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Four Legs, Two Tones

2014 July 14
by Katie

I’ve totally been slacking lately on posting.  Sorry.  About twice a year I go through a slump where I just don’t feel like blogging and so I don’t.  I’m a rebel like that.  Plus I’m sick.  But just know that I am thinking fondly of you guys.  You’re my framily.  Except there are no bills involved.  And I totally have stuff I need to share.

In fact, while slumping like slumpers do….I found an old photo folder from February.  It had a fun chair makeover in it.  And the best part about this makeover is that it didn’t cost me anything.  Seriously.  I went to the stash and pulled this project out from all the things I already owned.  Even the chairs were free because I got them from my mom who was throwing them into our ever expanding yard sale pile.

Confession…we told everyone that we were gonna have a yard sale last year and still haven’t had it.  The good news is, I did contribute to the pile  and one day when things get slower (does that ever happen?!) we will sell all the clutter that is taking over our basement and buy something awesome…like an iRobot vacuum or go on a cruise or maybe I should take that money and hire Jen from iheartorganizing to help me with the purge of every closet.  That would be a dream come true.

So I thought that since I always narrate the makeovers that this time the photos should do the talking.  #blogslacker  They are really quite informative what with the thousands of words they speak so I don’t foresee you having any questions.  Good luck figuring it out.  I believe in you :)

 

 

Catch all that?  Questions?

 

Girls Group

2014 July 10
by Katie

I wasn’t gonna ever really post about this…it’s one of those things that is just so near and dear to my heart that I felt like any public attention to it might disrupt the delicate balance of the universe and somehow it would be lost forever….but recently I have had a lot of people ask about it and I think it’s important to talk about.

One of my favorite things.

One of the best things I ever did.

One of the happiest days of my week, month and year.

These are all the same….and they are affectionately called Girls Group.

 

Right after Weston was born I took play dates super serious.  I wanted Will to have social interaction with other two and three year olds…plus, I needed the chance to take a break from the constant vrooming of cars and talk to someone that had at least fifty words in their vocabulary.  We had lived in our house over a year and since our neighborhood doesn’t have a ton of little ones running around, I took it upon myself to find the little people for Will.  If you were semi-normal looking and at the grocery store, playground or park the same time I was, chances were I was hitting on you mom-style.  I scheduled three to four playdates each week and felt like I needed more.  The fact was…I was doing this all for Will but this stay-at-home-mom needed playdates of her own.  I started talking to the other moms about my ‘need’ and soon I discovered that pretty much everyone (stay at home moms, working moms, even the grandmas I knew) they all said the same thing too…they missed that face to face interaction.  There was a social void that we were all accepting and nobody was really doing much about it.

One of my good friends that had a standing Tuesday playdate with me and Will and Weston was on board when I decided that it would be fun to have a girl’s night with the other ladies in our church.  We didn’t really know what exactly we were gonna do…but we knew that food would be involved and we would just sit and talk.  And thus was born Girl’s Group.

There isn’t a secret recipe to this…it’s just opening up your home and telling people to come.   We told everyone at church.  Made an email list and send out reminders each week of the time and place and theme.  Oh right…last summer we decided to do weekly themes.  They were everything from fondue…

to wine and cheese night…

to Mexican food night…

to a masquerade…

During Christmas time we did a cookie exchange…

we had a Halloween costume party…

we have even had a make-up night where one of the girls showed us how to highlight, cat-eye and define…

We’ve also done some ‘service’ themed nights.  It’s really fun to have social time and the super small tasks are fun within a big group!  We’ve written encouragement notes for ladies in transitional homes, provided lunches for pregnancy resource centers, assembled Operation Christmas Child boxes, and made gift bags for a family in our church that had a nine-year old daughter with cancer.

When one of our group members decided to open a coffee shop, there wasn’t a hesitation to jump in and help reupholster chairs.

Big and small, we try to celebrate each little thing.  We’ve done birthday parties, baby shower themes, and even tried our hand at Pinterest favorites…like a mouth rinse foot bath.  Which by the way…it turned our feet blue.  #nailedit

When we meet, we sometimes bring the kids, sometimes have family night where the whole family comes and the more babies the merrier.  It’s a every-one-at-all-ages-is-welcome event.

I can’t say that it has always been super easy…when one of us hurts, all of us hurt.  And like any group of friends, it is easy to take things for granted or say things too quickly or without sensitivity.  But we all believe that humbling ourselves is healthy.  It’s hard to say I’m sorry…or I was wrong…or sure, I will help (even when it’s not convenient or money is tight or time is limited)…those things are the not-fun stuff…and our culture doesn’t celebrate those things like 80′s parties…but we do it because it’s important.  The people are important.

We do our share of crying together and laughing together and praying together over monkey bread.  Talking about issues like education and money management and our relationships with our husbands has been enlightening to say the least.  Everyone has different issues.  Everyone has different stories.  And honestly it has been one of the greatest things in my world…getting to gather together…sometimes with a craft in our hands, sometimes with a video we need to watch, sometimes waiting till someone finishes peeing on a pregnancy test….it has been one of those priceless, beautiful, wouldn’t-trade-it-for-the-world things.

And I hope that if you are thinking that you want something like this…you try it.  I know what that feeling is like…the loneliness from being at home with a kid all the time.  It can be so isolating.  And you might feel like you are going crazy.  But chances are, there are people that want to go crazy with you.

That is what community is….coming together and just being in that moment…sharing a bowl of hummus or having an ice cream social.  I like to think that the recipe is coming as you are and bringing food.  That’s it.  That’s all it take for people to connect.  Oh and maybe a box of Kleenex…because let’s face it, tears from laughing too hard are easy to come by when you open yourself up.

p.s.  Thanks Sarah for always posting photos of girls group!  Love ya friend!