Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Let's celebrate good news -- with a little giveaway!

Can it be?

Yes, it's true!  Our family has been blessed once again with a new little Monkey (that's Baby #10, for those who've lost count,) due to arrive mid-autumn.  And if that's not reason enough to celebrate, here are a couple more  reasons --
  1. We made it to 13 weeks!  As a mama of multiple Angel Babies, this is a huge relief.
  2. The morning sickness and fatigue are quickly fading, so I am ready to work and play and sew and stuff.
  3. I'm ready to sew and stuff!  (I know I already mentioned that, but I'm really excited about it!)
  4. My husband got a new job, in an entirely new-to-him industry, and he likes it.  

I'd like to say a little bit more about #4.  (And then we'll get to that giveaway!  I promise!)

My husband lost his job in early December, just a couple of weeks before Christmas.  I was so shocked, and angry, and frightened.  HOW can this happen?  And right before Christmas?!  What about the KIDS?!! What about. . . EVERYTHING?!?!

And then I took a breath.  Reached out to a very few close and dear loved ones.  Prayed.  And let go.

This was the best gift my family had ever been given.

Now that sounds really crazy, doesn't it?  But stick with me for a minute or two longer.... This isn't crazy-talk at all.

My husband had been miserable at his job (restaurant GM) for several years, but I suppose there was a comfort in knowing one's profession very well, being quite good at it, and having the same job for a long time.  I'll admit that there was some comfort for me, as well, knowing he had a decent paying job, benefits, and in-demand skills.

But it still really, really sucked.

Eighty hour work weeks (no overtime.)  On-call 24/7.  Very early hours, even later nights.  There were days at a time when he didn't see his Monkeys at all.  High stress / high burn-out rates.  Then the company he worked for started finding excuses to keep bonuses, not pay out benefits, cut back on pay.

I saw my husband's smile begin to fade, and a tight, strained line take its place.  Joy left him, left our home, left our marriage.  I know he felt trapped, and his self-confidence was chipped away, piece by piece.  "What else could he do?" he asked.  "Who else would want him?"

I prayed for an answer.

And I got it, that day in December.

 family trip to the dunes

Then I watched as miracle after miracle unfolded before my eyes.  My husband's smile returned, and the little Monkeys flocked to his lap and to hold his hand.  Laughter returned to our home, our marriage, our family.  Relief replaced stress.

much-needed simple kitchen re-do, family style

A secret Santa arrived in my driveway, a bearded man I had never met (and have never seen since,) with an envelope stuffed with cash for our family.  A very dear friend blessed us with her Christmas bonus, for presents for the kids.  (I still tear up at that one.....)  Another dear friend blessed us with gift cards and presents, and a movie pass for a night out for hubby and me.  I could go on and on, but I'm afraid I would leave someone out.  My kids said this was the best Christmas EVER.

lots of Christmas crafting

Oh, and what about the inevitable bills?  When a bill came due, I would suddenly make enough sales in my Etsy shops to more than cover it.  Sometimes a card from a friend would arrive in the mail, with a little cash surprise. We always had exactly what we needed.  These are just a few examples of the kindness, the grace, the miracles we were blessed with through our fellow human beings.

This went on for three months.  Long enough for a little worry to creep in here and there, but I think it was to remind me to let go, and pray some more.

We tried to keep an open mind and heart, and job offers poured in every week.  But -- they were for the same industry he had been in for the past 20 years, and he -- no, WE -- had had enough.  I prayed he wouldn't settle, and he would find something new, that he would truly enjoy.  (I also prayed he could be home on Sundays, and maybe even holidays, and make enough money to pay the bills.)  ;)

God came through on every single count!  My husband started his new job last month, and he is doing very well. . .  and he LIKES it!  The stress level is way, way down, and the hours are actually normal.  And he's home on Sundays, and every holiday.  YAY!

So we really have so much to celebrate, and so, SO much to be grateful for.  Words cannot express our gratitude, and I hope someday I can pay it forward, and bless others the way we have been blessed. 
Thank you, to our friends and family, and thank you, to my dear customers.  
Many, many, many thanks.

FINALLY, how about that giveaway?

I'd love to throw a whole dang party, but this little token will have to suffice for now.  I'm giving away this sweet hand-embroidered patchwork hoop, stitched by yours truly.  I think it would look lovely in a nursery,  hung on the wall with a pretty ribbon, or on the baby's room door, or even as baby shower decor!

I had to toss some tiny french knots in there, you know!

And if you don't have a wee babe yourself, perhaps you know of a mama-to-be that would like this?  (Mother's Day is quickly approaching, too!)  I made this piece in gender-neutral colors so it would complement any decor, boy or girl.


Just leave a comment, telling me what you're grateful for today, right this minute.  Share your gratitude joy with all of us!  And that's it!  EASY, right?

I'll draw a name using Random.org on Friday evening, and announce the winner then.  Anyone is eligible to enter, even my international friends.  Good luck!
(Please feel free to tweet, share and pin away -- share the love!)


  1. I'm grateful for a loving God who takes care of us, as He took care of you and your family!

    Congratulations on the new little one!

    I previously posted on a blog called Just a Plain Gal. Check out my new blog http://www.mssippimade.blogspot.com to see what I'm doing now.

  2. Wow!
    You know how sometimes you just need a little reminder that you can get through anything and you're not alone? I stumbled upon your blog, read your story about your life this last Christmas, and completely identified. I lost my job as a restaurant GM last September. One week later, my husband lost his right eye in an accident. It was the first day of his first job for his new business. Miracles happen. Angels live among us. Family and Friends came together to help us through. I opened my etsy shop. Just when I needed it, a few sales would come in and a bill got paid! We never gave up hope. With lots of prayers and a positive mindset, we pushed on. today, I'm less stressed. I'm Happy! My husband I help each other grow our businesses. We have family time like never before. Life changes and challenges us...just when we need it. And blesses us too! Congrats!

  3. @Peggy -- thank you! And it's so good to see you again! I've been dropping by your new blog, and I love it! :)

    @MelDTDesign -- thank YOU. Thank you for your comments, for your well-wishes, and for sharing your story. It does make a huge difference when we know we're not alone. I'm so sorry your husband lost his eye, and I pray for you both to have much success in your new businesses. Best of luck & many blessings! :)

  4. I just wanted to pop in and say "Thank you for the embroidered wall hanging"! It is so pretty, and I know just who I will gift it to. Sorry about your vehicles blowing up. I know that's fun...NOT! My hubby is still not home; but, at least, he's in rehab and not the hospital!

  5. Thank you for this blog! Reading on it since an hour! I'm thankful for being able to share time with my loved ones while my husband is abroad. Thankful to have a home, where I can return to and for a God, who blessed me in uncredible ways.
    greetings from austria
    morgaine, who lives in tunisia for a while

  6. Welcome, Morgaine. I know it must be hard to have your husband away, and I hope you can all be reunited soon. Thank you for your kind words, and for dropping by! :)


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