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My Son

I told you all a while back that I’d someday tell you why my son is so amazing. That day has come.

While I’d love to rave about the cute couple of finds I had over the weekend, or how well magazine creation is going, all I can think about this week is Thursday.

Thursday is going to be difficult.

Thursday my 21-month-old son is getting an MRI.

And I’m frightened.

It all started when my son was 3 months old. One day we noticed that his right arm was suddenly turned in, his hand in a fist and his arm laying lifeless by his side.

Strange, we thought.

His pediatrician diagnosed it as a birth injury — a brachial plexus injury to be exact. There was just one problem. He didn’t have a difficult birth. I never bought it.

Around 9 months old we started taking him to physical therapy to improve the use of his arm. I’ll take this opportunity to thank God for physical therapists and their patience, wisdom and dedication. Without therapy I don’t know where my son would be today.

He’s been in therapy for a year now. He’s been in therapy over half his life, every week, once a week. Over the past year we’ve added occupational therapy to help his fine motor skills and swimming therapy to help his overall movements and strength. He loves swimming, fyi. 🙂

My son was a scooter for a long time. He got around on his bum for months before he was finally able to pull himself up and try walking. He didn’t walk until he was 17 months old.

That was scary.

And when he finally started walking his PT noticed some weakness in his right leg, too. So we decided to see a specialist at the children’s hospital here in town. We met with Dr. Rinaldi in the rehab department and the man is an amazing person. He got on the floor with my son and played with him while observing his physical abilities. I am thankful for that man and his kind staff.

His diagnosis was Cerebral Palsy, specifically Hemiplegia, which is a weakness focused on one side of the body. It wasn’t unexpected as his PT had suspected this and prepared us, which I am thankful for, as I may have broken down in hysterics right then and there in the doctor’s office.

But as far as brain problems go, this is the one they say they’d choose if they had to. It was probably caused by a brain bleed, but we’ll see what’s going on on Thursday. Sometimes injuries are so old they can’t see them, but hopefully we’ll get some answers.

I’m secretly hoping the MRI will show how big and amazing this kid’s brain is. At 20 months he was counting into the 20s, singing his ABCs, identifying letters, letter sounds, upside down letters, shapes, colors, numbers, reading us his books from memory, and so much more. I can’t keep up with the kid.

The most difficult parts of all of this have been the random stages of grief. Like seeing him run around at the play area at the mall and noticing the obvious difference between him and the other kids — although to the untrained eye, he probably looks fairly normal. Watching him fall over and over again (which has been helped by the foot brace he got a few weeks ago). Seeing the frustration in his eyes when he doesn’t understand why things are so difficult to do with his right hand.

But the thing about kids with special needs is that they’re constantly amazing you. I forget how desperately I prayed for him to be able to walk … for months. And then one day he did. And now he squats, holds big toys with two hands (and says “bof hands” while he does … that’s therapy for you!), tries to jump, runs pretty fast and sits up and lays down really well. These are all things that have amazed me and made me so thankful for his determination.

This little kid, this baby whom I carried around with me for the better part of a year, this naive little boy has shown me more in nearly two years about perseverance, love, joy, patience, acceptance and hope than I ever thought possible.

No matter how many times he falls, he gets back up. And that’s a lesson we all need to learn.

So that’s why I talk about how amazing my son is. Not just for his unbelievable smarts, but for his will.

Pray for us this week friends. This MRI means sedation at his age, and though I know it will be harder on us than it is on him, the thought of not being able to comfort him when he is scared breaks my big old heart.

Feel free to ask me anything about Liam. We’re pretty open books.

I’ll update you all on Thursday.

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Weekend Treasures

Man there were a ton of sales last weekend in my area, but sometimes quantity is not quality and I only came away with a handful of items. But, ever the optimist (OK sometimes the glass is half-empty), I’m excited about the things I uncovered, at half-price!

These two dinosaur banks are all part of my evil plan to impose a love of dinosaurs on my nearly 2-year-old son. I wanted to be a paleontologist as a kid — seriously, hardcore wanted to be one — so I hope he catches on. They were hand carved and I think they’re pretty cool.

Triceratops ($1.50) says, “How you doin’?” and brontosaurus ($2.50) responds, “Oh I’m so bashful, don’t talk to me.”

Next I snagged this beautiful square table cloth. It’s turquoise in the middle with gold butterflies. GOLD BUTTERFLIES! It’s super sweet. $12.50

I found this adorable little apple kitchen timer in a garage for $1.

These locally made in Tennessee ceramic bowls were a total of $3 and I found them in a basement. I love their little yellow insides.

I couldn’t pass up these canisters at a garage sale. There’s something about them that tickles me. Plus the whole set was a whopping $3.

See the detail? Pretty sure they’re not very old, but we’ll see.

This cute little planter was hanging out with the apple timer in the garage. $1

And finally I grabbed these two sets of napkins ($1/set) in hopes my husband’s band Fullbloods might use them. See…the colors match!

Ah well…excited for another weekend of sales. What did you find last week? I’d love to see it! And as always you can find my items for sale on my Etsy. I swear I’ll have these items up soon…as well as the last batch. Oops!

Happy hunting people!

Spring Wreath

The natural progression of starting a creative blog has to be making door wreaths. Or maybe it’s just me. I started seeing so many seasonal wreaths and they were so inspiring, I decided I had to start livening up our front door. So far I’ve made a fall wreath and a winter wreath.

For my first spring wreath I wanted to use felt flowers. I’ve seen tons of tutorials and I’ve always wanted to try some. They’re so pretty! So I chose this tutorial and off I went.

I’m really, really not a girly girl, in fact I hope I only have boys! But sometimes I like to play dress up and sometimes I like pink. Almost nine years ago my bridal bouquet was pink, orange and yellow calla lillies. Still a favorite color combo.

So without further ado…

And since every project is a learning experience, I may try and stuff more petals in next time. The tutorial suggested seven and I only used six on each. And it hurt my hand. For real. I also decided to do two-toned flowers after making two solid ones. The wreath was free from my aunt when my son was born. It nested an owl for a while. And since our door is brown I decided to add more color and spray paint the wreath green. What’s spring without the return of green?

Happy spring everyone! I’d love to see your latest spring project. Let me know about it below. 🙂

P.S. For more flower tutorials visit How Joyful.

Linking to

The Lettered Cottage

Spring Door Decor

Balance

With any new venture in life comes the struggle to re-balance. Going to college, getting married, having a baby, moving, starting a new job, starting your own business — it seems like just when you get life figured out something else comes along to throw you out of balance. And I’ve learned that balance is one of the most important things you can accomplish in life.

Starting VintageKC magazine has taken a TON of my time. If I’m not networking, executing ideas, hitting estate sales, or keeping track of emails, I’m laying in bed obsessing over hairstyles and DIY projects. I knew that following your dreams could be time consuming, but I didn’t expect everything else in my life to suddenly catapult to the backburner.

My ambitions in life, my goals, my personal mission are nothing without the people I have around me who nurture and love and encourage. It’s so easy to get caught up in the exciting, constantly check my phone for emails, and daydream about endless magazine related ideas. And it’s easy to forget how wonderful snuggling with my husband is when I let go of all those things looming over my head. It’s easy to forget how wonderful it is to read a book with my son (or have it read to me because he’s memorized nearly every book we own) and not be anxious to jet off to the next priority.

Quality time with family and friends is really what life is about. The love we experience and share with one another is what will matter in the end.

So my encouragement for today is to find balance. Running creative blogs can be exhausting. But don’t forget the importance of the love that surrounds you. Make time for it.

I love you friends.

Heart Healthy Muffins

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I’m straying a bit from the norm today, but in addition to treasure hunting, magazine creating and loving on my family, I also enjoy baking. A lot. I also enjoy eating these baked things. A lot. However, with a family history of heart disease and my own diagnosis of high cholesterol about 5 years ago, I’ve started taking food more seriously.

I love muffins. Any excuse to eat cake for breakfast, right? I was craving a bluberry muffin, which in itself is not terrible, but the giant canister of oats on my counter is a constant reminder for me to get more oats in my diet. I decided to try and craft a muffin with two very heart-friendly ingredients: oats and berries.

I found the basic muffin recipe in my BH&G cookbook from 2005…wow that’s old! It had an option for oatmeal muffins and blueberry muffins, so I thought, why not combine both? I also added half whole wheat flour and applesauce instead of oil (a common substitution around this house when baking).

Here’s my adapted recipe:

Heart Healthy Mixed Berry Oat Muffins
2/3 c. all-purpose flour
2/3 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. oats
1/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 beaten egg
3/4 c. 1% milk
1/4 c. applesauce
1 c. fresh or frozen berries

Streusel topping:
Combine 3 T. all-purpose flour, 3 T. brown sugar, and 1/4 t. ground cinnamon. Cut in 2 T. butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in 2 T. chopped nuts.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease 12 muffin cups, set aside.
In medium bowl, combine flours, oats, sugar, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and set aside.
In another bowl combine egg, milk and applesauce. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Sprinkle streusel topping over batter in cups. Bake for 18 to 20 min or until golden and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes, then remove and serve warm.

I think I may still need a little tweaking, but overall I was happy with my Frankenstein muffins. We’ve been on whole wheat for a long time now, so my tastebuds are used to, and really love, the nutty depth of whole wheat. The oats definitely make them oatmealy, but they are very filling because of that. And I might add, filled with good stuff. 😉 The berries add great sweet/tart flavor and the streusel topping adds just enough sweetness.

How about you? I’d love to get more heart-healthy recipes in my repertoire. Share yours below!

Weekend Treasures

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What. A. Week! So I know the posts have been few and far between lately…I suppose sometimes that’s just life. Last week I went on a vintage-decorated home tour for the magazine I’m starting and today I met with a local vendor who has so many projects going. I make more connections every day and somehow stars keep aligning. Some days I can actually see my dream of a local vintage magazine in Kansas City coming true. A sweet office in the West Bottoms above the vintage stores (ignoring the fact that they’re also right next to all of the city’s Haunted Houses), a staff, a magazine on paper… could this really happen? Is this really my life? It’s so easy to get insecure, overwhelmed and intimidated. But I’m working on some art to help boost my confidence and keep me going. More on that later.

For now, on to the finds! I’ve been to a few great sales lately. Blue Tape sales run during the off part of the week, usually Monday-Wednesday, which is a nice break from the chaos that is trying to get to all the sales on the weekends.

At the sale last week I found a few items worth pulling the trigger on:

I love the light turquoise color of these towels (or napkins?) and the diamond pattern is awesome. They are hand-stitched.

I’m still not sure what struck me so much about this teapot teapot rest, other than the blatant irony. But I think it has nice lines and it’s cute.


These prints caught my eye at the last minute. They are drawings of the first automobiles and I thought they would look so great reframed and displayed together. Haven’t decided if I have a place for these or if I will sell them…hmmm…thoughts?

Last at this sale I picked up these super fun red 80s placemats. I’ve been in an 80s state of mind with the upcoming fashion shoot for VKC, so maybe I was subconsciously drawn to them. But they happen to coordinate very well with this find from Bella Patina a couple weeks ago:

You may or may not (but definitely will) be seeing this in our first photo shoot! Exciting!

I found one more item over the weekend by accident. I think I’ve mentioned the church ladies who sometimes have sales around the area. They don’t put their sales on Craigslist (where I find most of my sale info), so I’m lucky if I stumble upon them. But they are the sweetest ladies and as I’ve said, they love Liam. Luckily I found them last weekend and promised to bring Liam by. He hammed it up, showed them how smart he is and soaked in all the love. Meanwhile I was scoring this sweet little tray:

For $1. Yay!

As for the other items at the Blue Tape sale, my grand total was $20. I love half-price time at Blue Tape sales because if you’re over $20 by a little bit, she’ll always round you down. It’s like getting free stuff ya’ll!

So what did you find this weekend? Anything grand? Any words of advice to keep me going when I’m totally intimidated and feeling out-of-my-mind crazy?

A New Love

I scouted a couple of estate sales last Friday and fell in love with something I couldn’t have. He was beautiful: strong arms, lean lines, excellent condition. But alas, he was $65 and mama’s bank account just ain’t that deep. But I had a plan.

There are few things I have gone back to sales for on half-price day, and even fewer that were still there by the time I dragged my carcass out of bed. This time I was determined. I set my alarm for 7:30 (gasp) I know…but my little love usually wakes us up around 8 and I couldn’t take the risk. I threw on some clothes, pulled the hair up and took off for the sale.

Which started an hour later than I thought it did. Hmph…

So I went to another sale down the street and found my dear friends the church ladies. I’ve been to many of their sales. They go to a church down the street from our house and when they were running a sale two doors down I went a few (dozen) times and they fell in love with Liam. And we brought them cookies. Now they remember me. 😉

Still having 40 minutes til the sale started I decided to do the Rock Star a favor and bring donuts because little one had kept us up most of the night. That cheered him up.

Donut in hand, I headed back out to the sale. It was about a 10 minute drive.

When I pulled up there were about five other cars there. When I saw the sale company car pull into the driveway I hopped out and ended up being the fourth person in line. I’ve never waited in line for a sale to open, but I suppose that’s what you gotta do sometimes!

And it paid off. I busted through the door, ran down — I mean politely scooted around — some older ladies, and bolted down to the basement. Hooray! It was still there. I snatched it and trotted back up stairs to purchase my half-price treasure.

So what was it?

Isn’t he beautiful? He’s everything I dreamed he would be, and more. And I’m going to leave him just the way he is.

I love the way he sits in our living room. I would say don’t tell the Rock Star about my new found love, but he’s already in love, too.

What great treasures have you found lately? I’d love to see!