Monogram Burlap Canvas Project Open House

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Monogram Burlap Canvas Project Open House

Sunday, August 3rd

2:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Our Home: 4667 S 150 E

Cost per Project: $20.00 

I have been hard at work coming up with the project lists for the Fall and Christmas Pinterest Parties, but this sweet project kept catching my eye.  I am in love with all things burlap and monogram right now, so when I saw the original pin at Shaken Together, I knew I had to make one for myself.  I was also thinking of so many of you while I was putting this together, for sure that you would love it in your homes as much as I do and well…..who says we need to wait till Fall to Pinterest Party together again?

I am going to do things a little bit differently this time since we are only completing one larger project instead of three smaller ones.  The party will be “open house” style, meaning you can come anytime between 2:00 and 6:00 to make your Monogram Burlap Canvas.  You will be able to complete the project in an hour or less.

The project is made on a 12 x 12 stretched burlap canvas with a 5×7 laser cut wooden frame and wooden letter.  I will have tons of paints, fabrics, printed burlaps, ribbons, buttons and printed scrapbook papers so that you can get creative and make something that is unique and the perfect addition to your own decor.

It is very important that you do RSVP for the party so that I can make sure that I have enough supplies and that I have the letter you are wanting for your project.  

There is a spot on the RSVP form to indicate what letter you want, I don’t want to assume you are wanting the letter of your last name in case you are making it for a gift or using the first letter of a child’s name.  

Also, since we are doing “open house” style, no need to bring a food dish this time, just your sweet selves! 


The Sports Issue: A League Of Our Own

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I’m not even sure if she cared or if she was just trying to make conversation.   

“What sports do your boy’s play?” she asked.

“They don’t play sports.” is what I replied in what I thought was English, but by the look on her face, it clearly must have come out in something completely different.

“……(blink)….(blink)….then what do they do……?”

At this point I could have told her that they did any host of things both illegal and immoral and it would not have mattered because, clearly, she had stopped breathing. And processing life.

I can’t tell you how many times I have found myself on the receiving end of this blank stare after dropping the “no sports” bomb on people.  

Honestly, it blows peoples minds and I totally get it but maybe if for like just 15 seconds you could stop and put yourself in our place and then you could pick up your jaw and stop acting like you couldn’t be more surprised if you woke up in the morning with your head stapled to the carpet?  

Remember in ‘A League Of Their Own’ when Jimmy says “There is no crying in baseball!”?   Well, there’s no Patterson’s either.  So maybe just deal with it?


And no lots of other families who parent kids who process the world differently.  For lots of kids like ours, it’s simply not an option, either socially or physically.  And lucky for us, we have one in each category. 

We tried it one season.  And by one season I mean one and half games.  It is basically every trigger our oldest boy could possibly have rolled into one 90 minute session and then add a bunch of other kids and spectators.  Always a good time.

For our family, the combination of autism and sports is like what they say about beer before liquor, or is it beer after liquor,  either way you don’t wanna do it. 

And while it clearly seemed like the end of modern civilization to this poor lady that I was speaking to, I think the world will probably go on. 

At least I hope it does.

Let me start by saying this, I love that your kids play sports.  I really do.  

I know how much your kids get out of being involved in sports and I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t jealous sometimes.  I wish my kids were right out there with yours.  I would give anything for my kids to have the friendships centered around team sports that your kids have.  

And here is the completely honest part, I’d give anything in the world if I had them, too.  We see it happening and we realize how much we as parents are missing out.  When it seems like everyone is at the ballpark or hanging out with their “team” friends and it only tends to make the disconnect between our lives and “the other” life seem even more vast. 

But the reality is that it IS our life and even though we don’t have bleacher tan lines to show it, we are doing ok.  

Your kids and my kids might not ever be on the same sports team but they will be in the same class room and so maybe if you promise to act like it’s not such a big deal that my kids don’t play sports and I promise to not act like it’s such a big deal that your’s do, than our kids won’t actually think it is and then there will be one less thing they have to worry about when they are trying to navigate growing up and learning how treat people and make friends and do life.  

And maybe if we get over it being such a big deal you won’t accidentally or on purpose make us feel more different than we already do and I won’t have to rhyme your name with bad words in my mind when I see you and pretend to smile.  

You will feel better knowing my kids aren’t absolutely miserable and I will feel better not making up situations in my mind where you are absolutely miserable and the world will be a better place. 

Oh.  And I couldn’t be rude to the lady.  I had to answer her question.  If my kids didn’t play sports then what did they do?

“Stuff. Mostly” 






Come What May…..And Freakin’ Love It: Graduation

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About this time a few years ago, I confessed that I had a huge dream.  To finish my college degree that I started in 1998.

I wasn’t even really sure why it was so important to me, other than it was.  I needed to do this.  I needed to finish what I started.  I needed to do it for my kids and my husband but where all the fear and guilt came in was that the person that I needed to do it the most for was me.

It felt so selfish to say “I have this huge dream and I am going to do it” because I felt like being a wife and a mom automatically meant that you no longer lived for anything that started with the word “I”.

And yet I had to .

About this time 1 year ago, I set a date.  Setting that date meant a whole lot of things would have to happen.  It meant resigning from my position on staff as the Pastor of Children’s Ministries in the church that I love, working with kids that I’d give my life for.   It meant telling them goodbye and asking them to still love me because I had this crazy dream to actually finish something that I had started.

And walking out of that church on my last Sunday on staff was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but even harder was walking back in the door the next week as a regular church attender.   It broke my heart to look into the eyes of kids who were confused because one week I was their leader and their best friend and now they weren’t really sure if we could or were supposed to still be those things all because I had this big dream that I had to chase.

And yet, it still wasn’t enough to make me stop.

It meant squeezing in those last classes and applying for and securing an internship where I would work for free for 20 hours a week for 16 weeks, in exchange for course credit.  It meant asking my husband and my kids to sacrifice their time so that I could chase this dream of mine.  It meant an empty refrigerator because I couldn’t quite figure out how to put in my hours at work, do all of the classwork that went along with it and still raise a family.

It meant we lived in our new house for 5 weeks before I ever did the first load of laundry here, my husband did it all.  It meant getting up at 4:45 am to try to get just a few more hours out of the day. It meant forgetting to sign permission slips and check homework folders and it meant having to ask 8 and 12 year old boys for forgiveness for failing to do all of the things that moms are just supposed to do.

And today it all comes to an end.  

I’ll spend most of the day on campus in a final presentation and then, about 3:30, I’ll walk out of Hanley Hall for the last time as an undergrad, having (hopefully) just successfully presented my final capstone project and on the exact same stage that I walked across to graduate from high school on 20 years ago, I’ll be graduating with a Bachelors of Science Degree from the School of Health and Human Sciences as well as minors in Fine Arts and Sociology. And, I’ll be doing it all with honors for my almost perfect GPA.  Holla! 

And all of.  ALL OF IT.  All of it will have been worth it.

So whatever your thing is, your big goal, your one day, your wildest dream…. go for it.

Will it be hard? Of course.  Will you wanna quit?  Only every other day.  But whatever your dream is and whatever that looks like, I can’t even stop my heart from smiling for you when I think of how you are gonna feel when you stand where I am today about 3:30.

Come What May…..And Freakin’ Love It.

Ikea Chalkboard Project

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You know that I love Ikea, right?  It’s really hard to pick my absolute favorite part at Ikea, but the Handyman’s Corner is right there at the top of the list.

 It is where they keep all the scratch and dent type of items but they also have a big section that is full of extra doors and shelves and the ends of dressers and what not, in just about any size you can imagine.

When I was there a few weeks ago, I found this large white piece that I am guessing might have been a cabinet door?  It measures almost 24 inches by 40 inches and it is glossy white.  The only problem with it is that one corner is just a tiny bit scratched, but I had to look long and hard just to find the flaw.

Anyway, it was $7.00.  I know, right?  How could I pass it up?


I have also really been in love with all things chalkboard lately so I decided that this would be the PERFECT surface to turn into a chalk board and the whole project could not have been any easier.  

Honestly, waiting for the chalkboard spray paint to dry was the most time consuming part of the whole process.  

To get started, I used blue painters tape to tape off all the ares where I did NOT want my chalkboard spray paint to go.  I didn’t even have to measure or use a ruler to make a straight edge for this part because I just used the center part of the panel, so all my lines were already made for me. 

IMG_4200And from there, it was time for the chalkboard paint.  I have used both brush on and spray paint before, but I decided that the spray paint would be best for this application because of how large of surface I needed to cover.  I used Krylon Chalk Board spray paint that I got at WalMart for right around $3.00 and I applied 4 coats of it, allowing each coat to dry about an hour or so in between.  The directions say to apply 2 coats, but I know from experience that 2 coats is never enough if you want to be able to erase your writing and use it again multiple times.  After the last coat, I let it dry for 24 hours before moving on. 



Once your paint has set for at least 24 hours, you have to “season” the board before it is ready to use.  It may sound fancy or tricky, but basically it just means you rub the chalk all over the board to completely cover the surface, then wipe it back off again. 


After that, you are done!  I told you it was simple.

 Here is my finished project that I have on the mantle above our fireplace.  It is perfect for the large space and I was able to lean it up against the stone wall, so know drilling or screws were involved.  I am so excited to be able to use this year round and when I get tired of it, I am out about $10 total.  I call that a win. 

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