Life Changes And Friends

 

Don’t (necessarily) let life changes affect the friendship.

It amazes me how many friendships have ended after a friend got married (and the other was single), or had a baby (and the other was still childless), etc. 

For me, it has mostly happened when someone moved on to the next life stage up from me and (apparently), no longer found me or my life interesting. It could also happen the other way where maybe someone wouldn’t be interested in being friends with me after I moved to the next life stage from them (thankfully this hasn’t happened to me yet).

Sometimes this is just the natural flow of things – people go in different directions, life drifts you apart . . . and sometimes that’s just the way it is, and it’s okay. If you were brought together in a friendship because you were in a similar situation (same work, school, etc.), and then you no longer have that in common, those friendships probably will fade – and it’s okay, because they were there in the season that you needed each other.

But what I’m talking about is friends that are more than that – friendships that weren’t just based on situation.  There are some friends that you connect with because they are just a lot like you, you have a camaraderie that isn’t only related to you being in the same class together.  And I think it’s a pity to let those friendships end because of life changes.

I think if you really care about keeping a certain friendship you do not have to let this happen. You can’t control whether the other person is going to let life changes affect the friendship (and sometimes there really is nothing you can do about it). But you can control your own attitude on it.

If your friend gets married or has a baby, don’t all of a sudden decide you can’t relate to her or she can’t relate to you anymore. Be there and be happy for her. Your turn will come.

When you get married, don’t drop all your single friends and find new married ones. When you have a baby, don’t drop all your childless friends because they aren’t in the same life situation as you anymore. If you do that, you will miss out on the joy and excitement that comes when your old friends do finally get married/have babies!

Sure, the friendship will be different for a little while after one person goes through a big life change like this.  But I think with the friends that really matter, that’s when you find a new “normal”, and you make that work for you.  People don’t stay the same – they grow and change, and friendships are going to grow and change too.  And it’s not necessarily a bad thing – the friendship shouldn’t have to die.  The good ones will just adapt.

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I don’t think it’s necessarily a good thing if all of a person’s friends are in the exact same life situation as they are. Either they have incredible luck and all of their friends moved on to the next life stage at the exact same time, or they might be missing out on or might have lost some potentially great friendships with girls who aren’t in their exact same situation. And I think that’s kind of sad.

What do you think?  Have you had friendship end because of life changes?  Were you okay with that, or were there some you would have liked to keep?

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Write a post on Friendship and link-up below!  Read here for more details on the link-up and ideas.



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation

Maintenance Of Friendship





*I found this image on Pinterest, but it was not linked to the original source.  If anyone ever comes across this post and knows where this image originally came from, can you let me know so I can give proper credit?  Thanks!

Summer Giveaway (For A Bunch Of Stuff)

 

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It’s been a while since I did a giveaway on here – and I have a bunch of good stuff today!  So just consider this my almost-1000-posts-on-this-blog, almost-300-followers, thank-you-for-reading giveaway!

Here are the prizes:

 

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1. Floral purse (I also thought this would be a good transition bag for early fall).

2. Francesca Batistelli Hundred More Years CD (it’s a good one).

3. Floral summer scarf.

4. Summer Boardwalk Slatkin and Co. candle.

5. Bath and Body Works Honeysuckle body cream (I love this scent for summer).

6. Hugo Naturals Mexican Lime and Bergamot soap (all natural, good-smelling soap).


 

Now, I’m using Rafflecopter for the first time with this giveaway, and I think most of the entries are pretty self-explanatory, except for the last three.  So let me explain those ones further.

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In case you missed my post last Friday, I explained that the week before I made my official pregnancy announcement, I actually hid a clue in one of the posts that told my news before the actual announcement!  It’s hidden in one of these five posts:


What We’ve Been Up To (Catch Up)

Making Conversation

Goodbye, Miss Quince

First Birthday Parties

Mascara Crisis


If you can correctly identify the clue before the end of this giveaway, I’ll give you ten extra bonus entries!  Which increases your odds by quite a bit!

Now, I ask that you include your e-mail with your answer, because that way if you do not guess it correctly the first time, I can e-mail you and tell you to try again.  I’ll let you guess as many times as you want to/need to, and as long as you get the answer correct before the giveaway closes I’ll give you the extra entries!  Because, by George, I have a heart, and if you’re trying that hard I want you to be able to get some points.  But you need to include your e-mail so I can communicate with you about it.

I just want to say big kudos to everyone who spotted it right off!  I can’t get anything past you guys, can I?

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The second to last entry is for people who became Facebook fans before this giveaway – because I really appreciate that you liked my page before there was even any incentive.  Thank you!

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And there was only one lady (Miss Ashley from Crosseyed), that spotted my pregnancy hint and mentioned it to me before I even told anyone there was a hint (she mentioned it to me a couple weeks ago, shortly after the hint was posted) – and I was so impressed by her extraordinary observation skills that I had to give a couple extra points for that!  The last entry is to fulfill that promise. So just ignore that  last entry (unless you are Ashley), and good job Ashley for finding it without even knowing there was a hint!  I know I wouldn’t have!

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Okay, that’s all you need to know.  Enter away!  The  giveaway will last through next Monday, and I’ll announce the winner next week!

Let me know if you have any issues with the Rafflecopter widget, since it's the first time I'm using it.


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Hints, Nail Polish, Etc.

 

Okay, so I have to know . . .

The week before I announced I was pregnant I was writing for the blog and I decided to sneak a little hint about expecting baby #2 into the post.

So . . . who caught it?


I’m not going to tell you which post it was, or how I incorporated my hint, because I’m going to do a giveaway next week.  Whoever can tell me which post has the hint and what it was will get major-extra-giveaway points!  I’m giving you a head start by mentioning it now.  It will be in one of these five posts:

What We’ve Been Up To (Catch Up)

Making Conversation

Goodbye, Miss Quince

First Birthday Parties

Mascara Crisis

So send me an e-mail telling me what you think and I’ll tell you if you’re right!  And I’ll give you extra entries next week.

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Speaking of the First Birthday Parties post, let’s look at the poll, shall we?

How much would you/did you spend on your child’s first birthday party (including decorations, presents, birthday outfit, food, and any other details)?

We didn't do a 1st birthday "party", per se - 4 (13%)

-Under $100 - 11 (36%)

-$100-200 - 12 (40%)

-$200-300 - 2 (6%)

-$300-500 - 3 (10%)

-Over $500 dollars - 0 (0%)

-I can't really put a price tag/price limit on it - 0 (0%)

Votes: 30

You all are so thrifty!  Most of you thought $0-200 was a good amount to spend, and 16% would spend somewhere from $200-500.  But nobody wanted to spend more than $500 dollars (at least not anyone that voted). 


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I told you all I would tell you how much I spent on Wyatt’s cowboy birthday party . . . I spent right around $100, give or take five bucks.  Which I’m pretty happy with, considering that included everything, including presents and food!  Plus I gathered all my decorations over a six month period, so it didn’t hit my wallet too hard anyway.

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And finally, in case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t had any Moms and Babies features for a while – and that’s because I officially put the feature on break for the summer (I’m just finally getting around to telling you now). 

However, I will be starting it up again in the fall, so if you are interested in being featured, shoot me an e-mail!  I do ask that you are at least a follower of mine in order to be featured, and that you are familiar with my blog, because that’s only fair.  I’ll review your blog and get back to you with the questions to answer!

See this page to check out previous features.

Once I get a few moms to feature I’ll send out a schedule and let you all know the start date.  I’m looking for moms to feature from September until the beginning of December (because after that I’ll be taking a break again – you know, having a newborn and all!).  Anyway, the point is that I have a limited number of weeks to fill, so it’s first come, first serve

I’m looking forward to getting the feature going again when Autumn arrives!

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Okay, that’s all.  Except I wanted to say that I found a new nail polish I like:

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It’s called “Sinful Color Professionals”.  Kind of a weird name, but dare I say I almost like it better than Essie?  Because I do.  It goes on just as smooth and it seems to last just as long.  And it’s way cheaper – $2 a bottle at Target!

The colors are a little more wild, but sometimes I like a bold color.  So I’ll be buying more of this in the future I think!

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Celebrating Independence Day!

 

I’ve finally saved enough to get some new furniture for our living room.  So what did we do yesterday on the Fourth?  We went and picked it up, of course!  We had no parties to go to, so we just decided to make it a shopping day instead.

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But of course we still had to be patriotic!

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I won this appliqué in a giveaway recently (thanks E!), and Wyatt looked so cute in his little Fourth of July shirt!

We didn’t get a great family picture, so I’m kicking myself a bit, but oh well.

Then we came home later and I made this patriotic fudge (I stole the idea from Ashley), and Derek grilled some hamburgers and cut up a watermelon while I made an apple crisp for dessert!

We decided to invite my sister and her husband for dinner, and we had a great time!

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Being silly.

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Mmm!

After dinner we went inside and watched The Sandlot.  It just seemed like an all-American type movie, so we thought it was appropriate for the Fourth!

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Hanging out with Aunt Rachel and Uncle Ben!

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Me and my little guy!  Couldn’t get him to smile.

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Me and my other little munchkin!  Derek told me I really looked pregnant yesterday, and that you could definitely tell the bump wasn’t just flab, which made me feel good!

(Ignore the paint on the wall behind me, I’m thinking about changing up the bathroom color scheme, just for fun!)

No fireworks for us this year because so many of them were cancelled because it’s so dry, but I think we did a pretty good job of making it a celebration even without fireworks!  So blessed to live in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave!


Thoughts On The Fourth

 

This Fourth of July will be a bit different for us.  None of our family has anything planned.  Not many places are doing fireworks because it’s been pretty dry around here.

I was trying to think of what we could do together as a family.  I thought that we could probably find a Fourth of July celebration somewhere in town to go to, and I decided we’d grill hamburgers and make a good, classic American meal.  Just start some traditions together, look for a way to make the day special.

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(free 4th of July printable via)

So I searched Pinterest for some food ideas, and I googled our city for a list of Independence Day events.  And as I scrolled through, reading about all the things that are planned to celebrate our country, I got a bit sentimental. 

Because all across the country, today people will be celebrating the fact that we are Americans.  The fact that we live in the Greatest Country in the history of the world (and yes, I really do believe that, no offense to my Canadian or British readers).

Across the country, fireworks will shoot off in celebration.

Grills will be fired up.  People will enjoy a classic hamburger or hot dog, spend time making special Fourth of July themed food. Watermelons will be sliced.

People will don their red, white, and blue apparel.

Children will run through sprinklers, participate in sack races, wave sparklers.

Patriotic anthems will play.  American flags will wave.

And, I hope, every American will feel a little pride swell in their hearts at the fact that they get to be a part of this.  This country.

Because even though I don’t like the way we are sometimes headed, even though I sometimes get a bit of fear in my gut that this right of living in freedom is being threatened, may not always be ours to enjoy . . . for the last 236 years it has been, and it will be our right if we are vigilant to guard and defend it.

This country will always be special, because of where we have come from.  No other country in history has been founded on the same principles of freedom and liberty and faith in God.  And that makes it unique, special.

And it gives me chills to have the privilege of being apart of that.

Happy Independence Day, Friends, and God bless the United States Of America!



Maintenance (Of Friendship)

 

First of all, thank you to everyone for all your congratulations on my little announcement last week!  We are so thrilled to be expecting this baby!  Now you know why I put a little break for this series in there!  We’re going back to “regularly scheduled programming” this week - thanks for bearing with my overload of pregnancy stuff last week, but I had to get you (and the blog) all caught up!



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This week I’m sharing my thoughts.tips on friendship maintenance . . . what it takes to keep a friend.  I’d be really interested to see what you all think on this, so write a post and link-up at the end!

 

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This quote reminds me of the golden rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" (Luke 6:31) - which is a pretty good golden rule for maintaining friendships too, don't you think? But here are my specific tips anyway . . .


8.  Don’t let only one person be the initiator.

Don’t always let the other person be the one to call. Your friend needs to know you have a desire to develop the friendship too, so try to make sure you are the one calling/writing at least half the time. On the other hand, if you are the one who always calls, it’s not a bad thing to step back and wait for the other person to initiate lunch/coffee once in a while. You shouldn’t be the only one doing the work if it’s going to be a healthy friendship.  Speaking from experience, friendships with give-and-take people are so much better and last longer than friendships with take-take-take people, so try to belong to the former group and not the latter.


9.  Don’t assume the worst.

If your friend isn’t calling you back, don’t assume they don’t want to be friends with you or that they are mad at you. Maybe they are very busy, maybe they accidentally deleted your voicemail . . . things happen. Give them a break and call again – don’t give up too easily. Most times when something like this happens to me, I finally do get a hold of my friend and they feel terrible for being such a friendship slacker (I’m teasing – there are times when I’m a friendship slacker too, so I can say that). Then everything is fine again. 

Though on the flip side, if a friend calls you, don’t take weeks to call them back if you can help it, because that’s plain rude.  Just because one of my tips is not to assume the worst doesn’t mean that you should expect your friends to give you a pass if you ignore them for long periods of time.  Just to clarify.


10.  Don’t let too much time go by.

I am guilty, guilty, guilty of this many times (I know, Felicia, Hazel, I know!). But when I start to realize that it’s been a few months since I talked to someone? I call or write. Even if it’s a little embarrassing to admit how long it’s been, and even if I have to apologize for not reaching out sooner, it’s better than letting a friendship go down the tubes.


11.  Do give people the benefit of a doubt.

I’ve said this before, but I give everyone the benefit of a doubt. All the time. It’s a gift and a curse sometimes, but I think it has served me well more times than not. If someone said something that seemed a little rude to me? I try to remind myself that they probably didn’t mean it that way. If I feel a little left out by someone at a party? I try to remember that they probably weren’t even aware of what they were doing. People sometimes just have bad days, and sometimes they are just clueless - keep that in mind and give people a little grace. It’s good not to be too sensitive, and to try to think the best of your friends. It can save a friendship, and it definitely cuts down on drama (which I think most of us could live without).

Note: There’s always a place to draw the line, but that’s a different post.


And this next one isn’t a maintenance requirement so much as a bonus points tip . . .

12.  Do try to do little things every now and then to let your friends know you are thinking of them.

For me, this takes the form of mail.  I’m not always the best at this, but I try to occasionally send friends something through snail mail.  Sometimes it’s a chocolate bar or some other inexpensive gift, sometimes it’s just a note.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be through snail mail either – an occasional e-mail of encouragement can be a sure day-brightener too (though in my humble opinion, there’s nothing quite like getting some good, old-fashioned post mail).   Like I said, I’m not always the best at this (and if you are a friend of mine, and I haven’t surprised you with mail yet, I’m working on it!), it’s just a nice thing to do occasionally when you can, to let the other person know they are on your mind (especially if it’s been a while since you’ve seen them).

Now, if we’re talking pen-pal friendships, I’m still trying to figure out how to incorporate that “little something”.  Because my fall-back is mail, and if we’re talking pen-pals, your whole relationship is mail.  Felicia, friend, any thoughts?

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Basic friendship maintenance is one of those things that could be different for every person, but these are the things that are important to me and that I try to make sure I keep up on.  And obviously it takes a bit of time to figure out what each individual friend’s basic maintenance requirements are, but that’s what brings you closer, no? 

I'd love to hear what some of your friendship maintenance “do’s and don’ts” are!  What is important for your friends to do/not to do, in your book?  What are some things you try to do to makes sure your friendships stay healthy?  Write a post and link-up (the link-up is open until the end of July), or comment below! 

 



Other posts (of mine) in this series:

On Friendships That End

Starting A Friendship

Making Conversation





*I found this image and quote on Pinterest but could not find the original source (that is so frustrating to me).  So if by chance anyone ever reads this post who does know where it came from, please send me an e-mail and let me know!





Pinterest-Inspired Skirts (My Versions)

 

I’m finally getting around to posting the projects I’ve been working on!  I’ve mostly been working on skirts for the summer.  Here is what I’ve made, and I love the way everything turned out!

I’m also linking this up with Nicole’s PINspired Link-up – in which you do a post on the Pinterest projects that you’ve pinned and then actually done yourself!  It’s a once a month link-up so be thinking for July…




 

This skirt I made is reversible – one side is white and one side is mint-colored (it’s hard to tell in these pictures, but trust me, it’s the truth). It worked out well, considering both the fabrics I wanted to use were see-through when used by themselves.

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And I made a couple maxi skirts too – which are turning out to be perfect for the summer, but also for the baby bump!  Very maternity-friendly.  (You also all get a nice view of the baby bump in these – taken at almost 12 weeks . . . )

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And I made the skirt in such a way that it’s totally do-able as a dress too.  I’m not so into strapless, but with a sweater it’s cute.

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It’ll work nicely with the bump in the fall too – I’ll just throw a sweater and belt with it:

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I also made a dress using this tutorial, but I’m not crazy about the way it turned out, so I’m not going to share it in this post.  I may change it back to a skirt in the future.  We’ll see.

 

All of these skirts I made based off of this fabulous tutorial (I just tweaked it a bit):

The Socialite Skirt: Elle Apparel

I got the inspiration to try making the first skirt from my friend Ashley!  She made a skirt form the same tutorial, and I thought it was so cute.  We put both our skirts on one day for a picture together – they both turned out good!

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Ashley tweaked the tutorial a bit (just like I did), so her skirt turned out a bit different too – maybe I’ll have to talk her into doing a post on what she did so you all can see.

If you want to make a similar skirt to one of mine, I recommend reading through the above tutorial carefully first, because that’s the basis that we used for all of these.  However, I did change it up a bit from what the tutorial said, so I’ll cover where the instructions for my skirts varied below.

 

The Reversible Skirt

1. Follow the directions for the above tutorial, except when you cut out your pieces, make two sets of skirt pieces – one set for each color you are using. 

2. When you cut out the waistbands, instead of cutting four pieces out of the same color, cut two pieces out of each color you are using.

3. Sew the waistband pieces together as directed, except make sure that you sew the opposite colors together – so when you unfold the waistband piece, one side will be with one color fabric, and the other side with the other color.

4. Skip Step 9 for now.

5. Once you have the waistband pieces sewn together, sew the waistband piece to the skirt piece as directed – just make sure you use a matching skirt piece to the matching side of the waistband.  What you’ll end up with is a long, hourglass-shaped piece of fabric, half one color, half the other color.

Since I didn’t take any pictures of the process, here is a very non-high-tech diagram for you:

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Repeat with the other pieces.  After you’re done you will end up with two pieces of fabric like the one I drew above.

6. Lay both pieces on the floor, right sides together and matching colors together, and pin up the sides.  Then sew down each side with your sewing machine.

7. After that you can turn your skirt right-sides-out, and you’ll see how it can be reversible!  Your rough seams should be on the inside of each layer, so you shouldn’t be able to see them with either color.

9. Then you can stitch around the top of the waistband to finish it off.  You may also want to do a stich around the bottom of the waistband as well, just so it doesn’t slide around when you are wearing it.

And you’re done!  This is where you can also even up the edges of the bottom of the skirt and hem it, which I actually never got around to (you can see the white peeking through around the hem of the mint-colored side of my skirt).

 

The Maxi Skirt

1. Follow all the instructions for the tutorial, just make it longer.

2. I also made my waistband much thicker than the suggested width – I did 8 or 9 inches for the width of my waistband, because I wanted the place where the pleats start to be visible below the line of my shirt.  If you want the option of wearing it as a dress you’ll want to do the thicker waistband too.

3. However, no matter the width of your waistband, I recommend not sewing the bottom edge of the waistband until after you sew the sides together.  Then you can fold the loose end of the waistband down and sew around the perimeter of the waistband to secure it afterward. 

It’ll look like this when you are pinning it:

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The inside waistband piece pictured above is the piece you will fold down and stitch in place after the sides are sewn together.

If you do it this way, then you can fold the waistband down and it’ll still look like it’s the right side out – the rough side of the seams won’t be visible, because you hid them on the inside.  This is nice, because it gives you a little more flexibility on where the top and bottom of the waistband hit on your hips, because if it’s too high or low you can just fold it down so that it hits where you want, and the inside seams won’t show.  It’s also nice if you want to use it as a maternity skirt, because it gives you more of a waistband to work with!

4. Keep in mind with all of these instructions that your elastic thread will be on your bobbin – so whatever side of the fabric is facing up is the side that will have the regular thread, the other side will show the elastic thread.  So if you are sewing the waistband in place, make sure the elastic thread is on the side that is less visible, especially if you are using a dark color.  It doesn’t look bad if it shows, but you might want it on one side of the skirt or the other.  So just be strategic about it.

And that’s that!  Let me know if you have any questions, and check out the tutorial I linked to above – otherwise none of these directions will make sense.

Happy skirt-making!


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