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Landmark in History for Pope Benedict XVI

Today, February 29th,
Pope Benedict XVI
now gloriously reigning
the sixth oldest Pope
in the history of the Church
completing 84 years, 10 months, 2 weeks and 1 day.

The five older reigning Popes were:
Innocent XII 85 years old
Pius XI 85 years old
Clement X 86 years old
Clement XII 87 years old
who served as pope until he was 93.

Dominus conservet eum,
et vivificet eum,
et beatum faciat eum in terra,
et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.

May the Lord preserve him,
and give him life,
and make him blessed upon the earth,
and deliver him not to the will of his enemies.

thrilling friday's instant images... a mixed bunch

 indeedy, does it get any more thrilling than doing something supposedly for a friday, on a tuesday instead. i think not! and so a mixed bunch of 'false spring' around the shed instantly snapped by our Ivor. 
all kitschy, all fake & all cheering up the shed... and i note upon perusal of the instant snaps, they all have friends close by, how heartwarming on a chilly day. i like to think if i was a mixed bunch of plastic flowers i would have a little friend close by too.

on the mantlepiece

in the downstairs loo

on the kitchen table

in the entranceway

in the family room

however, Little Olive who is nearly 3 and therefore quite wise, (so she informs me), is not convinced by my 'trickery, faking spring ways' and has declared she will not be coming out of winter hibernation just yet...

Tif :)

Storage and Children

After nearly 14 months of hoarding things, I've started to sort through some of the R's stuff and try to organize it all. Not an easy task. We find out the new baby's gender in 8 weeks (YAY!) and I will be selling all of Reese or Ryan's stuff on the resale blog once we find out. I will post when that goes up. If we're having a boy someone is going to be very lucky. Miss Reese's wardrobe is full of Tea Collection, Gap and Old Navy, with a smattering of Toms and Uggs. Spoiled girl.

Ryan's little man wardrobe is pretty awesome too, now that I think about it. All Old Navy and Gap with some mini Boden, and a smattering of Robeez and Stride Rites. But seriously it is harder to shop for boys. So much less to choose from!

For now I have a box of things that I'm selling for $2 an item and I just posted some of it on the resale blog; most of it is in very good used condition, some of it is brand new. I also posted the last of my boy/girl coordinating sets. I only have a few left and mostly in newborn sizes, which I know are common shower gifts, so if you're interested in any of them feel free to make me an offer. I can't bear to break the sets up. Stupid nostalgia :) I will give a shipping discount if anyone is interested in multiple items.

With the build going on, I'm trying clear stuff out as quickly as possible. I have no idea how we're going to keep this house "show ready". The thought of it is stressing me out like crazy. We've just rented a storage unit and I'm moving things over to it this weekend (hopefully). I think I may ship Gracie to my inlaw's house for "vacation" once we put the house on the market. I can't keep up after a husband, two kids and a freaking dog some days.

a 'false sense of spring'...

two months into the new shiny year and i always come unstuck. it happens every year, i embrace the new year with all the wonder of starting a fresh, then by the time february bids farewell my 'freshness' is going stale and i realize despite the odd days of sun, spring is still a long way off. then just like every year, i rustle around my drawer marked 'good for rustling in during blearghy months' and pull out my thrift store kitschy plastic flowers. more often than not they are of the pink variety, happy bright pink and brilliantly peachy pink varieties are in there too.

i then proceed to go around our shed, plonking mixed bunches in likely looking containers to add a bit of cheer. yes springifying the shed is my only way to get through those pesky weeks before Mr Spring truly comes a~calling.

 yesterday my rustling ways unearthed a couple of kitschy strings of flowers which i recall finding at a craft shop a good year or so ago. i have always been rather fond of these strings and their ability to look most pretty. so i hung one up and then proceeded to take a few scraps of my precious Liberty pile of fabrics (kindly donated to me by the peachy Rachelle) and with a needle and thread, added a little bit of dottie to it. not a lot, just a little, but i am thinking one could really add a lot and have quite the time with 'dottie angeling' such a string of flowers.

i noted, little lucky bunny looked in need of a bit of cheer too

and once again, i am left marveling at how adding a few happy scraps of fabric to a little string of flowers does a wondrous job at adding to my 'false sense of spring' within the shed and my head. 

such is my marvelling ways, tomorrow i'm going to pottle around our shed, taking snaps of all my 'false sense of spring' signs i have rustled up with the contents of my drawer and show them right here on my shiny place. yes, that is what i will do, for right there and then, i have made tomorrow, now look most thrilling...
 goodness, who would believe a few stems of fake flowers plonked around a shed, had such power to take one from 'bleargh' to 'less bleargh, more happy'. 'tis a small mircale and those are the besty best kind of all...


I have no name for this little one yet

Meet my blob with a head and a heartbeat (of 128!).

{ hanging upside down, already crazy like its brother and sister }

The little bugger is measuring 2 whole days ahead (overachiever, s/he gets that from me). I'm very impressed that the baby has a head. With the twins, my first ultrasound was almost a full week earlier due to a subchorionic hemorrhage, so the twins didn't have heads the first time around. We went straight from blobs to dancing gummy bears. But this little stinker has a head. I told Joe that it's obvious the baby is ours since the head was so big in proportion to its body (the twins both have heads in the 90th percentile).

My next appointment is a final ultrasound with our RE two weeks from today and then I graduate ::::cue pomp and circumstance:::: I already set up my first OB appointment just shy of 10 weeks. I'm super excited because the doctor who is seeing us is the man who delivered my beautiful babies. I adore him and I'm so happy to have our first encounter back in the practice be with him.

We'll be doing the NT scan two weeks after that, so I'll get to see the little monkey two more times over the next 5 weeks. And since there is no way I can wait until we are halfway through this pregnancy to find out what this little mushy is, I scheduled an elective ultrasound on April 28.

Nine weeks to go; stick with me little one. We love you so much already.

GIRL CRUSH ~ seattle... having no doubts about it

for most of my life Mr Doubter has lived in the shadows. sometimes he casts his shadow in my direction and other times he leaves me be. the days he leaves me and my creativity alone, those are the days my creative soul gets to shine, the sky is the limit, it is just me, my imagination and my hands to make what we will. 
and the days he looks my way with his shadowy presence, well those are the days i tell myself, i am not alone, i tell myself all creative artistic souls have their own Mr Doubter and the shadow he brings. i have never asked if this is the case, for it is my comfort inside of my head, that on those doubting days, i am not alone and i do not wish to learn otherwise.

and so that is why today i am really rather happy to be introducing my friend Danielle to you. Danielle is the brilliantly creative brains behind The Jealous Curator, an extra ordinary presence in cyber land. just her tagline of  'damn, i wish i thought of that' really says it all. she curates and highlights creative souls from all over the world and she does it brilliantly as The Jealous Curator. however very few folks knew until recent times, Danielle is also an artist of mixed media collage work and like so many, it was not an easy thing to put her work out into the public eye. through talking with other artists and creatives, it became apparent she was not alone. with all the incredible works we see daily, it is indeed very easy for us to let our Mr Doubter slip from the shadows, take position upon our shoulders and question our creative worth.

Danielle's cogs turned and with it a wonderful idea was born. why not talk about this, but not in cyber land, but together in reality, in a creative environment, where we can discuss how we get past staring at a blank canvas, how we can believe what we create is worth something, where we can find confidence within a group of others and in time Mr Doubter can for once and for all slink back to his shadowy corner

GIRL CRUSH workshops & tea parties are in my books, the bees knees!

and i am more than a little chuffed to be collaborating with Danielle and the peachy Andie & Emily from Assemble Shop in Seattle to offer a day of talking, creating & eating fine food. at the end of which, we will have 'assembled' a collaborative, mixed media piece of artwork which will be displayed on the gallery wall for others to see!
you can see all the nitty gritty details here and also the list of fine and dandy artists Danielle has lined up throughout the USA. 

i know for me, this will be a defining moment, i have no doubt on this. it will be good to share with others the 'whys and wherefores' of my Mr Doubter and how i have come to terms with him in my life and how indeed perhaps his very shadowy existence is the very reason why i do what i do. for i love to create. apart from my family, friends and critters, it is the very thing that makes me want to get up out of bed everyday and live. there are no words i can find to describe how much it makes my world happy and therefore i cannot allow that shadow to take 'the fragile happiness' away from me. and so you see, in a way, his very presence makes me even more determined to continue listening to my creative soul, not be riddled by self doubt and to allow myself and my creative soul time to shine


An Ancient Doorway to a Lovely Lent.

This ancient doorway
to a lovely Lent
is inviting you to enter.

If you would like to know what to do for Lent
try this:

1 Prayer:
Say the following prayer
every time you pass through a doorway of any kind.

Incline unto my aid, O God!
O Lord, make haste to help me!

or if you would like to say it in Latin:
Deus, in adjutorium meum intende;
Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina!

Incline unto my aid, O God!
O Lord, make haste to help me!

Deus, in adjutorium meum intende;
Domine, ad adjuvandum me festina!

(Goal: To pray always.)

2 Abstinence:
Sacrifice eating all meat and eggs
for the 40 days plus the Sundays.

I will abstain from all meat, -but only for Lent!

I will abstain from eggs, -but only until Easter!

This was part of the Catholic Lent
for far longer than 1200 years ...
... until about 1900;

they also had the burden of strict fasting.

But you could more easily undertake this abstinence
since you are not also obliged to their strict fasting;
this is only the abstinence.

If you are looking for something solid for Lent
I would say:
Why not try it?

It is all traditional, ancient, from our Fathers in the Faith.

One clear prayer.
One full abstinence.
One lovely Lent.

Appreciate the centuries of abstaining
that brought us
the beautiful Easter Egg!

As for other things, go to Confession as soon as possible.
Remember that Ash Wednesday and Good Friday
are days of Fast and Abstinence.

May you have a blessed and Holy Season of Lent!

Fr. Michael Mary, F.SS.R.

'interesting... very interesting' with Selina Lake

oh yes indeedy! i am most delighted to be spending today in fine and dandy company, not only with your lovely selves dearest readers, but with the peachy Selina Lake. what a marvelous way to start off my new 'interesting... very interesting' series! which actually is exactly the same as my 'a question of crafting' series i did a few years back and i thought to myself the other day, "why Tif, it might be interesting to think about doing something like that again" and then i said "now Tif, that is interesting... a very interesting thought indeedy" and so there we have it. quite simple, a little lighthearted 'hello hello' with a 'peachy folk' who is happy to join me here on my shiny place. so hip hip hooray for Selina being happy to do so...

i do think you may have had to be living under a rock to not know Selina Lake, a top UK stylist and the wonder behind the books Bazaar Style and Romantic Style and now just launched Homespun Style. actually just a moment, because now i am thinking, someone might be hurt thinking i have said they live under a rock just because they might not know of Selina and her peachy books. so to make amends, if you are living under a rock, may i imagine for you, a rock with a lovely crocheted cover such as these lovely stones and rocks from the wonderfully talented Margaret Oomen . suddenly i have a feeling we would all rather like to live under rocks if they were as pretty as these... so hopefully now with your imagined homespun rock you are not quite so fretful about not knowing Selina and really, you are going to come away today smiling. for now you will be under your homespun crocheted rock and will have got to know Selina too. so how fabby is that and its only tuesday!

i have been like a child and the run up to a birthday or christmas, the anticipation of knowing any week now Mr Postie will arrive with a copy of Homespun Style has me almost to insanity breaking point. i first found Selina when a copy of Bazaar Style found me and knowing how i have love that book, i can only imagine how much my love will be for Homespun Style, for after all i am most partial to a bit of 'homespinning' myself.

so if we are all comfortable, perhaps favourite tipple in hand, let me welcome Selina to this here shiny place,

 Tif : hello and welcome Selina
(pause, whilst we all put down our tipples and clap wildly and beam a whole lot in Selina's direction)
righty ho, shall we begin!

Tif : beyond delighted you could be with us today Selina, i am quite sure you are in a whirl wind of activity with the release of your new book Homespun Style and it is most lovely of you to take time to stop by and answer a few of my 'interesting... very interesting' questions!

Selina : well thanks so much for asking me Tif

(shuffle shuffle of scribbled notes on papers, a little scrapping of a chair leg)

Tif  : what is your most fabby fav 'homespun' thing to make or come across in someone's home?

Selina : I really enjoyed making all the details for my Wedding last year, I made vintage floral napkins for all my guests, mini cake bunting, tissue paper pom poms decorations, candy stripe favors, knotted hankie bunting, guest book washing line, hand-painted name place tags and even all the Wedding flowers including my own Bouquet! 

Tif : who or what inspired you to start crafting/sewing yourself?
Selina : When I was little I loved making things and my parents encouraged me by giving me my own 'Making Table' at the bottom of their kitchen, I used to sit there for hours, sticking and painting. I loved watching TV shows like Art Attack and for birthdays and Christmas Presents I was lucky to receive lovely craft kits from friends and family. 

Tif : what creative skill do you wish you had that you don't?

Selina : I would love to be able to make my own clothes, I find so many beautiful fabrics at fairs and markets and often visualize them as pretty Summer dresses, my sewing skills stop at making cushions, tea cosies and hanger covers! Perhaps one day I'll do a dressmaking class. 

Tif : if you had chickens in your back yard, what would their names be?

Selina : I'm absolutely terrified of animals, especially chickens - so no-way would I be able to live with some in my garden! 

Tif : what did you wish to be when you were little?

Selina : I always wanted to do something creative, I dreamed of being a designer, of Fashion, Television studio sets and Greetings Cards. 

Tif : if the queen came to tea tomorrow, how would you lay the table and what would you give her to eat?

Selina : I'd style my table the best I know how with mis-matched vintage floral china, handsewn fabric napkins, plenty of David Austin Roses and my best vintage lace tablecloth. I would serve a classic Homemade Victoria Sponge cake with lots of tea poured from my favorite Gold teapot. 

Selina's own kitchen corner, i can only imagine how impressed the queen would be

 Tif : and just before we all have to go and get the dinner on, pick the children up from school or go back under our little crocheted rocks, are you up for a quick fire round of questions Selina?

Selina : oh yes, lets.

1: stripes or spots?
Mini Polka Dots

2: bagpuss or trumpton? (i have a feeling you are way too young for this one!)
Yes bit young!! I used to love the Flintstones & Inspector Gadget 

3: favourite paint colour?
Neon Pink

4: high street or thrift store?

5: cyber magazines or paper magazines?

6: staying in or going out?
Now I'm the grand old age of 30 it's defiantly - Staying in!!!

Tif : oh many thank you kindlies Selina for being a guest for 'interesting... very interesting' it has been just the bees knees to have you here today and i know my dearest readers will be most happy to have got to know you. i have no doubt your new book Homespun Style will be loved by many, congratulations indeedy!
(pause for lots of 'hurrah hoorays')


oh how wonderful, Selina is heading off to her lovely homespun nest but has kindly shared with us not only some very interesting answers but also some peachy pictures from Homespun Style which i have taken a good old ganders at (through slightly squinted eyes, so as not to see too much) and indeed i think it quite true to say, this book looks rather glorious to me! photographs are by the ever-so-lovely and hugely talented  Debi Treloar and text is by the well written and well worded Joanna Simmons

if indeed you would like to find more of Selina Lake and her world of styling, you can follow her adventures on her blog or Facebook and find her wares on etsy, in the meantime i must thank you all for welcoming Selina so brilliantly and also for joining me for my first thrilling 'interesting... very interesting' interview! let us hope there are others just like Selina, willing to share a few happy moments with us... only time will tell, dearest readers, only time will tell

Tif :)
footynote: please note the images in this post were kindly provided by Selina, please do not use without asking her permission, many thank yous for your understanding
edited: just a little matter of great importance i forgot. this peachy book Homespun Style comes from the fabby publishing folks Ryland Peters & Small

I Can't Believe it's Almost March

Really this year is just kind of running by me. I realized this week that I haven't taken a single picture of the kids since January 20th. I promptly brought out the camera and shot away. But both kids are sick (sinus infections) and I'm sick and Ryan was just not feeling like being a baby model. Poor guy.

{ can climb quite quickly now; climbing is not limited to stairs }

{ 13 months }

Diva baby has had a super sick belly from her post nasal drip and we've had a few drama filled nights. She's breaking my heart with her hot pink tushy and tiny hands rubbing at tiny tears. We've blown out 15 diapers in less than 12 hours. Thankfully the pediatrician gave us some amoxicillin and we'll hopefully be on the mend soon. I'm going to the GP tomorrow and I'm praying there is something I can take to knock this out of my system as well.

{ runs everywhere, why walk when you can run? }

{ I love this peanut so much }

{ 13 months }

{ Nana blanket goes everywhere with her }

Before she got super sick I took her shopping for some warm weather clothes and she got a pair of big girl sunnies. I thought they'd be so cute. But she actually looks like my Aunt Ethel now. I kind of dig it.

We finally picked a builder after having some issues with the first builder and the land we had chosen. We should be (knock on wood) breaking ground in March. I'm a little anxious over the whole thing right now, I'll feel better once contracts are signed and the plans are fully drawn. But right now I feel like we're working against a very (hard) deadline and progress with paperwork is a bit slow. I've realized in my 30's that the world never moves as fast as I'd like it to. Perhaps I should take that as a cue to slow down? Perhaps...

My first ultrasound is Friday and I am READY. I thought about calling the RE and telling him I was spotting so I could get in early (true story) but thought better of manipulating the system like that (and I also don't need the bad zhu-zhu). Either I'm pregnant or I'm going in the Guiness Book of World Records for the biggest food baby ever

{ 6 weeks, 1 day with a singleton }

{ 14 weeks with twins }

Explain to me how this happens? I thought I'd be able to hide this pregnancy through the end of the first trimester. And actually we were hoping to wait until closer to 15/16 weeks to announce. But I'm pretty sure my plans will have to change shortly. 

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