Five Minute Friday: Mess

The word makes me cringe. I can't stand messes. I especially have a hard time with messes that are my own. It's hard to see the beauty of something when the mess is what stands out to me. 

Take this picture of our kitchen counter (which I took this morning).

The main thing I see when I look at it is how cluttered and disheveled it looks. But upon closer reflection, I see more than that. 

I see an orange mug that's filled with coffee for Anthony to take to work. I see a sweet book from the library, Betsy-Tacy. Lots of groceries. A little square box my grandparents had for me to use as a bank when I was little. A juicer. And the thing that stands out most, flowers Anthony recently bought me on our trip to Trader Joe's.

Each of these things represents other things like: a job, the ability to read, money for groceries, memories from my grandparents, the ability to make healthy food, and the love of my husband. I can look at this counter and be frustrated by its imperfection or I can look a little deeper and see the other things that it stands for. Maybe that's what I'm learning right now, how to see the beauty of messes. And this includes my own self. 

Linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday where we write freely for 5 minutes.

8 Years Ago...

I married my best friend.


I thought I loved him then! I didn't know you could grow to love someone more with time's passing. The weeks have turned into months and years. The time we've spent together causes my heart to grow more in love than I'd ever imagined.

We met a long time ago and started hanging out a lot in 2002 or 2003. The timeline is fuzzy, because it's hard for me to recollect being an adult and him not being around.


Our relationship has been through instant messaging, text messaging, emailing, phone calling, instagramming, and facetiming. We've been there for each other through marriages, deaths, moves, breakups, infertility, babies, and so many other things. We've been around for short hair, long hair, soul patches, clean shaven, beards, faux hawks, weight changes, and more!




There isn't a day that goes by that I don't talk to him. He's the first person I tell when something is good or bad. He's seen the best of me and sadly the worst of me too.



There have been Christmases and birthdays, steaks and cakes, feasting and eating, and coffee and coffee and coffee.


We've travelled along the entire West Coast, across the midwest, and down the East Coast. We've been on trains, planes, boats, bikes, ferries, and cars. We've walked and talked along the streets of Sacramento, San Francisco, Monterey, Portland, Seatte, Vancouver, New York City, Washington DC, Richmond, Raleigh, Charlotte, and Durham.






There have been many, many trips to the Happiest Place on Earth.



There have been sleepless nights and long conversations into the wee morning hours. There have been prayers prayed, songs sung, tears shed. And there has been a lot of laughing and joking and smiling.

We've started and finished school. We've gotten into debt, we've paid off debt. We've saved up for things we needed to buy.


We've seen job: changes, successes, resignations, and hunts.

This last year has been our best and hardest one yet. Our family has grown!


We've stared together at our sweet boy and just smiled.

I can't imagine a life where Anthony wasn't in it and I'm so glad I don't have to!

Happy 8 years to my wonderful Hubster. I love you and can't wait to see what's up next.

February 2014 Recap

This has been a fun month! Sisters, cousins, smiles and snow were the major highlights. I'm using my Instagram pictures to tell you about this past month. 

My sisters and niece flew in at the end of January and got to experience the craziest snowstorm Raleigh has had in many years. Lucky for us we had lots of food and things to do to stay busy. Olivia loved her cousin and calls him "Ssss" or "baby." Heidi knit Sammy the cutest green blanket. Heidi (on the left in the pic below) and Heather (in the middle) brought Samuel tons of clothes and he was able to celebrate the Olympics with his own sweater. We facetime each other quite frequently and Olivia is truly a little ham. In the picture, she thought it would be funny to have two hats on. 

The second week in February, Raleigh got hit with another snowstorm. Since we were going to be home for a few days, I finally picked up my knitting and finished a cabled headband I'd been working on since the beginning of December! I had two Valentines this year and in the photo on the bottom corner I tried getting a smooch from my little Valentine. :-)

 (click on the picture to make it larger) 

I've been inspired by my sisters to keep knitting, so I made this little green beanie for Sammy. He needed a hat for this unpredictable weather we have in Raleigh. Seriously, in one week we had snow and it was almost 70 degrees. Last week my cousin Rachel came for a week. We were spoiled by her doing so much for us. Cleaning, cooking, and calming Sam the main things that occupied her time. We took her to Bojangles, Ole Time Barbecue, and Rach ate her first hush-puppy. We also introduced her to the Godfather series and we didn't even finish the 3rd movie in a week since we kept getting sidetracked! We did create the most delicious cheesecake and ate lots of tasty desserts. 

 

Remember when I met Gretchen Rubin? Rachel helped us hang up many of our pictures/artwork while she visited. I have been so surprised at the happiness boost I've had from hanging the pictures up. Anthony is sitting in his favorite chair with a picture above him titled, "What Goes Around Comes Around". Our friend Terry made it and I have a love-hate relationship with it. It's in our front room to remind me not to gossip. 

Every now and then I like to post an old picture on Instagram, for "throwback Thursday." The picture I put up was of Anthony and me in our backyard in Sacramento. It was in May 2011 and I had just finished my Master's degree. See that little picture of Sammy? He is wearing dark green overalls with a little fox on them! My mom got them for him and he wore them to celebrate his 2 month old birthday. Seriously, the time is flying by. Lastly, the picture of Sammy and me is to show a little onesie Heather bought him when she first found out we were trying to have a baby. It says "Here Comes Trouble" and it barely fit our little man. He's over 13 pounds now! Heather also sent us the Big Bang Theory on DVD to watch in the hospital when we were having Sammy. He came early so we didn't get to watch it then but now we're hooked. Bazinga!

In case you're curious, I used Instaport and PicMonkey to download my pictures and create the collages. 

Now March is here and begins a new month of family/friends visiting, Anthony starting a new job and more new experiences. Here's to a happy March, everyone!

A lot has happened...

...since my last post. 

To start we had our baby! Samuel Anthony Price was welcomed in to the world on Monday, December 23, 2013 at 7:11pm weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces and measuring 20.5 inches.

 

The delivery was very fast and went as smoothly, especially since my birth plan goal was... to have a baby. We spent two nights at the hospital and were discharged in the afternoon on Christmas Day.

We celebrated Christmas at home as a family of 3 with a delicious meal Anthony made (heated up) from Whole Foods (thank the Lord for pre-made turkey, potatoes, gravy, and cranberry relish)! Our wonderful friends picked it up from Whole Foods for us and delivered to our house, so grateful for them. The next day my mother-in-law, Donna (or Grandma Don as we've been calling her, haha!) arrived and was our personal waitress, housecleaner, grocery shopper, and holder of the baby in the morning so we could sleep a couple hours. 

On Saturday, December 28, we received a phone call from my sister Heidi that my Grandma Coryell (Papa's sweetheart) had passed away in her sleep. We are so grateful she didn't suffer and was able to see a lot of pictures of Samuel. We also had the chance to Facetime with her on Christmas Eve and she was telling Sammy jokes. The next day, we found out Anthony's Grandpa Dave had passed away too. He had been suffering for some time and we are relieved he is no longer in pain. He helped raise Anthony and was always happy to share a bowl of French Silk ice cream and ice-cold Dr. Pepper with you, no matter the weather. 

Monday, December 30, we said goodbye to Donna and were surprised by my Mom and Dad coming into Raleigh a day early. After many delays and trip changes, they finally arrived to see our new home. They came bearing gifts and helped us organize our house. 

New Year's Eve landed us in the children's emergency room as Samuel wasn't breathing properly.

After a night of observation and tests we were discharged on New Year's Day with a clean bill of health for our sweet boy. We were grateful my parents were in town and here for the moral support we needed.  

My parents insisted we try Bojangles, we've held out for 6.5 months but gave in to the pressure. We also went out to dinner at our favorite BBQ in Raleigh: Clyde Cooper's BBQ.

We introduced Sammy to our favorite bakery and our friend: Tanya of Yellow Dog Bakery. We took Samuel to church for the first time and he was the best dressed person in the building. The following week we said goodbye to my Dad and Anthony continued orientation for his new job.

Samuel got his first official bath and gave us the cutest little grin.

My mom stayed with us another week. Thanks to my traveling hairdresser, Nicole, I finally got my hair done (third time of rescheduling finally worked)! Sammy was entertained by his Grammy (my mom) who held him and cooked Aebelskivers (Danish pancakes) for us. 

Last Saturday, we introduced Samuel to coffee culture at the Big Eastern Coffee Championship which happened to be held in Durham this year!

This past week has been our first week on our own. I began my new career as a stay-at-home mom (or domestic engineer). My boss is quite demanding, but rewards me with love and the cutest face I've ever seen. 

We are grateful to have survived the past 5 weeks. We already have a huge support system here in Raleigh and, of course, back in Sacramento. The tangible way people have given to us has helped carry us through these challenging weeks. I do not feel nearly as tired or beat up as one would think considering all that has occurred. I have constantly been reminded of two things that are the theme of my life and writing:

  • The Lord has been with us and has not abandoned us
  • I can live free of worry because the Lord is with us and will provide for us

Each day, I look at Samuel and am reminded of what his name means: the Lord heard my prayer. Thankfulness for the gift we have been given makes my heart want to explode with joy. 

31 Things I learned in March

I was inspired by Emily to write the things I learned in March. They aren't in any particular order:

  1. Helping with a school's accreditation by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges is a lot of work. 
  2. Being present when someone is hurting brings comfort and healing, to both people. 
  3. God's sovereignty means he can't and won't change.
  4. A cup of coffee with a friend can lead to a 2-hour conversation that feels like minutes.
  5. Sharing important news with the people closest to me is much harder than telling a stranger.
  6. What we think about worship impacts how we worship.
  7. "Worship is faith expressed. We better start with the Bible" - Rick Muchow 
  8. It is possible to plan outfits for a 3-day trip and not check in luggage. A huge improvement for me since a 9-day trip, the month earlier, resulted in 48 pounds of luggage and I didn't even wear 1/2 the stuff!
  9. A warm greeting at an unfmailiar place, makes me feel included and accepted immediately.
  10. Portland is weird and probably always will be.
  11. Strangers will open up and tell you their life story if you ask and listen.
  12. Faith is a lot easier to conceptualize than to act out.
  13. A bracket is a list of all the basketball teams competing in March Madness. I'm hoping Duke makes it because my other 3 Final Four teams already lost.
  14. Being married is easy when you're married to the right person and are committed to staying together.
  15. Buttercream frosting, once chilled, will not soften when 1% milk and powered sugar are added. It will look like curds and water will drip off your cake. Not good. 
  16. When you make buttercream frosting according to the recipe, it turns out perfectly! Shocking.
  17. God's Word, the Bible, truly is living and applicable today.
  18. Self-forgetfulness is the way to get my thoughts and attention off me and what others think. It's accomplished when my mind is renewed to think like Jesus. (Tim Keller's books are very thought-provoking)
  19. A 'blind' is the look-out place for hunting. Thank you to my Father-in-law, Scott, for that bit of information. 
  20. Intense movies like "Olympus Has Fallen" stress me out.
  21. Listening is a skill that is touted, but is much harder to practice.
  22. When we pray, God listens and prayers are answered. Last week we heard of 4 different prayers answered miraculously.
  23. It's easy for me to give opinions, but it is challenging to focus and hear what someone is communicating.
  24. I'm not in control of my life.
  25. It is possible to go into Ikea and only buy food.
  26. Daffodils only bloom for a few weeks each year.
  27. Puffy clouds make people want to bounce in them (Brittany).
  28. Steak tartare is nothing more than raw ground beef and a raw egg. When you don't know what a term is, it's best to look it up before ordering.
  29. Flannel purchased at speciality fabric stores is much higher quality than the type Joann carries.
  30. Creating anything: crafting, writing, cooking, etc. is nearly impossible when I have a lot on my mind.
  31. The most comforting thing someone can say when I'm going through a hard time is, "I'm sorry that happened" and their eyes empathize with me.

Did you learn anything new in March? How have you been?

Coffee Date

I can't believe I've made two videos in one week! Yeah for advancing in to the modern era of blogging. 

If we were to have coffee this week, I'd tell you:

Have a wonderful weekend. I'm so grateful that you come here and read/watch what I have to share!

In case you're curious, here's the post I referred to about gold stars

Linking up with Alissa for Coffee Date.

Friendship Lessons

I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

- Robert McCloskey

Have you ever been caught off guard by something a friend said to you, only to realize later on that the comment hurt your feelings? Or does this only happen in my world?

Not surprisingly, I've been offended by a friend or two over my lifetime. But more often than not, it's not until after the fact I realize what was said hurt me. I guess it takes a while for the sting set in. You see, the more I'm involved in other people's lives and them in mine, the more comfortable the relationship becomes and there's more of a chance that one of us will be offended. 

How do you get over a comment that hurts?

I've come to understand I take a lot of things personally. Maybe a friend is talking about someone else or something else entirely. But if I identify with a portion of whatever it is, then I think their words are against me too. What the friend was talking about was never meant to be a personal slam on me but in some indirect way, it is. 

I should say something at that time, I know. It could be that I am afraid if I confront the person then they won't like me anymore. I am human, often insecure and want people to like me. The truth is: I need to stand up for myself, sometimes even to friends. This person is my friend for a reason and they wouldn't intentionally say things to hurt me

I've questioned the benefit of confronting the friend after (a day, a week, a month, or even a year) and telling them what they said hurt. Frequently, I realize I just want to correct them and my motive is to make sure they know they hurt me, not to strengthen the relationship

What do I do then? That's where forgiveness comes in! I ask God to help me forgive and forget without bringing a laundry list of grievances. I let the comment go.

It's sounds simple, but trust me, it's a lot harder than it sounds. And what I've learned from this: I'm more sensitive than I care to admit and I need a thicker skin. Stepping away from a conversation is helpful and it's then I discover I may have taken something the wrong way.

So...that's what I've been thinking about lately. 

 

photo credit

So Worth Loving Cursive Tee Winner

I was honored to host a giveaway for So Worth Loving this week! Thanks to everyone who entered to win. Using Random.org, I typed in the number of entries (23) and the winning number was 22. Congratulations Laine Johnson, you've won the cursive tee

(source: SWL)

Laine, please email me at malisa (at) malisa price (dot) com with your mailing address and tee shirt size!

So Worth Loving ~ Their Story & a Giveaway

I found out about So Worth Loving the same way I find out about nearly everything new in my life: Anthony. He thought I would love the brand and their mission and tweeted Eryn. She kindly sent him a few stickers as she began launching her new company.

So Worth Loving (SWL) is best defined as a way of living. Eryn Erickson, the founder, explains SWL as:

A brand that makes a point to remind you to love yourself and love people. 

Remembering to love myself and to extend love to others is something I want to do. Sometimes I forget this simple thing though!

I bought one of their Been Loved tops. The "Been Loved line" gives one of a kind, repurposed clothing a new home.

When I wear this shirt, people make comments and wonder why I have writing on my back.

Explaining what "So Worth Loving" is about has been a great way to spread the message and heart of SWL.

As a way of spreading the love, Eryn has graciously offered to give one of you one of the Cursive Girls Tees!

(source: SWL)

(source: SWL)

To enter the giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post saying you'd like to win
  • Optional Entry: Post a link to the giveaway on Facebook or Twitter. Leave a comment saying you did so.
    • You can use this if you want: @malisaprice is hosting a @soworthloving cursive tee giveaway /blog/2012/7/9/so-worth-loving-their-story-a-giveaway.html #winlove

There are 2 entries possible per person!


This promotion is open until Sunday, July 15th, at 8 pm PST. One winner will be chosen with Random.org and will correspond with entries in the comments section of this post. Make sure to leave an email address when you comment, that's how the winner will be notified. Giveaway is open to U.S. residents only.

Things I haven't told You

Did you know that there are only 177 days til Christmas?

Next week is officially my one year blog anniversary and I'm going to share how to make Homemade Vanilla Extract in time for Christmas.

You might be wondering why I'll be writing about Christmas in July...but have no fear, talking about it now is a whole lot better than talking about it in the middle of November or December! 

I was super bummed when I read about fun Christmas gifts to make and didn't have the time to do them. I'm trying to help and share ideas now. Sorry in advance to all of my family and friends who read my blog, you might know what your gifts are!

Speaking of Christmas, last year we drew names and I picked my sister, Heidi. So, I got her a present that she really wanted, tickets to see Broadway Sacramento's play: Wicked.

I stood in line on a freezing cold Saturday in December and the fellow ticket-purchasers convinced me to buy tickets to see the play myself. I did. A few weeks ago the Hubster and I went with my parents, sisters, and brother-in-law. 

The sisters (me, Heather, Heidi)

Wicked was a great play and I would recommend seeing it for all aspects of the show. Story, music, acting, and especially the stage design and special effects.

Last week, I took a Free Motion Quilting Class at Sew Katie Jean in Lincoln. Melody, a gal I met at the Sacramento Modern Quilt Guild, taught the class. Free Motion Quilting is a quilting method that doesn't involve straight lines or patterns. The sewing machine is set to stitch at the tiniest setting and you control the speed and stitch length as you move your material. 

Machingers are the funniest gloves I've ever seen, but helped me grip my material as I quilted the blanket. I ran out of thread, so next week, I'll show you the finished product.

This week I got one of the best packages in the mail.

It's a box full of fabric and scraps from Mandie (Moxie Mandie). Do you see that lovely golden elephant material? I love it! And all of these beautiful fabric pieces are helping me feel adventurous enough to try and make this gathered clutch!

I always thought married people were joking when the said they loved each other more with each passing day. I now know this is true. Since I started this post off with counting days, I'll end it with another count. Today I've been married to the Hubster for 2,288 days and I love him more than I did the day we got married. 

He's the reason I have this blog and a major factor in helping me be the person I am today. 

How has your week been? Are you doing anything fun for the 4th of July?