Peace and a Toddler’s Prayer



I prayed 2 Thessalonians 3:16 the whole time my nephew Sawyer was in the NICU.  Here is a prayer from my journal written on June 3:

You promised to give us peace at ALL times and in EVERY way. God, we need your peace now. Give it to us in abundance. Help us to trust you when we’re weak, scared, tired, hopeless. Give us more hope. More trust. More faith. More peace.

While life seemed like a roller coaster, God promised he would give us peace at all times and in every way. And he dd. He sustained my sister and brother-in-law and the rest of the family.  And I am confident that he always will. Because God keeps his promises.

Isn’t it wonderful to have a God who keeps his promises?


Sweet Sawyer came home from the NICU on Tuesday, June 16, and I think he has been held every single minute since. I know everybody rejoices over a new baby – because life is a MIRACLE – but with this baby… THIS BABY… well, we just can’t put him down. I want to smother him with kisses and keep him forever, but as his Aunt B I will settle for a lifetime of loving on him and spoiling him whenever possible. And a lifetime of thanking God for creating such a miracle. May I remember God’s goodness every single time I see him.

Speaking of goodness… you guys, my little Wrenn did something the other day that made my heart just explode with joy. We pray often with Wrenn – before meals and each night before bed – it’s a part of our routine. She and I had sat down for dinner (Mr. Right was at a church meeting), and did our regular meal prayer and then started eating. A few minutes later she stopped me, reached over the table to grab my hand, and said, “Pray. Pray!”

I asked her who she wanted to pray for. We pray for family members and friends as well as choo choo trains and puppies and bugs. She told me she wanted to pray for “Yuke” (her cousin Luke, Sawyer’s big brother). So, I held her hand and bowed my head and started to pray, and then she stopped me and said, “BABY! Yuke and baby!”

It was my child’s way of saying she wanted to pray for Baby Sawyer. Oh, what a sweet, innocent heart who has no idea what is going on, and yet she has heard us pray for Baby Sawyer over and over these past few weeks. And she felt compelled to pray for him, in that moment. She has such a limited understanding and yet she wants to pray.

God, bless all of these little children in our family!

A Quick Update on a Crazy Week


This has been a crazy week or so. Last Thursday, I was woken up at 3:30 in the morning by the sound of my phone ringing. My mom was calling to tell me that my sister’s water had broken and they were on the way to the hospital. It looked like Baby Sawyer was coming six weeks early.

That was a week ago. My precious nephew was born six weeks early at a hefty six pounds. He is absolutely beautiful and perfect, but as with most preemies, he has had to fight his way through the NICU to get strong enough to come home. Which will happen, but never as quickly as the rest of us want. My husband’s side of the family went through something similar when my other nephew was born eight weeks early a few years ago. It’s always heartbreaking to see a mama leave her baby in the NICU. I have been on my knees for a week. As a big sister and fellow mama, it’s really hard to watch your younger sister go through this and not be able to make it better.

The upside was that we got to spend the day with my other nephew, the big brother, while his parents were at the hospital. Little Wrenn LOVES her cousins and had the greatest day of her life. They played, and played, and played and played. Luke told my parents that he liked coming to my house, “Because Aunt B has play-dough. And bubbles.”


And I’ve been working on little Sawyer’s baby quilt, which I was already behind on. I picked a simple pattern with fabric that I adore (wait til you see the fox print I chose for the back… it’s the cutest), and churned away on it last weekend while Miss Wrenn played and Mr. Right worked. Someone on Facebook told me it looks like rows of books.


And in the meantime, little Wrenn has been absolutely delightful. Like, take my breath away delightful. We have had some of our best days of play and talking and adventure-having. She is at the best age and is learning to communicate so well. I love hearing all of her new words (and “Shay!” which is the word she uses for anything she doesn’t know the word for). Tonight as I rocked her before bed I just thanked God for choosing to make me this girl’s mama. She is one of His greatest gifts to me.


Would you join me in praying for sweet Baby Sawyer? God knows exactly what this child needs and what his future holds. Join me in praising God for knitting him together perfectly and pray that his mom and dad have peace during this very stressful time. I know for a fact that God loves this miracle child. And so does his Aunt B.

Friday Favorites

I’m sending you a very earthy, crunchy hello from gorgeous Portland. I keep telling Mr. Right I may come home with a nose ring and a tattoo. Which, for the record, is perfectly lovely on some people, but if you know me, I’m a bit conservative scared buttoned up not cool enough to pull that off.

But anyway, today I’m linking up with The Bargain Blonde for Friday Favorites. In particular, here are some of my current favorites for fall. Click on the pictures to be redirected to the original source.

Decorating with pumpkins – this makes me want to host a dinner party.

A free fall printable from one of my favorite bloggers (she draws these herself – crazy, huh?).

I’m thinking of making something like this as Christmas stocking stuffers. I could add a loop of thread and convert them into ornaments (with different fabric of course).

This gal’s etsy shop is like a burlap heaven. I love everything in there.

I love pairing my chambray shirt with skinny jeans and boots. I think I may have to add a scarf as well. I also do the white tank beneath it to hide my hiney in those skinny jeans – glad to know it’s considered fashionable and not just functional.

I found the perfect place to display one of my Texas Lovely designs in my kitchen. Although now I have a hankering to paint that frame and distress it. Hmmm…

I adore the applique on this pillow. It would take me forever, but might be a good ongoing project. Speaking of projects, I’m currently recovering all of my living room pillows. I figured I’d done enough sewing for others, it was time to spoil myself for a bit (besides, they were a bit worn, which is ridiculous considering I sell pillows these days). Pictures to come soon. One is a temporary home for some yo-yo’s I’ve been making for the past year – a definite labor of love.

One of my very favorite things is my newest nephew Jack. You may have prayed for him when he decided to arrive eight weeks early. Crazy thing is, he isn’t even really “due” for another three weeks. Is there anything more wonderful than a preemie baby’s grin?

On the fourth day of being home sick last week I finally had the energy to finish piecing together this yellow and gray quilt. It’s made from the same fabric as the chevron quilt I made last month. I love the endless possibilities that come from piecing triangles.

I had planned to put it in my shop but an old sorority sister with an adorable newborn baby girl called dibs, so it will be headed to Austin just as soon as I can get this gal quilted.

And that’s it! I hope you have a wonderfully fabulous fall Friday.

Baby Jack’s Quilt

My sweet nephew, Baby Jack, is in the NICU right now. He made his grand entrance EIGHT weeks early, and still came in at a whopping 4 pounds 4 ounces. He’s absolutely beautiful and loved by so many people. And someday soon he will be snoozing away on this quilt, an expression of my love for my precious little cowboy.

As you look at this quilt, say a little prayer for sweet Baby Jack. I can’t wait to snuggle him soon!


Chocolate wisdom and leopard ruffles

Isn’t that just one of the greatest quotes ever? What a treat when I opened my beloved little chocolate from a secret stash bequeathed to me by a coworker. That stash is only for the most special of occasions… like when I try to cut back on caffeine. Which I’m trying to do – not an easy task when you average about six cups of coffee a day… on a good day.
My goal is two cups a day. Today I made it to two cups of coffee and a Diet Coke because I met a dear friend at Chick-fil-a, and I just couldn’t bring myself to order water. I was so strong on Paleo and so weak now that I’m off of it. I think I’m a total all-or-nothing kind of girl. Dang it.
This past weekend I threw a classy bachelorette party for one of my dearest friends who is getting married next week. I absolutely can’t wait, it’s going to be one of those weddings of the year, helped by the fact that it also happens to be a dear, dear friend. And there will be good food. And my dress is somewhat forgiving. And I’m wearing nude pumps that would make Kate Middleton swoon. It’s a win-win.
I promise to post new pictures soon, but wanted to show off my fancy new ruffled tablecloth. I learned how to make this on YouTube — ahh, YouTube, you have changed my life so. Mr. Right wasn’t a fan of the leopard print and pink ruffles, somehow he doesn’t find it as neutral (and awesome) as I do. When I assured him that I could re-use some of the fabric I purchased for the party in our house – he wasn’t so game. So I may have to make some leopard ruffle pillows for my new etsy shop.
Speaking of etsy shops – I promise you I’m working hard on creating inventory so I actually have something to post. Because as beautiful as an empty shop is… well, it really isn’t very beautiful. In the meantime, I have a few friends who have inquired about special items… if you have something you want, I am happy to create something ahead of time before I launch the store. Just leave me a comment and we can discuss. 
And to the sweet person who stopped Mr. Right yesterday at church and told him that she can’t wait to buy something from my little shop – you are officially my very favorite person. You know who you are (ahem, Michelle–BLESS YOU)
Speaking of Mr. Right – I got to help him out at church yesterday. He’s usually busy running all over the place and we never actually see each other at church, and I’ve busied myself by volunteering behind the scenes with the production staff – mostly because I get to wear a cool ear piece and headset and look official and stuff.  Kind of like a member of the FBI, but in a dress. But now, one week out of the month I’m officially Mr. Right’s right-hand-gal helping him with a new member class he teaches. I do very important things like sign people in, hand out books and pick up response cards. Basically the class couldn’t run without me. Okay, it could. But I like to be helpful and it’s nice to serve Mr. Right and my church at the same time. Besides, I love to hear him teach and love on people. 

And since my sweet nephew Luke has been hogging all the pictures on the blog lately (my goodness, isn’t he adorable?) I thought I’d include a picture of our beloved niece Ella. We got to hang out at the pool yesterday, swam with our favorite girl, I watched Mr. Right do flips off the high dive, and then we ate a huge dinner on the patio overlooking the pool. It was a pretty great outing.

Ella will be a big sister in October and we will gain another adorable nephew who will probably hog the blog with all his cuteness. And of course I’m about to start his baby quilt, which may also delay my pillows. Thanks for your patience, I can’t tell you how much fun I’m having getting geared up.

A crazy busy girl with some wild dreams (and a picture of a cute baby if you make it to the end)

Starting a teeny tiny little business out of your house is SO MUCH FUN. It’s the most fascinating thing I’ve ever done – to figure out all the ins and outs of what I want to do and then how to make it a reality.

Like, I hired a CPA. Because having a small business requires all sorts of tax-y things (like paying sales tax, complicating my income taxes, and giving me some wonderful write-offs that are kind of awesome).

I purchased supplies. And organized my sewing studio.

I chose a name. And designed a logo. I can’t wait to show it you, but as with any true marketer, I’ve got to build up some suspense. (You know, like the do on The Bachelor… the most dramatic rose ceremony ever!)

I went to the Post Office to figure out shipping stuff. That wasn’t nearly as much fun as organizing up my sewing studio.

I created my first piece of merchandise. I’ve got to make several more before I launch, and I’ve got to take pictures with a better, fancier camera than my iPhone.

It’s a list-making-girl’s dream. And also a lot more involved than I thought when a few friends told me they’d like to buy a pillow from me.
But it’s a true adventure, nonetheless, and the process is as much fun as the end result. Which I really hope involves selling a few things. Not enough to get rich, but enough to supplement that habit of mine of buying fabric… and clothes. But mostly fabric.
So stay tuned for an official announcement and virtual grand opening for my little online shop. If you were here, I’d probably serve you some Diet Coke and my husband’s famous chocolate banana cupcakes. But let’s face it, if you buy a pillow from me, I will probably figure out a way to get you that chocolate banana cupcake as a big-hearted thank you. Heck, we might even cook you dinner. We’re a sucker for dinner parties.
And even though this doesn’t have anything to do with ruffled pillows,  this little man is one of my very favorite people on the planet at the moment – here’s another picture of my precious nephew who turned one month old today.

God bless America. Can I get an amen?

Here come the shameless baby pictures

Wow, what a week we had last week. In just one week we:
Got a nephew. Refinanced our house. Built a new patio and vegetable garden. Spent two evenings at the hospital with the baby. Spent a third evening in the emergency room with another loved one. I did a 9-hour television commercial shoot that involved me leaving my house at 5:30 in the morning. We celebrated two Fathers’ Days. We hosted a dinner party at our home. We went to a wedding for Mr. Right’s old roommate. We cheated on our Paleo diet for the first time.

And we took one of the longest, best Sunday afternoon naps we’ve taken in years.

Thankfully today begins a new, somewhat less exciting week, and I’m finally organized enough to post BABY PICTURES!

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit smitten with my nephew. He’s just about the most precious thing you’ve ever seen, and I’m happy to report that my sister is recovering amazingly. I hope it runs in the family, because she made having a baby look easy.

So without further delay, I hope you enjoy a few shameless baby pictures of our sweet nephew Luke James, born June 11, 2012, a full week overdo, to my sister and brother-in-law. He’s our first nephew (we already have a niece, Ella, who’s almost three, and another nephew coming in October to Mr. Right’s brother and his wife) and first child on my side of the family.

On his birthday – June 11, 2012
Those tiny fingers, and even tinier finger nails!

My husband, the baby whisperer

Oh that little face just melts my heart. He is such a sweet, laid-back baby. Little Luke, I know God has big plans for you, and your family loves you dearly!

Brain dead evening

I have hit my wall, slid down that wall, and ended up a wet puddle on the floor. To say I’ve had an intense 24 hours is an understatement – between an unexpected and very stressful trip to the ER (and a phone call that made my heart stop – thankfully all is now fine), an all-day commercial shoot that involved a huge crew of people in multiple locations, and about 4 hours of sleep between those two… I’m pretty darn useless.

So instead I’ll just post a picture of my dear nephew Luke. As tired as I was, I couldn’t help but swing by his house to hold him for a little while. Holding a sleeping baby just slows your heart beat a little, calms your nerves, and makes your stress melt away. Thanks Luke for the pick-me-up. You are so dear to my heart, little man.

PS–It’s a small travesty that after paying a professional make-up artist a small fortune to work on our commercial today… one who happens to specialize in air brushing and who has worked with the Cowboy Cheerleaders… that I would look like this at the end of the day. I really should have asked her to give me the once-over with that make-up of hers.
(Also – I made that quilt in the background.)

He’s here!

I am proud to introduce my new nephew Luke! He made his big debut Monday morning at a whopping 8 pounds, 20 ounces and 20 inches long. I know I’m biased, but he’s the cutest baby in the whole world, and our whole family has fallen head over heels in love with him. 
I have many more pictures to post, but obviously I’ve been a bit, well, distracted this week with hospital visits and gazing into big blue baby eyes. Stay tuned for many more baby pictures.
And, in the meantime, head on over to the McGowan Images blog this morning to see photos of my recent gala. It was a labor of love and I’m so glad to see some bright, shiny pictures of our work on there. Enjoy!

Waiting and in the meantime

My nephew Luke, my middle sister’s miracle baby, is due on Tuesday. I can’t wait to meet him, to hold him, to smell that little baby smell and kiss his sweet head. But alas, he seems to be pretty cozy in his current surroundings, and so we continue to wait for his big debut. In the meantime, you can bet that I’m carrying around my cell phone, ready for the call, anxious to take myself and my yo-yo sewing kit to sit and wait some more in the hospital’s waiting room.

And stalk the floors looking for marketing collateral so I can gather ideas. 
Oh wait, I would never do that.

While we’ve been so busy waiting, we’ve kept ourselves occupied with many other worthwhile endeavors.

Like not eating bread or sweets. That takes up a lot of time and mental energy. But I’m proud to report that I’ve made it six meals without any mishaps, and I haven’t killed anybody yet. Or thrown anything. But I will probably dream about cinnamon rolls tonight when I go to bed. Cinnamon rolls and french toast drizzled in syrup and powdered sugar.

Oh my, there I go again.

Last weekend we went to a graduation party for the son of one of our favorite ESL students from West Africa – Togo to be exact. We’ve known my student’s son for a year now and he’s an absolute delight – he wants to be a doctor and I am confident that if that’s what he chooses to do, he’ll be a darn good one.
The highlight of the party, besides seeing his mama all dolled up, was two of his African cousins, ages 4 and 8, dressed in their biggest party dresses, who went up to me all wide-eyed and cute and said, “We love your hair!” in a way only a 4-year-old can do. My heart melted and I’ve since decided that when we adopt, we may need a little girl from Togo. Heck, I’ll take a little girl from just about anywhere, actually. The more people I meet from far off places, the more I just love people.
We also hit up an engagement party for one of our other friends, spent the day at the pool, took our Nigerian friend to a family dinner at Grease Monkey (best burgers in town, I assure you), took an incredibly long Sunday nap, and hosted another family dinner at our house.
Speaking of days at the pool – I broke down and bought a new swimsuit. At the first store I went to, I tried on exactly one suit, loved it, paid for it, and was gone within 10 minutes. I hate shopping for swimsuits (and jeans) so this “rip off the bandaid” approach was the least painful way to do it. I found one that’s pink and ruffled and covers up a few of my least favorite places.
I hope I don’t have to do that again for another four years, which is how long it’s been since I purchased my last one. Or by that time I’ll find a body double who can shop for me and save me the mental anguish.
In the meantime, we’re all killing time until we can hold that sweet Luke. Say a little prayer for my sister as she lets him cook a little longer. She’s going to make a great mama, and I can’t wait to train him to call me Aunt B.