over they had tapered off a bit so I decided to go on to Bible Study at a friend's house. The contractions kept me uncomfortable, but they weren't steady enough to time. I asked everyone to pray specifically that real labor would start that night and said that I would be pissed if I was able to meet with them the next week (which was my due date).  I was ready to have her in my arms.

On the way home I had the first contraction that made me cuss.  It's a 20 minute drive, and I had 4 contractions. Apparently those ladies did some praying. :)

I got home and the big kids were asleep and I told Justin that we should probably pack for the hospital just in case they didn't taper off this time.  I took a shower and fixed my hair (between contractions) while he got our bags ready and there was a palpable energy in the house.  We were both excited and hopeful that this was IT. They stayed steady at 5 minutes apart for a couple of hours, and I got in bed to try to get a little rest. Justin was trying to sleep but I couldn't so I just looked at Pinterest and mentally willed my body to keep going. All of a sudden, with one contraction they went from 5 minutes apart to 2 1/2 minutes apart and grew in intensity with each one.  I called the on-call midwife with my practice and she confirmed that it was time to go to the hospital.  As soon as my mother in law arrived to keep the big kids, we took off.  We were so excited and happy.  We listened to Rend Collective Experiment and sang along all the way there (except for when I was breathing through contractions). It was midnight, so there wasn't any traffic, and it was a strangely peaceful drive (unlike Evie's labor drive, where I thought I was going to die before we got there).

We parked where we usually did at the hospital only to discover after we had walked all the way to the door that it was inoperational and we had to get back in the car and drive to the other side of the building and go up in the elevator to The Birth Center. They put me in triage (thankfully we were the only ones there) and got me hooked up to everything and did a check.  I was at 3 1/2.  Leslie and Magda had arrived (they were to be present for the delivery) and Justin went to make sure they were comfortable (as much as possible) in the waiting room until they could come into a private room with us.  While he was gone I had a very scary contraction that was incredibly intense and that caught me so of guard that I wasn't handling it at all. I was alone, and couldn't get on top of it.  Usually I could just focus my mind and breathe/pant/sway/hit something enough to maintain some management of the pain, but this one was different and I could barely breathe.  Suddenly the door flew open and 3 nurses came running in to me.  It was obvious that something scary was happening and they rolled me onto my left side and moved me all around and I was being so mean and ugly because it was incredibly uncomfortable and I was scared and out of breath.  The head nurse said that the baby didn't like that contraction and wasn't handling it well so I had to do what they told me so they could try to get her heart rate back to normal. They gave me oxygen and made me stay on my side.  Justin got back in the room and that was the first time I cried. I suddenly felt not ok, and was still scared that they were going to send me home since they hadn't put me in a room yet.  Irrational fear, but it happens to me at some point with every labor. I was being super snappy and mouthy to the nurse, but in my defense her bedside manner left much to be desired.  Justin kept gently reminding me to show grace and he prayed over me several times.  That calmed me down.

After that scary contraction, they stayed intense and I started having a weird pain in my hips.  With Silas' labor all of my pain was in my tummy and with Evie I had insane back labor.  This was different from those, and I remember being frustrated that I was going to have to figure the pain management out as I went yet again

Her heart rate stabilized, and after a couple hours in triage they checked me again and when I was at 4cm they moved me to my room and ordered the epidural. Praise sweet baby Jesus for epidurals. It was a couple hours before I got it though, so I asked for something to help me cope while I waited for it.  They gave me a little drug cocktail (Staydol and Phenergan, I think) and it made me feel drunk.  I couldn't open my eyes because they were too heavy, but I was aware of what was going on around me so I kept trying to talk to Magda and Leslie but my speech was super slurred.  I'm sure that was entertaining for them.  They let Justin nap for a while and held each of my hands and let me squeeze during contractions.  The drugs didn't work nearly as well this time as they had with Evie's labor.  

Finally the anesthesiologist arrived, and he was all business. I like when people will joke and laugh with me - especially when there is pain involved, but he was having none of it.  He did his job, and the epidural gave me some relief for about an hour.  We all tried to sleep in the FREEZING room.  I never slept.  I tried to manage the contractions on my on for a couple hours so everyone could rest because both Leslie and Magda had to go to work the next day and it was 5am at this point. 

At some point the contractions got too painful for me to manage on my own, and the midwife on call came to check me.  I was getting close.  She broke my water, and I braced for the intensity that would follow that.  My hips felt like they were breaking in two.  Not too long after that they checked me again and it was go time.  The door flew open and all of the lights came on and in came DeeDee - the midwife on call (there had been a shift change at 7am)  and she was like a bright ray of sunshine and the energizer bunny rolled into one. She said, "Who's ready to have a baby?!!" and all of us screamed and the energy level in the room jumped up several notches with that one question. We were all so exhausted, but DeeDee ushered in a rush of adrenaline for everyone with her upbeat personality.

It was time to push.  

By that time the epidural had mostly worn off, and it was too late to give another dose, so I knew that this might really suck. But I was ready.  DeeDee said that she would let me deliver her myself if I wanted to try.

I wanted to try.

We forgot to ask for the mirror so I could see what was going on, so Magda held my phone up for me and it served as my mirror. Thank you Apple. :)

I pushed with the next contraction, and knew immediately that this was going to be much much different than my other two deliveries.

I felt like she was stuck.

I was pushing harder than ever before, and was actually legitimately concerned that something very bad was happening to my hips.  They felt like they were splitting, and it didn't seem like she was coming.  

Everyone was cheering me on, and I just kept pushing.

Leslie was standing on a chair at the foot of the bed so she could take pictures and at one point she was actually jumping up and down and cheering. I don't think that I laughed, but had I been able to I would have.

After the 4th or 5th push I remember yelling (as much as I could in my out of breath state) that I just wanted her OUT. 

There was no relief between contractions at this point.

I was so confused - I pushed 3 times with Silas and Evie and they were out and that was that.  I didn't understand why this was so hard or what I was doing differently that was messing things up.

Finally her head was born and it became clear what the problem was: she was sunny-side up.

Babies are meant to be born head first, face down - that's how they naturally fit through the birth canal.

She was face up.

DeeDee told me that I was delivering a baby in the most difficult way possible, and just knowing that it wasn't something I was doing that was making this harder was enough to help me rally and get ready for the next hard part. 

All of that was happening very quickly.

The cord was around her neck so I had to wait until they slipped it over her head to push.

I was certain that my hips were broken.  That pain was from her facing the wrong way.

When it was finally time, DeeDee told me I could deliver her so I reached and pushed and she finally came and I put her on my tummy.  

She was crying before she was all the way out.

Amazingly enough, my hips stopped hurting the moment she was out.  

I have never felt such relief.

I wanted to look at her, and I did, but I had to lay my head back and just breathe for a few seconds and recover from the hardest work of my entire life.

She laid on my tummy until the cord stopped pulsing, and then Justin cut it and I moved her up to my chest.  She was loud. :)

Eventually they weighed and measured her.  I thought for sure that she was going to be the biggest of my 3, but she was the smallest at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and 18 inches.

It was 7:39am on Thursday, September 25th when she finally arrived.

Leslie and Magda left for work, and eventually we were moved over to the Mother/Baby side of The Birth Center.  We rested for a few hours (after we ate!) and then the big kids came to meet their new sister.  It was adorable.  They were both smitten right away.

We had a party in our room with our dearest friends - at one point there were 12 of us in there!  We loved it and were happy to have people there to celebrate her first day with us.

We went home the next day and began life as a family of five.






She is our beautiful surprise baby.

She is a physical reminder that God redeems.

Beauty from ashes.

Isla Joy Moon

The Lord has done great things for us and we are filled with joy. Psalm 126:3








Tuesday, November 5, 2013

One Stop Shop: Holiday Mailings

There are 50 days until Christmas.

50!

That means there are around 30 days to choose Christmas cards and a family picture to go in them, stuff them, address them, stamp them, and mail them. Less than that for holiday party invitations.

If you are like me, that will sneak up on you.

This year, Moonpie Designs is ready to help make your holiday season more enjoyable by taking some stress away. This is a season of thanksgiving and rejoicing and the less you have to do, the better, right?

Let Moonpie Designs handle your holiday mailings this year. I will stuff, address, stamp, AND mail them for you.  All you have to do is get them to me. 
*Ordering from shutterfly or tiny prints (or the like)?
Just have them shipped to me and I will take care of the rest.
*Signing individual cards?
No problem! Ship them to me if you aren't local (that's ONE address to write vs 25+) or we can meet up and I'll take them off your hands.

Not only will you have peace of mind knowing that your cards will get to their recipients ON TIME this year, you can also rest assured that they will be beautiful.
Your Moonpie Designs hand lettered envelopes will make a great impression that won't soon be forgotten.

Pricing:
$2.75 per regular postage envelope - stuffed, addressed (with return), stamped, and mailed
*envelopes requiring additional postage will incur an additional fee based on postage prices

You choose black or silver ink.
You provide cards and envelopes.





Avoid the aching hand and hassle of the post office during the holidays - contact me today to reserve your spot before they run out!  5 spots available.

P.S. I will also address your packages for you. Let's talk!



Love with Abandon FALL LAUNCH

Moonpie Designs partnered with Rachel Walser back in the spring to create some shirt designs for her project, Love with Abandon, that seeks to support 6 different ministries/families that are devoted to orphan care and prevention both here and abroad.  You can read more about the project here.

She just launched her fall line, and she brought back my Speak Up and Love with Abandon designs in new colors and styles and also added a brand new design by MpD - Africa Has My Heart.  There are all kinds of goodies in her shop and everything will arrive no later than December 6th so this is a perfect opportunity to do some Christmas shopping and GIVE BACK while you are at it. Two birds, one stone...don't you love it? :) 100% of the proceeds go to support the LwA project.

Shop HERE.




Rachel has made a way for you to earn a free shirt (or sweatshirt!) by partnering with the LwA project.  You can read about it here, but all you need to do is sell 10 shirts from her store and you will earn a free shirt for yourself or to give away!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Evie {one year}

Baby girl is ONE!

Momma had a hard time with it for a little bit.

But something happened to her when she passed that year mark.

She got even cuter.
{I know... is that even possible?!}

She also got even more spunky and feisty.

Her little {BIG} personality just cracks us up and we are having so much fun watching her become her own little person.

At one year Miss Evie is:
*still "teacup" sized and weighing in at 18.7 lbs
*walking all by herself! She hasn't figured out how to stand up without holding on to something yet, but she can walk anywhere she wants
*climbing on EVERYTHING
*eating EVERYTHING and stealing your food. She is very very sneaky sir.
*dancing any time she hears music or someone singing
*a mess maker - her favorites are pulling the cushions off of the couch, emptying the tupperware drawer, and pulling all of the clothes out of the hamper
*talking up a storm. Words we understand: Momma, Daddy, Silas (Die Die), Hi, Hey, Hello
She talks constantly but most of the time we have no idea what it means.  She also "fusses" at toys and inanimate objects when they don't do what she wants. That's pretty hilarious.
*She signs please, thank you, more, finished, and sometimes help.  She has also started pointing to things and my favorite to ask her is "Where is Evie?" and she smacks her chest with fervor. :)  The only body part that she is interested in pointing to is her bellybutton.  I go over all of the others with her daily, but the bellybutton is the only one she cares about. :)
*nursing twice a day, morning and night.  She gets cold whole milk in a bottle before and after nap.
*climbing the stairs.  Silas has a hard time remember to close the gate behind him and more than one time I have "lost" her only to find her upstairs in his room giggle like a school girl and looking so proud. 
*still in her infant carseat.  Poor thing might be 3 before she can face forward!
*still friendly to EVERYONE and makes a normal shopping trip take twice as long as it should because she talks to everyone and everyone comes to talk to her. :)

We had a little party to celebrate and it was a perfectly beautiful day for it. Evie enjoyed opening her gifts and she devoured her cupcake.  She ate every.single.bit of it, icing included, except for the tiny bit that got flung on the wall in her excitement. :)














Happy Birthday sweet girl!  We love you and your spunkiness!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Check out the new TANKS!

Rachel added some awesome tanks to the Love With Abandon shop.

They are a flowy racerback tank and I am smitten with them.

And the best part - they are just $20!
Like everything else in the shop, 100% of the proceeds go to orphan care.

Click each tank to view in shop




Don't you want one of each?!



Monday, March 18, 2013

Love with Abandon

Hello friends!

So the blog got a makeover...what do you think?  I still have lots of work to do (like put something other than "coming soon!" on all of the pages!), but I love the new look. More on who did it for me to come.

Today I want to tell you about a very neat project that I had the honor to be a part of recently: the Love With Abandon Project.

My friend, Rachel, started this project with the goal of raising $6000 and dividing it evenly among 6 different ministries/families that are devoted to orphan care and prevention.  She tells the story of what prompted her to start the project here.  I urge you to read it and check out each of the ministries that will benefit from it. 

She has a store set up and 100% of the proceeds go toward this project.  There are shirts (from infant to adult sizes!), stickers, posters, bags, and bracelets.  

How awesome would it be to fill your loved one's Easter baskets with some fun stuff that would help ministries educate and empower families to stay together and also support the care and adoption of existing orphans INSTEAD of (or at least in addition to) candy?

Rachel is placing her first order of shirts today so if you want yours in time for Easter you better scoot on over there and fill up that shopping cart!

To keep from bombarding you with tons of pictures, here is a sample of a few things she has in the shop.
I designed all of these. Click each picture to go shop!

Love with Abandon dolman style tee $20



Speak Up slouchy long sleeve tee $30


Ethiopian hut classic tee - $20 adult, $15 infant and children


Hut tee - infant and children $15

 Speak Up tote bag $20

 All of these come in different styles and colors and don't forget there are other goodies besides shirts in the store too!



Thanks for supporting this project!