Gideon doesn’t realize what’s coming. Obviously. He goes about his days as always. Demanding to be petted, woofing for breakfast, soaking up naps on the couch by the window, intimidating squirrels, doing figure eights on the lawn, licking his lips, playing tug-of-war. His life is sweet. And I love watching him. It’s endless entertainment watching a short dog with TRex-esch arms flailing all over the yard, or hopping up onto couches.
Soon…I’ll notice those details less and less. While it’s my goal to teach our kids to appreciate Gideon for the cute little creature he is, to appreciate his nuances and treat him very well, it’s only natural that more and more of my admiration will fall on little human subjects.
In the meantime, Gideon will still be the focus of my little photo-sessions, and deservedly so. He’s just adorable.

Sleep Chatter

My hubby is a famous sleep talker. Well, within our little Facebook circle. I’ve been told by countless people that they look forward to my posts which script out the interactions between Matt and I usually in the early moments after Matt falls asleep. In fact, I’ve had two messages from people making sure they didn’t miss one.

It’s amazing how easily he just spews out words. They don’t sound mumbled and quiet, just the opposite. One of my favorites of all time was a one-liner Matt yelled out while he napped on the couch: “You never have a Crayola when you need one!”

It takes a lot of energy to stifle my laughter.

Here are some recent examples of Matt’s entertaining craziness that made their way onto Facebook.

Sleeptalk Status #3 Sleeptalk Status #2 Sleeptalk Status #1

Last night a friend told me about an app which records sleep talking. It senses sound all night long, but only records moments where the sound picks up. You’ll wake up to like 12 clips of tossing and turning or coughing or weird snoring…and perhaps a bit of chatter.

I just KNEW I had to download it.

Well it turns out that I’ve gotten so used to conversing with Matt while he’s sleep talking (to keep the weirdness going), that now I’m doing it in my sleep without even knowing it.

So enjoy this nice little recording of Matt and I. I’ll periodically alert you to new ones, if they come along, and dear goodness I hope they do.

Matt: “No! The whole thing untraveled!”
Haley: “What thing?”
Matt (in despair): “NNooooo”
Matt: “It was just unraveling right before our eyes.”
Haley: “Where is it?”
Matt: “It was a piece of…it was wound up on this piece of…furniture.”

Beautiful Hard Times.

We had my nephew Samuel over for a sleepover this last Sunday. It’s always a blessing to have sleepovers with my nephew and niece. Sadly though, my Grandpa Hubert, a man loved by more people than I can count, passed away Sunday night. Matt and I visited on Saturday and spent our last moments with Grandpa. While it was hard not to be there with the whole family when things took a turn for the worst on Sunday night, I know my Grandpa would be happy with what I was spending my time doing. I was investing in Samuel’s life. Creating memories, strengthening our connections as a family. He was all about family. I’ve got so much to say about what Hubert’s passing has meant to me, about all that I’ve been learning. That’ll have to be processed before I spew it out here. In the meantime, you can see from these pictures that we had a great time with Samuel. We “camped” inside. Roasting marshmallows on the fire and sleeping in our tent. My favorite moment was when we just sat still, mesmerized by the fire. I was looking at a boy who might someday be sitting by my bedside when I’m 90 years old, sharing stories and saying goodbye. Sammers Sammers Sammers Sammers Sammers Sammers Sammers Sammers Sammers sammers SammersThank God for family. Thank God for Grandpa and all he meant to so many.

I’m Alive.

Breathing? Check. Pulse? Check. So…technically alive. Though if you’d seen me the past couple of weeks you’d have thought a really dull and stressed out alien had invaded my being, whilst using my body as a vessel to live out it’s evil plans. But not anymore, baby.

I had just enough time for little bits of fun the weeks leading to Christmas before I would be thrust back into my sewing room to…you got it…keep sewing. I just didn’t have the energy at 3am, when I’d be done with an order, to write a well-crafted post about my birthday or whatever. So after a few days of not writing and feeling terribly guilty, this magical thing happened: I forgave myself and moved on. I gave myself permission to focus on what needed most focusing.

I finished my last Christmas order on the 24th and 1:45 am. Probably the earliest finish time in at least a couple of weeks. This month has been the most affirming, challenging and down right surprising one I’ve had in a long time. I had NO idea that people with Etsy shops make 3/4 of their earrings during this time of year. I had NO idea that others were slowly building inventory in order to meet demand. But I can proudly say, I successfully survived my first Christmas season on Etsy, making every deadline and not turning away a single order, all the way up to the 20th.

You haven’t missed out on much these past days. I didn’t have time to do a single holiday DIY project or make any fun new recipes…let alone blog about them. Every post would have read, “Guess what I’m doing? STILL sewing”. You would have been terribly bored.

However between the sewing frenzies, I did do a few fun things. I turned 27, threw a surprise Settlers of Catan party for my husband who completed his graduate program, gathered with good friends to celebrate the holidays and each other, spent lots of time with family for Christmas, made my dog a Christmas bandanna, went to a Sherlock Holmes play and made some adorable presents for my nephews and niece for Christmas.

I’m taking a three-day hiatus from the sewing room, and tonight I plan on making butternut squash lasagna for dinner. This first new recipe I’ll be trying in what feels like forever. Sigh. Feels good to be back.

Matt Graduate Settler's Board Haley and Giana GidMaster Christmas Christmas Party Fireplace

Merry Christmas!


We finally used our 99 cent upgrade and got ourselves these fancy phones. For $10 more a month, and this being my husband’s first upgrade since he was in college, (a long time ago – he’s got one of those old square phones with the itty bitty screen.) we decided it was the appropriate time to jettison ourselves into the iPhone world.

Only one problem…


How do you turn these things on again?

Welcome Morning

When I am deeply distressed, mourning, or upset, I tend to take greater notice of mundane details. The texture of a chair, the smell of a room or the shape of a table leg. I’m not mourning but I’m empathetic to a fault at times. I’ve been following the Storm Sandy news really closely. I can almost imagine myself there. Having to leave my home, knowing the rushing water will wash it away. Hearing about a neighbor or friend-of-a-friend who was hurt or killed. Trying to calm my family and my own heart. Grief, pain and fear. I’ve been praying for those who are living out the worst of this storm. Even though I am over 2,000 miles away, I’m absurdly confident is God’s ability to traverse that distance pretty quickly.

I slept poorly, knowing thousands of others were probably not sleeping well either. Being in this frame of mind allows me to see those life-details that are so easy to miss. And in turn, I am feeling appreciative of the texture, smell and look of my life. Simple.

Mornings. Coffee. Water. Laundry. Light. Pillows. Clouds. Drawers. Bread. Walks.
I walked into our bedroom and saw Gideon, sprawled out, not a single burden to carry. I thought of this poem. A perfect reflection of my mood.

Welcome Morning, by Anne Sexton

There is joy in all

in the hair I brush

each morning.

In the cannon towel, newly washed, that I rub my body with

each morning.

In the chapel of eggs I cook

each morning.

In the outcry from the kettle that heats my coffee

each morning.

In the spoon and chair that cry “Hello there Anne”

each morning.

In the god head of the table I set my silver, plate, cup upon

each morning.


All this God, right here in my pea-green house

each morning.

And I mean, though often forget,

to give thanks.

To faint down by the kitchen table

in a prayer of rejoicing

as the holy birds at the kitchen window

peck into their marriage of seeds.


So while I think of it

let me paint a thank-you on my palm

for this God, this laughter of the morning,

lest it go unspoken,

The joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard, dies young.

Giveaway, baby.

Five things you probably didn’t know about me, that I don’t advertise openly:

1. I love watching videos of dance crews. I do. I love it. Every once in a while I’ll go on a dance crew craze and spend a couple of hours you-tubing them. At the present moment I’m fascinated by Keone and Mari Madrid. Less dance “crew” and more dance “duo”. This couple choreograph stunning dances. I’m in awe. Here’s a great example of their hip-hop choreography. And here’s a great video of totally different style of choreography. In it you see them team up with a singer to create a live performance to one of her songs. If you want to skip the intro, jump to 7:30. For some reason, watching that dance always makes me teary-eyed. Watch it.

2. Once a week at least, usually as I’m driving somewhere, I think about a close friend, family member or myself passing away and just cry. Some how I let myself wander into a deep painful place. Imagining, in rich detail, life without someone. All the circumstances that follow. The long dark days and the things that would remind me of their presence. It usually takes me a few minute to snap out of it because it all feels so real. One time, I had to pull over, having to remind myself that I hadn’t actually lost Matt. He happened to call a moment later and I felt relief at the sound of his voice.

3. When my dog gets sick, which he has been quite a bit recently because of some food issues, I sit next to him and pet his back. I tell him it’s all okay and ask how he’s feeling. I’ll offer him fresh water and a few bits of bread. In fact, he’s learned now to come get me. He’ll actually find me wherever I am, nudge me with his nose and then walk out to our hallway, before he gets sick. Poor puppers. I’ll admit, Gideon has been the subject of my episodes from #2. Sigh. Did I just tell you that?

4. I play video games. Well, computer games. Really. Don’t make fun of me. My favorite are “point and click adventure” games. The best are the semi-creepy or murder mystery ones. Like where I get to play Sherlock Holmes and track down Moriarty. Ha! Here is a classic semi-creepy point and click game, that encompasses all I love about these things.

5. I “read” like a mad woman. Why the quotes? Well, cause I go to my library’s online catalog and order a mystery (75% of the time) in both book and audio-book. I listen to the audio book while I’m driving, cleaning, etc. Then before I go to bed, I grab the actual book, find my spot and read for a while. Is that cheating? I “read” at least 2 books a week this way. Right now I’m on “I” is for Innocent by Sue Grafton. Starting in the 80’s she wrote detective mysteries A thru Z. They are classic detective stories without all the blood and gore of some more modern thrillers.

Okay. That’s that. Now for the giveaway. Yesterday was my 200th post. I think that is cause to celebrate. If you win, you can choose any one pair of earrings from my shop. Here’s what is currently there:

There are even more pictures of each earring on Etsy, so check them out! Here’s how to enter: Leave a comment. Yup. That’s it. Say anything. I’d be most interested in hearing if you related to any of the things I wrote above, but that’s not a requirement. The Giveaway will be open until this Friday, October 26th at 5pm pst. Eeekk! Tell your friends!