Sharing Pieces of Life... over a cup of coffee, with you :)

Over the past four plus years, I formed the pages and the images of this blog.  I poured out my heart as I talked about pains and struggles.  I labored over the story of the Twins, in hopes that it would encourage you.  I played show and tell letting your see my creative side. And I filled the cracks with free goodies hoping you'd continue to come back :)  But the stages of life press on, and these days I don't always have the time or energy to share with you.  This frustrates me especially on certain days when I'm bursting with something I'd love to share, but can't find the time.... But it is what it is.  Right?

But for this moment, I'm here!  And I'd love to share a bit of "the life of Amy J." with you, haha ;)
And because there is SO MUCH that I could share... really folks, I have a full and crazy life, with much that would probably amuse you or maybe inspire, I hope... (I'm rambling already!)... but I will catch you up on the three most significant portions of my life, in no particular order.

My Home and Family....
What can I tell you?  I'm a mama to five, you can fill in most of the blanks :)  Do you remember back when V was a toddler?  Do you remember how strung out I was because he was such a handful?  Well... double that.  He is STILL a big handful.  Oh, that Virgil (3 yrs now)... I love him, love him, love him... but he is always DOING something (boys, right??)... he's punching, he's kicking, he climbing in fridge, in the closet, digging around in the garage for tools, running around in the neighbors yard and inviting himself in for muffins. yeesh.  But then he'll come and find me, curl up on my lap and as I nuzzle his ear he whispers,  "I wuv you mommy."  Then everything else just doesn't matter.

AND... then there's Lucy (1.5 yrs).  I truly have come to believe that God gave me Lucy to humble me and make me desperate for him... haha... no joke.  She IS that girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead!  When she's sweet, oh my she's adorable, yes, curls and all!  But mercy when she's mad... and she's mad most of the time... just brace yourself.  For example, we drove to California this summer for a vacation...  25 hours in the car, one way.  Lucy intermittently cried, whined, screamed about 20 of those hours.  seriously.  All of my disciplining strategies are being tested and refined here with #5.  And my prayer life has jumped up several notches, just let me say!

The three big girls (10, 7.5, almost 6 yrs), as we call them... I have no complaints, in comparison :)  They each have more hair that a full grown adult should have... I'm talking crazy amounts of hair.  It's beautiful. They are beautiful... and they are growing up waaaaaay too fast.









My Creative Side...
You know since the explosion of Pinterest, blogs, Instagram and the like, I feel like I'm almost always on creative overload.  I love it, but I hate it.  I loooooove looking at pretty things and getting inspired.  But after awhile, I feel like I'm going to burst.  Like I just HAVE to let some of it out!  I make lists upon lists of all the ideas that come to my mind, triggered by who knows what all that I've seen out there.  But since life is busy and other things take priority, then I'm left over-stuffed with unexpressed creativity!  AHHHHH!  So eventually when I find a chunk of time to indulge...then I go on massive designing, drawing, or decorating sprees.  It's good :)  You can see the results of the drawing sprees here :)




My Faith...
If you haven't read my About page, then maybe you don't know about my faith... and perhaps this is my greatest mistake over the last months.  I wish I could share with you my heart more often in this area.  This is my everything.  I am nothing, lost, dead, defeated, empty, futile... if not for Jesus Christ my Savior.  Just had to say that first off...  :) :)

This stage of life for me is hard.  (I will direct you back to my comments about Lucy.. haha ) Yet it is so good.  I have struggled for a long time with a desperate need to be in control of things...and by things I mean MY things.  I won't boss you around, I won't argue with you... but I do want my home in order.  I do want my children to mind.  I want peace and tranquility in my home. I want to get myself together as well.  Be the mom, wife, believer that I should be... blah, blah, blah.  It has become an idol or sorts, I suppose.  So God is breaking me down... piece by piece, struggle by struggle, child by child :)  And I guess there must be a lot of pressure to finish up the work on me, since Lucy is our last!

I am learning to let life be a mess.... in so many ways.  It's not that I'm giving into messy floors and piles of laundry.  I'm just embracing this life for what it is.  It's not heaven.  It's a broken place filled with broken people, including me.  I'm letting go of longing for the perfection... realize it only can be found in Christ.

I love this quote from C.S. Lewis:
“The great thing, if one can, is to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions of one's 'own,' or 'real' life. The truth is of course that what one calls the interruptions are precisely one's real life -- the life God is sending one day by day.”

And I've come to the realization, that if all these daily struggles... these interruptions, whatever they may be... keep me desiring him and his perfection, then it's okay.  In fact, it's necessary.  So I'm learning to start the day by saying, "Okay, God.  Have your way.  Whatever it is that you have for me today, help me to fall in step... to not fight or complain... Do a good work in me.  Teach me. Keep me desperate for you. And let your Holy Spirit consume me so that I am able..."






So that's that... phew!  It felt good to catch up!  If we were sitting over coffee,  this would be the point where you share how you're doing!  ... How's your family?  What are you creating lately?  What's God been teaching you?    So comment, if you'd like and let me know!  Or you can always email too... I'll respond I promise ;)

Blessings,

Free Printable Stationery Sheets....with happy patterns and doodle borders, of course!

Hi Friends!
Is your summer flying by as quickly as mine is?  yeesh... it's nuts!  
Well, I was thinking about you all today, and decided it might be time for another free printable.  Am I right?   

Well, do you remember these doodle border note card/place cards?  They have been a huge hit, as far as printables here on my blog go :) So I thought I'd share this coordinating larger version of them.  I figured these could be used for a number of things:  
-Stationery... to write a friendly note on.
-Invites... simply print out, then reprint text on them.
-Signs or large labels... for the home or for a party, like on a food table.

Anyways, those are just a few ideas!  Leave a cheery hello if you download them, and let me know what you might use them for, kay?  And don't forget to go download the matching mini note cards/place cards!



Simply print out on whatever kind of paper you'd like and cut down the middle!  

*As always... file for personal use only.  File and printed product not for resale or profit of any kind. 




Blessings,

Paper Dolls! ... what I've been up to...

So while I was away in NY this past May, Jaime and I did some brainstorming....dreaming... planning... whatever  you want to call it. Our poor brains are packed full of way too many creative ideas.  Too many ideas to ever actually do them all.  But, I did jump on one of those ideas as soon as I got back home.  Paper Dolls!!! 

I have always loved paper dolls.  I grew up cutting them out with my mom.  Especially Queen Holden paper dolls... the cutest drawings of babies you will ever see.  Seriously.  So I drew sweet little girl faces and darling dressings for like a week straight.  It was awesome. 

Anyways! I wanted to show them to you.  I made two sets... four different little girls with each their own set of unique clothes for my Etsy store.  I cut out one set for my girls to start playing with... and we are working on the second set. 

Take a look!

Meet Sadie and Millie! 
Each set comes with 2 dolls, 2 party dresses, 4 play outfits, 2 pair pajamas, accessories & extras

The little dresses I drew were inspired by some vintage kids clothes and some modern clothes as well.  I happened to find much of my modern inspiration from Gap Kids clothing, HA!  ...they have such cute stuff :)

I printed my dollies out on nice quality laser printer paper (even though I use an ink jet printer... little secret tip for  ya ;) and then I used a glue stick to glue the dolls onto light/med. weight cardboard.... something that you can cut with a scissor.  It worked so well! 

Each set also comes with a cute little wardrobe that can be turned into a pocket to keep the dollies and their stuff!  ...this is maybe my favorite part :)

(This is a pic from my Instagram feed...)
AND... I've included a cover sheet for each set so that they can be gifted! All you have to do is print the set, including this cover sheet and put it in a trimmed off sheet protector (clear plastic sleeve)! Seal the top off with a cute sticker or washi tape and you have an adorable gift.  Yay!  Although you can't sell the set, you can gift as many printed copies as you wish!!  Think of all the little girls you could give this to, haha :)

Well, that's enough show and tell for now.  Go take a look at both sets in my store! if you want to see all the sweet details... you'll swoon, I promise ;)

Blessings,

Amy J. Goes to NY... to see Raising Up Rubies!

Haha... even as I type that title, I have to chuckle :)  Raising up Rubies... that's how you all know her, but to me she's just Jaime.  She is my dear friend, a gift of friendship to me from a loving Heavenly Father who knows all our quiet needs. 

A week ago today my hubs and I headed out, leaving Edmond, OK before the sun was even up to catch a plane headed to Rochester, NY.  We were going to meet friends... 

A week later, today, I have to start my week.  Get back to real life. One part of me feels refreshed and renewed after encouraging conversations had.  Another part feels inspired, ready to create all the things and ideas that flooded my mind as a result of spending time with my creative counter-part. And then there's the part of me that's blue, already missing the company of someone I've only met in person twice, but who feels like a sister.  But most of all, my heart is grateful.  I'm grateful as I feel the love of a compassionate God... the God who loves me (and Jaime) enough to orchestrate hundreds of little details and events to bring real and impacting friendship into existence. 

Would you like a peek into my trip?  I didn't even bring my real camera...  so I hope you enjoy a few blurry camera phone pics! Ha!

 Heading out early in the morning to catch our flight...

Our first evening together at Jaime's house... this pic took about 10 tries because we couldn't stop laughing.  #normalsizedheads

The hubs caught a pic of me trying to snatch a few pretties off Jaime's sewing desk... :)

We did a lot of shopping... Jaime introduced me to Savers.  #ohhowiloveyousavers

Jaime and her husband wouldn't stop bragging about their amazing grocery store, Wegmans, so we had to visit.  Jaime's a crazy shopper... she goes in circles.

 Stole a few alone moments with the hubs ;) ... this was a much needed break from our five kiddos!

One night we went on a double date together with our husbands!  That's another huge blessing of the trip... our husbands totally jived.  They had so many things in common... sarcasm and tolerance for their crazy wives being just a couple examples :)  Their appearance was not one of the things in common... Jaime's husband is a dark hairless formidable force and my hubs is apparently an Irish lumberjack ;)

On our double date we dined, hit Anthropologie, indulged in frozen yogurt and laughed at Jaime's unintentionally inappropriate comments ;)  ....oh and I snapped pics of the oblivious and lovely Jaime!

One afternoon we made this print together :)  ...a true melding of our shared style and creative mind!  It's a free download on her blog!  
It makes me so happy... I can't wait to find a special spot for it in my home as a reminder of what the Lord has done.  He has blessed me through my friendship with Jaime.  He allowed the hubs and I to get away, be refreshed and experience his goodness.

Speaking of reminders... I'm not short on mementos from my trip! (And this isn't even all of it :/ ) So much happy pretty thrifted goodness to remind me of my time in NY :) 
Now I just have to decide what to do with it all!


Blessings,





Some Easter Egg Inspiration and a Note Card Printable ... for you!

Happy Spring, Y'all!
I've got Easter eggs on my mind...  So I wanted to share some Amy J. style Easter eggs with you and also some free printable note cards (one with Easter eggs on it...naturally!)

So take a peek, get inspired, and go print some cards!

image souce: Smile and Style
image source: Torie Jayne

image source: Decor8 blog
Aren't those just lovely!!  I'd like to try the first one that used a paper napkin.  so sweet.
How about you?  Well, if you're not up for fancy shmancy egg decorating how about a really quick and easy printable with pretty little egg illustrations??  ...that might have to do for me this year :)



These happy little Easter cards are 4.25x5.5 inches when folded and fit in a A2 or 5 1/2 bar envelope.
Just download the .pdf, print, cut out, and fold!  Oh! and if you want some more sweet spring note cards, go check out the printables button at the top of the page... there are some more for you from a while back up there!

*as always, file and printed design are for personal use only.  May not be sold or distributed.

DOWNLOAD PDF HERE

Blessings,

Lucy Lou...turns one!

Hello Friends!
I just wanted to pop in and say "hi" in the middle of our crazy birthday week!  We have three birthdays in a row... hubs' was on the 2nd, Lucy turned one on the 3rd, and Elsie turns seven today! There's a lot of partying going on here...let me tell you! But yesterday I managed to take a few shots of my sweet Lucy Lou to commemorate her first birthday...  bittersweet emotions going on in this mama's heart, for sure :)

Loucille Louise.... my spirited and precious baby #5:






 





 Blessings,


V's Big Boy Room... a vintage boy's room tour

Hello Friends!

So I've been meaning to take you on a little tour of Virgil's big boy room for like a year and half... yeesh! ...But before I do that I have one other thing to tell you...

You NEED to hop on over to Natalie Creates and enter to win one of my Meal Planning Kits! She's posting about meal planning and wants to share her favorite meal planning printables (mine!) with you :)

Okay...
now onto the tour!












 












Hope you enjoyed the tour :)
Oh, and Virgil says "hi."

Blessings,

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