mornings via my iphone

just a little bit of chloe that was captured on my iphone. we have been enjoying a little bit of peace and quiet during the end of 2012. yesterday we got a tiny bit of snow here in philly. it melted before naptime was over, but it was still pretty to look at through the window. today i plan on finishing up some ornaments i meant to give at christmas (crafting fail!), and taking a little walk with chloe. i should try to make it to joann's to grab some supplies, but we will see how it all goes...at the end of the year it just feels right to rest and be a tiny bit lazy before a new year begins, yes? hope the end of 2012 is being good to you. are you thinking of new years resolutions yet? I plan to share mine with you soon!

a jessie doll that she has been carrying around almost as much as her woody doll


a little kitchenette


carrying around cranberries she lifted from mom-mom's house - oops!


this should have been our christmas card!


shoppin' with da-da


and french-fries with momma


coloring and looking cool



































 


 
and dancing when her favorite Bon Iver song comes on

*all photos taken with my iphone. actually, this whole post was written and published with my iphone.. not too shabby.

merry christmas!


the world hasn't ended (ha!), my christmas crafting did finally get done, the christmas cards made it out before christmas this year, and let it be known - "Our Blog" is now officially "rhymes with crazy" i will be spending the next couple days enjoying my family and preparing for many fun and exciting things to come in 2013. from our family to you and yours, a very merry christmas and best wishes for the new year.

from now until january 1st, 2013 50% of all sales from my etsy shop will be donated to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund - read more here.

end of the world notes



if tomorrow is the end of the world:

all these christmas projects i have piled up won't mean anything.

my student debt will be gone -  yay!

it will not matter that i didn't clean out the fridge today, like i should have... two days ago.

i will have worn the most amazing red wool skirt once. the skirt that i felt guilty spending money on, but convinced myself to buy because i knew i would wear it so many times and have it forever.

i will be upset with myself for not calling out of work tonight.

i want each of these special people to know this:

my friends - thank you for putting up with me! to be my friend is no easy task. i am very much an introvert, and knowing the real me takes a lot of time. you are part of a very small group of people that i cherish. none of you are fake friends, or casual friends, you are all true friends who know me. i love you all so much and wish i spent more time with you. i know that motherhood has made me even more distant, but i hope you all understand that i still love you and consider you to be important parts of my life.

my parents - i love you, both of you. thank you for everything you taught me about life. i forgive you.  if tomorrow wasn't the end of the world i would want you to know how much i hope you don't give up on me, how i really hope deep down that you continue to pursue knowing me. i watch chloe hide from me and wait for me to find her. there are parts of me that hope you will continue to try to find me. thank you for giving me life.

 my siblings - each of you are special to me and i have loved seeing each of you grow. like my friends, i wish i spent more time with you. i have dreamed of getting older with each of you, and us becoming closer, having huge family gatherings with tons of babies and craziness - much like how we grew up. it makes me sad to think we won't have this, but i am glad i got to know each of you. i am proud of each of you.

chloe - i love you, love you, love you. you are pure magic - proof that miracles happen. your crazy little baby self has amazed me since the day you were born. i could watch you run around our home, listen to you babble on imaginary phones, and hold your little hands in mine day after day forever. while i have dreamed of all the days we would spend together, sometimes full of sadness with the realization that you will get older, and sometimes bursting with excitement of all the things you will do - every day with you that i have had has been a gift. i love you, love you, love you.

christian - you are my match. my best find ever. i know the love i have for you is young and in the grand scheme of things, when thinking about the lifetime that we have imagined, these past few years are hardly anything weighed against all we were supposed to be together - all we dreamed of. still, this love has become my lifework - loving you is all i have ever wanted to do. i have dreamed of growing old together, of the adventures we will have, of our babies. we have hardly started, but that is okay..."i'm glad i didn't die before i met you". i love you.


if tomorrow is not the end of the world then i have a ton of work to do. student debt to repay. i will be glad i did go to work. christian, i want more babies. i hope to spend more time with all the people listed above, and wish you, my blog readers, the very best of days. it does sound cliche' to say "live each day as if if were your last", but why not try to just for tomorrow?

all my love,
leah









my soul jumped.

i started writing this post on wednesday. it is one of many posts that i have written and then decided not to publish. the horrible events of today made me decide to share this: 


we checked out of target yesterday, and before leaving i tucked chloe in the back of the cart between two queen sized down alternative pillows. she rested her cheek against the thin plastic covering them and smiled. i melted for the five-thousandth time that day. it doesn't get old. it just doesn't. i keep hoping it won't, fearing that it will, and my soul is ecstatic every day that it hasn't. even if you don't see me jumping up and down for joy every time i look at her, i promise you - i am deep in my soul where you can't even see it.

i can remember a short exchange i had with my mother at least eight years ago. i was still married to my first husband. she was still married to her second. all four of us were in the small basement apartment that me and my husband rented at that time. it's windows were flush with the ground. it was your standard, white wall, beige carpet apartment. mini blinds. hand-me-down furniture that didn't look like us. weird photo frames and lamps that we registered for without knowing where we would live, and later wondering what we were ever thinking when we asked for them. i don't remember what we were talking about, just the look in my mother's eyes. she was looking at me, and her soul was jumping. i don't remember the context of the conversation, just what she said and those amazing eyes, "you get married and you think you know what love is, and then you have a child, and there is no love like that". my mom has not been perfect, but the look in her eyes filled me with wonder of what this love was that she talked about.

she looked at me and her soul jumped.

we continued to walk out the doors of the target and chloe stood up in the cart, still wedged between the pillows, and holding onto the side of the cart, looking at shoppers passing by. i looked at the parking lot and stopped walking. i scanned the busy parking lot for moving cars and firmly told chloe to sit as i started walking to our car.

what if a car came by and hit my cart, throwing chloe on the ground?

this is a horrible thought. but honestly, these thoughts go through my head quite regularly. if she sleeps in a bit longer than she usually would, i need to peek in and make sure she is still breathing. she always is. i regularly fight off worries that a drunk driver will hit our car and injure or kill my beloved baby.  i hear of horrible things happening to children almost every day and try to shut them out. when these horrible thoughts go through my head i hope that if anything ever happened to her, that i wouldn't live to grieve it. and i know that i wouldn't.

if she died, i would need to also. there is no question. even if i went on living, i think i would die in many ways, though not physically. i wouldn't need to take my own life, it would just leave. i cannot imagine living if she did not exist and know that my body would just become a hollow shell.

christian and i joke about who will go first. we fight over who gets to go before the other because we just don't want to be alone when we are old. we argue over the need for the other to, or not to remarry if one of us goes young. i won't, he must. we are newly-weds, we love each other and i have no doubt that with time and years our love will develop new depth. but sometimes i worry that while i do love him terribly, i just don't love him like i do chloe. and i don't. like my mother said, "you get married and you think you know what love is..."

i do love my husband. but i can see myself living without him and just being happy to have had him. people die. you and i will too.

this is where i left off on wednesday night. i didn't finish the post or publish it because it read so dreary and so sad. it felt too morbid, and i didn't want anyone who reads my blog to think i am terribly morbid, because i am not. i think that many parents struggle with the same thoughts and fears i have described and that these thoughts and fears go hand-in-hand with the love for a child that makes your soul jump.

when a child dies you are left without that "happy to have had them" feeling. it just should never happen. when i heard of the shooting in connecticut this afternoon i was filled with sadness. what a horrible, horrible tragedy. this is a parents nightmare. as a mother i cannot express the sorrow that has filled my own heart for the parents and families of these children, and the families of the adults who were also murdered today. this should have never happened and in times like this you contemplate how horrible this world can be. i am sorry. my thoughts, prayers, and many tears are yours tonight.

i held chloe tighter today. my soul jumped.

 


flash-back friday : ghosts of christmas past

so, i was digging through some old photos and came across some from christmases of my child-hood. lucky. you.

i decided that i will share one each week on friday, as a type of flash-back friday feature. i don't know about you, but i love flash-back posts. there is something delightfully awkward and amusing about looking at photos of another person's childhood. when i look at child-hood photos of others i feel like it gives me a little deeper understanding of that person, and allows me to literally see into their past. it's as though the child-hood photos allow me to better bond with the other person, and makes me realize that no-matter who they are now, we did share a magical, awkward, and funny period of life called child-hood.

also, on fridays i usually need to go to work at night - not making dolls, the other gig. so i don't have much time to blog.


this photo needs to be 1999. i am saying that because there are seven of us, and my youngest sister was born in january of 2000. this is from our home in frankford. the little row-home with the ugly sofa that we had for too many years because it just is not worth buying anything very nice when you have seven or eight children running around the house.that furniture was sturdy, and easy to recover. my hair was short then, maggie's hair was still toddlermulletesque. i think justin still had a pony-tail under his cap. this may have been the year that my brother daniel went to kindegarten and shoved stickers up another little boy's nose, just to see if he could. sam is holding what looks to be a terminator figurine, which was probably left over from the 80s.

and then there is the red-heads. i always told my mother there was something about her red-headed children. there are three red-heads in my family, my brother and sister in this photo and the baby of the family. the red-heads are quirkier, funnier, and each seem to get into more trouble and have more adventures than the rest of us can ever dig up collectively. i love how my youngest brother, caleb, looks like a red-headed elf.

caleb has always reminded me of an elf. not too much has changed.


treasury thursday

this year i vowed to not step foot in a mall after thanksgiving, and i have been happily doing my holiday shopping from the comfort of my own home. i don't care too much for crazy crowds and needing to search through shops endlessly during this time of year. no, thank-you, i would much rather make a pot of coffee, put on some christmas music, and curl up on the sofa with my laptop in search for the perfect gifts for everyone on my list. i have found a few great items on etsy, and thought that during the month of december i would make a little treasury each week to help you with your christmas shopping.

this treasury is made up of all items pennsylvania - from jewelry and the perfect little card to send to that friend that you haven't seen since before last christmas, to a vintage flag from valley forge for your favorite collector! etsy is full of perfect gifts for your favorite pennsylvanian.


check out the items on this treasury here.

and while you are etsy-ing away, visit my shop and take 15% off your entire holiday order by using promo code "merryfriends". (the same promo code works in the bigcartel shop too!)

lately...



we've all been sick! stuffy noses, coughing, feeling icky. so not blogging, but just trying to get by.



i have been sewing like a crazy woman to get christmas orders done - as someone that is new to selling, christmas season is suddenly very, very busy.

i am thankful for all the support of family, friends, and everyone who has been supporting rockwell handmade.



we have been celebrating the christmas season with a hand-made advent calendar. every day my heart is warmed by opening up a little gift with chloe.


i have taken a couple nights off to enjoy a sufjan stevens concert, and some cuddling on the sofa with the husband while watching some netflix (skip seeing "seeking a friend for the end of the world", and instead rent "safety not guaranteed" - trust me!).

i have been making ALOT of soup.... chicken noodle, french onion, minestrone. soup is just so good in the winter.

chloe has been saying more and more words... and putting them together to make little sentences!!! so fun to hear her "read" a book and be able to make out the words. yeah, i am a little bit of a proud mama.

we still haven't decided on fake tree vs. real tree. with a toddler, which is better?

i have realized that new dresses usually just aren't made for short little skinny-fat girls like me, and i am so much happier with the fit and make of vintage dresses - just purchased this one and cannot wait to wear it for christmas!



hope your holiday season is off to a great start! do you have any special traditions? this is our first year doing an advent calendar, but we also love to spend an entire day making cookies, make our own ornaments, and i have been itching to sing christmas carols for months - anyone want to join me?
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