Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sisterhood - Responding to a New Mama


Hello Sisters,

In February 2012 The Sisterhood was able to proactively respond to the needs of a young mum with a toddler and a brand new baby.

Incase you've never heard this before, new mums can get very tired because of constant feedings, sleepless nights and the whole "I am not my own person any more" thing. Mums sacrifice a lot for their young.

Its important that we value that sacrifice and never over look it. 

That's why we gather together the little bits and pieces that we had an sent a few parcels to a young mum - to thank her for giving all that she has. 

Its not that this new Mum desperately needed anything, just some attention and love to let her know that yes, she is doing a wonderful job, and to remind her how good it feels when she spends some time on her.

Here are some of the things that you sent her. She is a crafty and creative type, and you hit that nail on the head pretty perfectly if you ask me! 





Thank you for responding and caring about another Mama. You are so kind and I am continually thanking God for you.

Love, Sophie xxx

READ MORE:
The Sisterhood LOVE BOMB
The Sisterhood's response to a house fire and family of three in need
The Sisterhood's response to a toddler with Leukemia and her family


The Life of Granny [stripe blanket]


Shortly after Millas birth I went on creative rampage. Perhaps thats something about a woman? The need to create something with my hands? Anyway, on a cold and rainy day I was picked up by a dear friend and taken to spotlight where I purchased all of this wonderfully coloured arcylic yarn.

I would love to be able to afford to make a wollen blanket, unfortunately that time has not yet come. No matter.


I used the granny stripe pattern from Attic 24, she write superb patterns and I had previously had success with her Ripple pattern too.

Over summer Granny went by the way side and this is where her woeful tale begins. She was forgotten about and put inside her red bag where she stayed for months. She collected a little dust so was stored away in our smelly spew cupboard (thats another story), and eventually was transferred to the spare bedroom wardrobe where she was forgotten about.


Granny layed about for quite some time, dreaming of her moment to be resurrected.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, her creator (thats me) felt a little chilly one night and decided it was time to complete her, only to discover she had no more yarn!

"Thats right!" she (I) exclaimed, realising why Granny was put aside in the first place. It wasn't because she was so long and boring, it was because she needed more rows!
Creator went to spotlight the next day, armed with colour codes she kept from the original yarn labels and sadly discovered only ONE of the colours was still on the shelf! The rest of the colours had been deemed "last season" and had all been sold off.

Granny wept. She was unfinished. With no other creative ideas, Creator purchased that last ball of yarn and whipped up a border for Granny. It was the least she could do.

Grannys life didn't work out the way it had originally been intended, but she still functions perfectly and lives a very full life covering her owners laps. 


Don't tell her, but Granny is the width of a queen bed, but isn't quite enough length ways :(



READ MORE:
Other creative endeavours
Progress made on Granny
My ripple blanket

What do you think of Granny? Have you ever had that 'need' to create after the birth of your baby?

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sisterhood - Zariahs Journey



Hello Sisters,

In February I put out a call of help for a little girl named Zariah. She had travelled all the way to Christchurch, New Zealand with her (pregnant) Mum and Dad to receive treatment for Leukaemia.

Mum and Dad were having to sleep in the ward with her while she was being treated because the Earthquakes in Christchurch had severely limited the hospitals facilities.

We heard about this opportunity from the blog, Hazel Loves Design. And we decided to help. How could we not?

We gathered our resources together and sent Zariah and her family picture books, felts, colouring in pencils and books, decorations for her room, batches of home baking, delicious drink sachets, chocolate and more chocolate, and $200 for the family to spend on whatever they wanted (we suggested a date, but understand that bills still need to be payed!).

We dropped the parcels off at their door, seeking no recognition or thanks, and we sat back knowing that our jobs had been done.

For one moment, smiles, because of us. Isn't that the greatest reward?

Thankfully their little family were able to be moved into a Ronald McDonald home, a great space for families to stay close to the hospital while their loved ones are being looked after.

Unfortunately I was not able to get any photos of the gifts you sent Zariah and her family but I want to THANK YOU for hearing the call of a little family in New Zealand and most of all for responding. If you sent a gift, prayed a special prayer or thought a special thought, this small victory is for you.

I am happy to tell you that this little family is back home and thriving. Zariah is still continuing her treatment and is slowly losing her hair and has returned to Kindy. The Mama is due to give birth in July.

Love you.

READ MORE:
How to belong to The Sisterhood
The Sisterhood LOVE BOMB
The Sisterhood responding to a mother of three and a house fire
The Sisterhood respond to a new Mama

Heart Stopping Moments - The Waiting Game

As soon as I hit "publish" my heart skips a beat.

For something I was so excited about, so sure of, suddenly I am in panic mode.

"What if no one understands?" "What if I was too excited and didn't think realistically?" "What if people just don't care?" "What if I'm not well know enough for this to reach the right people"

Self doubt creeps in and I question my very motives.

This is what happens whenever I release a new Sisterhood initiative: These ideas, they just come to me, they are sparked from life and circumstances and I think of a solution. "The Sisterhood could be involved!" I tell myself. I immediately set about organising myself so you can know about this grand idea.

Excitement builds and now you are in the know! 

A few emails trickle in, people get a little bit excited, others I don't hear from and that surprises me.

I start to panic.

I pray, "God, is this going to flop? Was this really you!?" and He tells me to be still, just like he does every other moment of the day.

"I've got this" I hear him say, almost as if He is rolling His great big - God like eyes at me.

So I am still, and I play the waiting game.

This is by far the hardest part of pulling off anything within The Sisterhood. Waiting. For you. To hopefully respond. As I navigate emails, give out my address, suggest ideas to people, try to decipher who I will actually receive anything from. This is the messy part. All those emails. All that time. All those ideas. All those people.

People (including myself) sure are messy. But you know, the mess is worth it, because what we are able to achieve when we pull together and give the little that we have is life-pacting*.

And I think life was made to be together. Not struggling doing it alone but pure community. Sharing, loving, being. That community alone is worth all of the heart stopping messy moments.

Truely really, I love every moment.

Be still my beating heart.


Pssst- FYI - the gifts have already started pouring in. Its amazing.

*Life-pacting. Just a little term I make up. Impacting lives. You can use it too.


READ MORE:
How to belong to The Sisterhood
Why and who we are sending a LOVE BOMB to
How The Sisterhood responded to a Mum of three and a house fire

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How To Find Out The Size Of Your Blog Header

 


The header on your personal website is one of the first things your viewers will see, so it needs to represent you well and give the viewer an instant download as to what they can expect, along with being visually appealing.

All around the blog world I see headers that are off to the left, or are super duper huge like they have just uploaded a whole photo. Its good to see a little bit of blog text below your header - this is your "landing space" where peoples eyes are drawn to. If you just have a huge photo as your header a reader might only spend 1 second on your page and they wont learn anything about you!

This is so frustrating for me because I know it is such a simple fix.

If you're thinking "that's exactly whats happening on my blog right now" then this is for you, so keep reading, I might just be able to help you!

Your header is off center and massive because it's the wrong size for the space where your header should be. 

You need to make a header that is a specific size for your website (this will depend on your blog template or what you've chosen your blog dimensions to be (which probably happened when you first made your blog. They can easily be changed!)

Here's how you find out the size your header needs to be

  • To find out the size of the space open up google chrome (its free to download, and in my opinion the best browser you can use right now) (You can also open Firefox and it will do almost the same thing)
  • Right click on your blogs tab line - This will open up a little drop down menu, click "inspect element"("Get info" in Firefox)

  • This Inspect Element button will open up a new area in the lower half of your chrome browser. Here, it will bring up all of the HTML that you are viewing on your page, and highlighted, it will show you the area that you just clicked on. It might look a little scary.
  • If you happen to move your mouse and loose the info, on the top half of your browser hover your mouse over the area you want to view (your tabs (because this is the width of your page))
  • Alternatively, you can use the up and down button on your keypad to scroll through the lines of code. With each line you scroll down, on the top half of your page a new section will be highlighted. Keep scrolling until your tabs are highlighted, like below.

  • Can you see 1040x30 px? These are the pixels. The WIDTH (from left to right) of my header needs to be 1040 pixels.
  • If you're planning on redesigning your header the height of it is up to you. My current header is 300 pixels. 400 pixels is nice too. You choose! Just enter the number in whatever you're using to create a header and play around with what works best with your design. I've done a handy blog post and video on how to design a blog header in 5 minutes using a free online editing program. 
  • So, my headers dimensions are 1040x300pixels

Write your dimensions down and stick them to the fridge, you'll need to remember your pixels when you go and create your new blog header!

If you would like to play along but you are already confused, please email me, sophieslim@moo2.co.nz , I'd love to help :)

Read more on blog tips:
Must Know Side Bar Tips
How To Link Your Email Address To Your Comments (so bloggers can easily reply directly to you!)
How To Create New Tabs On Your Blog
How To Create A Blog Header In Under 5 Minutes
How To Get Your Blog In Google Search Results


Was this helpful? Have you used any of my tutorials? Leave a comment and let me know how it went!







Monday, May 28, 2012

Sisterhood - How To Belong



Hello Ladies,

I often hear you ask me "How do I become a Sister!?"

Well, thats really easy to answer, so I thought I would let you in on a little secret:

I actually consider you all Sisters. Whoever you are.

So. Broadly speaking, you're already in (phew, no hot coals or tattoos involved!). However, technically speaking, you can belong to The Sisterhood in a multitude of ways:

Firstly, CARE.
I pray that us Sissys would have soft hearts and when we hear a call of help from another Sis we would have the heart to respond, however that may look. Whether in our thoughts, prayers, time, finances, I would assume that a Sister would care for one another. Take that as a given. 

Second, RESPOND.
Every care (see first point) needs a response. A simple "care" is desperately trying to translate into something physical. I would hope that all Sisters would take the second step and respond to a call. As I have said time and time again, its not so much the physical act but the heart behind it. We're not trying to build new houses here or donate jet boats, but I am still a firm believer that every care needs a response. If that response is a lovely letter, thought or prayer, often that is enough. Some times its a treat in the mail. Whatever you do, I don't want you to underestimate those responses. Often times they have the power to transform a life, because in some case, just a smile for that particular day can be a miracle. Your gift may just have the power to produce that miracle. Amazing isn't it?

Thirdly, SHARE.
If you love The Sisterhood please don't keep it to yourself! We ain't selfish 'round here! Share, spread, tell. Let the world know that goodness is alive and kicking. Tell them of the miracles and the joy and the smiles and the opportunities. You can do this lots of ways:
  • The good old fashion word of mouth - its classic and works a treat.
  • Like The Sisterhood on Facebook (you can stay in more regular contact and get to meet other Sissys there)
  • Subscribe to this blog (this is where I update with more offical-ness and detail-ness)
  • Subscribe to The Sisterhood via email (this is great if you're not active in blog land. You'll get an email sent to your inbox whenever there is a new opportunity to bless)
  • Display our badge proudly (perfect for bloggers)
  • Take the time to email or share any blog posts that provide new opportunities
Forth, say out loud "I'm in The Sisterhood!" and be proud of that.

Introduce yourself on our Facebook, or email me (sophieslim AT moo2.co.nz) and get to know us!

Sisterhood - Mum of Three and House Fire



Hello Sisters,

In March I put out a video-log to introduce myself and tell you about a new opportunity we had to bless a family in Canterbury, New Zealand.

This family had recently been involved in an electrical house fire, their son had alerted the mum of something strange. She said 30 more seconds and they would have lost him.

Thankfully the whole family (Mum, Dad, Son and Daughter and a little boy growing in the tummy) made it out safely, but they lost all of their possessions without any insurance.

At the time the family immediately needed and requested help to fill their wardrobes as we headed into a bitter cold Canterbury winter.

We heard this call for help and YOU responded.


Infact, you responded with bags and bags and bags of clothing and blankets for each member of the house hold. You included toys for the kids and warm winter coats for the Mama. 155 items in total.

"We feel truly blessed by those who have gotten behind us, and some of the donations have come from chirstchurch,now those folks have had it rather tough last 2 yrs with the earthquakes but they still have the heart to stop and help others in need when their livlyhoods have been turned upside down as well.. I hope one day to pay it forward and help others in need, we did not have house insurance but the generosity of the community and surrounding areas are overwhelming and every day we feel even more blessed. At the end of the day a house and items can be replaced but not your family or children."

Later on, this Mama asked us for help again in fitting out her soon to be born son. We sent him books, singlets and warm hand knitted winter woolies.

Sisters, I want to thank you for showing your physical love to another Mama. 

Thank you.

READ MORE:
How to belong to The Sisterhood
The Sisterhood's response to a young family with Leukemia 

LOVE BOMB Details

I want to thank you for being so responsive to the world around you.

You, whose heart is soft and able to be spoken to, thank you. 

On Friday I told you about The Sisterhood LOVE BOMB. I put out a call for us to gather together and send smiles all about the country. I put out a list of women who have been nominated by their friends, fellow Sisters who are just getting on with life despite their circumstances, when the going gets tough they dig in and pull through. 

Inspiring women.


A lot of you were a little bit confused so perhaps I didn't make myself clear. Allow me to be a little more specific about how we go about this:
  • First, read about WHY we're doing the LOVE BOMB
  • Choose yourself someone you would like to drop a LOVE BOMB on. Think of something you might like to send them, or email me for some ideas. 
  • If you don't mind who and just want to help however you can, email me in the first place and I can suggest someone and something to send.
  • Things could be as small (and big) as prayers, cards, chocolates, smellies, soapies, gift vouchers etc.
  • Send whatever you would like to gift to me. My address can be supplied by email.
  • You have two weeks to get your gifts to me. (9th June 2012 deadline)
  • Once I have everything collected for each lady I will be packaging it up on your behalf and sending it to them while telling them that they are amazing and we just wanted to put a smile on their dial.
  • Sit back and know that for a moment, you transformed someones life.

In the past I haven't shown you on the blog what we have been able to achieve. I've struggled with that a little bit because I definitely don't want any praise for this. I'm just doing what I can, and this wouldn't exist without your help, thats definitely for sure. 

However, I have decided that for now, I will be showing you what we gather and send. This is not to give any glory to ourselves, but its to show "look at what can be achieved when we join together!!" which I believe is important to celebrate and use to encourage others to join together to make a little difference. Also, I think its important that you see your own gift with others, knowing you aren't alone in giving, and seeing the physical blessing that is being given.

Encouragement. That's why. I hope you're okay with that. 

Lets all keep our heads normal size though 'kay?

Like The Sisterhood on Facebook to stay in touch. Email me on sophieslim@moo2.co.nz

GO


READ MORE on The Sisterhood LOVE BOMB:

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sisterhood LOVE BOMB

This week I have been caught up in the anguish of a friends life.

I went over to her house to help out - her husband gone, a brand new baby left alone with its Mama, the pantry empty. I did dishes, filled the fridge, folded washing, I hugged.

And when I left, I bawled my eyes out.

Some people have it so hard. My woes in comparison are nothing. That's not to say they don't matter, because we all matter, but often I forget that other people are struggling through much more than I am, and doing it so well.

Some people just get on with life, you know. This new Mama had a teeny tiny little baby, and her response to me asking how she is coping? "I can't get too upset, I'll lose milk" Once again, putting others needs before her own, despite being abandoned by her own family.

Doesn't that break your heart? And kind of make you a little bit proud too?

That is so inspiring for me. And she isn't the only one. There are woman all over this country. That makes me proud of womankind everywhere. Busy ladies with hard circumstances, just getting on with it. Strong women who are often overlooked for doing the amazing job that they do, and they continue to do it with no recognition.

I have very exciting news: The Sisterhood and I are planning a LOVE BOMB to do exactly that, thank them for the amazing work they do, whatever that may be. We want to send these ladies a gift in the mail. Big or little, to say "Thank you. You are doing so well." in the hopes that it would cause them to stop for a moment while a smile appears on their face. That's all we want to do really. Just bring about a few smiles. That's why we are here. 

Would you like to join us?

Below are the names of some strong women who you have nominated. It just so happens all of these ladies are Mamas, but I want you to know we are not limited to that. If you are only hearing about this now and you are thinking of someone you would like to send a smile to, please email me and left me know. I'll add them to our LOVE BOMB





The names of the ladies have been changed to protect their privacy.

If you feel like you would like to send a smile to any of them, please EMAIL ME. This is going to take a lot of helpers to get in behind our LOVE BOMB to make it a success.

The Deets: 
  • If you are stuck for ideas just ask me, I have a little list for each of the ladies as to what they might find useful or lovely.
  • To protect their privacy (since they don't actually know this is happening therefore haven't given us any permission) I will not be releasing any of their address details. 
  • Therefore, you will need to pay for postage to send to me, and I will be forwarding everything on once it has all been collected in one big LOVE BOMB parcel
  • I am also accepting money if you aren't able / dont want to send anything. Any dollars sent will go towards pamper packages (update (7.5.12): We are already able to buy two of the ladies delicious facials!)
  • Even if you feel like right now you can't contribute, a lovely letter of appreciation would ALWAYS go down a treat. We are thinking quality of smiles here people, not expensive smiles.
  • Most importantly, please contact me to contribute. sophieslim@moo2.co.nz (right now! do it!)
So ladies. I am loving YOU. You who get up each morning day after day and put a smile on your dial. You who worry about not being too emotional to save your milk for your little baby despite having all the reasons in the world to bawl your eyes out. You who studies late into the night to make this world a better place. 

THANK YOU. 

sophieslim@moo2.co.nz for any enquiries. Please like the Sisterhood on Facebook to stay in touch.




Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Favourite Dress Turned Skirt For Milla



This productiveness is the result of having our dining table back and an email which inspired me to make the most of my time. I've started to recognise moments in my week where I do have time to myself but instead waste it thinking I have so much to do, or, I don't have enough time. Instead, I'm trying to turn that into I may as well get started on something now and its working so far! 

I made this little twirly skirt for Milla while Mr Moo was at indoor cricket, and then fixed it up the next morning after Milla tried it on and went back down for a nap, which is exactly what I did when I made her pleated skirt last week. 

Infact, I made this skirt out of my absolutely favourite dress. It's two years old and I have had many wonderful memories in this dress. I love the way I feel in it. Sadly, while I attempted to wear it this summer despite the fact that its not breastfeeding friendly, I broke the zip and ripped the dress down the front. O-oh! 


This hung sadly in my closet for months until I finally decided that I could turn it into a skirt for Milla Moo! 

I must say, she looks adorable in red. I'm sure you agree ;)

However, I am most upset. As soon as I cut into it I realised I could have just cut the top half off and turned it into a skirt for me! Oh well, live and learn huh. I'm a beginner after all! 


READ MORE:

Have you been making anything this week? Have you ever cut into anything to change it and go "O-Oh!"?

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Must Know Tips About Your Blogs Sidebar




I blog for fun, to learn, be a part of a community, to document our lives, to resource others and to inspire a little bit along the way. That all said, I am really interested in making my blog a better, nicer place. I like aesthetics and I can appreciate that as people, we are very visual and only have a few seconds to make a first impression.

In person, that impression can be made in many different ways; In the warmth of your smile, the tone of your voice, your appearance and hygiene, your body language. When it comes to your website you only have a few seconds and those seconds are usually taken up with the visual appearance of your blog.

Now, I'm not graphic design whizz, and my own website isn't perfect. Everything I know has been self or husband taught, but I have spent many years creating blog headers, keeping a website and designing church advertisements. I've picked up a few things along the way and I wanted to share them with you.

I've made a whole basic blog design series that I am constantly updating and adding to. There are links at the end of this post, or subscribe to my blog to get the latest.

Tips For Your Side Bar

  • Do include a clear about me and a "landing space" for new readers.

    What's a landing space? Its a place your new readers can rest their eyes and know about you in a glance. Its a place they will go to "next" to find out more about you. Give them that space to land. Include a few sentences to sum up you and your blog and direct them to where they should go next - Popular posts? Things they must know about you? Meet the family?

    What is the most important thing for your new readers to find when they come to your page? This should be included near the top of your side bar.
  • You want your new reader to see the best of you, so keep it fresh and new and relevant!

    Chuck out those old blog awards from 2007, you want readers to know the now you, not the old you. Do you have a new post to add to your popular posts repertoire?

    Every few months I add something new or update my side bar, this keeps it slightly different and gives a very loyal reader something new to notice and look at. It also means if my information is changing and easily accessible people will spend more time on my page.
  • Don't go overboard and change your whole design every week. You want your whole image to represent you and be recognisable to a returning reader so they remember you.
  • Have your most important things at the top - for me thats a little bit of information about myself and my sponsors. For you that might include your post history, or your shop details. Order your buttons in priority.
  • Keep all of your icons in your side bar aligned. You definitely don't want some things to the left, others to the right and a couple in the center. Have them all in the same space (center is good).

    To align them in the center, go into the HTML widget in your blogger template and add < c e n t e r > (without spaces) at the beginning of the code and < / c e n t e r > (without spaces) right at the end. Save and repeat for all of your HTML widgets. 


READ MORE:
How To Get Your Blog in Google Searches
How To Find Out The Size of Your Blog Header
How To Link Your Email Address To Your Comments (so bloggers can easily reply directly to you!)
How To Create New Tabs On Your Blog
How To Create A Blog Header In Under 5 Minutes

Do you have a side bar philosophy? Personally I think they are one of the most important elements to determine the future success of a blog! (Eek! Pressure huh!)


Monday, May 21, 2012

Dear Baby - 8 Month Update


We have had many eyebrow raising moments this month when we have thought "I think she grew lots today!" and we wonder, what did she look like yesterday? Because she looks very different today. 

In her 7th month she learnt to clap and wave hello and bye bye, although she barely does it on command. She's a little shy and will often freeze when people talk directly to her. She will seriously just stare at them. And then they look at me confused, because shouldn't babies be all happy and smilie at strangers when they pull faces into the pram at them. Anyway, half way through a conversation she will suddenly wave at someone. Or she'll turn around and wave at the TV. Or she'll be touching the rubbish bin and I will say "Milla, no touching the bin, yucky" and she will turn around and clap at me. Its terribly cute. 

She has stood all by her self for a total of 6 seconds. Once for a whole 5, her little legs were shaking like crazy as she tried to balance. Again, for 1 second as she grasped my cellphone with 2 hands and then realised she wasn't holding onto anything. You would think she's been standing and pulling herself up on things her whole life though because she is very efficient at it. We bought her a trolley when she turned 8 months old because she played with one at my brothers house and then again at church and she mastered it in two goes. She can push her trolley down our hallways with no troubles at all. 


She is becoming less and less attached to me, but still has a firm bond with the both of us. There have been a few times when her Dad has been able to look after her without me around which is SO nice. I've been out a few times at night while she's been sleeping (a few girly hang outs and of course that time that I spoke at hunger and thirst). As much as I love having my little girl attached to me at all times its very nice to go out with a little handbag and just be Sophie and a friend and/or a wife.

Milla LOVES her Daddy. She is completely smitten with him. The photo below shows her excited face, she peurses her lips and shakes her head backwards while making a little excited "Oooeh" sound. Its adorable! Mr Moo gets this every time he walks in the door. 

Oh, and I wanted to take this opportunity to boast  tell you all that I have the best little eater around. I don't think I have ever mentioned this, and maybe I should in more detail, but Camilla is the easiest breastfeeder and solids eater around. To date, I have never had any trouble with her milk feeds, and she has been SO easy to introduce solids to. She eats everything I put infront of her and is great with finger foods and feeding herself. She has a much more varied diet than I do, and I am thankful she takes after her Dad in this area too. Thank you baby girl for being so easy!




Dearest Milla Moo,

Its a well known fact that you will look for a future boyfriend who is similar to your Daddy. 


This month I'd like to talk to you about your Daddy and your future boyfriends. A little weird I know, but please bear with me. 



We hope that your Daddy will teach you what it means to be a man and that you in turn will seek out the same sort of man of your own to Marry. I pray that you would have someone and a family, if thats what you want, because life is so good when you do it with other people. And I also pray that if that's what you want, you wouldn't settle until you get what you need, and then you would have peace in that relationship.

Find a real man, one who will stand with you and for you, one who is patient and kind, one who will teach you more about God and who will love you completely. Find a man who will lead your family as well as support you.



In all things I hope that your Daddy will teach you what a princess you are, and I hope you will have high expectations about what a man really is because of him. 

Set your sights high Honey, you are worth it. 

We love you.

Love, Mama xxx 



**Milla got her super cute denim dress from one of my besties, Chloe in America. Thankyou Clo! xx


READ MORE:
Millas Birth Story
Dear Baby - 1 Month 
Dear Baby - 2 Months
Dear Baby - 3 Months
Dear Baby - 4 Months
Dear Baby - 5 Months

Friday, May 18, 2012

Then and Now

36 weeks Pregnant. August 2011.

8.5 months old. May 2012.

Yes, I am one of those lameos. I am even so annoyed because we got the order around the wrong way for the photos. I am usually SO proud of my photographic memory, however my nappy brain has failed me. 

I much prefer the way I looked in August. I loved the way I looked while pregnant. My skin and hair both felt amazing. I felt a little bit plump. Now I feel gangly and chunky in the wrong places, and my skin feels like it always needs a good rub down with a pumice stone. 

We had a good day out at Tai Tapu anyway, the In-Laws took us (well, technically we took them in our *new* car eeee)(but they paid!) to celebrate mothers day and Mr Moos birthday. We played terrible games of pool, drank a glass or two of red wine and ate delicious pizzas. Such good times. 



Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pleated Skirt for Milla





Now that the supplies have been organised and my machine has been fixed, Milla got this cute little skirt out of it! A pretty good score if you ask me! I discovered Jess from Craftiness Is Not Optional through a guest post through someone. Anyway, I fell completely in love with this super cute skirt (and Jess' daughter who was modeling it) and her instructions were so easy, I thought "By George! I could do that!" - So I did! I went out an got my new fabric, and locked the procrastinating demons away, and created this cute little number while I was home alone one night! 

If you've been to my house in the last week you would have seen it already because I am SO proud, and keen to make many more wearable creations for my family!! I'm catching the bug and it feels so good! 

I followed the directions and made the skirt to fit a 18-24mo, thinking it would fit Milla this summer, which it probably will, but it also fits her now, it wont fall off her, but its not incredibly tight too, so there's lots of growing room! Eeee!

Milla is working on her over the shoulder model pose. (Bah! She's adorable!)

Next I'm going to attempt to transform one of my old chambray skirts into a little Milla sized one. Need to tame that procrastination foe. 


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An Unexpected Blessing

My Sisters, I have the most wonderful news to share with you.

But its hard news, its selfish, boasting, look at us news, and it comes in two parts. The first part is the physical, the second is the emotional - spiritual - healing part.

I feel hesitant to share this news with you. How to even begin? I suppose you need to know about the Sisterhood.

A group of women, all around New Zealand, joining together what little they have to make a big difference. The great part of the Sisterhood is that you are welcome to join us, whether to bless or be blessed, everyone is welcome. In the little time we have been together we have achieved much, a smile for a new Mum, reading material for a long recovery post surgery, clothes and toys for a young family who lost everything in their house fire, finances and gifts for a little girl and her parents undergoing cancer treatment.

And then, a few weeks ago. We received something. WHAT!? I know.

And I really really want to tell you about it. But I am hesitant. Because for me, its not really about the stuff that we give, its about the reason. For me its about joining together and giving, because its good to give, because we have so much, because we have been given so much, because we have the power to transform someones whole life. And you know what, maybe we can't pay their mortgage, but we can create smiles, and smiles are life changing. Some days, for some people, just a smile is a miracle. So I need you to know that I am telling you all this because I want you to know how a small gift can transform a life.

Anyway, on with it.

My husband carried around this courier bag in his satchel all week. You see, I get my mail delivered to his work because our letterbox can fit no more that a small envelope in its slot, and there is no where to leave anything, so, I rely on MrMoo telling me if he's received any mail for me. He went away for the weekend, and on his return home he chucked a grey postal bag at me and said "oh yeah, this arrived for you last week". Gosh honey, thanks for remembering.

I love mail. Smiles all around.

I opened it up, and inside, a beautiful card filled with beautiful words from a young girl I met many years ago and have only seen a handful of times since. Inside the card? Cash. Lots and lots of green notes. And floating about this grey bag, more gift cards, for groceries and kids clothing.

Amazing. This is also where I get a bit stumped because what do you say to that besides thank you?? To be on the receiving end of generosity. Wow. Just wow.

Someone had been thinking of me. Moreover, God had been thinking of me. Can I tell you a little secret? Just that day I had been praying "God, don't forget me please. I love to help people, but when I need help, please be there for us.". You see, we haven't had a car for 4 months (I know, please excuse our first world problems). Ours had started to die, so we quickly sold it off and began to save for a better one that would have a lot of life left in it. We had a small budget and for it we weren't able to find anything suitable for our little family. For four whole months. We needed more money. But for our small weekly income there is not a lot of saving room. Dollar by dollar we saved, but we still needed more.

Can I please introduce you to our new car? We bought her this week. Actually. Amongst all the excitement we haven't even discussed the gender issue. Or even a name! Gosh!



I would also like you to know that Camilla has new winter jammies and a whole new range of winter tights to choose from! And. Right now our freezer and bottom shelf of our pantry is bursting; Meats, non-perishables, bags of flour. We are well stocked. (I keep a very very tight grocery budget. We are often running on empty most of the week, but we make do)

So I thanked God. I thanked him for being so sneaky and tricky and delivering such a package of blessings on the very day I finally vocalise my feelings to him ("what if you forget about us!?")

But moreover I want to thank a very generous young lady who felt the need to respond (to what, I don't know) and who followed through. Transforming our world by reaching out to us and sending us an unexpected gift. Not one that we desperately needed, or were relying on to feed our family, but for us made all the difference.

This is just another reason why I love our Sisterhood so much, a small gift sent without any expectation of anything in return, changed our lives this month. I never would have told you that we needed that particular amount of money, because you just get on with life, don't you? Everyone has their own issues to deal with, we can't save the whole world, I'm not different to anyone else, we can survive. There's no need to draw attention to my own situations.

I think thats why I love our "surprise!" blessings so much. If only to say "we were thinking of you..." because who doesn't want to be thought of? Isn't that the greatest compliment? Someone thought of me. For a moment, someone took the time to select a gift of their choosing and send it to me. Amazing. Thank you. Often in return I have heard "I will repay the favour!" But its not about that is it? No, its not. It comes with no expectations and no strings attached. Just accept and be, and know that you are thought of.

Hardworking mums, sisters, daughters, friends - Amazing women who just get on with it. I wonder, do you know of anyone like this? Perhaps they have a unique situation, or perhaps they are just surviving, doing life. Do you think we could bring a smile to their face? Do you think we could let them know that we were thinking of them?

Seriously, is someone popping to mind right now? Email me (sophieslim@moo2.co.nz). Please. I would love to know their names. An address would be great too, because we would love to send them a little something.

If you can't think of anyone but would you love to share the little you have to bring a life changing smile to someones world you can email me too (sophieslim@moo2.co.nz) because soon I will hopefully have an inbox full of the names of strong, beautiful women who could use a smile.

I love you all, really, I do, and I want to thank you for taking the time to read my words and my little story. And finally, I would like to say a public thank you to my donee, thank you for thinking of me. 


**I would also like to apologise to anyone if they thought I was sharing pregnancy news in this post, a bit misleading huh! Whoopsies.




Monday, May 14, 2012

Birthday Week!

When my smart, clever, patient and energetic husband came home on his birthday he not only had a lovely blog post to read about himself but he was also greeted at the door with a surprise!

A happy birthday celebration! 

I threw a little party for him, because we had our connect group scheduled that night you see, a night when 4 other couples come to our home and we all learn a little bit more about God, marriage and each other. And in our little connect group we had a lot to celebrate; That very week we had a birthday, an engagement and a pregnancy announced! Woohoo! On the day I changed the banner from "happy birthday" to "congratulations!" because we could all do with celebrating our lives a little bit, right? There were balloons on the ceiling and party hats for everyone! 

We popped the sparkling grape juice and raised a toast to everyone, and enjoyed a delicious dessert together. Oh! And there was cake! Graemes favourtie: Banana. If you think it looks bought you would be correct. 

Actually, its been a whole week of celebrations, MrMoo has fully embraced his "birthday week" and we have been doing something most days to mark the occassion. I. Am. Exhausted. Very very happy my man can enjoy turning a whole year older, even when he discovered a grey nose hair the other morning. Teeheehee.







Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Home Lovin' - Getting Organised

That little band of flags is still bringing daily delight to my life and it has inspired a little flurry of creativity! I've pulled out the Granny and have been finishing her off, she has a sad tale to share and some day in the close future she will have an opportunity to share, in the mean time I am working on a boarder and enjoying her snugglyness. Mr Moo loves things to be neat and tidy, but I love the look of a bright and colourful handmade blanket thrown on back of the couch. It fills me with warmth just to think about it. 

I've also been getting organised to work on some projects in the future, I have bought some fabrics to make a little skirt and have been planning some restyles with some clothes that were heading to the donation bins this week but were left behind at the last might. Hoorah! I have a teeny tiny stash that is growing, mostly old clothes and dresses that don't get worn any more, and last week I had a bag of stash donations from Miriam! Yays! :)




If you came to my home you could see a list on my fridge of the things I am working on, there have been a few things ticked off already and I am working on a few others. Some piles of clothes and papers on our bedroom floor have been filed away and donated (there's still another pile to go, another day). I had boxes and bags thrown into a storage cupboard with all of my crafty supplies, they were out of the way and mostly inaccessible. We bought new bedside tables and I used my old one to store my goodies in, in the wardrobe in our spare bedroom. It feels so good to have everything accessible and together.


This week I threw Mr Moo a little surprise party and when I bought my supplies from the cheap shop I got a free flower calendar! Score! I've never thought about buying a calendar before but now that I have one I love it. I'm a total google calendar user, without it Mr Moo and I probably would never see each other or our friends, but I love having a colourful thing in our kitchen that everyone can see. Also, clock! This has been up for a few months, but it took me 3 years to buy the hook for it, so I thought it was worth sharing :) I also loving having a physical clock to look at, rather than a cellphone or laptop. 


 That's whats going on in our home.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Its No Wonder...


Have I ever mentioned that I have the smartest, cleaverest, patient, funny, energetic husband around? Well, it's true, I do. And he's all mine!

Shortly after our wedding (actually, and still to this day) whenever anyone comments on our relationship he replies with a "She's soooo lucky", to that I roll my eyes, but secretly I am agreeing. I am. My husband is one of a kind and I am still completely in love with him. And I'm not ashamed of saying I am still in love with him. Some times there's social pressure to be all "oh, my husband! I could trade him in!" But I couldn't. My husband is one of a kind model that was custom built for our family :)

Husband, this is the most recent photo I have of us together, we pretty much look the same today, except you have brown glasses and I dont own that necklace, however our baby girl has grown a whole lot! She has a lot more hair, a more in-proportion head and cheeks, and if she was smiling she would have two extra teeth. I think that means we need to take another family photo, or more photos of us.

With a Dad like you its no wonder we have the best little baby in town. She's super pretty, and people always comment on her long girly eyelashes, I'm so proud to say she got them from you. And of course she was learning to crawl at 5 months. With a Dad like you what baby could sit still? I'm expecting her to walk any day now, and then you two will be off. She'll be chasing you around and around and around and you'll keep running; Because you are the bestest Daddy.


Today Mr Moo is another year older, and in the short time I've known him he has grown and matured so much. He used to be a baggy jeans wearing skater boy telling kids about Jesus down at the park, now he frets over dust and wrinkled shirts and always complains about having sore muscles after a game of touch rugby. Oh life. Oh how it changes. Now he has a wife and daughter (and wants more!), and he works hard everyday to provide for his family, and when he comes home at night he engages and talks about the future and what our family could become. I am soooo lucky!



Happy Birthday my Love.
xxx


Monday, May 7, 2012

Hunger and Thirst



On Saturday night I had the huge honour and privilege of being able to share with 50 ladies about whats been going on in my heart recently.

The night was called Hunger and Thirst and it was an opportunity for the women of our Church to get together and thirst after the things of God. I was asked to speak and I shared about girly friendships.

I shared about how, as a female, you are so unique and special, and that should be embraced and understood. It's okay if you need constant affirmation, its okay if you need to put on a dress. As girls, we make great best friends because we know what other girls like and what they need. 




I was inspired by Ruth from the bible, a great story between a mother and her daughter in law. The mother had nothing to offer her daughter in law, Ruth. She was bitter, alone, not very great friend material. But the bible says that Ruth clung to her despite that. She stuck around. She was there when Naomi needed her the most. 

Later on Ruth (the DIL) goes to Naomi (the MIL) for advice, Naomi gives her some pretty wise selfless words of wisdom which later lead to employment and then to marriage for Ruth (score!). As great friends we need to be giving each other encouraging, wise advice that builds each other up. And as a woman, seek to be around these people. Don't bother with drama or pettiness, instead encourage friendships that build each other up in faith and good things :)

I have really amazing friends, they are a great part of my life and there are things that I get from my great girly friends that I can find no where else.

Did you know that in a Dove survery they concluded that 70% of women feel prettier because of their close female friendships. 

My friends are essential to my wellbeing and happiness. 

Its my prayer that you would begin to understand the huge value that the ladies around you have for your life and that you would be a great friend in return, one that sticks around and offers sound advice and encouragement.


I loved having the opportunity to speak, its been a long time since I've been behind the mic or having to prepare a message, I was definitely out of practice but it all comes back [kind of] naturally. I'm looking forward to more opportunities like this in the future :)

The whole night was a great opportunity to minister to each other, throughout the night I was able to hear many testimonies and have the opportunity to pray for many people. So so cool! Super big thank you to Wendy and Toni, a mother daughter duo from our church who put on the whole night for us. It was such a gift.
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