Monday, May 20, 2013


You know that thing we all long for but is a complete dream of the past or future. A dream of "before we had kids" or "someday when we have more money", "more time".
I may have mentioned this before (once or twice) that Emmaus is a terrible sleeper. Its a TS thing (DEAR GOD LET IT BE A TS THING- new baby needs to sleep like typical kid). They often just can't "turn off"their minds, thus they don't sleep or rest well.
Tonight as I laid with her as she fell asleep she was just restless. She would toss and turn, she was tired, but her mind would just not let her rest. Until finally out of sheer exhaustion (after 10pm) she just passed out.
I couldn't help but find the similarity of her restlessness to our lives. Dan and I are busy. We both work, we have activities we are apart of, we have church, friends, a special needs kiddo that has therapies, and doctors appointments, we have household chores, meals to cook, (the list goes on for days).  So when we finally have a break, our minds, bodies, don't know how to rest. We are restless. And then eventually out of sheer exhaustion we pass out.
We hit rock bottom, we fight because we packed our schedules, didn't communicate, we weren't on the same page, and we were spread too thin.
I feel like if Dan and I do something well it is manage our money. We aren't perfect at it, but we work really hard to plan a budget, stick to it (mostly), save money, live debt free.
We pack our schedule as full as possible and then wonder why we don't have any time. I have been really challenged by a friend to be accountable with our time. 
So this weekend I sat down and wrote out our schedule. Took time to put down everything down on paper so It can be clear. 
To plan evenings of nothing.
 (No running errands, mowing the lawn last minute or having an "oh I forgot we are suppose to...") 

We are learning to weed things out- things we say yes to, with good intention- because it sounds fun, but in the end is completely overwhelming because we need rest. 

We are learning to rest. To guard our time. To say no to invites. 

I know this might seem like a lot of saying no, but in the end it leaves room for impromptu gatherings. 
Evenings of rest because we planned well. 
It allows our work schedules to seem less overwhelming-because our time off is well planned. 

I don't want our time to be restless- to pass out in sheer exhaustion because we never "turn off".
We have a long way to go. But this is a start. 
In the next few months, year even as we adjust to me working a little more, and a new baby I want to become as responsible with our time as we are with our money. 
I want to rest well- and I am not talking about sleep. 
(Cause lets face it- sleep is probably not bountiful in our near future- and while that is a bummer I am guessing rest will be easier to obtain, and just as important)


Thursday, May 16, 2013


Have you had those days that are just a comedy of errors? And at the end of the day you feel exhausted and kinda like you failed?
Our day started at 3am- when Emmaus decided it was "go time". 
Our oven is broken- or something. Has no power going to it. 
Our freezer was leaking. (Hubby spend all evening fixing this! yay!)
We got to Emmaus' orthotics fitting exactly five minutes late- not to shabby with the start of the day- (which turned out to be 35 minutes late because the appt was at 9 and not 930 like I thought.)
We did have a lovely lunch with a friend
 but the kid was pretty crabby and made this HORRID whining sound all day. 
I actually found myself saying "That noise is ugly, and your face is kinda ugly when you make it"
YEAHHHHH.......shining mom moment.
Then I may have harshly told my sweet (horridly whiney, exhausted kid) to 
"GET IN BED AND GO TO SLEEP" after putting her back in bed for nap time  around 400 times.

I will give myself some credit- because I was incredibly patient at 4am when she was clearly not going back to sleep. However- at 3pm I was one TIRED mama.

It's good for me to learn to apologize for my bad attitude to my child. 
I hope as she grows- she doesn't think of me as a mean mom who yells- (I really don't yell often)
But as a mom who loves her fiercely, but is flawed, and has to ask for forgiveness too. 
Cause- WOW this mom gig is hard.

And to remind myself that not all days are this hard. Here are a few pictures from yesterday- 
we had a great day and Emmaus loved the farmstead!

Giving the sweetest- wettest kisses EVER
 Learning about Animals with Daddy.
This girl loved the animals. 

We topped the afternoon off with My 30 week sono to take a final peak at baby & check for any signs of TSC. This baby has no signs of TS that Emmaus had.  We are so thankful. 
(And Eager to meet this babe!)


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

TSC Global awareness Day

Today is TSC awareness day. 
It is also a day we celebrate being 6 months out from Emmaus' surgery and the incredible progress she has made. 
Six months ago today dan and I trusted our most prized treasure into the hands of very capable Dr's and Nurses. In hopes that removing one of her dozens of brain tubors may give her a greater future. 
It amazes me that it seems to be a general rule of life that in order to grow, heal, or be made new we must first be broken. 
While we waited- God, and all those praying covered us in the most incredible peace, and hope.

When we finally got to see her she was indeed bruised and fragile- wires coming from everywhere it seemed.

In the next couple days came swelling, sleepless nights and more, once leading to a scare of hydrocephalus. 

But along with the swelling and scary things, came support from good friends and family.
And the sweetest little blessing .
A sliver of hope in a stressful time.
The news our family of three would become four. 

When the dressing came off, I think my mama heart was in shock. How would that gigantic wound ever be hidden, or would it be a constant battle scar for our little love. 
Would kids tease her about it? Would people make comments in the grocery store? Or point?

But soon after going home the healing began.
The daily seizures stopped after the morning of November 15. 
Emmaus' brain started to have time to develop- time that before was spent seizing or recovering. 
By Christmas she was army crawling.
And Feeding herself. 
(A task that had been long awaited)

She began showing her love for those around her. 
Giving the sweetest hugs and kisses.
Hands and Knees crawling by february-
Crawling brought freedom to explore everything
(Or get into everything- We finally decided we should baby proof when we saw her try to stick her tongue in a light socket)
Standing and trying to climb came in the spring in one fowl swoop. 
Climbing stairs shortly followed, And now this kid stands- ALL THE TIME.
(And is a complete cheese ball)
The daily seizures have been replaced with daily parenting, trials of patience for us and our sweet girl, and learning- LOTS OF LEARNING. 
Today we celebrate Emmaus- We celebrate progress. And we hope that you will read this and share our story today. 
A story about a little girl with Tuberous Sclerosis. Who fights every day. 
A story not of sickness or of a scary disease- but a story of HOPE. 
And the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus. 


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The promised and much delayed headband tutorial

First let me say this- I tried to make this all fancy- and you know put fun borders and type on the pictures- but I don't understand photoshop- so I found myself wanting to throw the computer out the window, thus you get a very boring but informational tutorial.  (Also- this fabric didn't make the "cut" as far as making it into the etsy shop- can't win them all)


You need to choose a jersey knit fabric. I like ones that have a good amount of stretch- I tend to buy my fabrics in the form of shirts at thrift stores- mens polos are great, so are women's patterned shirts
*If you get a shirt at a thrift store choose a big size L or bigger so you have enough fabric.

 I use strips that are 20 inches long (the stretch needs to be in the length) and 7 inches wide.
* If you don't have a rotary cutter good old fashioned scissors will work to cut your fabric as well.

 So I like the part of the headband that goes around the back of my head to be thinner than the top. So I fold my fabric in half width wise (hotdog fold) & then length wise (hamburger fold) so I have a quartered piece of headband. And I angle the end. I don't do things very precisely- so just lob off however much you want.
* Just make sure you are cutting against the open end- not the folded end*

 Fold your fabric in half right sides together (hotdog fold) and sew along the open end.
5.Once this is done turn your tube right side out.
6. Now flatten out your fabric so on the top there is no seam, and at the bottom or inner part (the part that will lay on your head) your seem is there.
***Place your ends together so the seam is in the middle and face up. Then sew along the raw edges (great thing about jersey knit is that it doesn't fray so you don't have to have a finished edge)
 Now flip your headband right side out so the raw edge will be inside.
Now try this sucker on your head- does it fit? Is it too loose? If it is you can sew another seam on the ends to make it tighter

I cut another strip that is about 2.5 inches wide and 10 inches long.

And I ruffle/ fold it as I sew- make your stitch straight down the middle. 

It will look like this when you are done. 

I decide where I want to put my ruffle and then sew it on- 
 And then you are done! I often iron my ruffle down (I didn't here) just to make it less flappy and more flat on the headband.

This might possibly be the worst tutorial EVER. Oh well-take it or leave it. I would love to hear how your headbands go- or if you want one and don't like to/can't sew.
Buy one here 
Or if you want a different design!
This one is new today- I am a bit obsessed with the knot.

(While I totally encourage you to try this tutorial out- I respectfully ask that I don't see this exact product in your ETSY shop- get creative! If you are going to sell- make your own designs, don't copy others)


Monday, May 6, 2013

Garage sale & give away

This weekend we had a garage sale. I figured we were safe planning a garage sale for the first weekend of May-however in Kansas City this weekend the high temp was 50 and there was a good amount of rain/snow wintery mix. However, we prevailed, had the sale and despite my bad attitude on saturday morning it turned out to be a big success!
One of the coolest parts of the weekends was that an old man asked if we had any coins to sell- well we did, Dan used to collect them with his grandpa and has been wanting to sell them. It was pretty cool because this guy's name was Bob, which was also Dan's gpa's name and he collected them with his grandkids. So they sat in our kitchen for over an hour and looked at coins.
So the money from that and our other big items we made close to $700.
Sometimes it is cool how the Lord provides. (And how for me he has to make it super clear it is him providing.)
We are thankful & SOOOOO EXCITED to be able to pay off my car! 
On To Baby step #4 !!!!
(We follow Dave Ramsey's Financial Plan for those of you who are knew around here)

Things I learned during our garage sale
1. Do it with a friend- cause then it is a lot more like hanging out than work!
2. Our neighbor gets to her house, and drives super slowly to the drive way and then I'm not kidding you INCHES up the driveway at a snails pace until she finally parks in the garage- It was odd. I thought it was  one time things the first time I observed it, but I saw her pull in no less than 5 times and it was the same thing each time. 
3. People will steal even at a garage sale. 
4. Make creatives signs- people will notice them! We used poster board and tall boxes- and said cute things like 
     *Big OL' Sale
     *Snow or Shine (It did snow Sat am!)
5. At the end of the sale take your crap to good will! The point is to simplify- so if you don't take everything to good will-really consider if the item is something you need or not. 
6.  Baby's make good sign weights

Also! Last but not least! The Winner of the headband is #13!  
Congratulations Kristen from Engineering Motherhood!
Kristen shoot me an email at Laurisa.Ballew (at)
And I will get your headband sent! 

    For anyone else wanting headbands- I will re-list a bunch on my Etsy tonight or tomorrow! And for those of you who are crafters I will post a tutorial tomorrow- ran out of time today. 


Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Baby belly & heabands

So I'm 27 weeks pregnant. Thats a lot of weeks. And a lot of belly. 
Today I walked twice- and got most of my childhood stuff out of my parents attic, loaded it in my suv, and unloaded it again. 
Oh- and then there were all the baby dead weight lifts....
(aka picking up my child 100 times)
I'm pooped. 

I've been a bit obsessed with these headbands I have been making. They basically allow me to do my hair less and still look decent.  Some of you have asked if I am selling them. So I have loaded a few in my ESTY site- I use all recycled materials, so the patterns and designs are in limited quantity. 
I strive for them to be good products, affordable, comfy & cute!

 Speaking of Cute- This is my production assistant. We were working late into the afternoon and maybe stretched into nap-time- thus she is cuddled up in my fabric scraps. 
She is wearing a scrap of material around here head- that doesn't match. 
Cause I didn't want her to feel left out!

 I am also going to post a tutorial on how to make these headbands this week- yes I know that may be bad for my "oh-so-booming" ESTY biz- However, I figure there are two types of people, buyers and makers, and a maker isn't going to buy anyway- so no harm in posting a tutorial! However- please don't take the tutorial, make your own headbands & sell them on your etsy site- cause while this isn't patented or anything I do take time in thinking up the extras of these headbands- ruffles, flowers, ect.
 Below are a few headbands I have posted. 
Here is the Link!
(there are also some cute baby knot beanies- I made one- then I made like 10, because I am kinda like that- and I'm having a baby-so I like making little baby things)

ALSO!!! Don't forget to enter to win a headband of your choice HERE